ASK THE AUTHOR:
- Writing? Really?
- I know, right? Spending your day making shit up. How can that possibly be a job? If only writing was that easy. It takes alot of time and energy, not to mention a lot of lies. But I wouldn’t want to be anything else. Okay, that’s a lie too. I’d kill to be a secret agent.
- You have a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology, so how did you go from that to working as a writer?
- With a master’s degree in psychology, you really have three options. Option 1) Serial Killer, Option 2) Barista at your local coffee shop, and since drinking too much coffee makes me want to stab someone with a swivel straw, I picked option 3) Writer.
I often regret only being allowed to stab people on paper.
- You started by writing crime fiction like The Junkie Tales, which is a short story collection about heroin abuse, and now you write demented fairytales. Why?
- The Junkie Tales and a novel called Dope. Sick. Love (not yet sold) were both written while I was finishing up my degree and still working as a private investigator. The mood of both books fit my life and mood at the time. Those books were a means to understand the world I lived in daily. Now, my life is very different, so my writing reflects that. Plus, killing Cinderella was so oddly satisfying, I had to do it again and again with other fairytale legends.
- What’s your favorite fairytale?
- I’m a sucker for Cinderella. I must’ve read that Disney book a million times as a kid (okay, my parents read it too me. I didn’t know how to read yet. Give me a break). So when I decided to write a book about a villain who has to go against his villainous nature my first act was to murder Cinderella. It seemed fitting somehow.
- What is your writing routine?
- A tiny fairy sprinkles dust over my keyboard and magic happens. Or so I wish. In truth, I’m a terrible procrastinator. I write rarely, and would rather waste my day on facebook or surfing the web than writing. I can’t wait until I’m rich enough to hire a ghostwriter.
- Do you write every day?
- No. I’m lucky if I write every week. But when the words come, they come, and it’s like nothing else.
- Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Here’s the standard line: Work hard and learn your craft. Beyond that, practice being a working writer. Go to conferences. Join critique groups. Learn the ins and outs of publishing. It’s not an easy road. There are over 400,000 books published a year, and that’s not including indie or ebooks books. Make your book stand out. Make yourself standout.
How do you begin a novel?
- I sit down, crack my knuckles, and start typing. I’m a seat of the pants kind of writer. I don’t outline and just free write. It works for me, but I often write myself into corners and likely make my job harder than it needs to be.
- Do you go through a lot of drafts?
- Depends on what my editor says. I can usually get a clean draft in about 4 revisions. And then there’s the thousand or so rounds more with the editor. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it often feels like that.
- Who are your favorite authors?
- Oh, I have a ton. Perhaps my greatest author crush is on Christopher Moore. He’s so funny and makes up the oddest characters and tales. Really, who would of ever thought to retell bible stories through the eyes of Christ’s immoral friend? Or write a funny remake of Shakespeare. I’m also a huge fan of many mystery authors like Harlan Coben, romance authors like Julie Garwood and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Spec fiction types like Mario Acevedo. As a writer, my job is mostly to read. To know what other writers do well and copy them like crazy.
- Can I be in your next book?
- Sure. Why not? I’ll make sure to add you to page 57.
- You work a day job? WTF? I thought all author were rich?
- Yeah, right. I figured it out once and I make about 2 cents a day.
- Well, when you get rich, will you buy me _____?
- Of course. I love my fans and would do anything to keep you happy. Now, can I borrow a couple hundred bucks?