1.First off, tell us about your writing. Is this a full time career or are you writing on the side while doing a “day job”?
That’s always such a tricky question to answer, because the answer is somewhere in between. I do write full-time for a living, as both a technical writer and a freelance writer (mostly handling government reports and analyses), so on some level I guess that makes me a full-time writer. The thing is, I’d also like to be a full-time novelist, which in my mind is very different. Still, I try to bring some of my fiction writing sensibilities to my technical writing job. It’s not that hard to weave an effective narrative out of even simple directions, if you use the language correctly.
2. The Kayson Cycle, tell us about the novel and how long it took you from start to up to the point where you are getting it on Amazon.
The Kayson Cycle arose from my entry in the Rule of Three Renaissance Blogfest. I’ve been knee-deep in editing my next book, due out at the end of November, as well as working on the next book, so I don’t know what I was thinking taking on another story, even if it is a short story. In the end, though, I fell in love with the characters and the situation. That always holds my interest, and so the story took roughly a month from start to publication.
The story itself is about a bartender (Kayson) who once worked with his brother performing faith healing in a traveling show. Twelve years after they go their separate ways and his brother vanishes into the desert, a strange man walks into Kayson’s bar. This man says he knows the location of Kayson’s long-lost brother, but needs his help in recruiting his brother to heal the stranger’s wife, who is dying of a plague that’s sweeping the countryside. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of betrayal, death, and redemption.
3. Favourite munchy food/beverage while working on your writing, we all have at least one so spill!
Haha! Only one? Seriously, I’m a fiend for any sort of Mountain Dew. Caffeine has always been the writer’s friend and I unfortunately can no longer have coffee, so I take what I can get. I’m also completely addicted to Nerds candy, and no longer allow them near my desk since I can’t be sane about them!
4. What sparked your interest in writing, what made you think, “hey, I could do that”.
I started out very young, so it’s kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what it was, but I do know that the 1982 film Tron sparked my interest in a sequel, so I started writing up my own version of the sequel. That would have been either in 1982 or 1983, when I was 6 or 7. Since then, it’s just been a matter of refining what I do. So yes, I basically started in fanfiction, at a very young age.
5. Favourite classic book and then favourite modern book.
6. Thing you like the least about the publishing world right now.
Oh, no, this is a surefire way to get me started. In fact, my problem might be narrowing it down. I suppose my least-favorite part would be the methods by which traditional publishing refuses to acknowledge that the world is changing around them – why does it cost more to buy an eBook from the Big Six than a paperback? It makes no sense unless they’re protecting the hardcover market, something that I’ve thought should long be obsolete.
7. Thing you like the best about the publishing world right now.
The newfound community among writers. I think there’s always been something of that going on, between corresponding and conferences, but now we have ways to support one another instantly – whether it’s helping with marketing, cheering on a friend with writer’s block, or participating in group writing challenges. It’s really heartening.
8. Any writing habits/superstitions or quirks you’d like to share?
I constantly change my writing habits. It’s a side-effect of ADHD. One week dictating a scene full out of my head works; the next week I need to have complete silence, darkness, and candle light only. These seem to run in cycles, but I can’t figure out what triggers them, aside from the approaching darkness of Autumn prompting that last approach. One of the most important methods for figuring out which approach works at the moment, however, is mood. The more aware I am of my emotional tone, the better I can figure out what will work. At the moment, I’ve dropped back into the habit of dictating a scene, then shaping it when I transcribe it.
9. What can we expect to see next from you and your writing?