When I’m not writing, I’m playing chess—on a team, in a tournament or just for fun—and watching movies or The Office (U.S. version) or Endgame (Canadian show) and Glee. (I can hear the groans on that last one.)
My favorite setting to use in my books is a small town, which I used in Nightcry, The Golden Door (another of my novels in the background) and am also using for my third novel. I love the atmosphere, the loneliness and tight-knit camaraderie of the townspeople that looks with contempt on outsiders. If the story doesn’t obviously take place in a setting other than a small town, I try to fit the story in a town replete with solitude. That’s not to say I won’t use a big city like Chicago or New York; other horrors can come out of those: in a little town those horrors can follow you easier. I hope the small-town atmosphere brings people back to their hometown roots or—at the very least—makes them search for hiding spots for the characters from all the monsters that might be living in the town.
Probably like many other horror writers, Stephen King drew me into the horror genre. Sometime in the late 1980’s, I picked up a used copy of Night Shift and was amazed. That short story collection still remains one of my favorites of his. I dabbled in writing quick pieces of flash fiction, but nothing substantial emerged. A few years later, I was reading his book Cujo and I thought, This kinda sucks…I could do better. So I tried and what resulted were 28 pages of pure crap. However, the longer form helped me dive into deeper storylines, bigger fears and changing characters. I fell in love with writing and writing horror.
I don’t write with the same set word goal each day. It really depends on what I’m writing. Normally, I go for around 2,000 words, but depending on what I’m writing that could be more or less. For example, a deep emotional scene might only be 400 words and that’s where I’ll stop because I mentally drained myself. On the other hand, if I’m on a roll, I’ll go until my eyes hurt, which probably isn’t good in itself, but I have glasses, so I pretend I have bionic eyes.
I enjoy reading anything. Horror, Sci-fi, classics: To be a good writer, you shouldn’t tie yourself down to one genre. I think the more a writer reads, the better he or she becomes. If I had to name a few authors and why I’d say Stephen King for his storytelling ability; Brandon Sanderson for his knack of handling so many characters and plotlines; and Edgar Allan Poe for his skill in efficient writing…he gets into the story and gets out without anything extra needed.
My future writing plans are to just write. I have one novel released Nightcry as well as a poetry chapbook Underneath the Trees and just plan to publish as I complete projects. I have one novel, The Golden Door, scheduled for released in June and another novel 50% done which will be released around October. Between the next two novels, I also plan on releasing a collection of short stories. Within a year, I plan to make enough money from writing where I could do it full-time. It’s a good plan, which I hope comes to fruition. I just wanted to use the word fruition in an interview.
I want to give huge recognition to Luke Imbery, my cover designer. He is absolutely amazing. Luke does computer art as well as hand-drawn work and works
very fast. He did the cover for Nightcry in one day…and he did two different ones! You can see more of his work at LI Designs.