Where do you get the names for the characters in your books?
They get them from their parents. Seriously, they’re like real people to me, so usually they just already have names. Occasionally, I need to think of one. Then I have to think of how old the character is and what names were popular when they were born. For fun, I keep a list of super awesome names that I will one day use. So far, I haven’t had to use any from the list because like I said, the characters come equipped with their own names.
Where do you get your ideas?
I have a book called Unused Book Ideas…Just kidding. I don’t make up stories because I want to write. I write because these stories are stuck in my head and the only way to get them out is to write them down. It’s the only way I know to silence the voices…
Where are you when an idea strikes you?
Usually, listening to someone talk. Believe it or not, people are full of ideas. Not the entire idea, but they’ll say a word and I’ll think ‘Oooh! That’s a great title for a book!’ And then BAM! The whole story unfolds in my mind. The downside to this is I’m no longer listening to what the person is saying. No telling what all I’ve missed over the years. Another place where ideas strike me are my bed. It’s like some sort of vortex. I lay down and my mind takes off, story after story flies into my mind. I usually can’t sleep until I jot down notes, so I keep a notebook and pen next to the bed. It’s actually the only time I ever hand write anything.
How old were you when you wrote your first book?
14. I stayed up late and worked on it during the summer. It took 2 years to write. It sucks. No one has ever read it and no one ever will. It may not be a bad story, and it may even be well written. But I don’t like it. To me, it’s the bastard step-child that shall forever remain locked away in the basement, chained to a dirty wall. Maybe when I’m dead it’ll be released, but I doubt it because it’s specifically stated in my Will that it’s to be disposed of immediately upon the hour of my death.
How much of your life is in your books?
All my books are 100% true. Just kidding. I use bits and pieces of my own life in my books, but rarely do I ever use actual events. Names, common sayings those types of things find their way in a lot.
What is your favorite book?
Watchers by Dean Koontz, not only because it’s awesome, but because it was the book that made me realize I was supposed to be a writer. I love all his books.
Who is your favorite author?
That’s a tough one. A year ago, I’d have said Dean Koontz, hands-down, no question. But now, J.A. Konrath has entered the scene and blew me away. He has entertained me for hours and has taught me so much. Also Blake Crouch and Jeff Strand and Robert McCammon. All excellent authors. They’re all my faves.
Will you ever write a sequel to any of your books?
I try to leave them open enough at the end that I could write a sequel if I chose to, but usually I feel that when it’s over, it’s over. Unless it’s one of those cases where the character crosses over into another book.
I noticed some of your books contain characters from your other books. Why?
I think it’s cool. It’s like a treat for the reader who has read the other books. He can read it and say ‘Hey! That’s the guy from…’ The reader is familiar with the character and has an idea of what to expect. When I read a book that has a character from another book, I think it’s cool as hell.
Do you know everything that’s going to happen when you start a book?
No. I know the title, I see the cover in my mind, I know the beginning and the ending, and that’s usually all I know. I have to work out the rest as I go. I’ve tried to make an outline, but it’s just not for me. I like to wing it. I’m surprised as I write the story at some of the twists and turns the story takes as it develops. I like that. I like that I can shock and amaze myself. If I’m ever stranded on a deserted island, I should be all set with keeping myself occupied.
Who makes your ebook covers?
I make them myself. Sure, I could pay someone else to do it. But why? I see it in my head and have the nerdability to do it myself, so why not? You know what they say, if you want anything done right, do it yourself.
Where do you hide the bodies?
I’m sorry. I cannot divulge that information at this time. Um. I mean, what bodies?
What would your profession be if you weren’t a writer?
Mortician. Or gravedigger. Or body snatcher. I used to want to be a teacher. Then I realized that kids are evil little creatures destined to bring you to your knees (except my kid; he’s awesome), so I decided to pass on that. Forensics has always pulled at me. It interests me beyond belief. Before my car accident, I was actually preparing to become a Forensic Pathologist. I also would’ve been happy being a Crime Scene Investigator. But now, well now I just write about murders and use my forensic knowledge for evil instead of good. Besides, I still have my second job as an Armchair Detective. I excel in the field.
Do you read a lot?
I do. It’s weird though. Everything I do, I do in phases. I’ll read like 7 books in a week, then I may not read another one for a month or two. It’s like that with everything I do. Maybe it’s because I have SO many hobbies and interests. Or maybe it’s an undiagnosed case of ADD. Hey! Did you see that butterfly? It was blue and black. Like a bruise. I had a bad bruise one time when I wrecked my bike. It was an awesome bike, though. Till I wrecked it. It was still awesome after that, but me? Not so much. What were we talking about?