- DO YOU EVER WRITE IN YOUR PJ’S?
Yes. And I hate it.
- WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO DO YOUR WRITING?
Back room with lots of windows. I used to play music, but I get more done if it’s just the birds singing and the neighbors cutting wood.
- DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a hobby, a part-time passion. No plans to change it.
- WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
- WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.
- IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?
Ketchup, the miracle condiment.
- ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE
OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?
I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle.
- IF YOU COULD BE ANY FAMOUS PERSON FOR A DAY, HOW MANY PAPPARAZZI WOULD
Twenty-five. That number jumped into my head, it must be right.
- DO YOU THINK THE UNITED STATES IS SECRETLY A MIRROR UNIVERSE OF CANADA, LIKE THE STAR TREK EPISODE, WHERE THE UNITED STATES IS THE EVIL DIMENSION?
Wait. Are you saying Canada doesn’t already belong to the US?
- HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOES?
Then again, I don’t notice when my wife gets her hair cut. (For the record, I don’t think trimming off the split ends should be considered a haircut.)
- HAVE YOU EVER BEEN FRIGHTENED OF A COLOR? WHY?
Pastels. They make me feel funny and sleepy.
- HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?
Almost all of my books have names with special meaning, some foreshadowing a big twist. In The Annihilation of Foreverland, Reed’s name was symbolic of his ability to tolerate suffering, bending in the face of gale forces but never breaking.
- WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?
Sometimes, I can’t remember how the story started by the time I get to the end. The Annihilation of Foreverland started with the premise of identity. I wanted to write it as a YA book, in a way that slowly unfolded as well as questioned who we are and explore our fear of death, and what we’re willing to do to avoid it.
- GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST
- IT HAS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO (NAMED) WOMEN IN IT
- WHO TALK TO EACH OTHER
- ABOUT SOMETHING BESIDES A MAN
I failed because there’s only one female in The Annihilation of Foreverland. However, the sequel (Foreverland is Dead) passes with flying colors since its mostly female characters that rarely talk about men.
- WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?
The bodies die, but not necessarily the characters.
- DO YOU WANT YOUR TOMORROW TO MAKE IT BIG, AS IN JK ROWLINGS-BIG? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Believe it or not, no. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to make enough cash to pay off this house and send my kids to college, but I’ll pass on fame and fortune. Anonymity is a blessing.
- YOU CAST YOUR CHARACTERS FOR A MOVIE. WHO MAKES IT?
In The Annihilation of Foreverland, I only casted two characters in my head while I was writing it. The Director is Jeff Bridges and Mr. Jones is Antony Hopkins. It was like watching a movie as I wrote.
- HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN? WHAT DREW YOU TO YOU THIS GENRE?
I’ve been fascinated by consciousness, identity and what this all means since I was young. I would read my grandfather’s science fiction books with elements of artificial intelligence and wonder what happened when they died? I suppose that’s why all of my writing deals with the big mysteries of life in one way or another. In a way, I write for my own exploration, in a sort of thought experiment approach, pulling apart our identities, exploring what makes us who we are. If I lost my memories, would I still be me? If I had my body parts replaced with synthetic replications, at what point would I not be me? Do I even need a body? What am I?
A few years ago, I figured I’d write a romance novel. Since all of my books have a romantic element, I thought it would be fun. Halfway through the novel, I found myself thinking more and more about the next project—a dystopian idea. So 40,000 words in, I scrapped the romance novel and got back to what I love.
- HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS AN AUTHOR?
I wrote a couple of textbooks in landscape design and was the bi-weekly garden columnist for the regional newspaper when I began writing stories for my kids to read. My son couldn’t have cared less because he hates reading (still does) but I couldn’t stop. Once indie publishing came along, my career as a fiction writer began.
- ANY MOVIE, ANY BOOK…WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ANTAGONIST?
A great antagonist is as important as the protagonist. I’ve always loved a character that, despite their heinous actions, no matter how despicable, you just can’t seem to hate them as much as you should. I thought Heath Ledger captured that ultimate paradox with The Joker.
- WHEN YOU GO TO SEE A MOVIE, DO YOU TRY TO READ THE BOOK FIRST?
Move first, book second. It never works the other way around. And if the movie is good, the characters are more vivid when I read.