Tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Sure. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and like so many other 80’s kids, I grew up weaned on an endless supply of television and video games. My imagination was stimulated constantly, and I fostered a passion for storytelling, wanting to create for others the same experiences I enjoyed as a child.
Briefly describe your writing day.
At this junction in my career, I am not yet a full-time writer, so although I may not write every day, I am plotting and brain-storming almost always. I have notes on my phone and a saved Word document where I accumulate edits, ideas, tweaks and concepts. For me, I’ve found it helps the story gestate if I come back to it rather than fly through it.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not a fan of 1st Person POVs. Being limited to only one voice present challenges, and with a challenge comes creativity, no question. But I look at it from my reader’s perspective, and as a reader, I like large casts and sweeping plots – to try and do that all in 1st Person POV wouldn’t turn out quite right, in my opinion at least.
Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?
I acted in school, so performance and dialogue come naturally to me. When I’m writing, the first thing that comes out is dialogue. I build from there, because I act out the scenes, and it helps me shape the tone. My secret desire is, should my work ever be adapted, to get cast in one of the supporting roles!
In your view, who are the best science fiction writers?
Frank Herbert is the first name that comes to mind. I’m a huge fan of the first four Dune novels. Style-wise, though, I’d have to say Robert A Heinlein, Orson Scott Card and Timothy Zahn had big impacts on me. That’s a tough question, though, because every author’s angle, the material they’ve contributed to the genre, if it’s a hit, it feeds into the next generation. It’s a ripple effect, you know?
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Easily the ebook covers for The Dawn Cluster. Those came from BZN Studio Designs. The colors and lettering and overall feel was what I was looking for, and the series banner is perfection.
What was your hardest scene to write?
There were a few where, I guess my author journey is still evolving, there were a few scenes where my characters had a moment of crisis that needed to communicate their contradicting feelings, while carrying out some questionable actions. One scene in my second book, my MC has his back to the wall, or floor in this case. His options are few and far between and he commits to an action that will haunt him. I wanted to express that without making the audience question his morality, but rather empathize the hopelessness he felt.
Do you frequent any conventions? What is your favorite or home convention?
As a fan, I used to hit up a few conventions that required some road time, but for the past few years I’ve stuck my head in only at Steel City Con. I’d love to attend more, but time becomes a constraint. I am considering setting up at a convention eventualy, it’s just a matter of the right setting and one that I can manage.
Trek or Wars?
Ha! What day of the week is it? I probably have to say Star Wars for biggest impact on my taste. Empire Strikes Back is my favorite film of all time, but Wrath of Khan is also in my top ten, and Next Generation just feels like home to me. There’s more good Trek than good Wars, but the good Wars come out on top.
How long have you been writing?
I took my first stab at piecing together a story of my own will I think back in the first grade. It was just a rehash of having just watched Top Gun, but my teacher let me read it to the class. From there, I was constantly emulating what I was consuming at the time, whether it be comics or novels or screenplays. Paying the fun forward since youth.
What do you love about space opera? Did you start in this genre or just find yourself in it?
I love the freedom space opera allows both the writer and the reader. I love science fiction, I love learning about new technologies, but I like to write without limitations, so with space opera, the writer has creative license to conjure up a story that can speak to and excite the audience without necessarily being tethered to reality. It’s the junction of science fiction and fantasy. Space opera’s my favorite genre, so that’s where I’ve started my career. Where I go next may be different though…
Tell us about your latest release?
All three books of The Dawn Cluster – Detriment, Duplicity, and Destiny – were released a few months apart over the second half of 2018. I have often started a series only to be frustrated with long gaps between installments, or outright depressed the story is never finished. I worked on all three books for years, and only committed to finally moving forward with publication once the story was complete, so, this way the entire work can be read while it’s fresh! This would be how I’d want to read The Dawn Cluster because it follows the survivors of a skeleton crew who are displaced and fighting their way across unknown space. I like cliffhangers and page turners, and I designed The Dawn Cluster to unfurl that way. It has tragedy, revenge, mystery and plenty of action – a whole buffet of space opera cornerstones.
Last What are you dying to tell me or talk about?
Honestly, I just want to encourage people to believe in themselves, and to see their dreams through. I think we tend to get lost in the daily bustle and are deterred from our passions, but if you manage your expectations, go forward with the right headspace and for the right reasons, you can make it happen. You just have to stick with it!
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