1) What was the first book you read in your life? Is it still one of your favourites now?
The Little Prince by Saint-Exupery. I loved the drawings in the book and as a child, I carried it everywhere I went, reading it multiple times. It’s still one of my favorites and I still have my childhood copy.
2) What led you to try out different genres, one after another?
I’ve always read across genres and read pretty much everything except for erotica. When I began to write, it seemed natural to write across genres, as well. I partly view it as an exercise to stretch myself as an author. If you look at my bio, you’ll see that I’ve been published across multiple genres. I think it’s important for an author to prove himself/herself capable of publishing good stories in multiple genres. I think that one of the worst things for an author is to be published extensively, but only in one genre. How boring.
3) How many times have you dealt with writer’s block? How have you managed to come out of it?
I hear authors talk about writer’s block all the time, but I’ve never experienced it. I also don’t force myself to write every day. However, I’ve learned a way to write without having an actual story in my head. I will think of a memory or an event and begin writing word associations based on that thought. Those word associations then build themselves into stories. Two of my favorite stories—“The Climbing Tree” and “Afternoons and Ice Creams”—were written that way. When you practice writing that way, you should never have writer’s block.
4) Share about your idols, and your favourite works of theirs.
I have a few favorite authors, and they’re my favorites because I like nearly everything that they’ve written. First is C.S. Lewis. While I’ve enjoyed all of his spiritual writings, I deeply appreciate his “space trilogy,” which is SciFi. Next is Ray Bradbury, whose short stories have greatly influenced my own writing, but my favorite is Fahrenheit 451. I couldn’t list my favorites without mentioning Arthur C. Clarke. Everyone should read his space odyssey series. They’re exceptional.
5) What was the major impact on the writer after the evolution of social media?
Probably the single biggest change is accessibility. Absolutely anyone can write anything now and publish it for free and put it out there for the world to see. That’s an amazing gift to the authors, but it also comes with a price—there’s a lot of garbage out there, and it’s harder for good authors to stand out in such a large crowd. However, if you can get the attention of an audience, odds are you’ll sell a few books!
6) We are excited to know another side of your life apart from writing.
I have a wonderful wife and four amazing sons. They keep me going. They are the best family that anyone could hope for. We love going for hikes and enjoying nature.
7) What’s your favourite genre today? Is there anything new coming up with you?
My favorite genre to read and write is Science Fiction. However, Suspense is a pretty close second for me. In fact, the first story of mine that was ever published was Suspense/Horror. Someday, I might even write a SciFi Horror story. When I write in either of those categories, one of my favorite things is playing around with ideas of things that are just ever-so-slightly inhuman. I think that one of the most terrifying things imaginable is something that’s just not quite right. Those are the things that keep you awake at night and afraid to turn off the lights.
I have two projects coming up in 2021—I’m releasing a collection of short stories and poems called The Falling Woman, which is actually the title of a story in the book. I’m also hoping to get some authors together and will be editing an anthology of Young Adult/family friendly SciFi called Galactic Dreams. I’m really looking forward to that!
8) What do you think makes a good story?
There are so many factors involved in a good story that they teach it for fifteen weeks in “Creative Writing 101” at every college. I don’t have the space here to write in detail, but I think one aspect of a good story that is often left out or forgotten is atmosphere/mood. When I’m done writing a story, I don’t want my readers to read it. I want them to feel it. I want them to actually experience the story. In fact, several people have told me that reading my stories seems more like watching a movie. They really see the characters feel like they’re in the setting. I consider a story that does that “good.” If I write something that doesn’t do that, I won’t publish it.
9) On this closing note, we want to know your definition of success as writer.
Plain and simple—you get paid. It’s really nice to know that people read and enjoy your work, but I think the true measure of success is if they’re actually willing to pay for it. Anyone can read your free blog and say, “That was nice,” but ultimately, the true test of a successful author (or any type of artist) is that your work has touched on a nerve so strongly that people are actually willing to trade their hard-earned money to possess it. I’ve had my fair share of writing published unpaid, but I’m not that interested in non-paying markets anymore. I don’t need an ego trip of saying “I’ve been published a zillion times.” I’ve been published. I know that I can be published. I think that too many authors give away too much free writing. Good writing takes a lot of talent and time. I don’t think that people should expect to get that for free. That’s insulting to authors. I think that having a few freebies to draw a reader in is a great idea, but it should, ultimately, lead to book sales.