Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
When I was five, I ran with scissors. As a result, I write. As of today, I have published 3 novels, 1 collection, and several novellas.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest published book is Castles. Castles is a view into the mind of a woman who, throughout her life, is abused in more ways than one. It’s an emotional roller coaster, told through the main character’s voice, about what she sees, what she knows, and what she’s been told. There is violence and there is love, and there is violent love. I like to think of Castles as a question: is madness really mad? Castles is told in the voice of the main character, Maggie, and it’s that voice that really allows the reader to question madness. I’ve told a few people that Castles wasn’t written by me; it was dictated to me by a voice in my head. That voice, Maggie, wouldn’t shut up for seven years–the length of time it took to write the novel. The original short story was written in 2003 when I was part of a writing group. The subject was “weather” and, as a meteorologist at the time, I thought I had an edge. I picked dust storms and desert weather as the backdrop of the story because I grew up in Phoenix and love the weather during the monsoon season. However, when I got my comments back from the group, there was one which stuck in my head: “what you’ve written is the outline of a great novel.” It took a few months for me to really start working on Castles, and then there was a long break (several years, actually), when Maggie wouldn’t talk to me. It was almost as if she felt I wasn’t ready to hear her story. When she did speak to me, I frantically wrote it all down and felt just as sick as most of my readers. I also felt I had to let the story loose, to let others hear what Maggie had to say.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. Although I am an early morning writer. This idea of staying up past 8pm is odd to me. How do other people do it?
What authors, or books have influenced you?
For me, Michael Ende and Robert Holdstock were the biggest influences. And, because they are rather unknown names, I’ll give you their most popular books: The Neverending Story (Ende) and Mythago Wood (Holdstock).
What are you working on now?
I’m current working in my wood shop building a pochade box. As for writing, I’m working on a dystopian, Asimov-ish novel set west of Olympia Washington. Can’t give much more information without spoiling the fun.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The best method I have ever found is through other people. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, but you have to find the most powerful mouth you can.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep at it. The industry is nothing like the romantic notions you had when you were 9 or 10. It’s brutal, honest and can really hurt people psychologically. Be persistent.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Find joy in the journey. The destination is not as important.
What are you reading now?
Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Keep writing. Keep pushing the boundaries. Keep enjoying the journey.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The aforementioned The Neverending Story and Mythago Wood, The Foundation (Asimov) and The Alchemist (Coelho).