Born in the flat rural terrain of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, I occupied my mind with the escapism of fantasy novels to explore the worlds created by Robert Jordan, Brian Jacques, and Christopher Paolini. Eventually, the image of a sword with a hilt in the shape of a dragon’s mouth came to me and inspired me to write what would eventually become the Ancient’s Armor series. The first book “The Dragon’s Rising” took several years to write while also attending veterinary school and starting my career as a veterianrian, but I expect the books that follow to have a shorter delay.
What inspires you to write?
The thing that inspires me the most to write is when a beta-reader starts to ask me questions about what they've read. The names in the dedication to my first book list two people who engaged me often enough to ensure that I had the drive to sit my butt down and type so that I wouldn't disappoint them with where the story was headed.
I also get inspiration from listening to discussions of other literature (including church sermons) or even hearing about new advances in the medical field. These give me ideas of what I want to try to include in my own writing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I don't have a strict outline for what I'm writing, but I have a list of ideas of things that I want to include and a vague idea of how I can accomplish it. Some of the ideas are phrases I want to have someone say, character traits I want to give to someone, a list of names and what country in my universe I think they would most fit, historical events that I think would make a good basis for a scenario, and even characters from other works I want to pay homage.
Many of the characters are based on people that I knew in high school, college, and veterinary school while writing my first book.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I act out much of my dialogue while writing, adopting each character's persona in turn to feel how they would react. For certain accents, I have to speak out loud to find my way to the phrasing and spelling of the dialect.
I also act out fight sequences to make sure I'm keeping track of where every limb of each character would be. I guess it's a good thing I write by myself in a room with the windows drawn or my neighbors would think I'm a crazy person.
Who are your favorite authors?
I adore the work of Brandon Sanderson and am currently anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Stormlight Archives. I am also waiting on the next installments of Brent Weeks' Lightbringer series and Sebastien de Castell's Spellslinger series. I admire these authors' unique systems of magic that they've developed and the wit they imbue their work with.
I also have been reading Michael Sullivan's Riryia series and have his Legends of the First Empire series in my queue of things to right.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to publish my book because I wanted to share it with a wider array of people who would get excited enough to contact me to discuss what happened, in turn inspiring me to continue writing my way to the end. If I manage to get people to start theorizing what they think will happen, it will inspire me to either be pleased when they guess it right or decide that their idea is better than my idea and change certain events. I wouldn't tell them that I changed the event, but they could be pleased that what they thought would happen happened.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of book publishing will continue shifting towards people self-publishing their work before trying to get it professionally published. I've been paying attention to the copyright pages in books and noticing many sections are having: "Self-published in 20XX, Republished through (company) in 20XX".
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
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All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.