- - How long have you been writing?
Since I was eight, almost nine years old. Before the San Francisco Earthquake, I was writing Batman-Superman Fanfiction.
- Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
Everywhere: Sermons at church, out of the blue. Sometimes, I’ll get ideas from TV shows, particularly one where I don’t enjoy the episode and I imagine how it really should be told.
- What are your thoughts on critique groups?
It’s a mixed bag. On one hand, if you get a knowledgeable, supportive critique partner, it can be a blessing. On the other hand, there are bad critique groups, arrogant critiquers, etc. So proceed with caution.
- Have you dealt with writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
Yes. I’ve generally tried not to sit there and stare at blank screens. At some point, to quote the great Kenny Rogers, you have to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. And sometimes, the best thing to do is to do something else, rest your mind, and come back.
- Do you find a part of your personality sneaking into any of your characters?
Here and there, probably the clown and sarcastic tendencies are the ones most likely to appear.
- Were there any scenes you found difficult to write? Made you angry or made you cry?
I’m working on a Short Story that’s trying to become a novelette and the final confrontation scene was very tough. The story deals with child abuse and I kept wanting to handle the whole thing more clinically. What we finally ended up writing after much coaxing from my wife, was something that packs more of a punch, and did make me cry writing it.
- Do you use outlines or let the story develop on its own?
Mostly on its own. I know where I’m starting and I have a general idea where I’m going. I let the story happen as it goes.
- What do you want your readers to take from your book(s)?
Depends on the book. I hope they just take something away from it and whatever God has for them.
- Can you share any upcoming projects with us?
Upcoming. I’ve three big ideas that I have to struggle to get to:
1) The Return of the Dim Knight. This is going to be a challenging book to write. My challenge is going to be to grow my characters personally, emotionally, and spiritually from the last book without going too far. We’re still going to have some comedy, but it will be a slightly different tone. It’s the Superhero sequel that I hope readers will be waiting for.
2) Case Files of the Selfish Detective: Not really a speculative story, but will feature a character from Tales of the Dim Knight, Neil Worthington. Worthington is a genius detective who tries to model his life off of the combined efforts of Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and Hercule Poirot. He lives alone mostly, irritating household staff, and driving them away. Then one day, Worthington is on the sidewalk and a car almost runs him over but a young woman saves him, but is hit herself and gets amnesia. Worthington pays her medical bills and brings her onboard. Her mission is to remember who she is and to get Worthington to use his powers for good.
3) The Graham works: Podcast-Yes, I want to start recording podcast of my works, both published and unpublished, so that people can enjoy them and I can grow my audience. But not something I’ve been able to find time to do yet.
- Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you are not writing? What is your temperament, etc.?
I love old time radio and radio drama in general. Spend a lot of time listening to that and producing podcasts on old time radio.
- With a full schedule, how do you find time to write?
I’ve invented something called a caffeine IV. Sadly, don’t find enough.
- When creating a character, where do you begin? Do you give them a background even if it may never be mentioned in the storyline?
I really try to get to know the character organically, through telling the story and listening to them. I tried once writing down all the details and I never got through all the details and never wrote the story.
- Can you share one or two nuggets of wisdom to those wanting to travel down the writing road?
In modern writing, there are two types of rules: 1) rules that are absolute and hard and fast and 2) things that are a matter of opinion and style but get stated as rules. A good writer has to be able to tell the difference.
- Where can readers find your books and contact information?
- Do you spend time in prayer before you write or begin a project?
-Not as much as I should.
- What is your writing routine? Do you need peace and quiet, soft music, or does it matter?
If I get into one of those “inspired modes,” I can have a spell and turn out a few thousand word short story in a day. What I ideally need is good classical or instrumental music playing in the background with Facebook and email closed.
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