What have you written?
I am currently working on my first full-length fantasy novel, THE HAMMER OF THE GODS. I am planning on making it a trilogy because, as we all know, if you write in the fantasy genre, you must write a trilogy. (Curse you, Tolkien!) The tentative working title for this epic fantasy trilogy is THE RUNE-HAMMER TRILOGY. Fun Fact #1: I actually started the second book of the trilogy, HAMMER INTO ANVIL, before I had even started the first book.
I have written several fantasy short stories, one of which I have re-worked and am using as the essence for the opening chapter of HAMMER OF THE GODS.
As if this all weren't enough, I am also two chapters into an untitled science-fiction novel, the name of which I haven't even dreamed up yet.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Fantasy, obviously, is by far my favorite genre to both read and write; though, science-fiction is very near and dear to me, having grown up during the Great Space Race of the 1960s and the original Star Trek series. I was supposed to grow up to be an astronaut. Science-Fiction at least allows me the luxury of dreaming about it.
I find it so hard to deal in absolutes! I am very much driven by emotions and they have a heavy influence on my likes and preferences in all things at all times. If forced to choose, though, I keep it simple: Cheeseburgers, onion rings, and a cherry milkshake. Now, if I am sick, it's a different story: my comfort food is a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, a bowl of tomato soup, a dill pickle, and a Coke. I have no idea why but that combination makes me feel so much better when I am feeling so terrible.
Where would you like to visit?
My "bucket list" is get definite on the places I want to visit before I die: First, the United Kingdom, second, Germany, and third, Australia. The U.K. and Germany for their combined history, as well as their cultural, linguistic, and architectural influences on the fantasy genre. And Australia because it is absolutely stunning visually!
Favorite musical artist.
Absolutes! Always with the absolutes! Seriously, though, if I were forced to limit myself to simply one musical artist, it would have to be Vangelis. The man's body of work is simply astounding and amazing. A true creative force and genius.
How old were you when you started writing?
I came to the writing world quite late in life. Specifically, five years ago. I had always liked storytelling but I had bought into the myth that to be a writer, you had to have a string of degrees from "writing schools" to prop you up. It took me until 2008 to realize that all you really needed was a good story and a desire to tell it. Everything else would take care of itself.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration? Hhhhmmmm...I guess my inspiration comes from reading stories in my favorite genres and saying: "What? You got to be kidding me! That's not the way it should look or sound or feel! This is how it should be!" And then sitting down and showing how it should be on paper.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Writer's block? You mean, when the characters stop talking to me? Well, I just put that project aside and switch gears and thought-patterns into another story and work on that one until the other characters get over their attitudes and start talking to me again.
Who is your favorite author?
J.R.R. Tolkien. Enough said.
Best book you ever read.
The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. There is simply no comparison to this work anywhere. It is the benchmark which we all measure ourselves against in the fantasy genre.
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
In looking back at almost 50 years of life, I really can not say that any one person influenced my life. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. I guess I have always been my own person and have carved out my own path. I haven't always made the best decisions, but they were mine and mine alone.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
At the risk of sounding "oh-so-politically-correct", I would have to say that I would really love to sit down with Jesus Christ and find out, once and for all, what was the real message. Straight from the original source and no interpretations.
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
The advice to anyone who wants to be a storyteller is simple: Just write. Oh, and don't listen to anything that anyone tells you. Be your own person and do it for yourself, because you like it. Everything else will fall into place.
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