Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve probably written about ten books over my life, but only recently am I doing much to get them in front of readers. I live in Seattle and work developing content for websites. My early dream was to be a writer, but I lost sight of that for a while and contented myself with editing other people’s writing instead. Eventually the itch came back and I decided to just write the sort of stuff that I have fun reading. Back in the day I studied ancient religion, so the books I write are likely to include a lot of history, religion, and the more mundane details of being a humanities graduate student.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Chimera was inspired by Dan Brown’s work. I’ve read some of his stuff and enjoyed the movies, and one day it occurred to me that he’s always packing his novels with the stuff I learned about in school. I decided to see if I could do it, too: write something that has historical elements without being tedious and pedantic with all the detail.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m compulsively organized so I plan out everything to the last detail. Before I write a word I’ve charted the entire novel, named the characters, captured pictures of the characters and the locations, and so on. So when you hear about writers who just listen to their characters and allow the stories to take shape as they write? Yeah, that’s not me.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’m a compulsive reader so there are more so many people who have influenced me. I remember several years ago being influenced by Guy Kay and the way he worked actual history into a fantasy setting. And of course there’s Dan Brown, who manages to take aspects of religion and history and work them into fast-paced, entertaining stories. I’ve never dreamed of writing great literature, I just want to write a fun read, and so my strongest inspirations are the men and women who do just that.
What are you working on now?
I’m taking notes on a few different books that I will probably write some day, and meanwhile waiting for the inspiration that will seed the follow-up to Chimera.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still figuring that out. I’m new to Kindleboards, but I think that might be a great resource, and I’m also thinking about what I can do with my author profile page on Amazon (which as of writing this doesn’t exist yet). When it comes to publishing ebooks, the writing is the easy part. Connecting with readers is the challenge, and I’m still getting my head around that.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write lots of books. Get them in front of readers as quickly as you can. Write what you love, rather than what you think might sell. Don’t read the reviews—the good ones will make you complacent, and the bad ones will get inside your head.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The only person on this earth who you want to please is yourself.
What are you reading now?
What am I not reading, is the question?
What’s next for you as a writer?
More books! As many as I can churn out.
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?
I’d bring my iPad with a solar charger, so that I could download new books as needed.
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