What inspired you the most while writing this book?
While I was living in Seattle, I began to wonder what it would be like if a mythological god or goddess had to live as a normal person. What if this once powerful being now lives in the Fremont district of the city, earning a salary, eating at restaurants, etc. How would they feel? Would some gods reject their new reality, or would they embrace it? These musings brought about the common theme of the series: what it means to let go of the past.
Which character in your book do you relate to the most? Why?
The easy answer would be Nick. Writing in first person for me was a new experience, so a lot more of me came out in Nick then I planned. But if I look outside the obvious answer, the one character I can relate to the most outside Nick is a vampire named Felix. He is a minor character in Demon Dance but has more of a role in Mind of the Beast. He loves role playing games and is awkward around people. I remember being like that back in school, so I was able to use that when writing him.
What is the most important thing that you hope readers take away from your book?
A sense of hope. I write some pretty dark stuff, and bad things happen a lot, but there’s one thing we as a society need more of, and that’s hope. There’s some bleak fiction out there, especially with horror and zombie fiction. It all has its place, but for me there’s nothing better than the hero overcoming loss and growing from his or her experiences.
Which other authors have inspired or influenced you the most?
It really depends on the story I’m writing. For Demon Dance, it was very much Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher. Both of them influenced the world and character building in the book. For other, different genres, I tend to be influenced by the likes of Dan Simmons, Dean Koontz, and Alan Moore.
Can you share a little bit about your writing process?
Demon Dance was written many years ago, and went through a few story changes before finally settling down to what it is now. These days, my wife, Juliet, and I write the books together. I’ll start the rough draft, and she’ll follow, rewriting scenes and dialog. We each have our strengths so it works out great. Once the final rough draft is finished, we go back and start the editing process. A couple of those passes, and the book is ready to see the light of day. It definitely isn’t easy, but we’re always striving to refine the process with each new book.
Tell us about your next book.
Right now Juliet and I are working on book three of the Sundancer series. We really wanted to dive more into Nick’s past with his mom, as well as discover more about the Watchers. All set in the glorious city of Vegas. Vampires, Goddesses, Voodoo Houngans all working together to help Nick find out who attacked his mom. Nick is going to be a step closer to finding out who he is too.
What is the best piece of writing advice that you have ever received?
Let your characters breathe. Don’t try to force them to go someplace they don’t want to, just because your plot demands it. Let them make their own choices. There were many times where a scene wasn’t working, and after days and days of banging my head I would finally realize it was because I was forcing the characters to do something they wouldn’t normally do.
Category: Author Interview