What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?
I have always been mesmerized by Castles, Dragons and Magic. Ever since I was young, I would read books about magic and Dragons. Wishing I could have been there fighting for my King and the Kingdom. I think it would be truly wonderful to be able to perform real magic.
What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
I find myself first writing with a fountain pen, then I put the written words onto my computer. I find that my first written ideas always seem to change form hand written to the computer. Almost as if my pen to paper is like a first draft.
How often do you write?
With my first book I used to write a couple of hours a day for about a year. I have been working on my second book for a while now. I don’t have as much time as I had before. But when I am writing I am putting one hundred percent of my time and thoughts onto paper.
Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
I don’t feel that all writers fall into a loner tendencies category. I find that I have a lot of friends and my friends give me great ideas for my book. I have often used odd quirks and gestures that some of my friends have, to make some of my character’s seem more real. Also I have used some of my friend’s personalities to make up characters or creatures, using their personalities, to give my character more depth.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
As far as plot setting goes, I tend to try and set a plot. But it can change at any moment. I often find myself changing an idea. Especially when I reread my work, sometimes I find that there needs to be some tweaking of certain characters, creatures or succumb stances.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read quite a bit of the Fantasy genre. Some of my favorite Authors are: J. K. Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks and Michael Moorcock just to name a few.
Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?
Proof reading and editing are extremely important. I tend to proof read myself first. Then I ask my wife to proof read it for me. When I get done fixing the mistakes she finds, I then send it out and pay for it to be proof read by a trained editor. But this isn’t always perfect. I know you can never catch all of the mistakes in your book, but getting as many as possible is my goal.
What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
The most important thing about a book to me is drawing in your reader. I want to pull them into my story, and then I want to keep them there, wanting more. I don’t think you need to keep repeating things that have happened in previous chapters or previous books. Your reader is a smart person they already know what happened, so only repeat something that is a necessity or at the end, to tie up the story.
What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
It is tremendously important to have a good title and book cover. Your book title and cover is the first thing the reader will see. If the title and the cover don’t grab the reader’s attention, most likely they will not even pick up the book to read the introduction. It is all about the title first it must grab their attention, then the cover. The picture that you put there and also your choice of colors, this is what you need to hook your readers.
Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
My writing style is a little different than other Authors. I tend to write free hand. Basically ink to paper, I then type what I have written onto my computer. As I type the words to the computer I find that I change thing that I have written, adding more information for my readers. Then I re-read what I have typed and make more changes to help the story flow better.
How much of yourself do you put into your books?
I put a lot of myself into my book. My main character in my book in a lot of ways is part of me. When I wrote my book I never thought that it would be published. So I made the character kind of in my image. We both are cooks, we both are named Daniel, and we both were in an army. So I feel that my character in a way has part of my sole in him.
Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
I am currently working on a sequel to my first book The Dragons of Rosemar: The Dragon King Prophecy. The working title is The Dragons of Rosemar: The quest for the Laydoena. I am about three quarters finished with the rough draft.
Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
The most supportive family members that I have are my wife and daughter. They have both been there to help with the pre edits and the final draft. They were also the driving force in persuading me to send my book out to a publisher. If they hadn’t my book would be lost deep in my computers memory.
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
When I was young I never imagined that I would be a published Author. I remember my English teacher telling me that I would never amount to much because I didn’t know my verbs from my pronouns. Well I guess I proved her wrong.
If given the opportunity to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
If I was given the chance to change anything in my book I don’t think I would change anything. I have learned a lot from the editing process. So I think that I could improve my next book from what I have learned. I would give more information on my characters and the areas that they are traveling in. But I like the way my first book reads.
Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?
I am a Chef Manager for a major food service company. When I wrote my first book I was also a Member of the Army National Guard. Since then I have retired with twenty one years of service. I truly love being a chef. It is hard work and long hours, but it is very fulfilling.
Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that?
Most writers are not indecently wealthy. I would love to one of the many that were though. I would like nothing better than to spend most of my time writing. But you need to sell a lot of books to be wealthy. I think most authors would hope for this situation but I feel that most Authors spend most of their time working in a different field, and dream of being able to only write.
Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
I don’t think there are a lot of Authors that have word-perfect first drafts. Most Authors probably count on editors to check there work and find their mistakes. When I write, I find myself putting words to the page. But I don’t check for grammar issues until later, and we don’t catch all of them.
Have you ever taken any help from other writers?
I was fortunate enough to have two Authors that live close to me to give me words of encouragement and take time out to briefly read a few of my chapters. I took there help and criticism to heart. I changed some of my wording and sentence structure to better fit my book. I have also offered my help to a couple of aspiring Authors. If I don’t make it big I am hopeful that someone that I have helped might make it instead.
Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?
I find that if I get an idea I write it down onto whatever I can find. Weather it is a napkin, a scrap of paper, newspaper or if I can’t find anything else I put it on my phone under notes. I don’t always use the idea, or I might even change it. But I find that if I write it down I have a hard time remembering it hours later.
Have you received any awards for your literary works?
I have won one award for my book. It is a five star book review from Reader’s Favorite.
How big of a part does music play in creating your “zone”?
When I write I find that music is an interracial part of my process. I write Fantasy, so I tend to mostly listen to Renaissance music when I write. I prefer to listen to just music. Music with singing in it tends to distract me.