Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, my mother is a German national and my father was in the US military. My father was military so we moved around a great deal, and making friends for me was difficult. So my mother bought me a diary when I was 10 and I would scribble in it all the time. From that point on, I learned to live in my head and write everything down, so I guess I owe my mother for making me into a writer. I think I was was the typical child in that what I wanted to be changed daily. There was a time I thought I’d be a lawyer or in law enforcement, but something always stopped me from that path. I always had a passion for both reading and writing, but it wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I started thinking that I could make a living from writing. I dabbled in short stories and even screenwriting before I finally found what made me happy.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Sexual Confessional: Confidential Admissions from Social Media – I was inspired by the colossal failure of my first book. Basically I was feeling very sorry for myself and started to wonder how (and if) other people dealt with the things I was feeling. Initially I was going to just have a little impromptu survey asking a few “what’s it all for” type of questions. The overwhelming response I got prompted me to change my focus to more intimate questions and I was simply blown away by the response I got. It snowballed from there, so it really was a very organic way of coming together.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I think every writer has their own way of doing things, so in theory, we’re all unusual. I tend to sit down and just start writing – I’m attributing that to NaNoWrimo. I find that my brain has started formulating what chapters should look like and be about. In that, I think I’m very visual. I see the book in my head and I know exactly what I want before I ever put pen to paper.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, Ian McEwan, Edward St. Aubyn – really anyone that has an interesting voice. Currently I’m loving people like Mindy Kaling, Felicia Day, JG Ballard (he’s so dark), Lena Dunham, and Amy Poehler. I really love someone that digs deep into their own psyche and lays it bare for the world to see.
What are you working on now?
I’m taking a hard look – in my own way – at religion. I’m finding I seem to have a lot to say on the subject, but I’m also finding that I’m fascinated by spirituality.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ve had great response using blog tours and my twitter, but I’m up for any way I can promote a project I truly believe in. I’ve been looking into Podcasts recently.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I’m very opinionated, so Yes! Remember that writing and reading is subjective, not everyone is going to love what you write, all that matters is that YOU love what you write, you’ll find your audience. There is far too much negativity in the world, so don’t allow negativity to rule your opinion of yourself. Lastly, everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, so never stop writing. Don’t give up, and always write for yourself.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. I think it’s the best way of looking at things. I called myself a writer, but for some reason I held off calling myself author until after I published my first book.
What are you reading now?
I’m very eclectic in my reading – currently I’m reading William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher – mostly to get geared up for the movie coming out in December. On my Audible, I’m listening/reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North and The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m pretty focused on trying to finish my take on religion, and after that I think I’ll probably find my way back to my first try at publishing and revamp my first fiction novel.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I happen to have 17 different copies of it including a rare first edition leather bound.