Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve been writing for over a decade and I’ve got about three other books lying around on my hard drive gathering digital dust, much like Jim’s brain in Do Not Resuscitate. I’m interested in getting at least one or two of those other books in shape for publication. But there’s no hurry. Writing has always been a hobby for me–a way to gather my thoughts in one place, rearrange them, test their strength and validity. I try to write my characters into situations that may seem outlandish, but are really quite plausible. Then I kind of wait to see what they’ll do. And that always says a little something about me and a little something about what I think of humans in general.
I teach. That’s what I really do. I don’t even want to pretend for a second that I’m a bona fide writer. I teach high school maths–the stuff you used to hate when you were in school. I’d like to think I make the maths a little more likable than they were when you were in school. They really are likable–maths.
I also coach, well I recently stopped coaching, but I used to coach high school cross-country and track. That’s another one of those things you used to hate as a kid–running. I am a bona fide runner. That I can say. I think I’ll know it if I’m ever a bona fide writer, but for now my writing is to ________ what jogging is to running.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Do Not Resuscitate is inspired by all the terrifying realities you read about in the headlines today, and it attempts to imagine the near future in the context of those realities.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
If writing a novel and then leaving it to be forgotten for many years before digging it up and defibrillating it back to life is an unusual writing habit, then the answer is yes. However, I suspect most writers share that habit, in which case, my habits are no more remarkable than those of any other writer.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh. Everything Kurt Vonnegut has ever written.
What are you working on now?
Getting a bunch of strangers to read my never-heard-about-this-guy-so-why-should-I care book.
But seriously? I’m actually busy preparing my math students for the upcoming AP exam next week. I’m trying to get my homework done for a course on environmental sustainability I’m taking online. I’m a real person, so I’m not going to pretend that what I’m working on right now is even close to glamorous. And say I were working on another book–I’d like to think we could all agree that wouldn’t be any more glamorous than what I’m actually doing at the moment.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still figuring that out. If you happen to read this far into the interview and then decide to purchase my book–and then you actually read my book–let me know, please.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Get educated. Get a job that pays the bills. Get outside of yourself. Don’t pretend for a second that anything you write is God’s gift to humanity. Remember you could always be doing something a hell of a lot more useful to the human race than writing a silly book.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
If you think the goal of life is to be happy, then you’re an idiot.
What are you reading now?
Letters from Africa, 1914-1931 by Isak Dinesen.
What’s next for you as a writer?
You tell me. And by you, I mean the you that actually reads my book and has something to say about it. Because if you can’t even be bothered to finish the damn thing, then I don’t think there’s much of a “next” for me as a writer.
What is your favorite book of all time?
It’s a tie:
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
If you haven’t read them yet, then forget reading Do Not Resuscitate and do yourself a real favor and read one of those.