Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have written two books so far, both are part of my Black Magick Series. (There was also a book of poetry, many years ago, that I don’t really talk about). I am a vegan, living outside the town of Mannington, West Virginia with Riley and Petunia, two pigs I adopted after my first internship with Farm Sanctuary. I have tried many different career paths in my life, but writing has always been a constant for me. It’s my outlet, my escape. I care deeply about animal rights and environmental protection, and like to reflect those things in my writing.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called Myths &Music. It is the second book in the series, so I guess what inspired this one was the desire to see where the story was going. As far as what inspired the series, it started with this one image I had in my head, of a guy chain-smoking outside an apartment building, in the middle of the night. I needed to know why he was there. I had initially started out to write a short story about him, but it turns out I’m terrible at writing short stories; I always want to know what happens next.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I guess my most unusual writing habit is obsessive multi-tasking. I always try to start on a new project before I’m completely finished with the previous one. For quite a while, I was writing one book, editing another, and attempting to record an audio version of a third (I have yet to determine whether the audio book is going to work out or not, but I’m giving it a shot).
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Honestly, everything I read influences me in one way or another. Nearly every book, even those that I haven’t particularly enjoyed, has had something that stuck with me. The authors that have influenced me most though are Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, especially his Dark Tower Series. I also get a lot of inspiration from comics and graphic novels. Gaiman’s Sandman really changed the way I think about writing, and Hellblazer is probably my favorite thing to read.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the third book in my series, and slogging my way through what will hopefully turn out to be an audio version of Myths & Music. I also do a weekly blog on my website.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I find promotion to be much more challenging than the actual writing. So far, I’ve mostly been using Facebook, but I’m trying to branch out, which is how I ended up here, I guess.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
One trick that I learned recently, that I think many authors might benefit from is the read-aloud feature on Microsoft Word. I find it very difficult to catch typos in my own work. My brain just always reads what I intended to say, rather than what is actually on the page. Having a robot voice read my work to me allows me to find mistakes that I didn’t notice, even after reading through it multiple times.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” commencement speech contained the best, and most inspiring, advice I’ve ever heard. I honestly don’t know that I would have had the courage to actively pursue writing, had I not listened to it.
What are you reading now?
Lately, the majority of my reading has been focused on research for my own work. I’ve been reading a lot of books on mythology and different types of magic. I just finished Plant Spirit Wisdom by Ross Heaven, which was really fascinating. As far as reading for enjoyment, I’m pretty much always reading Hellblazer.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I would love to think that, one day, I will be able to make a living writing but, for the time being, the goal is to just keep working on the next book in my series.
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 would definitely bring Gaiman’s American Gods, and the Paul Jenkins and Sean Phillips run of Hellblazer. I would probably also bring David Salisbury’s Witchcraft Activism, and King’s Insomnia.