How often do you go on book tours?
I have never done an official book tour, but I remain active on the convention circuit. You can find me at comic cons and literary events around the US and Canada. As of this posting, I am also scheduled to give a presentation at the Dublin Writers’ Conference in Ireland.
Do you have specific culture you like to write about?
I like to poke fun at nerd culture, of which I am a card-carrying member (literally, I have RPG cards). My Max and the Multiverse series is a great example, which is all about a nerdy teen who gets forced into an epic adventure he never wanted. I also parody the fantasy subculture in my latest short, The Item of Monumental Importance.
If you were given the opportunity to form a book club with your favorite authors, who would they be and why?
One would have to be Douglas Adams, just because he has been my favorite author since childhood. From there, I would pick Andy Weir because he’s a nice guy and a first-class nerd. I would also pick Philip K. Dick, just because he would make everyone else feel uncomfortable. That would be a fun conversation.
What books, articles, or authors influenced you the most or made you think differently?
Stephen King’s On Writing gave me more practical knowledge than every other book, blog, or article combined. It was the “aha” that made me a better writer. As a funny aside, I read the entire book in a single sitting while working as a film extra. I was in full makeup as a building collapse victim, blood and all. In fact, I snapped a pic after I finished:
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
Not in the slightest. I actually went to college to become an accountant, then graduated with a computer degree. It’s a long story.
What do you think is the future of reading or writing?
Two things: shorter lengths and gamification. Attention spans are decreasing and interactive content is increasing. I think the lines between reading and playing will continue to blur. Even now, it feels like I’m selling novelties whenever I stack books at a convention.
Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?
Both. I put my manuscripts through four distinct rounds of editing, then pay for a final polish. Pro tip: NEVER submit your first draft to an editor. You’ll lose your house in the amount of time and money it takes to polish that turd.
Have you ever written fan-fiction?
Nope, nor would I. Nothing against it, just not my cup of tea.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Read more. I didn’t start reading regularly until my 30’s, which is a big regret. It always feels like I am racing to catch up. There are pillars of my own genre that I still haven’t read.
Do you have a favorite brand of coffee or tea?
I’m a bit of a coffee geek, so my tastes are all over the place. It’s easier to name regions. My current favorites include Kenya, Ethiopia, and Guatemala.