Tell me about yourself? And what made you want to be a writer?
I’m 30 years old, currently residing in Pasco, Washington. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 15 years old, and I’ve worked every day to try to be better, improving my vocabulary and technical writing skills.
What attracted you to the particular genre you are involved in? And do you stick with it consistently or do you change it up?
I’ve always been a massive Star Wars and Star Trek fan. I loved the idea of striking out deeper into the galaxy, and creating an entire galaxy and then some, was just too appealing to let slip away. I recently just started writing a fiction novel, set in modern time, slightly off beat from the current reality we live in. So I venture back and forth between genres from time to time.
What is your writing process like? And how important is research to you when writing a book?
You hear a lot of authors talk about the “process”, and in my personal opinion, it is the author’s way of saying they have no process. I have no process, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I let the story play out as it comes to me. I just kind of know what I want to happen, and I let it come through. Research is critical on most things when writing, depending on what you’re writing. Science fiction, it’s more about world and galaxy building, so research is more for your base points. My new book, however, I think I’ve spent more time doing research, and I have more notes than I have actual book written.
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? And do you have any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Writer’s block is probably the worst thing that any author can run into. I think it happens worst when you run out of ideas for your story, and that is a terrible thing. If anyone experiences writers block, I would suggest that they stop, and actually just re-read what they’ve got on paper, and let it come back to them. Taking a break can really help.
So tell me about what you’ve written, and has it been published?
I’ve written two novels so far, both of them part of the “Fallen Empires” series. They are focused on the character Destota Valentine, who is considered one of the greatest warriors of his society, but his leadership is killed when he is very young and he must pick up a war that he isn’t ready to fight. Both have been published on Amazon, self-published. You can find them here and here. I also published Cascade, the first book in ‘The Genesis Program’ series and you can check that out here.
If you’ve had your writing published, how has it been received?
Well, so far, I’ve had fairly light sales, but those who have purchased the books have absolutely loved them, and I’m hoping to get more exposure and hopefully more sales.
Is there anything you’d change or do differently now that it is published?
Well, I would have sent out a lot more query letters and tried a lot harder to find a mainstream publisher, I think!
Speaking of publishing, how did you go about getting you book(s) published, and what was your publishing journey like?
Most people send their work into literary agents, or straight to the publishers themselves. A lot of smaller publishing companies will accept your work—at great cost. I received quotes for $4,900 and $5,700 and was told this was a “great bargain”, which it may be if you’re an investment banker or a Senator, but definitely not for a Truck Driver with five kids.
Where can potential fans find your book(s)?
My books are available on Amazon, and Shadow of Eternity is available on Audible as well. Book two, Requiem of a Nightmare will be available on audiobook at the end of March.
Did you do your own artwork for the book cover etc, and if not how did you go about getting it done?
I actually had a good friend in Ukraine that did the artwork for both of the first two books. And unfortunately, he was killed in the fighting in Ukraine before I even had a chance to pay him for his work.
Have you taken on board anything from a review (good or bad) that you’ve later incorporated into your writing?
No, I don’t read reviews.
Are you working on something new at the moment? And can you tell us anything about your current projects?
I am! I’m currently working on Book one of the Genesis Program, a new series, which is based on the current political unrest in our country, set just a few years in the future.
Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?
Well, I had a pretty rough time with Stephen King once in the Chicago airport. Until then, he was an idol of mine. But the writer I respect is definitely Karen Traviss. She has mentored me, guided me, even used her own twitter platform to boost my books. She is an amazing author and a great person.
What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?
Keep writing. Even if it looks like crap, get it on paper and catch the mistakes in editing.
And let’s end with something a little different…Which of your character(s) would you take with you to spend the night in a haunted house? Why?
Oh god, Destota for sure. Seven feet tall, ultimate special forces operator, totally fearless, and kills everything that opposes him.
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