Q: Tell us a little about yourself. How old where you when you realized you wanted to write?
A: My first memory was around age 8 after reading C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The way Lewis wrote with multiple layers – what’s happening in Britain, what’s happening in Narnia, a meaning layer and more – fascinated me. I wanted to write in the same style.
Q: How did you come up with the idea behind the Andy Smithson series?
A: The series is a culmination of many influences. I had always envisioned creating a fantasy world with castles and medieval knights. The specific characters came from my kids, myself and others I know.
Q: What was first running through your mind right after you thought of the idea?
A: I immediately began working through the plot line. I declared this would be a 7-book series and I began thinking through what the resolution of the series would be and inventing how to get there through the seven books.
Q: How many books do you think the series will have?
A: This is designed to be a 7 book series.
Q: Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent's Cunning comes out January 2014. Can give us a sneak peek at what we can expect?
A: Andy is back in Oomaldee after nearly a year’s absence. He faces more challenges while retrieving the second ingredient, but more, his love for the king deepens when the Stone of Athanasia, the source of the king’s unending life, is stolen. Will Andy retrieve the stone as well as the next ingredient in time?
Q: What is your favorite thing about writing and what is your least favorite thing?
A: My favorite part of writing is inventing the story line. I love creating a riveting story out of nothing more than words.
My least favorite part of writing is editing… It’s a good thing I have a great editor!
Q: Which writer(s) of your genre do you admire most?
A: It’s hard to narrow it to just one. My favorite authors include C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling and Brandon Mull.
Q: When do you usually write?
A: I write my stories in the afternoon, after I've Tweeted and done whatever else I need to in the marketing realm in the morning.
Q: What drew you to this genre of writing?
A: I love to invent new worlds where I get to specify the rules.
Q: And for the final question, is there any advice you have for aspiring writers?
A: First, invent a narrative about why you write. This will help you weather the storms. Second, as an artist, commitment yourself to your craft. The stories you write are the painting you do on your canvas that no one can take. Others will criticize. Learn what you can from what they share and ignore the rest. If you aren't committed to your work, no one else will be. Third, get a good editor!! The hardest part is inventing the story. Focus on that and let others clean up your rough edges.