I began writing at the age of seven, while watching my mother compose poetry at the kitchen table. I already loved books, so I thought I’d give it a try myself. I’ve continued writing ever since. I still write poetry and short stories occasionally, but nowadays my focus is mainly on fantasy novels.
Most of my work could be loosely grouped under the genre of Young Adult, if only because many of my characters are young and I keep my writing clean. But in spite of that, I never write bland books with nothing to say. They always include a deeper level for more experienced readers to think about.
I’ve always been something of a dreamer and a lover of bright and beautiful things, and that’s reflected in my writing at times. I’ve also had more than my share of sorrows in life, and that shows up sometimes too. So does the Southern flavor that comes from my youth in Arkansas and Texas. I’m also a Christian author who will never write a single word that dishonors God. That doesn’t mean I won’t write about cruelty or evil. . . just that I’ll never portray it to be appealing or enticing. Tolkien said the same.
What inspires you to write?
I write because I love to tell stories, and I love to listen to them. I know that probably sounds like a pretty ordinary reason for writing, but it’s true.
Tell us about your writing process
I think I’m a swiss cheese writer. I write the more powerful scenes that come to me first, and then I think of ways to connect them. Same with character development. I’ll imagine the really important character traits first, and then gradually fill in the small but interesting details. Then when all is said and done, I’ll go back through and read the whole book two or three times and change things as necessary to make it smooth and unified.
That said, I do sometimes sketch out characters or events on a notebook before I write about them; it’s just that any of those characters or events are subject to change if I decide I don’t like the way they’re working out.
I used to be a very haphazard, seat-of-the-pants kind of writer. I’d mostly start in at the beginning and write till I reached the end, without too much planning. But I found that at least some amount of outlining and character sketching really saves time and speeds up the writing process.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, certainly. After spending that much time with somebody, they definitely become very real. You can’t make a character do just anything you need them to do, either; you can only have them do what would be reasonable for that person to choose.
I like some of my characters very much and have sometimes wished we could be friends in real life, strange as that sounds. Zach Trewick from “Cry for the Moon” is one of my favorites, actually. I’m also fond of Brian Stone from “Unclouded Day” and Tyke McGrath from “Tycho”. And others, of course, but that’s a good short list.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m published with a small press, which I’m satisfied with. I’d advise new authors to explore all the options that are out there before making a choice. Publishing is in a rapid state of change right now, and the best choice today might not be the best choice two months from now.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think publishing is wide open right now, and there’s no telling where it will end up after the dust settles. And mostly I think that’s a good thing. It allows many more works to be published which don’t fit neatly into genre labels, and it gives readers a huge number of new choices to fit their tastes. It’s true that there will be a lot of less-than-perfect works out there, but as far as I’m concerned that was always the case. The increased number of choices more than makes up for having to wade through the slush pile (since we already had to do that anyway).
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Young adult and middle grade fantasy adventure books, usually with a mild Christian flavor
What formats are your books in?
Your Social Media Links