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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will your next book come out?
A: I am currently working on a new YA fantasy series. The first book is undergoing a final round of first-draft edits, after which it will soar off into the world to find a home with a publisher. I'll release a blog post and place notifications on my social media as soon as it's ready to step into the light.
Q: What is Steampunk?
A: Steampunk is a breed of fiction that takes place in a world (or a time) where steam power is used as a core technology. In our own world, steam technology was first seen as early as 1679, but many would say that steam technology was at its height during the Victorian era (1837-1901). The quintessential image of steam power is the proud and massive steam locomotive. Because of its roots in our history, steam technology is also usually accompanied by Victorian era styles (pocket watches, top hats and corsets, oh my!) in Steampunk stories. Strictly Victorian elements are not law, however, as Steampunk is speculative fiction, more often than not. As a genre, it may combine elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, post apocalyptic, and dystopian fiction. Possibly the heart and soul of Steampunk, are the vast possibilities of inventions. Planes, trains, automobiles, and clockwork airships! With steam technology and a little imagination, anything is possible! A Steampunk story can take place anywhere at any time.
Here are some examples of Steampunk movies: The Time Machine, The Rocketier, The Golden Compass, The Wild Wild West, Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Van Helsing, Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sucker Punch, Hellboy, Stardust, and many more.
Q: I like writing but I can never finish a story. How do you do it?
A: It's easy to begin stories, but its another thing to follow them to completion. Distraction is the killer of productivity, and its an easy trap to fall into when you have to rely on your own self motivation. To me, making that motivation functional and reliable is key. There are a thousand different ways to do this, but in my case, it was good old fashioned guilt! Every time I wanted to procrastinate, I'd summon up a mountain of guilt that would have me whimpering back to my desk. If I tried to skip out on a writing session to play a video game or watch a movie, there was no way I could enjoy it. I would even go so far as to imagine that my poor characters were trapped in whatever moment I'd left them in (and more often than not, that was a horrible place to be).
Another thing that helps is outlining. Haven is actually the third novel I've written, but the first I've published. I wrote my first novel at 19 years of age, and at that point, I believed in artistic freedom, unbound by pre-planning. In other words, I refused to outline. Different things work for different people, but my first novel was a complete disaster. The story concept was great (I'd love to salvage it someday), but I'll be honest, the book was miserably imbalanced. The beginning was pointlessly long, the middle was decent but far too short, and the end was barely more than a punch line. Let me tell you, outlining is a lot simpler than editing or rewriting a gelatinous train wreck. Oh, and you don't lose the artistic or organic nature of your story when you outline. Your characters and plot will always surprise you as you're writing, even if you're following a plotted outline.
After buckling down and completing my first novel, the entire process got a whole lot easier. I learned the importance of outlining and by the time I started writing my second book, I didn't need to guilt myself into following through anymore. Now, I've been through the process enough to enjoy it every step of the way (even when I'm fighting through a rough patch). It's similar to how marathon runners hit, "The Wall", where their mind and body tells them they can't go on. Break through that wall and there's no limit to what you can achieve. If you have a passion for storytelling, don't give up on it! Put the work in. Be stubborn, sit down, and fight for your dream.
Q: What tools do you use to write?
A: I do all of my outlining and early drafts in Scrivener, and I do my editing and formatting with Microsoft Word. I am now using ORBIS for travel calculations. When I do artwork for my books, I use Adobe Photoshop and Wacom (Cintiq and Intuos: Draw) products.
Q: I love the books, but I still really want to throw a cat at you. Can I?
A: Sure, why not? Everyone else does.