Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I've written and self-published four novels to this point — including the just-released urban fantasy NOTNA. I'm also the author of the Jill Andersen mystery/superhero/sci-fi series (BOUNTY, BLOOD TIES, and BEHIND THE BADGE); much of my work is inspired my comic books and genre fiction as a whole. I'm currently working on the next two books in the Jill Andersen series, BEHIND THE MASK and BETRAYED, as well as several other unrelated projects.
Outside of being an author, I work in media relations for a Div. I college athletics conference, I'm a freelance editor, and I'm a huge auto racing fan. Next to writing, motorsports are my biggest passion in life (it's actually sort of surprising that I haven't yet written a story about racing). NASCAR is my vehicular poison of choice, but I'll watch just about any form of racing that involves a motor.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I released NOTNA — my first foray into the world of urban fantasy and the supernatural — on Oct. 10. It's a story I've had in my head, in one form or another, since I was in middle school, and it's amazing to see how much the story grew as I did. NOTNA is far different now than when I first thought of it, and I'm proud of the story I wrote.
The same comic book lore that inspired BOUNTY is present here as well, but so are stories like Buff the Vampire Slayer, Witchblade, Battle Chasers… that sort of thing. This is my first attempt at a popechy/holy war/end of the world type of story, and I hope I did the format justice while putting my own unique spin on it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I know some writers have to have a specific time or environment to write, but I'm capable of writing almost any time, anywhere. This is a by-product of my last job, which had insanely long hours and a lot of time on the road. I learned that if I was going to write novels and publish them while working that job, I had to do away with the notion of writing in "perfect" circumstances.
I also like to listen to music while I write; it's usually something really loud and really heavy. I know some writers prefer something softer (or silence), but I need that jolt of adrenaline.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I grew up on X-Men, Spawn, and Witchblade comic books — which probably explains much of my writing. As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate prose a lot more, and these days, I read a lot more independently-published authors than anything. R.R. Virdi, E.A. Copen, Madeline Dyer, S.E. Anderson, Cait Ashwood, Jason Luthor… some of the best, most inventive stories I've read have come across my desk since I've become a published author.
What are you working on now?
BEHIND THE MASK and BETRAYED, books four and five in the Jill Andersen series. I'm hoping to have BEHIND THE MASK ready for publication in December, and BETRAYED is going to be the book I write for NaNoWriMo this year.
I also have three solo projects in the works: THE AGENCY (a spy thriller), THE KEEPER (supernatural thriller), and LEGENDS OF THE GEM (a follow-up of sorts to NOTNA; not a true sequel, but it's related).
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Word of mouth. Nothing beats the simple act of one person telling another about a book they enjoyed.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just write. Worry about editing and cover art and publication and promotion when the time is right. None of that stuff matters unless you sit down and you write the story you want to tell. Get in a habit of writing every day. Write whether the mood strikes or not. Just get the words onto the page.
Because you can fix a bad page. You can't fix a blank page.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I believe it was Stephen King who once said something to the effect of "If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to be a writer."
Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. You can't be the latter without doing a lot of the former.
What are you reading now?
ORDER OF THE LILY by Cait Ashwood. DIVIDED by Madeline Dyer. STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher. Greg Rucka's WONDER WOMAN.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Hopefully a lot more books.
Hopefully a lot more sales.
What is your favorite book of all time?
The X-Men comics from the 1990s… because they were what lit the spark. Those were the first stories I read where I came away thinking I could tell stories too.