Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a graduate of Clarion West science fiction writing workshop and member of Science Fiction Writers of America. I write in many genres: mainstream, thrillers, science fiction, fantasies, and memoirs. I have published sixteen books and have another all but ready to publish. I have also published over fifty short stories, some self-published and some published in traditional magazines and anthologies. I’m what some people refer to as a hybrid writer – I like to explore all possible avenues of publishing.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest published book is “The Fantasy Book Murders.” It’s about a pair of unlikely investigators who uncover evidence suggesting a serial killer after a famous fantasy writer is murdered in his castle-like mansion. I had never written a murder mystery and wanted to give it a go, and a very unusual, very dark story came to me.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
No, nothing unusual. I simply keep at it day after day, week after week, month after month. To paraphrase Jack London, I don’t wait for inspiration, I go after it with a club. I try to get a certain amount of writing done each day. Since my day job is also writing nonfiction articles, I spend a lot of time writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The short story that changed my life and convinced me I had to be a writer was “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” by Harlan Ellison. Among my favorite science fiction writers are James Tiptree Jr. and Cordwainer Smith. Influential mainstream writers were Jack London, Jack Kerouac, and Henry Miller.
What are you working on now?
I just finished another novel, a dark fantasy novel that I am readying for publication. After that’s done, I plan to work on several short stories before doing another longer work.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I believe the best promotional method a writer can adopt is to write the next book. Keep working. Be prolific within the bounds of your time and abilities.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Find your voice. Don’t be imitative. Get out and find out who you are and write from your experience and the core of your spirit. By that I don’t mean that you have to write realistically. I mean write books that only you can write, the books that you wish that you could discover as a reader but can never find.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Since the writer’s life is fraught with rejection and disappointment, the best advice I ever heard is an uncredited quote that says, “Never despair, but if you do, fight on in spite of despair.”
What are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading a thriller by Barry Eisler. It’s a very good read. I tend to alternate between fiction and nonfiction and between light and heavy reading. I post reviews of most of the books I read on my website because reading is such an important part of my life.
What’s next for you as a writer?
To keep writing. Always.
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 Lord of the Rings,” “Walden” by Thoreau, some sort of detailed survival guide.