Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I was born and raised in Japan, where I lived until the age of 14. I lived a fairly isolated life in a missionary compound in a small town a few hours south of the capital, but when I moved to Mexico at the age of 14, all that changed.
All of the experiences I have had (both in Japan and Mexico) have influenced my writing–in my opinion, given me a better understanding of the world around me.
When did you realize, writing was what you wanted to do?
I realized I had a talent for writing at the age of 10 or 11. I had a teacher passionate about literature, and he instilled in me a love of reading and writing.
I dabbled a bit during my teenage years, but nothing serious until the age of 17 or 18. That’s when I started competing (in small online competitions) and writing more regularly. I started In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent at the age of 18, but stopped writing a couple of years later. I didn’t finish it until 2014, which is about the time I started taking writing VERY seriously.
What do you want to achieve with your writing?
I want to make people think. I want to force them to see things in a new way, things they may be accustomed to, desensitized to, or never thought to question. If I can shake things up and twist the world upside down–even for one person–I will be happy.
What are you currently working on right now? Or plan to work on in the future?
I have just launched Book 1 in the dark fantasy series The Last Bucelarii. This book, Blade of the Destroyer, is the first book in the series about the Hunter, a half-demon assassin. The story will span 5 or 6 books, and it will tell the story of the Hunter’s search for answers about his forgotten past. He will find his place in a world that has no place for him and his kind, and the story will be about his growth as a character. Plenty of plot, plenty of action, but definitely a character-driven series.
What is your writing structure like?
I’ll sketch out a rough plot of the book I’m writing–at least the first half. I’ll usually come up with the ending as I write, and the plot details will sort themselves out as I go.
I’ll write a rough draft (just to get the story down), let it sit for a couple of months, then come back to do a first draft to send to beta readers. Once I get the comments and feedback, I incorporate the changes, print out the book, and do a final edit on paper before sending it to the editor/publisher.
How do you write (handwrite, computer, typewriter, voice recorder, etc.)?
Computer, always! I tried writing with Dragon Naturally Speaking (voice to text), but my brain doesn’t work well when my mouth is running. Heh!
What is the toughest thing about writing your current work? What’s the easiest?
The hardest part of writing this work is trying to get the balance of personality just right. The Hunter is this legendary, immortal killer, but he’s also fairly human in his flaws. It’s a very fine line to walk!
Who are your favorite authors?
Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards series is probably my favorite book series of all time. I’ll read anything Brandon Sanderson writes, and I love the Riyira books by Michael J. Sullivan.
What’s your favorite reading platform (e-book, paperback, hard cover, audio)?
I’m a total sucker for a good hardcover book, and paperback is a close second. But I’ve discovered that the right audiobook can make a good book great. For example, I have never “read” the Scott Lynch books (on paper or digital), but I have only listened to the audiobooks. The voice talent who recorded those books (Michael Page) did such an amazing job! I love audiobooks, as they allow me to read while I drive, sit in traffic, work out at the gym, walk on the beach, etc.
Tell us about your upcoming release.
Here’s what you need to know:
A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)
The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer
The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.
When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?
Do you have any advice for other authors when it comes to writing, marketing, publishing, etc.?
Start NOW! I made the mistake of publishing In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent before I had a decent-sized following. The book never really got any traction, and I never saw the sales I would have liked.
To stand a better chance of success in this highly competitive market, authors need to start reaching out to people, making friends, connecting with other authors, and finding potential readers NOW–well before their books are launched!
How do you relax?
I love to read comic books, though I admit I’m a bit behind due to a lack of time. I’ll download all the latest digital comic books and read them (not enough space in my house for physical books).
I also love to watch TV, hit the gym, spend time with my four active children, hang out with friends, and read. I’m a simple man who loves the simpler things in life!
Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
I think Edgar Rice Burroughs could have been a fascinating man to meet! I would have loved to talk to him about the John Carter of Mars books, and pick his brain for his creativity.
How long does it take you to write your novels?
I’ll get through 100,000 to 120,000 words of pure writing in about 2 months, so considering all the work that goes into writing a novel (polishing, drafting, editing, etc.), a book takes me about six months of solid work to complete.
Are any of your characters based off of real people in your life? If so, do they know?
I have based a few minor characters off people that I know or people I have met, but I am not going to tell the people I based them off of. They’ll try to get a cut of the proceeds!