1. Tell us a bit about your family.
I have a loving and very supportive family—both my extended family and my immediate family. All of the women in my life are very big readers and so I grew accustomed to seeing my mother with her nose in a book. My wife is the same way. All of the men in my life are big movie buffs. I seem to straddle somewhat in the middle and end up bringing the momentum and excitement of film into novels. Therefore my books are much more plot-centric than character-centric and I tend to focus a bit more on dialogue. My wife is a novelist as well and we have had a wonderful time helping each other with characters and plots over the years and are both intimately involved with each other’s process. I also have a five-year old son, who is destined to be a writer as well. Or a guitar player. Or perhaps a marine biologist. Hard to tell, at this point, which.
2. How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
Novel-writing can be a very personal process and so from start to finish there is a lot of self-doubt and fear. It helps to have a supportive novelist wife to work through “itchy” parts of a project or to help get over brick walls. It also helps to have her be a trusted confidante on whether or not a concept will work. That said, the best thing a writer can do is detach from the book. It is personal, yes, but ultimately it isn’t for you. It’s for your readers. The objective is, then, to make it the best book you can for the readers. Detaching oneself emotionally from a project goes miles into becoming truly objective about the work, as to, whether or not it will work for your audience.
3. Why do you write?
I write because I always have. I don’t remember ever not writing. It’s like breathing for me. That isn’t to say it comes easy to me, it doesn’t. Writing is a lot of work and editing doubly so. However, not being in the process at some level feels very uncomfortable for me. Like exercise, I may dread it—and like exercise, it may be a major effort, but it, like exercise, fills a void and energizes me when I’m in the work. Although sometimes wearing and exhausting, it is like medicine for the mind. I don’t write to deliver a poignant message, like many rightfully do, I write to immerse readers in a cathartic journey.
4. What books did you love growing up?
I was introduced to Douglas Adams at a very early age and ate those books like candy. There was something Adams did with words that made you feel smart and really impact the way you think about language and storytelling. I could never hope to reach that level of wittiness in my own writing, but it always makes me think about the words I choose. I also read a great deal of fantasy and science fiction in my younger days and was influenced heavily by it. Interestingly, I read a great deal of Richard Bach, which fed my ever-present philosophical side—and no doubt, my readers will see my plots drenching with that impression.
5. Who is your favorite author?
Undoubtedly it is difficult for any author to choose a favorite, but recently I have been most influenced by Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin. It is unfathomable to me how these two manage to create such remarkable works consistently over-and-over. I am also jealous about how prolific they are. Gaiman is a wonderful storyteller and Martin is a wonderful plot-weaver. I am ever aspiring to their greatness.
6. What book genre of books do you adore?
My favorite genre to write in is interestingly different than my favorite genre to read. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good action/adventure or thriller/suspense—particularly political and historical thrillers of the Dan Brown and Michael Crichton variety. However, my favorite genre to read is high fantasy. I love me some sweeping epics of Lord of the Rings scale. Interestingly, I do have a long-term project that may materialize that fits in this genre—but even those books have a Christopher Grey-esque conspiracy theory feel. Lately have been attached to Steven Erikson, but when George R.R. Martin comes back, I’ll immediately jump over.
7. What book should everybody read at least once?
Great question. And I have a long list. No, I can’t answer with only one. I have ten. Here they are in no particular order:
The Stand, by Stephen King
Illusions, by Richard Bach
Skinny Legs and All, by Tom Robbins
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Odyssey, by Homer
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Will Shakespeare and the Ships of Solomon, by Christopher Grey
In the fall of 1947, Will Shakespeare saw the world collapse around him. Shakespeare, a secret soldier for the Knights Templar, barely escapes the slaughter of his entire knighthood at the hands of a rogue militant arm of the Vatican in a small Montreal church. With orders to escort Templar business associate Dorothy Wilkinson back to her home in Bermuda, Will must locate and rescue the most important secret treasure in human history before it is devoured by a hurricane in the watery caves beneath her father's property. The spiraling quest sends Will and Dorothy into uncovering dark secrets that make up the origins of the knighthood as they confront the traps and puzzles that masterfully protect the world's most coveted treasure.
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Genre – Action, Adventure
Rating – PG
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