What inspired you to write it? I love writing about these characters and the many silly and unique animals/pets that travel with them. I like to explore the more fantastic things in fantasy and not settle for the status quo of knights in shining armor and damsels in distress. I also love the mystery and the ancient wonders of these kinds of worlds. I like my characters being a little more average, rather than grandiose with exciting secret pasts. I wanted to explore the mountain race, Mastadonians and their great city as well as continue the epic saga that I started in Fires Trilogy. Sometimes just writing this story was the inspiration to it all. I have the dream, or the ideas, and it fuels itself. The front cover says it all. I had that vision of the ancient king still siting in his throne, grasping onto the sword, dead at the dining table with the fires still burning and the background of the ancient city.
What is the writing process like for you? Most of the time it starts out with outlines, story ideas, writing ideas on a notebook, and when I feel I am close, I start forcing myself to write it down, even if it is not perfect. I call it dumping. Sometimes I will play music to inspire the mood, usually soundtracks. Write it doen, get it done and then edit, edit, and edit. Editing is never done, even after you publish it.
What did you do before you became an author? A lot of carpentry, set design, lighting, electrics, welding- started in theater work and then tried my hand at my own carpentry business. I found that mentally I was not interested in doing this anymore, and physically I was unable to do that work anymore.
How does it feel to be a published author? At first, it was quite exciting. I finally got my work out. Then a few sales here and there continued that excitement. It felt good to be heard. Telling stories and writing them has always been a dream of mine, since sixth grade I think. I have always had a vivid imagination. Daydreaming off somewhere. Eventually you settle down and focus on making a career out of it. The excitement is still there, just a little tamer.
Any advice for struggling writers? Ha! Not really. Struggling seems to be the nature of this beast. I guess "keep trucking" and never stop for anyone. There will be naysayers, and they will not be too nice to tell you their opinion of your dreams. Sometimes it is the silence that they use to discourage you, too afraid to suggest even the slightest encouragement. I find that people are not very kind to those with dreams and accepting those who pursue them. I'm not sure if it is cynicism or jealousy. I guess this is why not too many people reach their dreams. At some point, the dreamers surrender, giving into the naysayers. How many people say they are going to write that "one book" but never seem to get around to it? "Just do it!" Don't give into the fears and dreads from those naysayers.
Where do you see book publishing heading? I see paperbacks becoming the vinyl. They won't be obsolete but they will be a luxury commodity like theater. You don't need it, but on occasion you'll want to take a look. That might actually make some people very unhappy because I am hitting a few nerves to those who are clinging onto the old ways, but there it is. People are afraid of change. That's why it is so difficult for them to accept people who have changed. They cannot see them in a different light. Kind of a self-centered prejudiced perception. They can't allow you to leave their mental box, their vision of who they expect you to be.