I am a writer/entrepreneur. I have been writing articles for 15 years about small businesses for the company I founded, smallbiz.com. I wrote STONE AGE for pleasure and as a warning, because the threat of loosing our power grid from solar storms is very real. I’m working on STONE AGE – New Realities, the second book in the series right now, as well as working on another post-apocalyptic novel. So, readers, not to worry, there’s more coming.
I am married to an incredible wife who supports my passions. I joke that I’ve been married three times: to my wife, my business, and now my writing. My wife is starting to get jealous! We live in Tucson, Arizona, and spend as much time at the beach in Rocky Point, Mexico, about four hours away – Hint: this is where much of STONE AGE is set. When not in Mexico, or in Tucson writing, Lisa and I serve at our church.
What inspires you to write?
Great stories and great characters. I’ve heard it said that the plot doesn’t matter. A great story has great characters: the plot is just something you throw at them.
I love it when ordinary people are put into extraordinary situations. Throw in an end-of-the-world situation and let’s see what happens. I also love surprises. That sort of M. Night Shyamalan/ Sixth Sense/”Holly Crap!” moment when you think, “I did not see that one coming!” That so rarely happens any more in stories. That’s my goal in every story I write.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a seat of the pants writer who outlines the story only after I’ve started writing. I usually get an idea: it can come from a dream, a movie I’m watching, a book I’m reading, or a story in the paper. I think about it and a basic story line forms, and then a character or two. I start writing about that scene. Then quickly, while it’s fresh, I write a quick story synopsis – beginning to end. If I’m really into the story and/or I have the time, I’ll start doing the outline, scene by scene. Then, I’ll go back and fill in the blanks. I know it sounds chaotic, but this is how I wrote STONE AGE.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, but they talk to me. I build their house, their neighborhood, their neighbors, and then I start reporting the scene. My characters are then actors in the play I’ve set up. I try to keep them on track if I have something strongly in mind, otherwise I let them have free rein. I’m often surprised by where they take the story. “You didn’t just do that did you?” I would yell at my manuscript after a character did something completely unexpected.
What advice would you give other writers?
Two pieces of advice:
1. Just write! Don’t try to get it perfect, just have fun and write-write-write. You will trash a lot of it later when you re-write. If you can’t think of the right word, at least type in something. For instance, I might write “Bob, was not a bright man, in fact he was [word for this guy is stupid].”and then keep on writing.
2. Find other authors in your genre and correspond with them. Read their books. Write reviews for them. Ask them what they did and why. Become friends. Then, ask them to review your book & give you feedback.
Sorry, one more…
3. Take your time! Don’t rush. Get it done right. Others will tell you about polishing and editing and getting a good cover. These are all great, but also take your time to get your story right. It’s different for everyone. Some writers take much longer to get there. Take as much time as you need.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After reading about Hugh Howey and then reading his Silo Series books, I was hooked on the idea of Indie Publishing. I loved the fact that creating and publishing a book from my noggin to the readers book shelf was entirely on me.
Now, realizing what a gigantic job it is, I am hiring professionals to do many of the things I don’t want to do, so I can focus more on writing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
More writers, more books, & more trouble for traditional publishers.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Science Fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print