What inspires you to write?
I’m not exactly inspired to write. I’m more compelled to write. It’s not like I have a choice in the matter. These stories develop in my mind and if I don’t let them out, they begin to haunt and torture me. If I had to dig deep and find something specific that inspires me, it would be the thought of a reader enjoying one of my stories.
Tell us about your writing process.
I love how writers try to classify themselves as either pantsers or plotters (seat of the pants or outliner). I’m not really either. The story comes to me either as a concept or a basic plot and the characters introduce themselves to me in my head. I have a very complex concept of what should happen in the story in my head before I begin to write the story.
I usually put on some classical music inside headphone and plop myself down in a public restaurant.
The characters then write the story for me. Well, technically, I still have to do all the typing and such, but the characters dictate to me where the story is going based on how their interact with each other. I make sure to never force the characters to go where I wanted them to go before I started writing. I’m also very aware to ensure that a character doesn’t do something “out of character” unless there is a very specific reason for it. In that way, I keep my characters within certain limits.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I definitely listen to my characters. I treat the characters as though they are living people and I’m writing a nonfiction account of their lives. In my mind, even the most outlandish story line is real and I treat the characters and story with respect.
I often say the dialogue out loud as I write it to make sure it rings true. In the restaurants where I write, I probably look like the crazy person in the corner talking to himself.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write the book you want to read that hasn’t been written yet.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve written several novels, one of which is in turnaround at a major publisher and may never see the light of day. It’s that frustration with “the system” that has led me to believe that the future of publishing is in the hands of the individual. I published these stories and the accompanying soundtrack myself in association with an indie magazine publisher who is helping me with the marketing.
I would advise new authors to write the very best book they can write and then explore all of their options with that one amazing book before deciding what is the best avenue for them.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
460,000 books were published last year and the average book has less than 1 sale. I believe this tidal wave of indie books, some of which are amazing and some of which are hogwash, is overwhelming readers and choking out good writers. We’re seeing the new trend of “free book hoarders” and writers who are throwing a hundred books out there in order to have something of a decent revenue stream.
There is no author who has ever lived who can write a 100,000 word novel per month and maintain any kind of quality. And there is no reader alive who can read 100 novels a month and enjoy any of them.
I choose to believe that the indie writer who treats his or her writing with the respect it deserves, and completes the writing process from preparation to first draft, through revisions to proofing, and finally to marketing and promoting (with countless other steps) will find a way to rise to the top and be seen.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Action Adventure, Cryptology, Mystery, Philosophical, Satire, Humor, and wherever the characters take me
What formats are your books in?: eBook