Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m 23 and I live in North Carolina. During the day I finish and install custom cabinets. I’ve written three books so far. Besides writing I like to play video games, exercise and hang out with friends.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is “Okay, Sweet Universe.” Two books directly inspired me. The first is “The Wizard of the Upper Amazon” by Manuel Cordova-Rios. It’s the true story of when the author was kidnapped by a primitive tribe in the Amazon in the early 1900s. They kidnapped him because they needed an outsider to be their king in order to avoid jealousy within the tribe. The book focuses mostly on Cordova-Rios adapting to their culture through ayahuasca sessions and hunting with the men. He deeply focuses on how the drug helped him tune in to the jungle and assimilate with the tribe. A character in my most recent book is put in a similar situation. The second book is “Primitive Mythology” by Joseph Campbell. The whole of “Okay, Sweet Universe” was inspired by this book’s explanation of the history of human psychology that most likely led to the creation of mythology and religion. Bits and pieces of mythology can be found throughout “Okay, Sweet Universe.”
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to wake up around 4 in the morning to write. I make some coffee and pick up where I left off the previous morning. It’s a good habit, because I have nothing else to do that early and I also can’t use the “I’m too tired after work” excuse. I also enjoy the 4am silence. Most of the world isn’t awake yet and I know no one is going to text me. I feel alone which makes writing a whole lot easier. It’s basically just me and the computer and fresh thoughts after a good night’s sleep that’s hopefully filled with weird dreams. I used to drape a shirt over my head when I wrote, but I don’t do that anymore.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is the first book I read that introduced me to my current literary tastes. Douglas Adams is probably the reason I can’t seem to write any serious science fiction, like Isaac Asimov or Frank Herbert. I get caught up in trying to be weird and funny and forget about all the smart stuff. It’s an extremely fun way to write though and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Other inspirational authors are: Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Chuck Palahniuk, Hunter S. Thompson, Terry Pratchett, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Henry Miler, Charles Bukowski, B. Traven, Kafka, Camus, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Pynchon, David Wong, William S. Burroughs and Aldous Huxley.
What are you working on now?
I’ve been writing a lot of short stories of random genres lately and I’ve been very slowly working on my 4th book, a sort of literary fiction crime situation.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Awesome Gang is my go to so far. I used KDP Select’s advertising program for a while, but it can get very pricey. I’m not very good at promoting my books.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t take life too seriously.
What are you reading now?
The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson. It’s an anthology.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m just going to keep writing books and working until one of them prevails.
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 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams; “Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said” by Philip K. Dick; “The Tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller; and “The Last Night of the Earth Poems,” by Charles Bukowski.