The Space Cantina – Questions Asked and Answered

SpaceCantina_HeaderOver the last few years I’ve started using Twitter as a way to promote and keep in touch with readers and writers all over the world. I’ve met some pretty swanky people (you all know who you are my friends), more than I ever thought I would. Most of those are writers of almost every genre I can think of. It’s an amazing tool and I’m overjoyed to have found it and all of you.

One of those awesome people tagged me recently to answer questions. Technically I’m supposed to tag 10 more writers to answer questions of my own. We’ll see if I can grab all ten. For those of you who have been reading my blog and wondering “Where the heck has he been?” I’ll answer that first.


So let’s get started.

1. Where the hell have you been?

Writing! No, seriously, writing. A lot. Like everyday. Some of you may or may not know this but Dark Winter is the first book I’ve ever finished. For realsies. So you guys who read along with me? You witnessed my first novel being written and finished. Neat, right? Kinda?

Anyway, after that I wrote a new book. Just like that. I sat down, outlined, and wrote it. No lie, I wrote a whole new book because Dark Winter gave me the confidence to do so. I didn’t post chapters of that here because I’m planning to pitch it to agents and such. They have a thing about work being posted for free when they’re trying to sell it.

Then I started a new book and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m 108,000 words into it and I’m still not done. I meant for this novel to be 80,000 words but it just kept going and going. Once I edit it down, I’m hoping it will be a more manageable (and pitchable) 90,000. For reference, Dark Winter is 94,000 words.

So that’s what I’m up to. Oh, what did I write?

As They Watched is the first book I wrote after Dark Winter. It’s a military fantasy about psychics being recruited by Homeland Security to hunt down terrorists. It’s a little strange that all these psychics are eighteen years old and all feel a connection to one another, but hey, psionics are weird right? Right?

They Buried the Sunlight is the book I’m working on right now. It is a Space Opera in the same vein as Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars. If you took either of those two things and crossed it with the old-new tech of Firefly and the desperate fight in Independence Day, you can start to see where I’m going. The Hegemony is taking over world after world and Avilion is next. Our protagonist, along with the other youth of his town, enlist in the Planetary Defense Corps to defend their world. What follows is not only the fight of their lives, but the destruction of not just their home, but their childhood as well. When I first conceived this book, I wanted to write about starfighters but as I worked it out, I realized that saying goodbye to childhood was something that spoke to me very strongly. We’ll see if it resonates with anyone else when it’s finished.

Now onto the real questions!

2. Why do you write?

Because I have to. I get stories in my head and I don’t know what else to do with them. I get super excited about it and I just have to. There is a little bit there about not wanting to hold down a desk job my whole life but really, I just like telling stories to people. I want them to like it, get emotionally invested with it, and then want more. That’s the best feeling in the world.

3. What would be the hardest part about surviving the apocalypse?

Not being able to scoot down to Starbucks for a latte. Seriously. Shut up.

4. What author has inspired your writing the most?

Beth Goldner followed by Joe Haldeman, George Lucas, Larry Kasdan, and Robert Jordan.

5. Your top five animated films?

  1. Emperor’s New Groove
  2. Titan AE
  3. How to Train Your Dragon
  4. An American Tail
  5. Grave of the Fireflies

6. Have you ever read any books on craft? If so, which was your favorite and why?

Yes, many. My favorite is, by and far, On Writing by Stephen King. It’s part autobiography and part pep talk. It’s more about the struggle of being an author and being yourself than an instruction booklet, but it really does give you insight into the job of being an author. It’s more than writing a novel, it’s being everything else. 1 part marketer, 1 part promoter, 1 part organizer, and 6 parts small business owner.

7. Which fictional land would you have to visit and why?

The world of Star Wars. Seriously, I want to fly an A-wing and have a blaster at my side, kid.

8. What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten about writing?

It came from my professor of writing at Rosemont College, Beth Goldner. She stood on my desk and pointed at me, saying, “Do you want to be a writer?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Then fucking write.”

So I did.

It isn’t about any magic truth. It’s butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard. That’s it. Go write.

9. Which element do you wish you could control?

Water. Seriously, it’s in everything. Next might be Air. I really like Air.

10. What is your current writing project about and what about it excites you?

They Buried the Sunlight is my current project, as talked about above. I just really want to show it to you.

11. Most importantly: favorite type of cheese?

Smoked Gouda, like the fop I am.

2 responses to “The Space Cantina – Questions Asked and Answered

  1. I loved reading this post. Your voice was so clear in your answers and it was awesome. Also, glad How to Train Your Dragon was in your top five. That was a friendship test question. We can still be friends. Finally, I love the title “They Buried the Sunlight” and I really want to read it one day. 😀

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