- Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis?
I think all authors should at least be aware of the “rules”. But not every book needs to be neat and tidy in terms of grammar, depending on the characters, dialogue, or even the style in which the author chooses to write. The best part about being a writer and doing what you want, and creating what you want. And that can mean sometimes even creating your own style of writing, provided it serves the story.
- What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?
I’ve written a lot of contemporary/transgressive fiction (as well as handful of other genres) and for some reason it just makes sense to me. I’ve lived a life full of experiences to draw from, and most of the themes I write about can only be conveyed through said genre.
- How important is research to you when writing a book?
It all depends on what I’m writing about. Geography always plays an important part; layouts of certain cities and countrysides, for setting of course. But also, various psychologies for particular types of characters.
- When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing at a very early age, sometime around elementary school. I joined a club for short story-writing, and it’s been in my blood ever since. I have to write every day, and I blame my childhood for that.
- What inspires you to write?
Simply put: life, and everything about it, especially people.
- How often do you write?
I try to write something, whether it’s a page or a single line of dialogue, every day.
- Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
I suppose is could be. I do think it’s a generalization. Although, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t love my alone time. Big crowds also make me a bit queasy.
- What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
It used to be balancing my work life alongside my writing life, now not so much. I work a lot on the road, so I have a lot of time to think.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I love and I hate reading, which is strange I guess. But when I do read, I read Bukowski, Fante, Steinbeck, and others. I have a very large shelf of books that I have yet to read.
- Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?
I do it myself, multiple times. Editors cost far too much for what they offer.
- What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
It’s extremely important. A title sets the tone, at least it’s supposed to. And a cover should be made with just as much care as the words in the book itself. It shouldn’t just be tossed together and thrown to the publisher. There are far too many cheap-looking covers out there that authors, particularly self-published authors, try to pass off as grand works of art. Take some time, be patient, and make something beautiful.
- Have you ever designed your own book cover?
I design all of my book covers. I’m a control freak.
- What did you want to become when you were a kid?
A surgeon. Boy was I wrong.
- Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?
I read the Goosebumps books as a kid but my first real novel, or trilogy at least, were the Lord of the Rings books, and The Hobbit.
- Do your novels carry a message?
Some do, some maybe a smidgen, some are just what I like to call “hang out” books… books that I just wrote to write, kind of like guilty pleasures. Some of the messages I tried to pass off as messages in earlier books, I sometimes laugh at, like… how could I have been that cheesy? But then again, that’s life too sometimes.
- How much of yourself do you put into your books?
At the risk of sounding completely full of myself, I am my books.
- Have any new writers grasped your interest recently?
There are a lot of true, good self-published unknowns out there I’ve been conversing with and reading their work. Some of it, like mine, is a little cringeworthy, but all of it is true. Patrick Moore, Eric Keegan, Glen Binger, Scott Laudati, just to name a few. And there are a ton more I’ve come across over the recent years. These are some of the guys I’ve been most interested in in terms of their words.
- Who are your books mostly dedicated to?
Women I’ve fallen in love with, slept with, or shared a good conversation with.
- Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?
I work for a company that services and installs bulk cooking oil filtering and recycling systems in restaurants. It involves a little of every trade, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc. Very dirty work and it involves a lot of driving. I love it, but don’t tell my boss.
20. From all that we have been hearing and seeing in the movies, most writers are alcoholics. Your views on that?
I can’t say that I’ve ever been one myself, at least full-blown. But, I do drink a lot. I know a few, and I’ve been through some tough times in life. And it is easier to write while I have a drink by my side. I think there’s a huge stereotype that a lot of wannabe writers try to emulate in their image, particularly on social media, but very few of them actually are. The real, hard drinkers, are the ones you never hear from, because they’re off somewhere getting drunk, hating life or trying to woo some ugly woman at the bar.