I just filled out an interview for Suspense Magazine, and I figured I'd share it with all of you!
- Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?
I would say that C. S. Lewis has been my biggest inspiration, followed by JRR Tolkien.
- What is your all-time favorite book?
Probably The Lord of the Rings. I could read that over and over again.
- How long do you normally take to research your book?
Depends. The bulk of the research of A Prophecy Forgotten wasn’t really research. It was more the development of the world of Heaven’s Realm (my little fantasy dimension). Because A Prophecy Forgotten is fantasy, I can basically just make stuff up and get away with it. I did, however, do a lot of research in warfare—especially Special Ops such as Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and Delta Force. Out of the Shadows, the sequel to A Prophecy Forgotten, required more research and less world development. I had already developed the world, so that was easy. However, the Earth part of Out of the Shadows takes place at the Naval Academy. That required a trip to Annapolis, extensive interviews, books, etc. Never write you novel in a real place unless you’ve lived there.
- What is on your iPod now?
A whole bunch of stuff. What’s funny is that the bulk of it is classical, but I really don’t listen to classical that much. (Although “Morning” by Grieg is my favorite piece of music.) I’ve got a lot of Sinatra, some Nat King Cole, some Whitney Houston and Seline Dion. I’ve also got some Brian Setzer and a few sound tracks, as well as a lot of Beatles and Oldies. (I love Oldies.) Really, anything that I can sing to. I would like a lot more songs, but songs cost money, and I’d rather spend my money promoting my writing than purchasing Fruity-licious, or Bubblelicious, or whatever Beyonce and Fergie are singing right now.
- Do you have any superstitions when you write, little quirks, etc?
No real superstitions or quirks, but I like my desk and the area around me to be clean and free of “visual clutter,” and I like to do my editing near a window. I have no clue why. I think it’s because I would rather be outside than inside, but I live in South Florida and being outside without sweating is only possible in the winter.
- If you could solve any mystery for yourself, what would it be?
Where in the world is Osama Bin Ladin? Just kidding. Well, not really. Any mystery for myself…? This is a toughie. I was first thinking about how the Aztecs were able to lift those huge pieces of rock, but I’m going back to my original answer. There are a lot of innocent people dying in the world today because of terrorists, and that includes the peaceful Muslims living under extremist-led regimes, innocent civilians who died here in America on 9-11, our soldiers, and even the civilian casualties of war in Iraq who were never targets to begin with. War sucks, even when it’s necessary. (Just ask those who lived in London during World War II.) The mystery I would like to solve is 1) where are the terrorist leaders, and 2) who is funding them. That would lower the world’s death toll—for a while anyway.
- If you could talk to any person, Alive or Dead, for one hour, who would it be?
Stephen King, so I could beg him to blurb my books. Him or Osama Bin Ladin. My first question: Can you please give me your exact coordinates? Tee hee.
- I love to hear stories from authors about their first published book, how did you get it done?
I was in the process of preparing to send out my manuscript. I had a list of agents ready to go, and I attended the Naples Press Club Writer’s Conference back in 2006. I noticed that they were allowing us to sign up for a free pitch session with ArcheBooks Publishing. My thoughts were, “Well, I’ll never make it anyway, but it will be good practice for when I start to try to find a publisher for this thing.” The night before, I prepared everything that the ArcheBooks website said to send (just in case the editor asked me to “send him something.” Then I’d have it right there and skip that step.) The list included the first 50 pages, a 1 page synopsis, a 5 page synopsis, and a marketing plan. I was up until 4:00am! I only got 2 hours of sleep that night, so that morning I had 2 Starbucks Double Shots, a coffee chaser, and a jelly dough-nut. I started shaking from nerves, sugar, and caffeine, and I continued to shake for literally 4 hours before my pitch session. When the editor asked me what my book was about, I gave him a blank stare. Brilliant, huh? Then, he asked me who my main character was, and my brain clicked in. 6 weeks later, I had a contract.
- What future plans can you tell us about?
A Prophecy Forgotten is being turned into a graphic novel so I’m currently working on the graphic novel script. Ad Astra Radio, an Internet radio company that I do a talk show for, is also planning on pitching an Elysian Chronicles radio program to the guys who do Dr. Who in England, or something like that. (Radio is not my expertise.) Also, Out of the Shadows, the sequel to A Prophecy Forgotten should be available sometime in October or early November.
- When you are not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
Hmm. When I’m not writing, promoting, planning future promotions, recording my radio program, working on my graphic novel script, or staring numbly into my computer screen during moments when my brain checks out, what is it that I do? Well, I jog and I work out. I also spend time with my family, mainly on Sundays. I honestly don’t have much time to do anything. I think that’s why I’m so stressed. I’ve been asking God to make the days 36 hours instead of just 24, but He hasn’t granted my request, yet. If I do have spare time, right now I’ll watch a Yankees game, like I did today. They won, too! (Although I was putting new ISBN stickers on all of my bookmarks while I watched. A little multi-tasking is a good thing.)