As a kid I loved to read most anything. In elementary school I read Marvel comic books. I think this helped develop my imagination for developing fascinating plots and interesting characters that go far beyond mainstream media. The characters are so diverse, each possessing their own distinct personalities and demonstrating unique conflicts and short comings. Many had two personalities, one behind the mask they wore and one for their normal, non-super hero life. Hence the internal and external conflicts writers could use to develop new twists and turns in the plots.
But they all have one common thread: they are overcomers, even in failure. Somehow they need to go beyond their super abilities and rely on something deep down inside their soul or the help of friends to escape danger and save the day.
I also read a lot of Hardy Boys books. I loved books about mysteries and haunted houses. I remember my first book report was on Mystery by Moonlight by Mary C. Jane.
Did you have an active imagination back then?
I had an over active imagination, one that often distracted me from everyday reality. I was always day dreaming, especially in school. I'd gaze out the window and make up things in my mind happening outside. There could be a fight between good and evil, a raging storm on a clear sunny day, or an alien invasion landing in the schoolyard.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an artist. An animator, a painter, or even a tour guide at a world-class museum. Over time I learned to write what was transpiring in the pictures I drew and hence began my writing journey.
How old were you when you decided to become a writer?
Although I wrote a lot as a kid, art was my first love. It wasn't until shortly after high school I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Did any thing you learned in school help you succeed as a writer?
I was blessed with many terrific teachers who not only taught the ciriculum, but took a personal interest in me. I think my art teachers had the most impact on my life. They demanded much from me, even returning certain projects if I plateaued for a rework. This development of the right side of my brain ultimately helped when I transitioned from drawing and painting to writing.
What about books you read?
I read biographies about interesting people like Einstein. I like overcomers, like Abraham Lincoln. I appreciate any work that is well researched and uncovers something out of the ordinary yet significant.
Are there any children in your book?
I do not use kids in my books at the moment.
I have three taboos, I do not use God's name in vain, I don't use f-bombs, and I don't exploit children to further the plot or try to make the villain more evil. I understand a writer needs to develop an antagonist the reader loves to hate, but using children isn't necessary to accomplish this.
But I would like to write YA sometime soon. Of course, no kids would be exploited, abused, or killed.
If a kid wants to become a writer what advice would you give him or her?
Begin by writing short stories. Don't be concerned if your first efforts produce less than average results. The key is to keep writing. After you write a number of short stories using a core of characters, you could them together and actually have an outline or a draft for a much longer story.
Also, draw animation freehand or with computer software for your stories. This will help you fill in gaps with clever and interesting details that you may not think of by simply typing.
Start a Web site or blog and let the world see your stories. Ask for and receive feedback without being offended. Join a Yahoo! Group and use Facebook and Twitter and network with five or ten new people a week. In a few months you can have a nice core of followers and your viral advertising has a platform to take off.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Finally, regarding feedback from numerous agents, I've hired an editor to re-edit BREAKTHROUGH. I'm focusing on placing everything in the Third Person Point of View. BREAKTHROUGH will be re-released in April. So for those interested in purchasing a copy, please wait until next month. It will be worth the wait.
BREAKTHROUGH will be available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders Books and Music as well as their brick-and-mortar stores.