Location: Arizona / U.S.A.
Question: How long have you been writing?
I have been writing stories since I was a kid. I loved the horror genre. I would sneak Stephen King books off my mother's book shelf at 8 or 9 years old. I wrote for the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst for 10 years. Being laid off from my job as a DoD contractor at a major military installation gave me the push I needed to publish some of the stories that have been clawing around in my brain.
Question: What was the name of the first book you ever published, and when was it published?
The first book I published was Book 1: "The Girl with No Name". It's the first book in my series called: "Bedtime Tales from the Apocalypse". I published "The Girl with No Name" on Sept 11, 2013'. I chose that date for the symbolism. That date changed my life. I intend for the series to go on for 6 or more books. I might put them together in a collection every 6 books or so.
Question: Was this book published by a publisher; or did you self-publish?
I am a self-published author, but if the right deal came around, I might consider signing up with a publisher. I do value my freedom, although I can't be restricted, or forced. As a self-publisher I can do whatever I want. If the story was told in one page, that's what I would publish.
Question: Tell our readers about this very first book. (For example: What was the inspiration for writing it, and what was it about)?
Book 1: "The Girl with No Name" had been clawing around in my head since my 2008' deployment. (Kuwait and Iraq were desolate). It really shocked me. I could imagine my home in southern, Arizona, becoming like that with just a few years of missed rain. The main character is based on several different people. I got the inspiration from her by thinking, what if the world ended, but I wasn't here to help my Daughter survive, how would she end up? I was counter inspired by "Twilight". Vampires are supposed to be brutal, hungry, destroyers. Humans are the prey, not the love interest.
Book 1 opens to southern, Arizona a significant time after the world has collapsed. Nothing modern remains. Cars no longer operate for lack of gas and rubber parts, like hoses and tires. Batteries have long gone dead. The Girl is wandering around Benson. Then she gets ambushed by raiders. Read the books to find out what happens next.
Question: Can a person still buy this book? If so, where?
Book 1: "The Girl with No Name" is available on Amazon.com.
Question: How many total books have you published?
So far I have published two volumes of six in the Series "Bedtime Tales from the Apocalypse".
Question: List all of your titles:
Book 1: "The Girl with No Name"
Book 2: "Aluminum Butterflies"
Question: Any future writing projects in the works? If so, tell us about it, and any pertinent dates to go with it.
I am going to release Book 3: "By Lantern's Light" around Nov 11, 2013. I am trying for an installment a month. When I have the first six installments released I may put them together in a novel and release that at a later date.
I may do a side project or two, but it will still be in my genre, dystopian post apocalyptic, but most likely will be independent of the series.
A good buddy of mine wants the privilege of writing the prequel series about what ended the world. That is something that doesn't really matter in the current series; since to the characters, it happened so long ago.
Question: What is the title of your current book, and tell us a little about it.
The current book is Book 2: "Aluminum Butterflies". I am very proud of the artwork for this book. I contacted an artist in Mexico named Steph. She came through with very little notice. While not a photographer like me, she responded to my coaching very well and produced the perfect image I was looking for.
Book 2 picks up a day or two after Book 1. It's set mostly in Huachuca City and Bisbee. We learn a lot about the existing characters, and I introduced a new one. Book 2 sets the stage for the last four books.
Last question, if someone comes across this article and reads it, what would you like to tell them about why you think they should try reading your book or books? ()?
I don't follow formulas. I write the story how the story wants to be written. I'm a soldier, not an English major. My books have been well received by those who have read them. I use my words to paint a picture. I take you into the character's world. You stand next to them, see what they see, smell and taste what they smell. You are not going to find a Vampire, werewolf, human love triangle in my books. They are mature content but not Fifty Shades mature.
I write what I know. I try to include some useful survival or prepper tidbits in the books. I use actual locations, I include people from my life as characters, and I try to incorporate events that really happened to me into my work. If you ever find yourself at the intersection of HWY 90 and I-10 you will find the old farmhouse from Book 1. Walk the streets of old Bisbee at night, and you will see what the Boss sees as he emerges from his fortified lair. In Book 6, "The Lavender Mine" will play a pivotal role in the climax of the entire series.
Anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask you, but you would like to share with our readers?
I'm just a normal guy. I have been a janitor, a soldier, a father, a photographer, and most recently a DoD Instructor. Life will hit you hard; just go with it. What you do in the face of adversity defines who you are. Do you lie down and give up, or do you keep fighting? Writing is my way to keep fighting. The career I built for a decade since I joined the U.S. Army in 2003' was basically eliminated by the government. I have enough duty related injuries to get a nice disability check. I just can't do that. I can't give up. We have had to move into an RV with a small child. Cool, I love camping! We are losing the house to the bank. They can have it.
My writing reflects what I face in real life. It's about fighting and not giving up, no matter what. It doesn't matter how hard life beats you down, you stand back up, and say “May I have another?”
I will be a successful writer because I won't stop trying. I can't. I think there is something wrong with me. If you read my books, you will be certain something is wrong with me.
You can connect with me at the following:
Blog Writer's Note to Author: First, I want to thank you for your service to our country. Your book series sounds like it would make a great television series. I'll definitely be buying both books since I live in Arizona, and I am curious to see how you interweave the various locations in your book with the state. I like your positive attitude about when life knocks you down that you need to get back up. I think you should consider writing a book on this subject. I'm sure after being in Kuwait and Iraq it would give a person a whole different concept on the value of life and what one values the most; such as family, friends, and home. I'm sure you will become a successful writer with the determined attitude that you have, and I wish you all the very best in that pursuit. Good Luck and thanks for the interview.