I'm pleased to start my new week with another fab author interview.
Here we go...
Death and violence do not exist in Axiom. There is no strife, no war, no suffering. There is no hunger, no sadness, and no pain. Axiom is a place of perfection.
But, at what cost?
In Axiom, mankind has willingly submitted itself to one man - the Lord Protector - who controls the destiny of every human being. Emotions have become outlawed. Relationships are forbidden. Any sign of the Disease is treated with hostility. Under the eternal guidance of the Lord Protector, mankind no longer knows what it means to be human.
But, stirring within the hearts and minds of a few individuals is a reality which cannot be ignored. It is this reality which will cause the spark of rebellion to be born.
Who are you and what do you write?
I was born in Canada, but have lived in Georgia most of my life. Presently, I live in rural Georgia with my wife and two-year old son, who both make my mess beautiful. I grew up as one of five children—two older sisters, my twin brother, and my younger brother—in a family that stuck close to each other despite difficult circumstances and tumultuous situations. A lot of my work deals with family, especially the relationship between child and parent—aspects which I pull directly from my past and from my strained relationship with my father, who lives in Canada.
In my work, you’ll find the things I enjoy doing—reading, writing, playing video games, hiking, golf, baseball, and football. My first work, a historical fiction called Brothers of Baseball, was a blend of my two enjoyments in my middle school and high school years—friendship and baseball. I am a teacher, and so my writing is primarily focused on the MG and YA age levels, though that could change down the road—depending if I grow up, of course!
Now, I am writing across genres—primarily sticking to Science Fiction. I enjoy writing horror, fantasy, magical realism, and historical fiction, though science fiction has a certain allure to it that allows my mind to run amuck with possibilities. Embedded in all of my work, however, is my faith. I do not claim myself as a Christian author, but my relationship with Jesus is in every story—even if it is not front and center. Don’t get me wrong, though—not every one of my stories end happily ever after. In fact, I try to reflect real life in my writing, and life is a mess sometimes—an enjoyable, beautiful mess.
For example, I write my characters from my own pains, fears, insecurities, frustrations, and vulnerabilities, which means that my books serve as a reflection and as, what I hope, an aid for those who also struggle with being human just like me.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I started reading and writing when I was young—as a result of being lonely after I moved to a new school system. My first book I wrote was about my seven-year-old delights—dinosaurs, mystical islands, tornados, bad guys, and man-eating plants. Though I have certainly come a long way from my youth, I still try to write with a wild heart. My mom is my biggest fan, and she once told me to write as if it was the only book I will ever get to write, and this perspective allows me to hold nothing back. In high school, she put me into a writing program—The Institute for Children’s Literature—which further propelled me towards my goal and passion to become a writer.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
I am currently working on the sequel to my first foray into science fiction—Axiom—a dystopian that is akin to Anthem by Ayn Rand, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and 1984 by George Orwell. I wrote the first book before I had a child, and now the most difficult aspect of writing these days is finding the time and space to dream—especially since I have a rambunctious toddler! But, on early mornings with a cup of coffee in hand, I am able to write my thoughts into reality and it is this, this weaving of my mind and ideas into a story, that is most enjoyable. The second most difficult aspect of being a writer, especially a self-published author—is building one’s platform and marketing one’s work. Over the past three years, I have learned so much about this process and have gained valuable relationships with fellow authors who are on the same journey.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
My goal is to write a first draft every year for as long as I can, and to publish every other year. Right now, I am about to release Axiom as an audiobook which will be my first stab at the audiobook scene. As far as long-term goals—I want to write a 26 science fiction series which I am presently outlining and researching.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
My advice for new authors is to write from yourself. There is no one else like you, and you have experiences, feelings, triumphs, pains, and strengths that people would love to see on paper. I have found that the best way to understand who I am, and thus find my voice as a writer, is to journal as often as I can. Spend a lot of time in silence and in loneliness, and you will never run out of things to write.
Have fun writing,
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? Mayo
Night or Day? Day
Inside or Outside? Outside
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
Ebook or Paperback? Paperback
Sun or Rain? Sun
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? Drama
Chips or Chocolate? Chocolate
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