Because it’s awesome. (laugh) I also donate a portion of the profit to charity.
Q: Why the name SeaMonkey Ink?
Why not? (grin) What’s not to love? I mean it’s Ink squirting out of a Seamonkey. I mean sure no one has ever witnessed such a phenomenon but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. (laugh)
Nope. When I was in school (high school and beyond) I used to play pranks under various code names – one of which was Seamonkey. I also have always enjoyed writing and back when I started to do so, I used to write everything by hand (which requires either lead or Ink) even long after I got my first word processor and computer. After I finally started typing directly, it still took ink to print.
Hence SeaMonkey Ink.
Q: Have you ever actually owned Seamonkeys?
Actually I have and I’m pretty well convinced that there is a wanted poster with my name and likeness up somewhere in the SIA (Seamonkey Intelligence Agency) headquarters for mass genocide. (laugh) I try but I fail.
Q: Are any of your characters based on people you know/knew in real life?
Not really. Most are composites. However, I will say that more than a little of my own personality/thoughts/expressions pop up in my stories and among my characters.
For instance, in Rebellion Book I: Book of Quay, Phong Quay makes a statement that one day he is changing his name and not telling anyone what he changed it to. I’ve said that to people since I was like 5 – particularly when I get agitated at being disturbed.
So if any real life person is used as a template for some of my dialogue and character behaviors it would be myself.
Q: You write some historical novels. How accurate are they?
Accurate enough. (laugh) I always say I do just enough research to be dangerous.
I enjoy history and find some of the portraits of these figures, times and places to be fascinating. I actually do put in quite a nice chunk of time trying to make the story as historically accurate as possible though I would like to think my work is more character driven then driven by the time, places and figures that inspired it.
Q: In addition to traditional 50,000 + word novels you also write novellas. Why?
Because I have a short attention span sometimes. (laugh) It’s true. Just give me the remote or put me in charge of the radio and the channel will be changed between every commercial/song. I scroll ALOT.
I also don’t like the practice of padding. Many traditional publishers force writers to add unnecessary bolly hollicks to reach a desired word count or page number. I prefer to present my work exactly as envisioned. Although it’s hard work to be your own editor and marking department, etc, it’s one of the reasons I like self-publishing. It gives you 100% creative control over your work.
But also, if someone is like me, they may actually have a life outside of my books (scary to imagine but true). They may not have the time or inclination to read a 1,000 page monster novel or they simply may not care about how 3 paragraphs of comfortable the chair in the center of the room is (unless of course its comfort is caused by the corpses stuffed inside of it or something of the like). They may have a low threshold for magazines with all of their endless pages of ads, tireless celeb gossip dribble or writers telling them (and quite authoritatively at that) what’s best for them and how they should live their life (not to mention that that’s my job). They may also be wanting something to read a little more substantial than how to wear stripes or position their package in their underthings for maximum effect. Then again, they may just have a really, really short attention span like I do.
That’s were a novella comes in handy. It’s just long enough to keep them occupied for a nice chunk of time but not so long that they end up neglecting their family (thus resulting in divorce and CPS involvement), spending their whole vacation in a book (thus being mugged by local thugs) or going to work the next day a stressed out, sleep-deprived wreck because they just HAD to finish it (thus causing them to get fired for sexual harassment).
Not only that, several completely fabricated studies show that people who do not add novellas to their library diet run a 300% higher risk of stroke, heart disease, impotence, diarrhea, brain damage, Tourette’s, drug, alcohol & gambling addiction, schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer’s than those who don’t. If they can’t do it for themselves, they should do it for their families.
Q: Why don’t you include your photo?
Because I’m incredibly homely. (laugh)
Q: You don’t look homely to me.
For my personal safety. (laugh) I’m always raising someone’s hackles for some reason or another whether it’s intentional or not. I’m also very private person and I would prefer to gain readers/admirers based on my work rather than my appearance. My appearance is just a bonus. (wink)
Q: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
Yes! Buy my books. (laugh)
By contributing to my income through a purchase, you make it possible for me to spend more time writing new novels for you to enjoy. As a portion of the profits of my sales do go to charity, you are also placing yourself 2 degrees of separation from being a philanthropist! Yea you!
What inspires you to write?
Random things – a dream, a nightmare, a certain face or an experience.
Tell us about your writing process.
I just let whatever wants to come out come out. Afterwards, I tweek and tweek and tweek….and tweek. (grin) Sometimes I will write down key events or key conversations that I 100% want to happen at some point with no real idea of where or how in the story it’s going to happen.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t do any real character sketches. I’m weird I guess, but for me the characters just kind of evolve naturally as events unfold. It’s almost as if they are real people and I just say, oh no he/she would never do that in that situation or they would totally do that as I go. So I guess the events in the story tend to create the characters for me. As for the character’s personalities, it’s almost as if these are real people acting out their lives for me and I’m just writing down. Weird huh? (laugh)
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I think technology kind of decided for me. I was offered an opporutnity to be published by a company in the past; however, I really didn’t want to give up my rights/artistic control over my work to some large, faceless organization. I wanted my work to truly be mine.
With the advent of all of these new self publishing mediums such as Create Space and Smashwords, it’s actually possible for individuals to get their work out there in their way. I think that’s awesome.
The only thing that’s a pain is learning how to market. (frowny face)
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I predict that while we won’t see the dissolution of traditional publishing houses and printed books anytime soon, we will see the continued migration away from both. The numbers of self-publishers and e-book only outfits will continue to grow both in numbers and “respectability”.
In the end, it will be a similar phenomenon to what we are currently experienced with streaming & digital copies gradually pushing brick and mortar & disc services out of business. Traditional publishing houses will be forced to seriously rethink/adjust their current business model to remain competitive.
I don’t look forward to the day. I’m one of those people who really love physical books….and snail mail. (laugh) And no, I’m not a senior citizen either.
What genres do you write?
Romance, Horror, Drama, Supernatural Horror
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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