- We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment. My debut novel, Forged in the Fallout, comes out July 13th (print) and 27th (eBook). That’s book one. I’m working on a late draft of book two with the help of my amazing editors. And I’m writing the first draft of book three, hopefully sending out to beta-readers summer of 2021. That will be the last book in this series. The last two will be published sometime 2022.
- In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way. Forged in the Fallout is book one in my RIMDUUM series. It’s a YA sci-fantasy dystopia. It grew out of a “what if”. There are a lot of books that deal with fae and elves living in a contemporary world. I asked: “What if dwarves kinda evolved, kept their technological advantage over other races, and carved out cities under the Rocky Mountains. And there’s nuclear metal called mithrium. The main character’s family has a lot of secrets about this powerful metal and it can land him in a lot of hot water. So its action/adventure. Neon and underground cities, with a cool magic system based on craftsmanship and skill.
- As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!) Draft one for sure. For me that’s the first time through. It takes me the longest, about 3-4 months solid if I’m working at it every day. Though most of the time I get stuck for days on end and it takes even longer. I’m a loose outliner. I have all the major plot points written out ahead of time, but I write and the story changes. That’s how it works for me. But If I could fall asleep after outlining and wake up with the first draft in my hands. That would be great.
- Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning? Magnet ideas. At least that’s what I call them. It’s when I come up with a plot point, a choice that the character makes, or a piece of worldbuilding or backstory that just gathers steam, resolves six other things in one fell swoop, and leave me shook! I’d like to think my reader experiences the same thing when they come across these hinges in my book. They’re magical.
- If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.) Brandon Sanderson’s world building. Maggie Stiefvater’s character creation. The Raven Boys is a study in making unique characters and tying them to the world with head-spinning plot reveals.
- Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best? So Clayson Spangler doesn’t think things through sometimes and he has a capacity for ignorant decisions, because he’s as new to the world of RIMDUUM as the reader. If I kidnapped him, it would be to prevent him from breaking down the fabric of society and breaking all the rules I make.
- You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why? Okay so, that’s me, Clayson, and Alaric from JA Andrew’s Keeper Chronicles (no spoilers about him. I’ve only just started this series). Let’s say the stakes are like…I don’t know…the fate of typical weekend. Serious stuff. So if I lose, I will have to deal with something terrible like a day of car repair, or an unexpected trip to do something very boring. If I win, I reach all my goals early, get to spend the rest of the weekend chilling with my family, surrounded by delicious food and awesome games. And equally so for them, but with things they loath and love. I would say Alaric wins, because he has the deepest capacity for betrayal of principles.
- Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.) I’m an educator by day in an alternative setting with students who are credit deficient and just having a rough go at it. I think if you write YA you need to treat those characters with respect. Sometimes, I read YA that I 100% know was written by an adult with no teens living around them, nor have they made an effort to get to know that age group. Just get on TikTok folks, or whatever the next big thing is, and if you’re unwilling to try new things, stick to writing for adults. Be authentic.
- Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe. I currently have my “take over the world plot” on hold so maybe I can walk you through it when it’s active. Total side quest, but I love board games, and got into D&D in 2020 as a copping mechanism. Find the things that make you happy and surround yourself with like-minded people. You can watch me do that kinda thing. Just follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see what I’m up to. Or sign up for my newsletter. Thanks.
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Also my book is available for preorder from most retailers. My website has all the buttons. 🙂