Well, I had a couple of false starts, where I wanted to write, but really had no concrete plan. Then in the late 90s, I decided I would start with short stories in the dark fiction vein, and try to sell them in the small press. I wrote a story (that, ironically, later developed into my debut novel, The Genesis Code) and hunted around the Internet for a potential place for it. I happened upon a small press magazine called THE EDGE, and sent it in. Greg F. Gifune, the editor, rejected it—and took the time to explain why. I put that story aside, wrote a new one, and several submission/rejection/revision cycles later, he published “Vacancy” in 2002. After that, I wrote more short stories that were published in various small press venues, some print and some online. Then I decided I was ready to try a novel-length work. I took the seed from that first short story and worked on it for 2 years, wrapping it up right before leaving my IT career to attend law school full time. I dropped off the planet during law school and my subsequent relocation/reestablishment time. Then, in fall of 2012, Greg, whom I’d kept in touch with over the years, posted on Facebook that DarkFuse was looking for novels. I submitted my manuscript, DarkFuse accepted it, and it came out in May 2013 as The Genesis Code. I got busy writing again, and The Janus Legacy just came out, Ash and Bone (a novella) is coming out in May, and Blockbuster will be out in January 2015—all from DarkFuse.
What do you love about being an author?
I love being able to create whatever world I darned well please. Whatever I can think of, I can take a reader there. Ash and Bone, for example, is very atmospheric, and I hope will make readers feel they are right there in Cromwell Bay, wondering what is behind the door to Room #8 of the Harbor Motel. In Blockbuster, the story is set 10 years in the future, so I had to come up with what cell phones, computers, and tablets will be like by then. It’s a blast to build worlds with words like that.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
This is a tough question. A lot of the characters in books I read are too scary to want to dine with. I’d rather not dine with Hannibal Lecter, for example. Maybe Clarice Starling, then. And for dinner, something other than a “good friend and a plate of fava beans.”
Oh, maybe Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway. Ideally, they’d be in their late 20s/early 30s (or look like it). I saw Christian Bale in a movie once (I forget the name) where he dieted to the point of looking near death to play the part. That would be perfect for parts of The Janus Legacy. He’d have the needed look about him and definitely has the acting chops for it.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
No glitter for me. Monsters!
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
Maybe the 50s, a bit before I was born. I love the design of things then, those crazy 50s color schemes and such. I have to presume it was a little simpler time. Sometimes I wish for a quieter, simpler time—when there was time to handwrite letters in good penmanship. But on the other hand, I very much enjoy modern conveniences, and the Internet and all it offers. I’m not sure I could give that up!
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
I can’t think of a specific bit of advice I’d like to have been given sooner. I would have liked to have had all the accumulated life experience I have now—maybe twenty years ago. That would be cool. I often find it is this accumulated experience—not any one thing in particular—that really helps inform my writing. I just didn’t have all that twenty years ago. If I had, I might have about 30 novels under my belt by now.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I’d like to be able to magically change into whatever form I want to—including invisible. I could be a bird and fly. I could be a fish and swim without needing breathing apparatus. I could climb mountains like a goat. Yeah, that would be good. I don’t want to be able to predict the future—could be too scary. Don’t want to be able to read people’s minds. I thought about answering this by saying I’d like magical healing powers, but then thought that might be too heavy of a responsibility.
I have a home office where I do most of my writing. I like writing at home, in the quiet. When I write, I envision the action and the characters, and quiet lets me do that best and most efficiently.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
Mr. Midnight, by Allan Leverone. It was really pretty terrifying. The evil character was, well, very evil. The ending was absolutely chilling. I hope I never meet up with someone like that.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
Hmmm…I already cross genres a fair amount, I think—horror/supernatural/sci-fi/thriller/dark fantasy. I don’t think I am capable of writing romance. I tried to read a romance novel once. Never again. You know, I could write humor. That would be it. Humor. I have a half-written parody sitting on my hard drive.
Where can fans find you online?