Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve been writing since I was in High School where I hosted Judith Guest, the author of Academy Award Winner “Ordinary People.” I continued to win awards in stage and film during my undergraduate years at Brigham Young University, adorning the cover of the Salt Lake Tribune weekend section and having my screenplay “More Bull than Dozer” produced, then nominated for a Student Academy Award, becoming a finalist in Los Angeles. My book series, Cryptic Spaces, has won 8 national/international awards and hit #1 on the Amazon Best Sellers list twice (Time Travel genre). The fifth and final book in that series comes out next month. My Children’s book, “Don’t Look Under the Stairs” breaks new ground combining a great tale with Disney animator Thomas Leavitt’s virtual world, allowing you to walk into the pages of the book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
"Cryptic Spaces: Tangible Time" It is the fifth book and the epic conclussion to the award-winning Cryptic Spaces series..
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have to have my writing desk and author space "just so." If you have ever seen the movie "The Man Who Invented Christmas" about Charles Dickens, my process is very similar. Characters appear when they are named, and then the story takes off. I heard Ray Bradbury once say, "I sit at my typewriter, chasing after my characters, trying to keep up!" For me, it is very much the same: organize the desk and space, name the character, then sit at the keyboard and try to keep up!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
As a boy, I was a huge fan of Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Clive Cussler, Carson McCullers, and Emily Bronte. I also loved the poems of Emily Dickenson, and have widened the authors I follow and read to well over three dozen.
What are you working on now?
We have had interest from a few producers and Amazon Studios around Cryptic Spaces, and I am currently working on a screenplay. I also have about a dozen book projects in the works, including a Christmas anthology, a children's series called "Tails of the Magic Kingdom," another children's book titled, "Daddy, You've Got to Grow Down," two projects in the fantasy genre--"Last Train to Midnight," and "Paperwood," and a drama, "The Extroidinary World of Theodore Ellstrom."
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I don't think I've found the magic bullet yet online. Most of my sales are promted by word of mouth, or in-person signings and speaking engagements.
Which Websites you like most to promote your book
Amazon handles most of my sales, but they don't do that much to promote the books. They primarily just facilitate the sale and distribute the books.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you are writing to get rich, good luck, but you may have a lot of disappointment ahead. If you are writing because you have stories that have to be told or character that demand to be known, welcome! Writing is a hard, often lonely business, and get prepared for the long haul. Still, there is no feeling like having a fan come up and tell how impactful your work has been for them, and if your work keeps improving, there is recognition over time. Never lose hope!! And never stop being a consumate observer--of life, of the magic of the wonderful natural world around you, of the feelings and impulses along your own path. Living is the ultimate act of creativity. Writing allows you to capture that art.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
When you are writing, write! Don't edit yourself! Let the words flow out and type as fast as you can to keep the thought or scene. As Bradbury put it, "Plenty of time to go back and pour crytical cold water over it later." Creativity is a thing of burst and spurts, and if you learn how to manage it, you never have to worry about it drying up. Rather, you find yourself having to choose between the many directions it wants to go in.
What are you reading now?
I recently finished "A Darkling Plain" by Phillip Reeve, and am reading with my wife "The Bear and the Nightingale" by Katherine Arden
What’s next for you as a writer?
Another day to write, to live, to try to have a positive impact on my world.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I hate this question! Only four? Probably, "Dandelion Wine," "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "The Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson," and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."