When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?
I have always been a story teller. I made them up as bed-time stories for my kids. The fun was to do it on the fly which made it challenging and fun for all. In 2010 I was between jobs and thought networking 24/7 was burning me out. I had a few stories I wanted to put down on paper and one thing led to another with my first book published in 2011. It is the most fun and hardest job I have ever had.
Where/When do you best like to write?
I get up early and in the quiet hours of the morning I sit in my favorite recliner chair, lean back with my computer on my lap and disappear into different worlds. It is awesome.
Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?
I don’t really make an outline. A brief outline which is departed from regularly is the base. I get an idea and it leads me places. I never know when I round the bend who will be there. It is very exciting. I have found occasionally on passages that I ended up somewhere unexpected and had to stop writing while I did the research. It means that writing is very exciting like I am having the experience with the characters. When I stop I can’t wait to get back and start again. That is how a lot of my readers feel.
What do you think makes a good story?
Strong characters and a meaningful, intriguing story. The roller coaster ride of adventure is always there to keep the pages turning but its about the story and the characters. Do they draw you into the story so you have an experience with them and not just read. That’s the secret.
What inspired your story?
Current topics. I am tired of the pop culture narrative that if you can’t have it exactly how you want it then give up. That’s a stupid narrative. We become great because of the challenged and trials and “Monsters” in our lives. Heroes in literature could not be so without them either. Our trials are what give us the opportunity to be great. They are tools of success, not weapons of destruction. It is what you dwell on that matters. You can choose that. My characters lose physical, emotional or social capabilities often in sudden change. I want my readers to know that they can use even the worst events in their lives as stepping stones to be heroes rather than as excuses to become helpless, hopeless victims.
What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
Coming up with additional passages that took the story somewhere meaningful. I always knew about where it would end but the road in between makes all the difference. I could not just have gratuitous passages and throw them at people. They had to move the story along and tie together in a logical and compelling way. It had to stay fresh and exciting and introduce new twists. You can’t just rely on the things that work for book one.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Tolkein, Bobrik, Dickens, Scriptural Writers, Bernard Cornwell, Dan Brown and Clive Cussler.
What person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?
My father taught me to never give up and be generous. My Mission President who was a pilot in three wars taught me to take pride in what I do and that I could do anything if I was willing to work hard and my Uncle taught me how to enjoy every day of the path along the way. That brings me to my wife who teaches me every day that there is a higher reason and purpose to our lives and that we can and should lift others up along the way and the great secret that serving others is the surest way to personal happiness.
What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?
Take all the advice you can but never give up your own voice in your works.