I write for several reasons. First, I wanted to tell stories that I saw no one else writing, putting a different spin on the expected. For those who are trope-literate (oh, the hours lost to TVTropes), I am a massive fan of subversion and aversion of common tropes. Anything I write isn’t just a story I wrote, it’s me twisting “the rules” and “expectations” around in a way that excites me.
Second, I love reading. What better way to appreciate the author’s work to give me an awesome story than by doing the same? I’ve read pretty much the gamut in genres, including War and Peace(if you want a quick rundown of how to write character sketches, read it. Tolstoy is a master). My poor Kindle is sitting on 60+ books to read, and my already read pile is just as long (and I only started using it in 2011). I don’t spend as much time reading as I wish I could, but the full time job cuts a lot out of my schedule.
Third, I love to ask hard questions, and seek to either answer them, or pose them in such a way that it’s up to the reader to decide what they want the answer to be. In Darkness Concealed, there are tons of questions asked about the depth of evil, the nature of prosperity and peace before that evil, and whether there can be a god who can be considered good. I answer none of these questions in full, but they’re all posed.
Fourth and finally, I write because I want to inspire others to write. I want to enable others to believe that they can tell a story that no one else can, put their own unique spin on the world we live in. One of my dearest values is leading by example, and so I write to show that the way is open to anyone with the desire and will to write.
What are you up to when you’re not writing?
I’m an avid computer gamer (League of Legends is my current mainstay, though I’ll bounce around RPGs, FPSs, and RTSs regularly). I’ve been gaming almost as long as I’ve been reading, and the natural pull toward constant improvement actually helps my revision ethic a ton. When I know it can be better, I look it over and make it change. Full text revisions happen often.
I also do a ton of reading, either blogs and websites or stories. Any time I take a plane trip a full novel usually succumbs to my consistent reading of it. A large part of my off-work time is spent on keeping up on all the posts for about 2 dozen different blogs.
I spend lots of time beta reading and editing for others, helping their work improve to a level that they’re satisfied with before they let the world at large read it. Right now, post-completion of Darkness Concealed, I’m working on two separate beta reads, each story at different phases of readiness.
Finally, I love tabletop RPGs. I know every version of D&D except the very first, and an adoring fanboy love of both Shadowrun (future cyberpunk/magic/fantasy) and Legend of the Five Rings (alternate timeline Japan where magic is real).
In some ways, tabletop got me my start on storytelling as I DMed large campaigns all about making things as realistic as possible. My first year of NaNoWriMo (2011) was a transliteration of one of those campaigns, entitled Even Heroes Fall, an evil campaign (of former heroes) as they struggle to change the political and social climate of the world they live in. I made my players both love me and hate me for always figuring out a way to throw monkey wrenches into their plans without derailing them entirely.
Tell us about your book.
Darkness Concealed is a dark fantasy/mystery novel:
50 years ago, the dawn did not come. Again. Everyone in Telthan knew it would happen. Monsters roamed the land, killing virtually everyone in their path, laying waste to anything in their way. Only a precious few survived to rebuild the wreckage of civilization, just like last time. No one questions the Darkening. Not even the children.
That is, until four strangers set off in search of answers, braving a forbidden city, a forgotten library, and foreboding mountains for the truth that has to exist. But the past does not give up its secrets easily, and the truth is far darker than the blackest night.
Where can we buy your book?
Amazon, Google Books, and Kobo. All three will go live on September 23rd at the price of $3.99. I will also have a full PDF copy of the book available for free on my blog the same day. Again, I believe in free culture, and I leave it as your option whether or not you buy the book.
Where would you like to be in 5-10 years?
In 5 years, I expect to have my initial two settings, the Darkness Trilogy, and the Normalization setting, more or less complete. From there, I have a few large story ideas brewing, but I’m not sure whether I’ll take them up or write something completely new.
I also hope to be well-known as an advocate of writing and free culture. I despise the state of copyright law (too long, too restrictive, too uncreative), and want to work toward it being made more reasonable. In a lot of ways, I live by Ghandi’s famous quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” so all of my work is available free from day 1.
Moving beyond there, I don’t know. I’m just getting my start on writing and publishing, and I don’t know where the path is going to lead. I guess I’ll find out.