Do you listen to music when you write? Have a completely silent space?
I listen to classical music and movie soundtracks. Anything with words I find too distracting.
What is your favorite book (or who is your favorite author) and why?
Ask me tomorrow and my answer may be different, but today (and on several other days previous as well) I must nod toward The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea.
It is funny and ridiculous and full of knowing winks and nudges throughout, with nearly ever word written with the authors' tongues firmly in their cheeks, and yet I believe nearly every word, because to not do so is utter folly.
Your reality tunnel may skew differently.
Do you have another job and if so what is it?
I manage a technical support office for a small ISP in north-central Indiana.
Tell about your first book and how long it took you to write the first draft?
Shadows Over Somerset was my first novel. It was written over the course of three months, shortly after I was first married, while I was between jobs. It was my wife's idea for me to do the work. While she toiled at a local bookstore, I spent the time she was gone writing. When she got home,she read what I'd written and it was something we shared. It was very inspiring for me, because it gave me the conviction to press on and see it through to the end. Without my wife's encouragement, I wouldn't be the novelist I am today.
Who is your favorite character? Why?
My favorite character I've created is Landon Connors, an occult detective who is the focus of several short stories I've written. He also has a sneaky way of showing up in novels when you least expect him.
I like him because he has a little bit of a noir edge to him, but he has a sensitive soul, a hunger for psychedelics, and a tendency to run afoul of various dark forces and unseen spirits.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Only the good looking ones ;)
Indie pub or trad pub?
In the end, I don't think it matters. Life is short. If you can find happiness through self publishing or in the small press then who the hell am I to rain on your parade? Landing a contract with a traditional house isn't the be all/end all these days, especially for a genre writer. Lightning still strikes, but it's a lottery where the odds are stacked against you. You have to examine yourself in the mirror and know what kind of writer you are. Will I ever find mainstream success? Probably not. I predominately write occult detective fiction, which is a sub-sub-genre at best. It's what I like to read, and it's what I prefer to write. And I'm good with that, because I'm happy and I enjoy the publishers I work with.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I think I'll stick with the dead, because with the living there's still a chance, no? Anyway, the dead person I'd most like to meet is E. Gary Gygax. Recently I've rediscovered my fondness for role-playing games and it would be nice to chew the ear off of the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons for a spell. D&D was an important part of my childhood and taught me all I ever really needed to know about storytelling.
If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do?
Scotland, without a doubt. My wife and I spent a week in Edinburgh back in 2001 and we've been dying to get back ever since. It's a beautiful country with a rich history and we've both got strong ancestral ties there.
I'd fancy a castle tour and some time spent at Boleskine, the one time residence of Aleister Crowley.
What is your favorite TV show/movie from your childhood? What is it now?
Favorite show as a kid was probably Dark Shadows. Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, witches, zombies... It had it all.
These days, it's a toss up between Game of Thrones and Vikings.
Shadows Over Somerset Book Synopsis: Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. He soon finds himself drawn into a strange and esoteric world filled with werewolves, vampires, witches… and a family curse that dates back to fourteenth century Scotland.
In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance… and if Michael is to survive he must face his inner demons and embrace his family’s dark past.
Shadows Over Somerset is the first Cairnwood Manor Novel.