I have just had my new book “would You Do What They Did? Great Christian Leaders From Our Past published by Crosslink. I also write This Week in Christian History, a blog covering an event in history each week. I have also self-published two biographies about Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Junior. I have published over 1,000 articles, short stories and poems in magazines, literary journals and websites. I install accounting software for The Back Office in West Des Moines. I have lived in Des Moines all my life and have degrees from DMACC and Upper Iowa University.
What inspires you to write?
When I see a story in my head that I know that I can make in what I would consider a good way, then that inspires me to write.
Tell us about your writing process.
A lot of my writing process is just setting aside a time to write and setting an obtainable and realistic goal. Once I am there and writing I just do it. I never had writing block before. I would have this advice to give anyone who has writers block, when you are not sure of what to write next, perhaps you should work on another part of your book or whatever you are writing. Another way to put that is to say that you would do what you would do next, although you had already accomplished what you are struggling with.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Most of the time I try and listen to what they say. They take on a life of their own. Sometimes I feel like I am more of an editor and that the story writes itself.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is a hard business, but it is because it is a great business. I really would be a lot happier writing for a living rather than doing anything else, but so would a lot of other people, and that is what makes it so tough. It is a hard thing to write a good book and it is even harder to get people to buy a good or even a great book. Both take enormous amounts of effort and time.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have self published a couple of books. The truth is they were not my best works, I ran into the same problem with both of my movie star biographies. They had movies coming out, so I had to rush the job and not self edit them as much as they deserved to be. I still sold a decent amount of each of them, about 500 a piece, because when I started I was the only one to write a book about the particular star. You can’t make a living off of 500 copies a book though, and this is the total of years of sales, still I think the average self published book only sells 3-4 copies, so I don’t think I have done bad.
I thought it would be easier with a publisher. I have a great cover for my book, and I had a proof reader go over my book. I am very happy with the end product. I am proud of my book, and I couldn’t have created as nice of a book without the publisher’s help.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It is hard to say. I know the ereaders will be more popular, but I think the good old fashioned books will be around for a long time. I think that smaller publishers will do better in the future because I think that the larger publishers are out of touch and aren’t really making an effort to find talent.
What genres do you write?
Biography, creative nonfiction, religious, apologetics
What formats are your books in?