It all began with Alan Moore’s “The Anatomy Lesson”.
When I was far too young to be reading such things, I picked up a small, dirty, plastic-wrapped comic digest from my local library. The first and featured story was a piece by Alan Moore which started with the line: “It’s raining in Washington tonight.”
It tells the story of a mad doctor who is awaiting the resurrection of a character whose name I won’t reveal here.
Suffice it to say, I was both horrified and intrigued. My young mind had never encountered such a dark and twisted tale, whose ending at the time shocked me. I remember being transfixed by the power of Alan Moore’s imagery and the depth of his narrative. That story still haunts me to this day.
I first picked up the pencil at age 6 to start creating a few stories of my own. Haven’t stopped since. My first trilogy was completed by age 16. Despite the urging of my Writer’s Craft professor, I never published it. At that time, I found the entire publication industry far more frightening than anything I had ever read.
I graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Degree in Psychology and Sociology and a minor in English which included extensive coursework on Short Story Writing, Novel Writing, Cinema Studies and Poetry.
What inspires you to write?
The banality of everyday life?
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a Pants-Liner. Generally there’s a germ of a scene or an image that just won’t let me sleep. I have to figure out what’s going on in that scene in order to figure out why that character got there and what they do next. Usually that’s how the story takes shape. For example:
A battered middle-aged nun pushes herself to her feet to find the church on fire around her. She wipes the sweat and blood from her eyes, and sees thick columns of smoke pooling against the ceiling. The pews crumble around her, devoured by the flames. She coughs, looking up… only to find that the church door is locked.
Now, I just made that up. Can you tell me who this lady is? Why she’s there? How she got there? Who lit the damn church on fire and how the hell is she going to get out?
Oh by the way, the church was built on the edge of a sea-side cliff;)
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I see myself more as a director. When my actors/characters have been forced to quit mid-scene, then I feel like they’re just stuck there in whatever terrible situation (tornado, fire ants, shark cage, in line at the DMV) I’ve left them in. So it’s my job to resume the scene, have them bust out the Bat Shark Repellent and get on with the story!
Who are your favorite authors?
Ohhhh, this is so tough. I’m a huge fan of Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and have recently developed an appreciation for Mark Leslie, Ruthanne Reid and Kelly Thompson.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published because I wanted more control. With traditional publishing the gatekeepers are people too. We tend to forget that and look at the publishing process as a lottery. It isn’t. Publishers, authors and agents are all betting that they can come out ahead. The publishers and agents can’t afford to take chances on unknowns, they need to turn a profit or they go out of business. So they play for the safe bets, the established authors, the hot trends and those who follow the patterns. Its safer for them, and its safer for the writers to cater to that.
That said, I just can’t write One Direction fan-fiction. So there goes my guaranteed spot;)
It’s better to self-publish. Definitely more work, but it gives my work the chance to get out there and find its own audience.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future lies with Ebooks in general. There is a glut of self-published books on all the various websites right now, and a scramble for reviews and attention. I think the cream will generally rise to the top, but hopefully some of the weirder, more original ones will too. The last thing we need is more also-rans. I don’t believe in following the latest trends, and prefer instead to craft something that will stand on its own, regardless of the time period.
What genres do you write?
Fiction, Short Stories, Gothic, Historical, Western, Science Fiction
What formats are your books in?