1. How long did it take you to write Farworld: Water Keep?
Less than three months to write the first draft. The story had been in my head for several years, but once I started writing it, it was like a waterfall. Fastest book I’ve ever written. Book two is coming just as fast.
2. What inspired you to write about a little blue dragon, a crippled boy and a smart girl?
I love Harry Potter, but sometimes when I read those types of books, I wish the protagonist wasn’t always the best magician, or the fastest Quidditch player. I like people who manage to do extraordinary things while overcoming the kinds of obstacles real people face. You look at those three and think, “How the heck are they going to save the world?”
3. Would you say that Tolkien and Lewis influenced you a lot in your writing? If not them, then who?
Oh, absolutely. Along with Donaldson, Brooks, King, Koontz, and Straub. I love fantasy with a little edge to it, or thrillers with a fantastical element.
4. What is your favorite fiction novel?
One of my personal favorites is Lord Foul’s Bane. I think because of when I read it and how different it was from anything I’d read before.
5. In Farworld, which character did you enjoy writing the most?
Gosh, I couldn’t pick a favorite. They all become real people to me. I’m hoping to get into Bonsplinter’s head more in book 2.
6. What part in Farworld: Water Keep was the hardest to write?
Interestingly enough, the Earth scenes were the hardest. I think it was because I was trying to see the familiar through the eyes of someone unfamiliar. I was afraid the Earth scenes might slow down the fantasy. But from what I’ve heard it seems to have worked okay.
7. Tell us something about Farworld: Land Keep
A sneak peek, huh? How about this: You will get to meet a character you met briefly in Book 1, who it should be impossible to meet.
8. Is there anything from when you were a kid that influenced the story or the way you write?
I think my best writing is when I go back to being a kid and just having fun. I had a pretty crazy imagination as a kid. It actually got me into quite a bit of trouble as a kid. But now I tell my parents, “See it finally paid off!”
9. Do you have any plans for other books after the Farworld series is over?
My dream has always been to write full time so I get have the time to write all the ideas I have stuck in my head. If that happens, I could easily imagine writing three books a year. The one that I currently feel the strongest about is a kind of urban fantasy about a hit man/PI who dies and goes to hell, but has a chance to come back if he can track down the demons who are trying to overthrow it. Kind of a dark/magic/thriller.
10. What's your favorite animal? :)
14. What is your best advice for aspiring writers?
Give yourself the freedom to color outside the lines. I don’t mean try to write something just to be strange like 2nd person, present tense, through the eyes of a trash can. “You eat the empty soup can and grin inside.” But more, allow yourself to play. Don’t think everything you write has to be published. Try copying other authors’ styles for a little bit. Try writing just dialog or just action scenes. Spend a day making up creatures or characters. Learn to write the same way kids learn to draw. They don’t do a whole painting right up front. They draw faces for hours, then move to stick figures.
15. What advice helped you the most?
When I first started writing, there was so much I didn’t know. I just dove in with no real idea how to swim once I got in the water. Later, as I spent more time reading books on writing, attending conferences, and talking to authors, I realized how much I didn’t know. There’s no one “key” that will make your writing great. But if you are serious about writing, invest a little time in reading books and attending conferences.
16. Favorite character from Star Wars? :D
Han Solo. He was just a total stud. Although Yoda was darn cool too.
17. Favorite character from The Lord of the Rings?
18. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No. I always loved making up stories. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized someone might actually publish something I wrote. I wish I’d started twenty years earlier. But better late than never huh?