When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
- Always - I just didn't know until I finished my first book at 15. Ender's Game (the first novel I ever picked up and read on my own without a teacher telling me to) was the nudge out the door I needed. My mediocre grades in English told me otherwise. That held me back for a while. Thanks to an awesome idea, I dug up an unwanted computer (with a B: Floppy), and typed away. I haven't stopped since (but I have upgraded).
Isn't it crazy how much computers have changed since then? It blows me away.
Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?
- I prefer a writing schedule, but things as they are at the moment (house renovating, commuting, diaper duty), I write whenever I get a chance. Sometimes late at night. If I wake up early, I get up and write before I go to work instead of going back to sleep. Sadly, I work best in a quiet place. It can take me a good half hour just to warm up sometimes (leaving two hours a day, at best). That doesn't include blogging and etc.
I work best in quiet as well. And I hear ya about the diaper duty. Good times.
Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?
- I take every challenge as something to face and not shrink from. I don't interpret rejections as "you're not good enough," but rather, "you can (and you will) do better." I also make really good pizza, saved a girl from a kayaking accident, and can eat a habanero pepper without freaking out . . . too much. I may be the quiet one in the group, but that's because I'm a good listener and love to observe things as they happen.
Yay! I'm the quiet one in the group as well! Most of the time. Some people would say otherwise... And I'm pretty sure I'll never eat a habanero pepper. I'd rather burn my taste buds off with a cup of hot chocolate. :)
If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)
- If I had my family and a laptop, I'm set! That's another odd thing about me. I'm not much of a material guy. Things are things. If there's food and water on the island, I wouldn't mind a kayak (if you've ever kayaked in the ocean before, it's a blast!) If not, then food and water is what I can't live without (for obvious reasons).
I've never kayaked anywhere... It looks dangerous, but fun!
What is one book you could read over and over and over?
- I could (and have) read Ender's Game repeatedly.
*hides* I've never read it. I know. I suck.
What book are you dying to read this year?
- I'm really looking forward to The Death Cure. I don't know why, but the Maze Runner books have really jumped out and come to life for me. I'm on the edge of my chair here. I wanna know how it ends!
I loved the Maze Runner! It was totally weird, but I couldn't put it down!
What genre do you write and why?
- I started with sci-fi. Then my wife challenged me to write her a YA fantasy novel. Turns out I'm a heck of a lot better at dragons and magic than spaceships and lasers. For now. I plan on going back to sci-fi one day. There are some great stories to be told there. But for now, fantasy is teaching me how to write better.
Oh, man. Spaceships and lasers freak me out. I can't write sci-fi. I will read it, but I prefer writing and reading fantasy more. :) I love magic too much. And dragons. Gotta love the dragons. :)
Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.
- Film scores. I have a collection! Whenever I edit, I have playlists to match whatever mood the chapter or passage is meant to convey. Shuffle is always on. When I have those block moments, I reward myself with a Jelly Belly for each new page. That's the only time I'm allowed to have Jelly Bellies. Cruel, but effective!
I LOVE film scores! Have you heard Inception's? I love that one. It's a new one I just discovered. And I really love Hans Zimmer. The Call of Duty soundtrack is good too. I'm a total nerd, but I really like that one. And no, I've never played the game. You should try Spotify. I listen to my music through that when I write. Best. Thing. Ever. And YAY for Jelly Bellies! :D
Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?
- Some come from dreams. Others from driving. Others while scrubbing crusted cheese off a baking sheet at the kitchen sink. I kind of think of myself as a conduit--an antenna. The story and the ideas for it already exist. I just have to be in the right place, doing the right thing, to receive the transmission. It's not always clear and the entire message doesn't come at once. For every project I've started, I've scrapped a dozen.
Mmmm... crusted cheese. ;) I know what you mean about starting one project after scrapping a dozen. I think every writer goes through that. It's hard to scrap those ideas, but I love the feeling of finding the one that's right. You know?
Any advice for other aspiring authors?
- If you have an idea for a story and believe in it, go for it. If you want to write, start NOW! If you want to be published, keep writing and build a web presence (blog/website) NOW! If there are writer's conferences in your area, find them. Attend them. Get to know your genre, market, and meet the authors who write them. And don't stop. If I had known this ten years ago, who knows how much further along I'd be in my journey.
I totally agree. Great advice.
Random Writing Question: If your MC could dive into any other book, which one would they choose and why?
- Just because I made the mistake of reading The Lord of the Rings during my second book, I'd love to see how my MC at that time would react to the likes of Aragorn and Gimli. I'm laughing right now. It's that funny!
Oh, Aragorn. I heart him. And Legolas. I'd probably be about the same size as Gimli though.
Thank you so much, David!! :)