From time to time I publish interviews with authors and others. Today I decided it was time to post an interview with me. I've answered the same kinds of questions I ask others. I hope you enjoy it.
Describe your childhood home. Does your childhood influence your work? If so, how?
I grew up in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Well, I had a childhood in Baton Rouge. Some people
would take exception to the phrase “grew up.”
I got into acting in High School and my first book was Acting: From First Audition to Final Bow, so my childhood clearly influenced that. Beyond that I really haven’t thought about it. In my current work-in-progress, the main character travels across the
I’ve outlined her journey, but she doesn’t even pass through Louisiana. This may change as I write more.
How did you first get into writing?
I’m not sure how I first got into writing. It just seemed natural. I remember in about second grade I wrote a nonsense piece that the teachers at my school absolutely loved. I kept getting called out of class to read it to other classes. I didn’t think it was anything spectacular, but the teachers apparently thought otherwise.
Many years later I did some writing on Fiverr and realized people were compiling my short stories and selling them as eBooks. I decided to learn how to publish for myself so I could be the one earning the royalties. That was how I decided to write professionally.
What is your writing process?
I sit down with my laptop and start typing.
Actually, I have found my writing process for my first novel to be very different from my how-to book. Acting: From First Audition to Final Bow started as notes for an acting workshop. I came to a point at which I realized I had enough material for a book.
Akiko has been very different. The character came first, literally in a dream. Then I came up with a story for her. I kept it mysterious, so I could fill in a lot of the details as I write. That’s why Akiko can’t remember her past: I don’t know it myself, until I write it. I did plan out some major events for her story, but a lot of it is written by the seat of my pants. Astute readers will notice the book is actually a series of short stories rather than one continuous story. That makes writing much easier, and, I hope, holds the reader’s interest better.
Sometimes I just start writing, and sometimes I need some sort of warm-up. That warm-up may be as simple as making a list of words as they come to mind, or it may be a specific writing exercise.
What has contributed to your success?
What success? I mean, it was nice when Inkspired selected Akiko for #StoryOfTheDay. That helped me get some views. But I still struggle to pay my bills.
Who inspires you?
Nearly everyone I meet inspires me in some way. I am particularly inspired by my fans. It seems strange to me that people I have never met like my writing and want to read more.
What do you love most about writing?
More than the writing itself, I love when people respond positively to my writing. That is the greatest joy for me as a writer.
Do you prefer print books or eBooks?
It doesn’t matter to me. Ebooks are cheaper and take up less space. On the other hand, I already spend a lot of time looking at a screen. Also, print books make better gifts, and as an author I can’t autograph an eBook.
Are you traditionally published or self-published? Do you prefer one over the other?
I am self-published. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Self-publishing gives the author freedom. The self-published author can literally write anything. That is a strength, but it is also a weakness. There are a lot of poorly-written (and poorly thought-out) books out there. Add to that the fact that the self-published author is ultimately responsible for everything – the book cover, the editing, filling all the plot holes. Sure, a self-published author can hire people to do these things; but that costs money and the author is still responsible in the end.
A traditional author has a team of people working on the book. There are editors, book cover designers, etc. Much less responsibility falls on the author’s shoulders, and the author is free to write. But it is much more difficult to get published. And in the end, both require about the same work as far as marketing goes.
No, I don’t prefer one to the other.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy spending time with my wife, Angie, and our daughter, Heather. We love libraries, museums, parks; almost anywhere, as long as we’re together.
Do you remember the first thing you wrote?
No. There was the nonsense piece in second grade I mentioned earlier. Prior to that I wrote a short story called “The Monster Who Ate Carrots.” I don’t recall anything about it, other than the title. I probably wrote something earlier than that, but I don’t remember what it was.
What are you working on now?
Akiko, the young adult action/adventure story about a blind martial artist with a mysterious past. Sample chapters go out in my newsletter, and right now you can get a free copy of Acting: From First Audition toFinal Bow just for subscribing!