What cool thing do you do?
I write dark fiction and erotica, and sometimes I paint and catalog stuff at a public library.
What are you working on now?
I just finished a rough draft of my second novel. Yay! It’s about a depressed artist who tries to commit suicide multiple times, but is never successful. When she witnesses crimes committed by a group of crow shape shifters, she starts to understand why she is the way she is—and why the crows want to use her for her weird “ability.”
How have your personal experiences affected your projects?
I’m a freaking weirdo.
No really, I have always had strange dreams, and writing has always been a good way for me to process things like that. It’s free therapy, and sometimes I even get paid for it. So, why not?
What made you start and keep at your craft? What led you to your craft?
When I was a kid, I used to sneak into my parents’ living room and hide in the shadows while they watched horror movies. I got busted one night while they were watching Halloween 2, and by then, I was addicted. So like the good parents they were, they fed my addiction by bringing me to the video store and the library.
Like a lot of eighties kids, I wanted to be like Stephen King. I got my first short story published when I was 11, so unfortunately for my parents, I was hooked. Plus, they paid me fifty bucks—a lot of money for a kid back then. I thought I was a high roller.
Anything spooky ever happen to you?
Oh, yes. Part of it has to do with the fact that I’m a paranoid person, so I’m constantly convinced that this or that is haunted.
I did have a Ouija Board as a kid that seemed to move from room to room. That really freaked me out. I even threw it in the trash and it reappeared in my bedroom closet. Still no explanation for why that happened. I would blame my parents, but they were pretty careful about not feeding my fantasies.
How long did it take you to get up and running once you really set your mind on your goal?
Hmm, that’s hard to say. I’ve never really considered myself a wildly successful writer, but I started taking writing very seriously when I was in my twenties and am stubborn, so after a couple of years, I was getting paid fairly regularly.
What one thing do you dislike about doing what you do?
I still don’t really like digging deep within myself and writing it down for the world to see for very little payoff. But that’s part of the job.
What’s fantastic about doing what you do?
I get to be myself and I meet other weird people.
If you had a cat…what hat would you put on said cat?
I do have a cat named Dexter, and I try to put seasonal hats on him (Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s, etc.), and he hates it, so I have a Halloween full-size fake skeleton, Steve, and we dress him up instead. My cat doesn’t know how much he’s missing out because Steve is festive.
A fine Summer hat! (Not actually Dexter…or the Skeleton)
(Sill not Dexter or the skeleton, but I’m too afraid to ask…)
Where do you see the craft going in the future?
I try not to worry about that too much. I get bitter about the decline of the written word sometimes, but little things lift me up—just this past weekend, my partner’s kid and his friends were playing “library” and they loaned books back and forth to each other. The overdue fines are steep, though: $10 a day. I fear for the public if these kids ever decide to take over the library system.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stop trying to get validation from other people.
Do you have a specific space where you create and how did you make it your own?
Not really. I can write anywhere. I have a word processor, a laptop and a journal, and one of those is always with me. I used to write in the bathroom—no kidding! I wish I had a space. I’d probably never leave.
What’s your creative process?
Honestly, I think if I had a process I wouldn’t feel inspired. I write when the mood strikes me, and most of the time, that’s every day. I usually write long-had in my journal in the mornings. In the evenings, I turn the journal entries into more coherent sentences.
What’s your artistic outlook on life?
I just put it all out there and don’t hold back when it comes to who I am, and if I can connect with someone along the way, great. If not, it doesn’t matter because I’m used to being misunderstood—but then again, isn’t everyone misunderstood to some degree? 😉
Which famous person (living or dead) would you like to work with and why?
I think it would have been cool to work with Emily Dickinson or Mary Shelley—something about those early female writers who wrote dark stuff really fascinates me. How different they must have felt from the rest of society!
What is your view on the commercial aspects of your craft?
Honestly, it kind of turns my stomach. I’m still learning to become a better businessperson. I suck at it, though.
Can one ever work for the “love” of the craft or do you always need to create what’s desired to put food on the table?
I think you can work for the love of the craft, and there are writers who pull it off and still do well. I think if you’re always chasing audiences, they can see right through that. If you happen to write from the heart and become successful, more power to you.
What would be your dream project?
I’d love to work with a great artist on some sort of comic book series, or turn another one of my stories into a film—which I’ve gotten to do before for public access television! It was so much fun and I think that would never get old.
How can people discover more about you and your work?
Come visit me at these links! I’m mostly active on Goodreads and Twitter.