I grew up in eastern Washington and as a young man worked on the wheat farms there. It was a great experience. I spent my first summer on a farm away from home when I was 12. My education is in the fields of biology and environmental science. Today my passions include beekeeping, managing a small orchard and assisting my wife with a very large organic garden. We hike, bike, canoe and take in a Blues festival once in a while.
What inspires you to write?
I may have been born with the writing bug and never realized it. My senior year in high school an elderly English teacher asked me to take an exam and write a short story. I did it to humor her and thought nothing of the writing scholarships she was pursuing for me. When she returned a few weeks later with two scholarship offers I couldn’t take them seriously. I was 17 and couldn’t imagine myself as a writer. In the last few years that writers bug has come to life and I began taking classes. Enjoyed it so much I began writing just for myself. The thing that inspires me most to write are the events taking place in the world all around us. I’ve always found it interesting how mankind seems to find it impossible to learn from history and it seems we are about to repeat many of the mistakes of the past. It is that line of thinking that inspired the novel I wrote. Every major event in the book has historical backing.
Tell us about your writing process.
For Truth’s Blood I took the lessons history offers and applied them to the current situation in the US to write a fictional story. Being my first book I simply jumped in and began writing, but along the way I began to outline some of the upcoming chapters before writing them. Today that is the approach I’m taking with the sequel to Truth’s Blood. Basically I make notes of my ideas on a paper pad and then arrange them in the sequence I believe will make the best story. In Truth’s Blood I worked hard at developing characters people could identify with and the feedback tells me I succeeded in that, so I’m using the same process to develop new characters in the second book. I outline the character, strong/weak, out spoken or not and a bit of their background and skills. I also observe people I’m around and make mental notes of some of their habits when they talk, sit, drink etc.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I know I’ve succeeded in creating each character when they begin talking to me and yes I do listen. Monk, the character readers love best, keeps trying to butt into this discussion right now. 😉 Seriously, when your character comes to life you can know you have done a good job of creating them. One example. One evening, after finishing up writing for the day and heading off to bed, I was still struggling to come up with a title for the book. The last line I had written was “Man’s past is filled with truth’s shed blood.” Early the next morning in that nether land between sleep and waking Monk spoke to me and gave me the title of Truth’s Blood. Sounds crazy I know, but that’s how it worked.
What advice would you give other writers?
Just write. Like anything else its a skill that has to be developed. Don’t let your inner critic shut you down. He/she will always be there; you have to learn to ignore it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I would not suggest my experience to anyone. For a rookie the publishing world is a difficult world to navigate. Having been through what I’ve been through, I think the easiest route for a beginner would be to go with Amazon’s kindle program. Just my two cents. I know there are a lot of other options out there which I will be looking into when my second book is ready.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Kindles, Nooks, they all have their place, but nothing can replace the look and the feel of a real book, therefore I believe they will continue to be published. As for self-publishing, I think its great that the handful of publishing houses no longer have a stranglehold on what gets published. I’m excited for the future of self-publishing with one caveat. Any time someone can just throw a book out on their own there’s going to be some pretty poor stuff written. I believe the next step in publishing has to be a middle ground where there are some screens of some sort; some way of helping the reader not waste their money and to assist the reader in finding the self-published books that are the true gems.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Action/Adventure, dystopian, apocalypse
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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