Saturday is upon us and we have another author interview to jump into! Welcome to F.P Spirit. I am excited to have you here today. Let’s get the show on the road. If you haven’t been on the blog before the questions are italicized and the answer from the author are in bold 🙂
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve loved fantasy and sci-fi since I was a kid. I grew up on Asimov, Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Heinlein, Niven, Eddings, etc. A few years back, my family and I started roleplaying with friends. A number of amusing and amazing characters and adventures resulted from those sessions and I wanted to preserve them. So I started taking notes which later grew into full blown stories.
When did you decide that you wanted to publish your first story?
The stories were so much fun that I wanted to share them with as many folks as I could. Little did I know the long road I had ahead of me. After many iterations of world building, in-depth character development, and weaving together of plot lines, the Ruins on Stone Hill was finally published. Describe your writing space. *I have an office over the garage, or maybe more accurately a geek “cave.” It is setup with a desk, my laptop, and a row of shelves full with collectibles, books, and graphic novels of the fantasy, sci fi, and superhero genres. This is my place of inspiration.
How do you do research for your books?
My books so far take place in the fictional world of Arinthar. My friend Tim and I spend a lot of time kicking around how that world works: everything from magic to politics. Yet despite it being a fantasy world, I like things to make some sense. So any ideas or new concepts we add in I will search out on the internet. This could be anything from a way to describe a character’s hair color to the distance a horse can travel in a day to the concept of warcraft during the days of Spanish galleons.
What motivates you to keep writing?
I still have plenty of stories to tell. Alot of what I write comes from notes of our original roleplaying, but that has become more of an outline these days. Still, I want to complete that entire storyline – something that will require an entire second series. Beyond that, writing is just plain fun!
Writing can be emotionally draining and sometimes stressful- particularly when stepping into the publishing realm of things. Any tips to share for the aspiring writers out there?
I highly recommend using a professional editor, artist for you cover, and formatter for titles and the interior. There is so much competition out there today that your book will probably be ignored if it doesn’t at least look professional. Once you are published, ignore any bad reviews you get unless they have constructive criticism you can use. Remember, you are a writer, not a publisher or marketer. Try not to forget that. ( great advice)
Tell me about the books you write.
The books I write have quite a bit of action and fantasy interwoven into them, but primarily they are about the characters. Most of them are young folks who are finding themselves, finding their place in the world and where they fit in. There are also some persistent themes I tend to portray: friendship, tolerance, heroism, and faith. In my first book for instance, Ruins on Stone Hill, Glolindir lived a sheltered life studying magic among the elves in the hidden city of Cairthrellon. Glo’s father, a powerful mage, continually espoused the evils of the outside world. Yet that didn’t sit right with Glo. He had all this power and wanted to use it to help others. So he set out into the world on his own and ends up meeting others of a like mind including the halfling, Seth, the gnome cleric, Aksel, and the warrior, Lloyd. These four develop a fast friendship despite their different races and backgrounds. They learn to combine their strengths to overcome their individual weaknesses. They stand together not only against monsters, but against bigotry and xenophobia as well. Most of all, together they become something greater – a force for good in an often dangerous and chaotic world.
How many books have you written so far? Are you in any anthologies? Which book has been your favorite to write? If you have a one that is. 🙂
There are five books in my Heroes of Ravenford series. I also participated in one anthology with a group of author friends of mine called Tales from Thac. I just finished the first novel in my next series: City of Tears, Book One of the Rise of the Thrall Lord. City is probably my favorite book thus far. Writing is a craft that can always be improved upon. I’ve learned a lot over the last ten years, and thankfully my writing has improved along with it. My first few novels were full of action, adventure, and humor. I did put quite a bit of effort into character backgrounds and development. However, I could have used more character introspection. This new book delves not just into the character’s minds, but truly captures their emotions and underlying motivations.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? Why are they your favorite? Are they the main character? Tell us about them.
It’s a toss-up between Lloyd and Seth. Lloyd is the most genuine character you will ever meet. In some ways, he is the archetypical hero – athletic, good looking, always doing what’s right. However, he is also quite modest and shy. Seth, on the contrary, is an extremely sarcastic character. His shady past makes him distrustful of everyone. He is also inclined to say whatever he is thinking without holding back. He’s that voice in everyone’s head that never gets expressed in real life.Tell us about your latest writing project *City follows the further exploits of the characters from the “Heroes of Ravenford,” though things take a far more dangerous turn. In this installment, demons have once again crawled up from the Abyss, undead are roaming the earth, and someone has appeared who can exert control over dragons. All these signs point to the possible return of the dread Thrall Masters, a group of mega-powerful mages who nearly decimated the world over a century ago. City deals with the first of these major encounters: a tower harboring enormous power, shrouded in mist, surrounded by an ancient city that has fallen under a terrible curse. All who once lived there walk the earth as undead, ruled by the former empress of the once great Naradon empire.
Let’s get to know a bit more about you. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
You can usually find me spending time with my family. My wife and two sons are my best friends, though sometimes I wonder how they put up with me. As for pastimes, you already know I love to game – that could be roleplaying, video games, or even old fashioned board games. I also love movies, tv, and of course books! I try to keep in shape as well whether its walking the dog, doing yoga, or tai chi.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Father and husband
If it were possible to have your favorite season all year long what season would it be?
Why did you choose that particular season?
I love the sun!
What songs/ music are on your playlist?
Do you have an hour? A mixture of oldies, classic rock, pop, j-pop, video game, tv, and movie themes.
What is your favorite food?
Italian followed closely by Chinese. What can I say? I’m a carb lover which is why I need to work out.
Who is your favorite author and why?
David Eddings is probably my favorite author. I love the way he combines a large cast of characters and how they interact with each other. Tolkien is of course the father of fantasy and also one of my favorites. I love Piers Anthony as well. His Apprentice Adept series is one of my all-time favorites. On the Sci-Fi side, I’ve always loved Asimov. I cut my teeth, so to speak, on the original Foundation series. Heinlein and Niven are also two favorites.
What are you reading right now?
Honestly, graphic novels (Superman/Aquaman) and manga (Fairy Tail). I just finished writing a major novel and need some down time from serious writing.
What is one thing your readers don’t know about you?
I was captain of the fencing team back in high school.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Thank you for joining me on my blog today. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we head on out?
Thank you so much for having me here. I really love talking about books and writing and truly appreciate you wanting to spend your time with me!
And thank you for joining us I look forward to reading your books and sharing them with others.