1. When you were my age (11), did you like to read?
- When I was 11, I was reading books by Ursula K. Le Guin. I wrote her a letter when I was 11, and actually got a postcard back from her. A few years later, she was speaking at Miami University in Oxford, OH (a small college town) where I lived and I went to go see her. I brought the post card and got to meet with her after her talk. In general I enjoyed reading science fiction and fantasy. I still do today.
2. What is a book that made an impact on you?
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I ended up reading all of the books in that series. I struggle to remember what the impact was…but what I do remember is that is captured my imagination and transported me.
3. Is it hard to come up with book ideas?
- From a young age I had an active imagination. Over the years I had collected an assortment of ideas and plots in my head. Occasionally I would write snippets down. One day I had an epiphany on how to combine several of those plots together around a subject matter I cared about. For me, coming up with ideas is not the hard part. For me sifting through those ideas and focusing on the ones which make most sense to pursue is more challenging. That said, I believe the hardest part is following through with those ideas, especially if you are trying something that is somewhat new to you.
4. Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of?
- The “new” authors I like are no longer new . There are many I like, and I have found it comforting to learn that a number of them were relatively new to publishing in the book world and were in their forties and fifties when they ventured in. One no longer new author is Dennis E. Taylor. I enjoyed his Bobiverse series.
5. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?
- Here is the advice an adult with children will give other kids/young adults… and I fully believe this as an adult (no sure how I would feel as a kid)… Find a career path that you love (or like enough) which will provide you with a stable income. For ventures (whether writing a book or trying to invent a new product or service), pursue those on the side. In addition to having a job which pays your bills, there is really a lot of time to do many other things in life if you have the energy and ambition. That said, an advantage of being a kid is hopefully you have a lot of time to explore interests and pursue your ideas and not have to worry about a job to pay the bills. The other advice is figure out how you write best… how you assemble your plots and characters and timelines and acts or incidents that reconnect in your story line. I think figuring out how you write best is key and you should explore different ways of how you start your book project.
6. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?
- As a new published author, I have started to hear from readers. One person I learned had lost her cousin. What do I like about hearing from readers? First, I have merely been hopeful others would enjoy the book series, that reading it was worth their time… that the book touched/move them. Secondly, I am hopeful this book series will serve as a contributing factor in the discussions around reforming gun laws in this country. But I would like it to grow beyond guns and help in growing the discussion about the type of leaders we need and deserve in our country, moving away from those that rely on divisiveness.
7. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?
- Yikes! Wow, I think I’d be afraid to portal into many of the books I read, simple because science fiction and fantasy are not particularly safe places to be . But you have me thinking… still thinking… this is a hard one… Ok, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps I should start reading some other genres. Looking at the ~ 300 last books I have read (and heard – audio), they are all pretty risky places to live in. But, if I had to choose one, I’d go with Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. The tech is cool and the possibility for a better future is there.