How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?
In fifth grade, our teacher used to have writing contests. My fellow classmates liked my stories, and that whet my appetite. I left that dream on the back shelf for a long time, but have dusted it off and finally finished my first book.
Describe your writing process.
With two little kids, finding time to write is challenging for me. I find it very helpful to have “Writing Jams,” where I get together with other writers at a coffee shop or library. I’m also part of a writing critique group, which I find essential for improving a story. I love the interchange. For the most part, I need to be sitting at my computer and hammering it out or researching details online. I try to make sure my science fiction is accurate and that my fantasy is logically consistent.
What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?
For Jupiter Justice, I had several influences. The primary one was Star Trek. I read once that, as much as Star Trek captured people’s imaginations about the future, it disillusioned many people, because they expected hyperdrive and aliens overnight. I wanted to write a compelling book set in the near-future, to help us get to the next stage of space exploration. Another inspiration was the book Leviathan’s Wake, which the Syfy channel’s series The Expanse is based on. It starts out very gritty, film noire, and I have always liked that genre.
What are you working on now?
My current project is a book where two ancient organizations are battling for power using magic and modern technology. A once-homeless kid from Detroit named Milton—who is now a secret agent—must save three siblings from being captured and entangled in an evil plot. It’s a lot of fun to write. I’m working through the second draft now. It’s also high stakes, of course. If they fail, multiple worlds will fall to darkness.