Here is a recent interview at Sakura Publishing dealing with my writing style and process, as well at my recent book, “Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds.”
-Tell us about “Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds”
When writing I tend to straddle between the introspective and personal and the lighthearted and sweet, and in some of my other books have contained elements of each. For “Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds” I pared away the sweet and only included the introspective. What remains are stories that are written from a place of struggle. I’m hopeful that this will resonate with the reader, and by the reviews so far it seems to have done just that. This title began as an eBook, but was recently released in paperback as well.
-How did you begin writing?
It just occurred organically. Prior to writing I’d been a visual artist, and what is interesting is that some of my past artwork could make good illustrations for my current stories. I guess the creativity, regardless of the medium, comes from the same place. I began by trying to write a novel (doesn’t everyone!) but quickly found out that I can’t keep a thought for more than a few pages, so I morphed into prose and short fiction.
-Where do you write from?
That can be taken in two ways. Physically, I write in many places: in my house, in a coffee shop or cafe, alone in a restaurant, or at the end of a bar (that’s a bit stereotypical, I realize…). I rarely write anything in a linear fashion, but instead always keep a small pad with me and I’ll write down thoughts or phrases as I think of them, and eventually sort the pieces of paper out on the kitchen table, in piles based on similarity. From there I put them in some type of logical storytelling order and then write some more in order to fill in the gaps until I have a complete piece. Emotionally, I am writing from memory – either my own or what I perceive to be someone else’s. On occasion, someone who knows me will try to figure out the story and if it’s autobiographical, and I have to remind them that I ran out of autobiographical material years ago. Almost everything now is written from imagination.
-Which authors inspire you?
From a fiction perspective, I love David Eggers, Stewart O’Nan, and Colum McCann, to name a few. I love titles and these guys can name a book like no one’s business. I’m also a big fan of John Irving. With regard to poetry, I tend to gravitate toward spoken work poets, with my favorites being Sierra DeMulder, Neil Hilborn, Rudy Francisco, and the king of them all, Shane Koyczan. I’m currently reading a few of Robert M. Drake’s books and they are beautiful.
I am just finishing up a new book titled, “Country Songs and Backroad Love Notes.” As I’d said earlier, “Self Inflicted” is where I put the introspective work, and “Country Songs” is where I put the lighter love stories. The reason that I named the book as I did was that I often hear that my pieces resemble the lyrics of a country song. I’ve twice been loosely compared to Springsteen, but that is so much of a stretch – understatement! – that I have no other choice but to be humble and appreciative that someone would make that comparison.