I’m not sure how long I’ve known Chris. About ten years, maybe more. Chris and I met in a story-telling forum. Real old school, internet circa 1995 kinda stuff. We began chatting in private messages that progressed to email and formed a little bond around writing. When I decided to self-publish, Chris was probably one of the first five people that I told, and we’ve been talking each other through the journey ever since.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m married with three stepkids, enslaved to an adorable cat, and a 20 plus year retail bookstore veteran. I own enough books to probably open my own bookstore, still buy more books and will most likely never read them all. But I don’t plan on stopping my book addiction! I’m always usually reading something, either print books or digital, but prefer the former. I was born in Pittsburgh (Go Steelers!) but have lived in Florida most of my life. Besides writing and books, I love to cook, go swimming when its warm enough, and maybe one day learn to play the bass guitar I bought myself.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Make a living at it, but that’s awfully tough to do. Right now, it is to break into anthologies and possibly magazines to be more recognized. I have published short stories and nonfiction, along with my recent self-published ebook shorts, CLOWNING AROUND and THE LAST CHORD. Since the late 90’s, my stories have appeared in various small-press publications such as VIVID, IMPALER, BLACK MOON, and THE SWAMP. For 4 years, I wrote the Fiendish Endeavors column for the Horror Writers Association monthly newsletter.
Of course, my main goal right now is to get my first novel, THE RAVENING, published. I’m in the process of revising that as we speak. I also have a collection of stories and novellas called THE NIGHTMARE SEASON that I’d like to publish at some point, as well. And more books!
When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?
As a kid, I was into drawing my own cartoons and comics. In middle school, we had to read a book and write a book report. One of my friends was reading this pulp action-adventure series called The Executioner and I got hooked immediately and started reading those, along with other similar type books. My creativity shifted from illustrating to creating images with words…and I haven’t looked back since. Shortly after high school, I picked up a Stephen King novel, PET SEMETARY, and found what I wanted to write.
Which writers inspire you?
As previously mentioned, Stephen King’s books made me fall in love with the horror genre and he remains my favorite author of all-time. And he still kicks ass, in my opinion. But there are plenty of other authors that I love who inspire me and don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. Some of those include Brian Keene, Edward Lee, Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Bryan Smith, Douglas Clegg, Bentley Little, Jonathan Maberry, Jonathan Janz, Nick Cutter, Ania Ahlborn, Tim Curran…to just name a few!
What have you written and where can we buy or see them?
Both my book shorts are available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
Do you work from an outline or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
Early on, I used to outline and I’d end up practically writing the whole damn thing out anyway…so yeah, I’m more of the organic type. I do take notes, that kind of thing, but I let the story take me where it wants to go.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Like most of us, it is actually making the time to sit down and do it. With working a fulltime job and family responsibilities, as you know, that can be challenging at times. Being tired after work is probably the worst time to try and write, so I try to work on my stuff when I’m not that way. Love those writing day’s off!
Do you ever get writer’s Block and how do you combat it?
Happens to all of us, although I think the best advice is to step away from something if you’re having a tough time, and go back to it after a break, whether it be an hour or a day or a week. Work on something else. Read a favorite author. Or if you have a trusted fellow writer or reader, get their feedback.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read as much as you can, especially outside your beloved genre, and write as much as you can!
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Nope, and thanks so much, Alyne, for this opportunity…you’re the best!
The Last Chord
Matt Hayden was just eighteen when he met Mister Black during a stormy Florida summer afternoon, but what the mysterious stranger offered him changed his life forever. Now, decades later, Matt runs into him once again…and they have unfinished business. And what he must do to protect the woman he loves may seal his fate.
Find The Last Chord HERE → books2read.com/u/mBMkGk
Find Clowning Around HERE → books2read.com/u/mYgX7w