In a way, it was kind of an accidental thing for me. When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher would give us timed assignments and if we finished early we could do something else. I would always read. One day I finished my book and I didn't have another, so I took out my notebook and started writing down a daydream of mine. I've been writing ever since.
What inspires you to write?
My dad was the single greatest inspiration in my life. He's the only the reason I didn't give up on writing a long time ago. Whenever it felt hopeless, like I was never going to get anywhere, I could always count on my dad to be there for me.
When did you find yourself taking your craft seriously?
When I was in my early twenties. That's when the idea of being a writer started to really become a career for me.
How many books have you written, and what are their titles? What literary projects are you working on today?
I've written 27 novels. That's going to be a long list. LOL
Flight Of Dragons
Shadow Of The Dragon
The Silver Catacombs
City Of Magic
Dragons Of War
Web Of Light
The Black Mountain
Rise Of The Watchtower
Chasing The Whirlwind
Riding The Wave
The Watchtower War
As for projects I'm working on:
What The Heart Wants
Eye Of The Storm
And Dual Realm 4, which doesn't have a title yet
Who is your favorite character from your book(s), and why?
Zazere. He's my snarky, mind reading mage from the Firebrand Trilogy. I think I love him the most because he's loosely modeled after my favorite character of all time, Raistlin Majere from the DragonLance novels.
Where do you get your story ideas?
This is always such a hard question to answer. The truth is, most of the time I really don't know. They might come from anywhere or nowhere at all.
Can you give us a picture of your writing journey, from the beginning to now?
Like I said earlier, I started when I was nine. A silly little portal book emulating the stories I loved best, Wizard Of Oz and Alice In Wonderland. When I was in my teens and early twenties I had some poems, a couple of short stories, and a few writing articles published. Then in my my mid-twenties my novel, Flight Of Dragons, was accepted for publication by a small press publisher. Since then I've had 13 novels traditionally published (and 1 yet to be released).
In 2013, I took what was a huge step for me and self-published for the first time. That was Web Of Light. It was a really scary transition, but it ended up being the best decision I ever made with regards to my writing. I've self-published 10 original novels since then, as well as 3 novels that came out from under their contracts. My plan forward is to self-publish each of my traditionally published titles once I have my rights back. Because truth is, I've made more money self-publishing. Plus, I love the freedom of control over my work.
What genres do you write in, and what would you like to write in the future?
All of my novels fall under the Fantasy umbrella. I write YA, NA, and adult. So far I've written: Adventure, Dystopian, Shifter, Sword/Sorcery, Epic, Urban, and Paranormal Romance.
I'm currently working on my first Pirate Fantasy, and I have a few Post Apocalyptic ideas I'm eager to try my hand at. It would be awesome if some day I had at least one title in every Fantasy subgenre. I'm not sure that is a goal I can ever reach, but it'll be fun to try.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Writing stories people actually want to read. LOL
Beating that little voice of self doubt. No matter how many books I've written, no matter how much good feedback I've gotten, I still hear that voice every single day telling me I'm no good. I'm wasting my time. Pushing that voice down and focusing on writing to the best of my ability is the hardest part of being a writer.
How do you deal with writer's block?
I took care of that years ago by working on multiple projects at a time. My creative juices are always flowing.
How do you handle marketing? What has worked?
Marketing is one of the major pains of being a writer. Word of mouth is still a writer's best friend, but first you have to get the book into the hands of the readers. My single most successful marketing strategy has been Facebook parties. I go to other people's and I throw my own every time I have a new release. This can be a great way to reach out to potential readers who might otherwise have never heard of you.
What hasn't worked for marketing?
I've never gotten much out of blogging. Whether it be my own blog or appearing on other people's. I'm always up for it if someone asks me to be on their blog, because you never know when something might work and you have to be willing to do anything that might get word of your books out (plus I love doing interviews because I get to talk about my books, but I haven't found it to be especially effective.
What's next for you?
So much writing. I have a computer folder full of ideas and new ones pop up all the time.
What do you want readers to know about you?
I'm always willing to talk to readers if they want to ask questions about my books, or whatever. There's nothing I like better than talking about my books. Well, except for writing them, of course.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I feel very fortunate to be able to follow this dream I've had for most of my life and I truly appreciate my readers, because they're the ones who make this possible.