What influences do you have?
My earliest influences are S.E. Hinton, Arthur Roth, and Edgar Allan Poe. Later influences are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ayn Rand, and John Grisham.
How did Shelton come about?
I had the basic story idea of two teenage runaways for quite a while, but Shelton just kind of materialized on the page as I began outlining the story. Some of his personality is drawn off of my own from that age, but a large portion just sort of came to life in my head and on the page.
Do you think Shelton would ever make a reappearance in another book or otherwise?
It’s hard to say, but at this point I highly doubt it. Train of Consequences is Shelton’s story through-and-through. In fact, before I named the book, I referred to it as “Shelly’s Story.” He goes through so much in this book that I can’t imagine putting the poor guy through anything else. However, I’ve been kicking around ideas for a short story or novella about Dusty’s adventures as a young man. It would be cool to explore that.
What would you advise to someone looking to be a writer?
I would tell them to make time, set small goals, and keep pushing forward. When I used to write stories as a teenager, I would start out strong for a few pages and then play video games or something and forget all about it. But when I first sat down to write this book, I told myself that I’m going to write 2,000 words per day, five days a week, no matter what. Even if you get hung up on something, keep moving forward. You’ll soon have a ton of stuff to work with, even if a chunk of it gets deleted.
What was the hardest process working with a publisher?
It was great working with iUniverse. I guess the hardest part was trying to learn everything about publishing very quickly. I just dove in head-first.
How do you deal with the criticism they tend to offer? Was it hard to accept?
I’ve never had a problem with constructive criticism. The editors at iUniverse have a lot of experience in the industry and I trusted their input. There were only a couple of minor things I disagreed with, and they were very respectful of that.
What genres would you like to write for if you could? Just similar to Train of Consequences or other genres?
I really enjoy writing character-driven stories, without a major concern for genre. I foresee my future stories typically being in the same general vein as Train of Consequences, but I wouldn’t want to put any restrictions. I wrote a short story between this book’s editing rounds that is sort of cross-genre, and I think it’s pretty unique. And one of the many ideas I’ve been tossing around for a future novel is also cross-genre.
Was it hard writing about a place you’ve lived, trying not to reveal too much of the locations?
Not really. Overture is a fictional town, so I had full creative liberty. That being said, there are some loose similarities to Manchester and Warner, two towns that I’ve lived in.
Author Biography of his site: