I've always loved scribbling down stories, but I think I seriously started considering it Writing in junior high. I didn't decide I wanted to be an Author until my junior year of high school ... up to that point, I wanted to be an animator (which is why you'll still see me doodling portraits of my characters).
- What genre do you write?
I like to say Aviario is a little bit of everything, but I'm realizing that it's leaning in the direction of supernatural mysteries and thrillers the farther in I get.
- Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress?
Book 3 of the Aviario series, "The Proper Bearing", brings us all back in time to London in the 1970s, where young Nick Forsythe is going through the harrowing trials of public school (that's boarding school, to those of us Americans). As if that weren't enough, disappearances occur, and he starts to realize he's got abilities he never asked for. I am trying very, very hard to ensure that this is not just "Hogwarts with less magic". Believe me.
- When did you start working on this project?
I decided that this would be the next novel shortly after I finished "In The Cards" back in March, and began outlining and researching about a month ago, once "From the Desk of Buster Heywood" was published. It's my current NaNoWriMo novel, and while I expect to "win" my word count, I know 50,000 words will be far from enough.
- What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
It was a short little story for a 2nd grade assignment. I wrote about Beetlejuice and his neighbor, The Monster Across The Street. If that doesn't say a lot about me, I don't know what does.
- What’s the best part about writing?
That would be ... the writing. That feeling of stitching a world together with words, and knowing that no one else can do it but me. That this is entirely mine, even though there are influences and homages ... out of all the stories and all the plot ideas in the world, only I can create this particular set of characters, this story, this world. There's an electricity that runs through the process of creation that's better than any drug.
- What’s the worst part about writing?
I never have as much time for it as I'd like, and eventually I have to stop and do Responsible Things That Need Doing.
- What’s the name of your favourite character and why?
With the distinction of being my oldest character, he boasts the most character development ... even if he only has a brief appearance on the page so far, as a psychiatrist in "In The Cards". He even got his own Twitter account, over the past week. He's not particularly happy about my forcing him to join the modern age, but it keeps me happy and keeps his voice from getting rusty, as he won't show up on a regular basis. What can I say? I love writing him. If you'd like to get to know him, I've been managing to get him to put up a tweet or two between patients here.
- How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
In November, I carve out more time than usual, but I usually get about an hour a day in the mornings, before work. I would have never considered myself a morning person until a few years ago: I used to do my best writing late at night. Now, however, mornings are the only time I'm alone, and that's when I'm most comfortable writing ... usually because it ends up being me, sitting here, making faces into my laptop screen or notebook along with whoever I'm writing. If an animator is an actor with a pencil, a writer is an actor with a keyboard or pen.
- Did you go to college for writing?
Yes! Originally, I wanted to major in writing, but my alma mater, Colby-Sawyer, phased out the writing major the year that I got there ... so I had to settle for a major in English and a minor in Creative Writing. It helped me understand the structure of stories very well, and gave me the ability to understand theme and layering ... but it also crippled me for a while, because writing lengthy essays and papers on deadlines ended up stifling my creativity. By the time I had the time to write for myself, I was out of energy but still full of ideas. I didn't start writing Aviario in earnest until after I'd graduated. The second book, "In The Cards", is a much-revised, far better version of the novel I hobbled together during my collegiate years.
- What bothers you more: speeling errors; punctuation, errors, or errors for grammar?
- What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
"...all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame. This is all I have to bite off for the time being.” - Anne Lamott
- What advice would you give to another writer?
Stop stressing about whether it's good enough. Just do the writing, and if you do enough of it, it will be more than good enough, in time.
- What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
"Helping Writers Become Authors" and "Writers Helping Writers" are my most frequent haunts. Not only do their curators dish out great, personable knowledge and advice, but they have led me to a community of some of the most fantastic, creative, supportive people I know, and reunited me with an old, dear friend.
- Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
I have so very many, but all of them are crafty in one form or another. Drawing, painting, weaving, sculpting ... I read whenever I can, as much as I can. I also get far, far too much pleasure out of organizing things for other people, and have to be restrained if I come within 100 yards of a Staples.
- What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
"The Crazy School" by Cornelia Read. The other two I've read aren't published yet, but once they're out, you must check out "The Witches' Rede" by Jewel E. Leonard and "Colossus" by Jette Harris.
- What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
Time Lapse, a film about three friends who find a camera which takes pictures of the future. I thought I knew where it was going ... and I was completely wrong. (I also rewatch Secret Window and Stranger Than Fiction every fall, but ... well ... those are classics.)
- What is your favourite book or series of all time?
You aren't limiting me to one of each. I refuse. Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel Handler's "The Basic Eight", "Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris, and John Saul's "Blackstone Chronicles".
- Who is your favourite author?
Two of the items in the above list were written by the same man. It is a toss-up between him, and Stephen King.
- What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
I intend to finish "The Proper Bearing", and space it out with some edits of "In The Cards" so that my brain does not completely fuse with the book and turn to mush. I also have a couple of non-fiction books on writing sloshing around in my mind, but we'll see if they jell enough to come out sooner rather than later.
- Where else can we find you online?
I cordially invite you to like my Facebook page, then follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I also have a page on iAuthor, a fantastic site which helps readers discover new authors based on the books they already enjoy.
If you are a NaNoWriMo or Camp Nano participant, I'd be glad to be your writing buddy there, too! My profile is right over here, and encouraging writers is my third love, after my fiancee and my own writing process.