Welcome To My Blog

Ever wonder what it's like to be in that moment between struggling artist and published author? Read on and find out.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Author Interview

During my recent blog tour for Call to Arms: Nations Fall, I was interviewed several times. I wanted to repost those interviews for anyone who missed their chance to read them.

Q1: What was the inspiration for your latest book (i.e. the one you are currently promoting)?

A1: This story deals with the events leading up to the end of the world (the Second Coming) from an LDS perspective. I wanted to write a realistic story that would give people warning of what they could expect and also to give them hope in an increasingly chaotic world.

Q2: How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?

A2: Virtually none. Anything pulled from my life that shows up in the book is by subconscious accident. The characters in my book are true heroes while I’m pretty average. 

Q3: The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.

A3: The cover artist is Michelle May. She does wonderful work. Part of the book takes place in Trenton, Italy. I found some pictures of Trenton while I was writing and used them to help me with the descriptions of the city and to give me a feel for the environment. One of the pictures is of the Fountain of Neptune. The cover for Call to Arms: Nations Fall is an apocalyptic version of the picture I used during my writing.

Q4: Why should we read this book (or series) and what sets you apart from the rest? / What makes your book/series unique?

A4: I think readers will see similar events to what I’ve written happening in the world today. The reason they should read it is to open their eyes to the crumbling world society and use that as inspiration to prepare themselves for upcoming events. My stories on this topic are meant to be as realistic as possible. The characters, for the most part, are people like you and me trying to get through life as best they can.

Q5:  Can you tell us something quirky about this book , its story and characters? (for example, were the characters named after something or someone in particular)

A5: All of the main characters are named after people in my family tree. Calvin McCord, for instance, is my great-great-great-uncle.

Q6:  Who would you recommend this book to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

A6: I would recommend it to fans of apocalyptic fiction, religious fiction, and to a lesser extent military fiction. We see the beginning of World War III in this story. As far as warnings, usually my readers comment about how they couldn’t put the story down so you might want to wait for the weekend to start on the book. However, even though I write clean fiction there are a couple of scenes that are rather intense and some military action scenes. In movie terms I would give it a PG rating.

Q7: If you could / wished to turn this book/series into a movie, who would be your dream team? (e.g. director, actors, locations, etc. - dead, alive or mythical!)

A7: I do have a few actors picked out for some of the roles.

Robert Williams would be a young Richard Thomas (John-Boy Walton)

John Williams would be Karl Urban

Sarah Williams would be Emma Stone

Calvin McCord would be Brian Cox

Nelson Boggs would be Sean Penn

Sierra Weintraub would be Alexandria Daddario

Q8:  What do you like to write about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones? Is this / Are these the genre(s) that you also like to read about?

A8: Most of what I write is Fantasy/Sci-Fi. What I find myself wanting to write about the most is the conflict between angels and devils-with humans firmly stuck in the middle. My favorite reading genre is post-apocalyptic sci-fi.

Q9: What is your writing process?

A9: I have a moment when I’m excited about an idea for a story. I spend a couple of weeks plotting the story. Then I spend the next six months writing the story from the outline.

Q10:  What is in store next? (please tell us about your future plans; if book is part of a series, can you give us any hints on future developments)

A10: There is a follow-up novel planned. Actually, I have 3 more stories in the series planned. I have to tell you that I really feel bad for Robert. He has a long and painful road ahead of him. And poor Calvin, despite his excellent leadership the government he hopes to save is doomed. Frankly, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with him.

Bonus Question: And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you (this could be absolutely anything!)? Could you please provide us with a picture of you with them / it?
A10: No pets. I have a daughter who loves to be with me. She attends most of my author events and really helps me out. Here is a picture of my daughter, Lucy, with one of my fans at a book signing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wanna Be Famous?

            I’m about halfway through plotting the next book in The Gathering series. This is the point where I start assigning names to all the new characters I’ll be introducing. And that gives me an opportunity to ask all of you—do you want to be famous?

            I tried using the names of people I know in my last book and I think it worked pretty well. One of my wife’s coworkers jumped at the chance to be truly evil. A friend in my neighborhood read the first story and readily agreed to lend me her name as long as I didn’t kill her, maim her, or turn her into a jerk. (Where’s the fun in that?)

            A couple of important characters are going to be introduced into book three and at least one of them will appear throughout the rest of the series. Without a doubt, I’ll find a way to kill off several people that have a few lines of dialogue before they meet their untimely demise. And I expect to go through a reasonably large number of names for cast members who are less than nice. All of these people need names.

            If you are interested in possibly having your name used for a character in my next book post a comment or send me an e-mail through the contact page. Let me know if you are willing to accept a fate as a villainous cad, an eventual cadaver, or if your name can only be associated with the cream of humanity. But I have to warn you that I don’t have a lot of room for nice people in my story.  

            So, do ya wanna be famous?



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book 2

            A friend once told me that less than 1% of hopeful authors succeed in having one of their books picked up by a publisher. And I know from my experiences since I’ve been published that many first time authors do not go on to have a second book published. But thanks to all of you I have beaten the odds and my second book, Call to Arms: Nations Fall, is on the bookstore shelves.
            Thank you.



            Does the publishing experience feel different the second time around?
            Yes it does. The thrill of seeing a story I created in the book store is still there as is the giddy hope that people will enjoy the story and even possibly have it enrich their lives in some way. Gone is the confusion of what I need to do next. I have established contacts and know the routine all that remains is to go out and meet the public as I market the book. And I know from my marketing efforts over the last 18 months that marketing is the fun part of the process. 
             One thing that has gained a new level of complication is how to answer the question, “What’s going on with your book?” That question now needs clarification. Do they mean my first book? Do they mean the book that’s about to come out? Do they mean the book I submitted to several publishers and now wait for acceptance? Or do they mean one of the three books for which I am currently writing chapters?
            In case you’re interested, here are the answers: 

            Book One, The Gathering: End’s Beginning, is still selling a few copies. I’m still getting people in my neighborhood coming up to me and telling me how much they enjoyed reading it. They are still leaving reviews on Amazon. This is a new experience for me and one that I rather like. My work lives on. Granted, this will be more impressive if the book had already been out for twenty years, but you have to take the pleasures in life as they come along.  

            Book Two, Call to Arms: Nations Fall, was released on August 11 and I am in the middle of the blog tour for the novel. Hooray. This is the busy time. I have the official book launch party on Friday and then the first of a series of book signings on Saturday. It is still too early in the process to have a feel for how people are enjoying Call to Arms, but I’m anxious to find out. What parts of the story did they like best? What part did they not like? Did I manage to hook them into wanting to read the next story in the series? Only time will tell.  

            The middle-grade fantasy I finished a couple of months ago has been sent to a publisher and I am waiting to hear whether they want it or will reject it. This is easily the most difficult part of the authoring process. It contains an equal mixture of excitement and dread. Will the story take me to the next level as an author? Or will all of the publishers reject it, forcing me to self-publish what I feel to be a wonderful story.  

            The next book in the series, a middle-grade story about a boy and his dog, and YA dystopian story are the three novels I am currently working on—simultaneously. Did I hear you say that’s insane to work on three books at once? Why, yes it is. And I certainly don’t advise anyone else to join in the insanity. I’m in the early stages on all three of the novels and still excited about writing them.            

            Anyway, thank you everyone who has taken the time to read The Gathering: End’s Beginning. Please, consider picking up Call to Arms: Nations Fall. I think you’ll be glad you did.