I am an extremely passionate reader. For as long as I can remember, I read. Whether it was historic America or Europe, Narnia, Middle Earth, or the Four Lands of Shannara, I spent hours of each day of my childhood in the worlds authors had created. Before kids, my Mother had been a high school English teacher and she taught me and my siblings the joy of reading. By the time I was 12, she had read A Tale of Two Cities, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, and Where the Red Fern Grows to us, among many, many others.
Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, James Fenimore Cooper, Robert Louis Stevenson, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Arthur Conan Doyle were as influential in my life as Louie L’Amour, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Timothy Zahn, Isaac Asimov and Dr. Seuss.
I wrote for fun in high school and college, thinking I was a better writer than I truly was. I attempted poetry, short stories, and even a song or two with little to no success. I wrote in some ways because it was easier than to verbalize what was inside. I never was good at speaking in public. When I did, to include briefing generals as an Army officer, the number one thing I did to prepare and have success was write a “speech” to make sure I truly internalized what I had to say. In that way writing has helped me speak.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
I published book #2 of The Seeker’s Burden series May 2014. Book, Path of Darkness, continues the search for a way to combat the enemy forces that are overwhelming the land. Old and new friends do much to support the main characters.
Book #3 Secrets Revealed, will complete the trilogy and I hope to finish the draft of by mid-spring and publish it by early summer 2015.
Are you a parent?
I am the father of three wonderful, crazy, beautiful children ages 4, 3, and 7 months.
If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?
Desperately so. I work a full time job and then attempt to give whatever energy I have left to my kids and spouse, with mixed results... After the kids are all played out, fed, and cleaned they are wonderfully deposited in bed. By this time, my brain has shut down everything but a couple receptors that allow me to do little but sit on the couch and watch TV.
I have to fight for time to do anything especially writing which takes focus and time, time, time. It is worth it though and I have been able to write two books though my hair is whiter since I began.
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
I used past experiences to build parts of the world. The Savoq and their lands are based off my time in Iraq and Kenya, while a few of the situations the characters go through are ones that closely resembled ones that I lived through.
Specifically, the main characters, Oliver and Ethan, both represent traits I have or have aspired to throughout my life. I more easily connect with Oliver’s character as I was, and in many ways still am, equal parts timid, curious, and overwhelmed by life. On the other side, in Ethan I see parts of myself in the desire to do good, martial ability, and leadership, though it comes more easily for the character on the page. So yes, I relate to and aspire to be like the main protagonists of my books.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I am an Army Major and have been serving for almost 11 years now. I can also knit, throw a hatchet, bake, and I love PC-based video games. I grew up without TV, listened to classical music, and even worked at a historic (1700-1800 era) plantation doing anything from plowing with mules to picking cotton.
What book are you reading now?
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery, by Alan Bradley.