Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
It’s been quite a journey. Once upon a time I owned a feed-and-harware store but decided that I wanted to do something different–so I went to school. I graduated from the University of California with a Ph.D. in chemistry and now work in agricultural formulation. At night I am the managing member of Luna Risen LLC. Between my two jobs I squeeze in spending time with my family and trying to teach myself Latin.
Most of my publications are in peer-reviewed scientific journals. “The Lightness of Dust” is my first published work of fiction and the second novel is on its way!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Lightness of Dust” explores the idea that not only do the gods walk among us but that they have hopes, dreams, and regrets just as we do. The lives of three couples intertwine through ancient Anatolia, 1940 Seattle, and modern-day California.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Scent is very important. Sometimes I burn incense, but I usually like to have perfumes handy. Each of my characters reminds me of a different scent (Lily Ostendorf, for example, smells like Chanel No. 5).
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is, for me, the perfect example of how words should be pput together to form sentences. I also enjoyed Stephen King when I was younger, but I’m getting too old to scare myself intentionally!
What are you working on now?
“The Lightness of Dust” is the first book of my series The Meronymy. Each book will be stand-alone; readers won’t need to start with book one. All of the books will, however, share a few common themes.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
So far, Pinterest is working quite well. I have quite a few boards, some of which are dedicated to individual characters from “The Lightness of Dust.”
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Re-write. Re-write. Re-write. But keep in mind that your book will NEVER be finished–but you have to publish at some point.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Don’t just extend the curve by another five percent.” This came from my research advisor in grad school, who cautioned me against adding incrementally to well-studied subjects. He wanted me to create an entirely new curve.
What are you reading now?
Since I’m in the middle of drafting a novel I’m avoiding fiction. So mostly things like Inked magazine and a few Latin textbooks.
What’s next for you as a writer?
The second book of The Meronymy will be published late this year and in early 2014 the third book will begin to take form.
What is your favorite book of all time?
“Something Wicked This Way Comes.” I have a very old copy (1972) that I pull out every once in a while.