For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I’ve had careers in physics, electrical engineering and software, and dabbled as a CGI animator, classical organist, and voice talent. I’m also the “Voice of OTAKON!”
I describe my first novel “Pindlebryth of Lenland,” as equal parts Narnia, DaVinci Code and Jason Bourne. I quite literally pushed the publish button the day before cancer surgery. My second book arose from tales I told at the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild. If the audience laughed or cringed, it went into the collection as a short story. My third book, “My Friend Jackson,” was inspired by Rosalind Wiseman’s study of girl bullying, “Queen Bees and Wannabees,” with a heaping helping of the Twilight Zone thrown in.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Mostly from long walks and long nightmares.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
As the editor for my writers’ group’s second anthology, I had to deal with an author who thought her first draft was perfect, that rules didn’t apply to her, and loved to couch her responses in thinly veiled insults. In our third anthology, my story’s villain was based on her. The character’s name was even a homonym of the author’s name. It was a wonderful catharsis to kill off her avatar!
What’s that phrase? “Be nice to me, or you’ll be in my next book.”
How do you pick your characters’ names?
That depends on the work. In “Pindlebryth of Lenland,” a few were borrowed from my old Dungeons & Dragons characters. In “My Friend Jackson,” I researched the most popular African American baby names of 2004-6. In my upcoming sci-fi novel, “Sentry of Eternity,” the names are all based on an ancient numbering system.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
My goal is to write 1000 words a day. Some days I make it, most days I don’t. But I try. And try. And try. I find I write best at 5AM or 11PM, when my subconscious is less bridled.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., H.P.Lovecraft, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard Matheson, Stephen Donaldson. Although the last one is more of a love/hate relationship.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Kurt Vonnegut – Why does each appearance of a Tralfamadorian differ from all previous instances?
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes, I read every Hardy Boys book I could lay hands on. Can’t remember a single one of them.
When did you start to write?
I wrote my first short story in 1988, mostly to vent frustrations caused by a particularly vindictive supervisor.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
The Bible. Although I wouldn’t re-write it. I’d rather ask the Prophet John to be less phantasmagorical with his imagery and allegory, and write more plainly. Or at least hire an editor.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Not yet. But I would like to get around to writing the 2nd instalment of the Pindlebryth saga. The trouble is, my six other book projects keep getting in the way!
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Jack of Not-Enough-Trades
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Kilgore Trout, True Blue Mediterranean in Emmaus, PA. Come for the coffee, don’t leave without trying the baklava.
Tell us a random fact about yourself
My favourite organ piece to play is “Now Thank We All Our God” by Seigfried Karg-Elert,
What are you working on right now?
Not counting the 3 short stories headed toward anthologies by the Bethlehem Writers Group, Firebringer Press, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, there’s two drafts I’m crafting:
Short Story – “Man of His Word”, a strange tale of a sheriff and FBI on the trail of a serial killer;
Novel – “The Sentry of Eternity”, aliens encounter a murderous supernatural force, told from the alien’s point of view.
Tell us about your last release?
“My Friend Jackson” is a gritty YA Urban Fantasy/Horror. Jasmine Price is the target of emotional, physical and cyber-bullies. When rivalries and jealousies reach a fevered pitch, a spectral guardian intervenes, with death in its wake. And that’s just the beginning of Jasmine’s problems!
The book’s inspiration began with Rosalind Wiseman’s study of girl bullying, “Queen Bees and Wannabes.”
Do you have a new release due?
My next short story “If These Walls Could Talk” will appear in Firebringer Press’s anthology “Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity.” Support the Indiegogo fundraiser at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/meanwhile-in-the-middle-of-eternity#/ before Nov 14!
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
I really don’t. Maybe I should…
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Like and/or follow me at:
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Please, please, puh-leeeze! File a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you buy books. Do this for EVERY independent press and self-published books you read. This is a “moral imperative!”
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Christopher!
An ancient guardian chose her. Neither the guilty, nor the innocent, nor she are safe.
Fresh out of the Projects, Jasmine Price’s days are filled with emotional, physical, and cyber abuse at the hands of her new school’s queen bees. With her parents mostly absent, Jasmine latches onto Bibi, a grandmotherly figure from Tanzania, and her beloved pet chameleon, Jackson. Rivalries, jealousies and hatred escalate the violence toward Jasmine to a murderous level, until a monstrous force intervenes on Jasmine’s behalf with deadly consequences. When she discovers the secret behind her unholy avenger, Jasmine takes the offensive, becoming a merciless force more terrifying than her worst tormentors. But choices have consequences. Some more horrific than others.
Can Jasmine untangle her life and reclaim her identity, her life—her soul—from her inscrutable guardian, while eluding the police and those who seek revenge?
“Taut and compelling…” ★★★★★ — Readers’ Favorite “Unique and riveting…” ★★★★★ — A Slice of Orange