I was on a road trip up to the mountains and I saw a correctional facility out in the distance. It started sparks of ideas and I had to grab a napkin and a crayon from the back seat to jot them down. Now, because of that, I tend to carry a pad and pen wherever I go.
Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
The two focal characters, Ben and Sam, were developed from little facets of my own personality. Obviously Ben is a struggling writer who is just trying to do right by the people he cares about. Sam is a little bit more complex. She houses alot of anger and rage from things in her past. Granted I have not had to absorb the abuse this fictional character has but there are many women in the world who have, I tried to be their voice. Sam was one of my favorites because at first blush she would appear to be the villain. It is only when you peel back layers that you see who she really is inside. That was one of the better parts of writing Sins and Virtues, I state it in the story itself, we are all born of light and dark sides…yin and yang…its the side we choose to nurture that defines us.
Why will readers relate to your characters?
Every time I sit down to write it is important to me to make the characters as real as possible. That means giving them flaws. Nobody is perfect. We all have faults, we all have sins as well as virtues, so I try to add those little things into characters to make them resound with the audience.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, it has been a passion of mine since I was eight years old. Everything seemed to follow that path. I used to write short stories and character sketches. It was in high school that I decided on it as a career.
How do you deal with exposition give readers the background information they need?
Carefully. I’m a fan of less is more. Stephen King as great as he is can sometimes ramble on with his exposition. I like it short, sweet, and to the point.
What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?
Marketing and promotions. I don’t care if you are self published or with a big house in NY, you are going to have to do the majority of the footwork yourself. In this technology age it is a TIME SUCK! A necessary evil if you will. And unless you have the funds to hire a publicist then it takes precious time away from your writing. It’s tough to balance, it really is, and feels as though it is never ending.
How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?
So many! I’m about to start a new one and I’ve narrowed it down to two. One is a follow up to my Demon Hunter series and the other would be the spawn of a new series…something more contemporary and a little tongue-in-cheek.
What do you like to read? What is your favorite genre?
I read alot of different things. My favorites are the genres I write in as well. Fantasy and thrillers. I’ve read some romance and it wasn’t that interesting.
What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written yourself?
The Hunger Games, not just because it is a mega hit but also because I really liked the premise. It is a detailed plot that at the same times resonates with things that are going on in today’s world.
What are your current writing goals and how do you juggle the promotional aspects with the actual writing?
Like I said it is difficult. My writing goals are to complete every idea I have in my head or in my little notebook. I’d like to get really good at writing, maybe win an award…who knows. Get my screenplay for The Crescent made into a movie finally. Juggling the promotions gets exhausting. I am trying to manage my time a bit better so I’m not in front of the computer all day. When I get out there to conventions or signings and press the flesh it is alot more fun. The world is becoming too impersonable with all the gadgets.
Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?
All the time. That’s the beauty of developing them. They evolve like real people would. You put them in these extreme circumstances and they react.
Does your understanding of the story you are writing change during the course of the book?
Sometimes. That makes it fun though. You expect it to go one way and instead it veers off course and takes you to an entirely new level. For me, when that happens, it feels like I’m reading it myself.
If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
When I’m writing sometimes I have an actor in mind. It doesn’t always happen but when I was writing Sins and Virtues the TV series ALIAS was popular. I loved that show. So Jennifer Garner jumped out at me for the character of Sam Mitchell. It is a complex and emotional character and Garner has great range. Ben Haskins always makes me think about Tate Donovan.
If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?
Quentin Tarantino. I saw him on a flight once and just as I was going to talk to him they moved him to another section of the plane. He is such a talented visionary. I would love to pick his brain. A dream would be to have him direct The Crescent film in a way that only he could portray it!
Where can people learn more about your books?
SINS AND VIRTUES is available through Musa Publishing here: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=271