1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
I'm from Texas, and grew up reading just about everything I could get my hands on, especially the old greek myths. But after my parents read us the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, I found a whole new world of tales in the Sagas, legends, and poems of the Norse and Anglo-Saxons.
2. When and why did you start writing books?
I started writing sometime in highschool, and I still have a few copies of various drafts I wrote at the time. I started writing my current series shortly after college, and as I read more widely the stories grew and built on each other until Karik and Ylmi took shape and began to explore the world around them.
3. What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
I enjoy telling stories, and I enjoy being able to share them with others. Doing it as a career allows me to spend more time doing what I love, more time perfecting my craft, and more time exploring new worlds!
4. Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
To borrow from someone else, "the next one"! 'Ylmi's Saga', book 2 of my current series was my favorite, until I wrote the final scene for book 3. It is just so fun to see characters take shape, story lines converge, and to get payoff for things that have been built into the story.
5. Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
Easily Ylmi's Saga. I learned a lot about writing, and story telling after I had initially planned out 'The Legends of Karik' series, and while that didn't change a ton in 'Karik's First Battle', there were a lot of changes that had to be made to Ylmi's Saga. There are a lot of tropes and standard pieces of specifically modern fantasy that aren't necessarily good story telling. I've tried to learn from my favorite authors and from people I work with to make my stories just a little bit better each time.
6. Who is your favourite author and book?
Meghan Whelan Turner, The King of Attolia. The craft of story telling, the tension between what the reader knows and what the characters know, the love, the anguish, the fulfillment...it's perfection.
7. What book are you reading right now?
Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine. A thrilling cast of characters, high stakes, and a world differently familiar to our own.
8. Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
From other books I read, from history, and from living life. Sometimes in other stories I'll see how something is handled and wonder how it would work in a different setting, or in a different set of circumstances. Historically I love looking at how humanity has handled it's issues and problems concerning power, governance, and suffering. By presenting characters with dilemmas and problems, I think it is interesting to see things in new lights.
9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love working with my hands, especially if I can put on an audio book or podcast in the background. I love carpentry and gardening especially, which is good because I need lots of bookshelves and I love to eat, so that works out nicely.
10. Do you have any new books in the works?
Of course! Ylmi's Saga is nearing completion and will have a release date soon. Book 3 is in early draft form and I'm working hurriedly to try to get it released by Christmas of this year!