I grew up in a family where education was highly valued. Most of my family has masters degrees or doctorates with several, including myself, involved in the education field. I do a great deal of coaching youth sports as well as teaching. I am married with four children. I am very interested in sports, education, public policy, religion, and history.
What inspires you to write?
My years working with troubled middle school students and seeing how modern culture has had a tremendous impact on their world view. Unfortunately, this modern world view has done a great deal of damage to their ability to succeed in life and in my opinion to our culture as a whole. I hope my stories will explore the conflicting beliefs between traditional American views as best seen in old television series and movies and the “new normal.”
Tell us about your writing process.
From my years learning to teach writing as a special education teacher and alternative education teacher I have learned to brainstorm my ideas using various webs and graphic organizers and then sometimes I use an outline. In this, my first novel, I simply sat down and started writing. The story had been in my mind for some time and it really just came flowing out. It was much more how I use to experience writing before I taught writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
This novel and the sequel I am now working on have characters who are composites of real people I have known very well. The attitudes, beliefs, and skills are based on real people. While the main story line is obviously fictional there are elements of truth in that story. Many of the other events in the story, especially those that happen to the character Peter are real events. By taking events I am familiar with and building characters based on real people, I feel like I had an easier time making them seem genuine. I was interacting with the real people I knew.
What advice would you give other writers?
The advice I often give my students, begin with stories you are familiar with and get those down on paper. You can then use those real events as a base to build around. Let your imagination run free.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In part, it was a challenge from my students. I wanted to show them that with modern tools, perseverance, hard work, and faith anyone can publish and sell their ideas. By self-publishing, I was in control and could keep my work the way I wanted it without the influence of a publisher who has his own ideas about what sells. I am not a salesman or a marketer, but there is enough information out there I can learn to do it. I wanted my book to sell the way I wrote it, and if others don’t like it so be it. I will simply learn from that and move on.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe self-publishing and all the businesses that help self-publishers will be the wave of the future. The big name publishing houses will be for those who have already managed to build a following using these other methods and will sign on with a publisher to take that marketing end away so they can just write.
What genres do you write?
christian fiction, motivational, general fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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