Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have always loved science fiction–books, movies, shows and games. After devouring some of the classics like Dune and Ender’s Game in my tween years, I began writing short stories.
In the ensuing years, I attended the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics in Vancouver, Washington, where I studied creative writing, music, and visual art. I eventually became a Psychology major at Portland State University, but also minored in Professional Writing and Business Administration. After graduating, I stumbled into a career as a proposal manager.
I am working on my first book series (Cadicle). The first volume was released on April 17, 2015, and the second volume is set for release on June 28, 2015. There will be approximately seven volumes in the core series.
I currently live in Portland, Oregon, with my fiancé. When I’m not writing, I enjoy travel, wine tasting, binge-watching TV series, and playing epic strategy board games.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My most recent book is Architects of Destiny, Volume 1 in the Cadicle series.
I had the world growing inside my head for many years, and it needed to be let out. I have always seen inspiration in everything around me–from personal life experiences to the worlds crafted by others–and those things have all become a part of my own creation. After years of taking in little ideas here and there, I felt the world in my head was finally ready to be experienced by others. I write now to share that vision. It is the culmination of all that has inspired me throughout my life.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing too unusual, I don’t think.
When starting a new story, I like to just sit down and start writing… see where the story takes me. Normally, about halfway through, I’ll decide where I want it to go. At that point, I’ll go back to the beginning to make appropriate edits to set me up for the ending.
My Cadicle series is a little different because it spent so much time evolving in my head. I have the lives of all the characters completely mapped out already, so now it’s just a matter of breaking it into appropriately sized pieces to get the writing done. To make it more manageable, I wrote an outline of the key sequence of scenes for the first five books.
For each scene, I start with a general idea of what I want to accomplish–what plot points need to be conveyed, where the characters are emotionally, etc. I’ll run through the scene extensively in my head, playing it like a movie until I’m happy with the flow. At that time, I’ll write it down. If I’ve gone through this process, I find that my first written draft is pretty close to the final version.
If I’m having difficulty getting through a particular scene, I’ll typically try to write it from the outside-in (write the opening and close, then work my way toward the middle line-by-line). I’ve found it to be an effective way to deal with writer’s block.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Ender’s Game and Dune were probably my two biggest influences. Robert Jordan had a hand in my early writing, as well. I love authors who use internal dialogue to let readers see the inner thoughts of characters.
What are you working on now?
I’m putting the final touches on Veil of Reality, Volume 2 in the Cadicle series. It will be in beta reviews throughout May, during which I’ll dive into Volume 3, Bonds of Resolve. I have some of Volume 3 written already, but still have over half the book to go. It’s going to be a busy summer and fall!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still trying out different resources and seeing what works best. I know people often don’t purchase a book the first time they see it, so my intent is to approach potential customers from multiple angles. Thus far, Amazon has driven the most sales.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write stories that you’re passionate about. Be friends with your characters and bring them to life. A story doesn’t have to be limited to what you see on the printed (or digital) page.
Invest in a professional-looking online presence. Get yourself an author website, build a social media network, and make sure your book is available through multiple distribution channels.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Invest in yourself. As a writer, you need to market yourself as a product. If you’re following your passion, it’s a worthwhile investment.
What are you reading now?
Orona by Adam James. I’m also slowing working my way through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (check in with me again for a status update after a few years :-)).
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finish the Cadicle series! I hope to also pursue some spinoffs in the same universe. I’d also like to try my hand at some short stories now that I’ve matured as a writer.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s a tough one… I’d have to go with Dune by Frank Herbert. Of anything, it’s had the most influence on the writer I am today.