Steve thank you for visiting our blog. How long have you been writing?
I started writing my first novel in 2009 after having a really cool dream. I had vivid characters in my mind that I felt I needed to write about. The story came along as I was exploring the characters and it was a lot of fun to see how things developed. I was writing to find out what happened next as if watching a TV show or a movie. I was shy about letting people know I was trying to write a book because I’d never attempted anything like it before. I didn’t know if I could do it. So I just decided to have fun with the experiment.
How cool is that…a dream…Where were you born and where do you live now.
I was born in California but I’ve lived in Ohio, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and for the past 15 years I’ve lived at Far West Missouri. Two of my books, Defensive Tactics and Gold Clash share characters based in the Kansas City and rural Missouri area where I live. My other series, Crater Lake and my new release, Return of the Mystic Gray are both set at Crater Lake in Oregon. My experiences near home have really helped to shape my writing because I write what I love.
That is the best way to write…What is the name of your book?
My new book is Return of the Mystic Gray. It is book 2 of 3 in my Crater Lake series.
Tell us more about it. Perhaps a back cover blurb.
Ethan and his friends are back in a brand-new adventure! With inherited powers they don’t understand and can’t quite control, they head back to Crater Lake to rescue their friend Jacob, train for an epic battle, and join forces with a powerful ally—the Mystic Gray. Filled with action, adventure, and mystery, this book is a thrilling addition to the Crater Lake series!
Is there a book trailer for your book?
No- I’m lame that way.
They are super cool. My son does mine. Do you have a favorite character, why?
I really like my main character, Ethan, who is 15 years old and a bit goofy. He’s got fluffy, curly hair and he’s a little chunky so he’s not the typical vision of a hero. The other main characters from Crater Lake have inherited mystical powers from the evil spirit chief they defeated in book 1. One character can shoot fire and ice from her mouth. Another is indestructible. One has visions. Ethan’s gift is that he reads really fast and remembers everything. He feels like the ultimate nerd but he’s smart. And it’s his intelligence and leadership that win the day, even without these other, very cool powers.
Love it already…What kind of impact do you expect your works to have in the reader’s lives?
I really hope that my youth readers read for entertainment and that the morals and themes feel natural, honest and real. I never want them to feel like they are being taught a lesson. By providing youth readers with clean reading material and a foundation of strong principles, their character can be strengthened as they read the successes of their heroes.
I like that…Do you have any advice for authors trying to break into the industry?
My simple advice is to write what you know and love. Don’t try to write what you think others want to see or what you think is the popular genre. My book Gold Clash was the result of me wanting to mix LDS church history with a treasure hunt. That’s not a normal combo, but I love treasure hunts and I love history so that’s what I wrote about. We can’t expect readers to be excited about reading our material if we’re not excited to write it. But we must write with a clear audience in mind. Is the target audience Young Adult or Middle Grade or Adult? Sure, there may be cross-over appeal but we must know our audience and write for them.
Once our work is written, edited, read by proof readers and then edited again, we should then let it sit for a while and then edit again. Then we target publishers or agents that will fit our work. Once we’ve identified the publisher/agent we want to work with, we follow their query instructions and send them a personal query letting them know why the manuscript would be a good fit for them. They want to invest in the writer, not just the manuscript. Build relationships.
That is very sound advice. What are your next writing goals?
After my first book, Defensive Tactics, was released in August 2010 I set a personal goal to have 5 books published by the time I’m 40. That meant I’d need to publish 1 book each year to meet that goal. Then I had to get busy. Return of the Mystic Gray is my 4th published novel and I have a contract for my 5th to be released in September. A Nothing Named Silas is the beginning of a new series. If I follow the deadlines for my FBI thriller series, my Crater Lake series and my new Silas series, then I will be at 7 books released by the time I’m 40. I’m pretty excited about that. Hopefully it will remove the sting of my advancing age.
Where can we find your book? You can find the book in LDS bookstores and of course at Amazon.com. If your local library or bookstore doesn’t currently have it, ask them to get it. I love for my books to be in libraries.
Steve it was a pleasure to have you in my blog. May the writing Gods bless you alway. 🙂
Tags: action, adult book, adventure, and mystery, clean reading, Crater Lake series, Defensive Tactics, epic battle, Fantasy, FBI thriller series, good morals book, heroes, Idaho, mystical powers, Ohio, Oregon, Return of the Mystic Gray, Silas series, Utah, ya, young adults