Tell me a little bit about you, your writing, personal experience, anything for the public to get to know you as an author a lot more.
So, me… I’m what you might call a renaissance woman. I collect hobbies, skills, books, guns, and ideas. I grew up farming and ranching, was homeschooled, got a couple of college degrees in Computer Science and Math with excessive minors in English and Ancient Greek on the side.
I’ve been studying ITF Taekwondo for 20 years and recently earned my 5th degree black belt. Along the way, I’ve traveled overseas a few times as part of Team USA and most recently won the title “World Champion of Destruction” twice.
(In Italy, that’s what they call Power Breaking. I’ve won twice now, but I’m officially adopting the Italian way of saying it from now on, and retroactively.)
At present, writing, competitive 3-gun, grad work on AI, and oil painting are the main drains on my time and energy.
I also drive and restore classic muscle cars, write a weekly newspaper column, work as a technologist, and don’t sleep as much as I ought to.
As for my writing, I’ve tried to give it up, honest. But I just can’t seem to shake the habit. I’m just one of those unfortunate souls who has to be a writer. And even worse, I’m just as much a literary polymath as I am one in general. It’s probably easier to describe the genres that I don’t write in. It’s a short list. Romance. That and its nearest associated are not really in my repertoire, but I consider the rest fair game.
To date, I’ve focused (using the term loosely) on writing: Thriller, Mystery, Adventure, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, and Westerns—and combinations thereof. And of course, non-fiction-ish agricultural humor philosophy.
What inspired, motivated, influenced your work?
Inspiration is a big part of the motivation. I see ideas and stories everywhere. Then, there’s the need to write the stories that I’d kill to read. And I just love doing it. Writing is fascinatingly complex and compellingly difficult to pin down. There is no definitive ‘right’ way to do it, no safe path, there is just the challenge of bringing together threads of creativity, research, structure, psychology, and language in such as way as to produce another world, an experience, a tale—that can be shared and lived by another.
But I’m approaching a pit of bottomless philosophical pontification, so let’s talk about influences. I read a lot, so that’s the big one. I pretty much learned how to write via some form of paper/ink osmosis. But consciously, I certainly have some authors and works that I really think about as archetypes and role-models for my own writing.
Frank Herbert’s Dune was my trapdoor into science fiction. I read it first when I was ten and unlike most books, I’ve read it over at least four times since and will undoubtedly read it again. The scope, the depth of the world, the seamless blending of sci-fi and fantasy elements into an incomparable epic of that ambiguous awesomeness that you can only call Speculative Fiction. It’s certainly an influence.
I also take a lot of cues from adventure and thriller authors, even in my sci-fi/fantasy work. Authors like Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum, Elmore Leonard, Louis L’Amour…
On the more modern front, Jim Butcher, Larry Correia, and Richard Kadrey are all very inspiring when I’m working on Urban Fantasy projects.
Personally, I’m especially inspired by my fellow Portales Poet, the late, great, Jack Williamson. His story, his work, and his wisdom is always inspiring.
Do you have any current projects going and if so could you share a little bit with the public?
My favorite subject!
Indeed, I have about four projects in the publishing queue (I’ve been hoarding), a couple of well underway manuscripts, and more plotted/planned/outlined stuff than any sane person ought to admit to.
I’ll hit the high-points.
Number one right now is a collection of my popular Agricultural Adventure Philosophy Humor, known as “Adventures in Agriculture,” which is just out, available in both print and Kindle eBook.
Hot on its heels is the launch of an Urban Fantasy series, “Fire-for-Hire,” which tells the gear-head flavored tale of Josey Jackson: mercenary mage, ticking-time-bomb, and hater of all cars made after 1974.
Later this year, I’ll be releasing the Thriller, “Tough Target,” about a ranch in trouble, a cowgirl with a bad attitude, a not-quite-reality show, and at least one nefarious terrorist plot.
And, a collection of short stories curated from my previously sold works and some new original material. It’ll have everything from swords and sorcery to rural mercenaries to zombies to gunslingers. Illustrating the width of my work in all it’s incongruity.
Down the road: I’m currently writing a grand space adventure that’s kinda like Star Wars if it was more about hackers.There’s a Urban Fantasy influenced by some badass Norse mythology and some classic monster myths. I’ve seriously got myself booked for years with all the outlines and plans in the works, but that’s top of the drawer, near future glimpse.
Like I said, never enough sleep.
Do you recall how your interest in writing came about?
No, other than the fact that I’ve loved to read since the moment I found out that there was more to literature than Aesop’s Fables, I can’t pin it down.
Some archaeological investigations into my younger years has turned up stories, outlines, and other such pre-author paraphernalia that suggests that it has been around longer than I remember.
Officially, I realized it on a more conscious level in 2008, while I was in college. That was when I decided to be a writer and began this endeavor in earnest.
Do you do book tours/signings?
Yes. I am currently scheduling signings/appearances for “Adventure in Agriculture.”
What would you like to say to your readers?
Readers are the best. They’ve pushed me and inspired me to write more. Without the readers, none of this would happen. So, thanks, to all the readers out there. Ya’ll rock!
Do you have any advice for other authors?
You know, there’s a lot of good technical advice out there. Read. Read. Write. Write some more. Don’t forget to eat. But my advice is this: Be stubborn, mule-headed, and just keep going until you get there. But remember to enjoy the ride. The destination is important, but so is the path. Success has a funny way of sneaking up on you.
Can you share with us the best way to reach you and where to find your books?
I’m sure I’m elsewhere on the web, but if you can’t find me based on this list, then I’ve either cracked the code and accidentally deleted my digital existence–or some alien spooks disappeared me themselves. Either is equally likely.
Thanks for doing the interview with me.