1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I always enjoyed telling stories since I was a kid, but my focus had
always been on illustration – I really wanted to be a comic book
creator. In 2003, I self-published four issues of a dark science fantasy
series called “Nether: The Age of Maga” (no connection to the current
administration’s tag phrase) and as I dived deep into plotting out the
series, I got more invested in the craft of prose. I found I could
express a lot more in writing than just with pictures and speech
balloons. If I had pursued that story in comic form, it would have taken
me a couple of lifetimes to tell the story I wanted to tell. The comic
book wasn’t successful enough to sustain production, so I switched gears
and focused on writing.
In 2008 I finished my first novel, but it had a lot of flaws, so I filed
it away and continued putting in my hours, reading and writing good and
bad prose. My first short story for pay was accepted for publication in
2011 in ‘Space and Time’ magazine. I’ve had 25 short stories and three
novellas published to date.
None of it pays the rent yet, but I’m working on that part, building my
2) What inspired you to write your book?
A weird commingling of inspirations fueled the world of Stormkind. The
ones that are right out in front are ‘The Watchmen’ by Moore and
Gibbons, ‘Powers’ by Bendis and Oeming, ‘Marshal Law’ by Mills and
O’Neill, and ‘Marvels’ by Busiek and Ross.
My day job for years had been a graphic designer for advertising
agencies, so the starting point for this series was writing from the
perspective of a guy who designed the costumes and logos for
under-powered, noob superheroes. That character, Sven, made it into Book
One, but as a very minor character. His sarcastic, so-over-it attitude
spilled into Bloodstock, who ended up becoming the main character of the
series. More details about Bloodstock will be drip fed to readers in
And then the movie Deadpool came out, and the concept began to gel.
Bloodstock first appeared in a short story intended to be published with
Zelmer Pulp, a collective of writers with whom I got a real taste for
telling a broad range of stories. Each ZP anthology collection had a
different theme – zombies, westerns, sci-fi, noir, etc. and we edited
each others’ work. It was a great way to stay inspired. After five
anthologies, we wanted to do a superhero noir theme, and I went bonkers
worldbuilding a shared universe for the other writers to play in. That
work is published on the History page of the Stormkind website.
Yeah, I went to a very geeky, very manic place. I wanted enough
structure so I could tell consistent stories for a long time to come.
That Bloodstock short story will be published in an anthology of
Stormkind characters, some of which were mentioned in the footnotes.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your
The core theme of the series is focused on answering the question ‘What
is a hero?’ Is it a set of rules, or a gut instinct driven by altruism?
Is it past-life karma moving a hero to act, or yesterday’s guilt? Is a
character driven by heart or head? Which character’s actions serve their
ego, and which actions serve a greater good? And how does each of us act
under stress? Why?
I have always been a fan of Star Wars. Hell, the original trilogy was my
religion growing up, so I guess I was trying to channel my inner Yoda
trying to answer these questions. Hopefully, between all the snark and
destruction, readers will start to answer these questions in their own
Beyond all this pretentious babble, I just hope they have fun reading
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
Honestly, I don’t know. It just kind of grabbed hold of my enthusiasm,
and momentum did the rest. The series will drift into some seriously
messed up supernatural weirdness – that’s where all my stories typically
end up – but I never really entertained writing about superheroes
I enjoyed The Flash and Batman as a kid. Later, X-men and New Mutants,
but I always preferred reading stuff in the vein of DC’s Vertigo line,
where ‘superheroes’ were mostly a sidebar to the esoteric adventures of
characters like John Constantine.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me acting at the bidding of Causal
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would
you ask them and why?
Thaddeus Ormond, no question. He knows what’s going on on many levels.
He’s been to other alternate-Earths. More on him in Book Two. If Nikola
Tesla and Elon Musk had a love child, that’s Ormond.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your
Honestly, I didn’t put much effort into marketing through social media
or any other venue. The only one I used was Facebook. I decided at some
point I’d rather put in my hours writing ten books that ten people
enjoyed than dealing with the black abyss of marketing. This is all just
a fun hobby for me. If other people find it and like it, great.
I really appreciate you letting me tell everyone who visits your blog
how awful a businessperson I am!
And I’m very glad you enjoyed the story!
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out
Use writing to learn about yourself. Let your characters make the
choices you don’t feel safe making for yourself. Only when your writing
is personal will it have real meaning. And don’t expect to make any
money. That will kill your inspiration and honesty. Write only for
That said, put in your time. Just write. If you are a ‘pantser’ –
writing by the seat of your pants, I can’t offer any advice. Pantsing
only works for me with short stories.
For longer works, I needed to figure out a reliable method of plotting.
After going through half the goddamn books on the planet about plotting,
I found that ‘Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook’ by Donald Maass and
‘The Anatomy of Story’ by John Truby were most helpful. Once I figured
out what my plot was, I could finally feel safe investing the time in
writing each chapter.
You ever see ‘A Beautiful Mind’? When the Professor’s wife discovers the
shed with the insane notes, drawings, clippings, and colored string
linking all his thoughts? That’s what I was doing before I discovered
these plotting methods.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects
on the horizon?
I re-tooled that comic book series, Nether, into a novel series, and am
shopping the first book around to literary agents. The working title
(this week) is ‘Flames of Naraka.’ It takes place five thousand years in
the future on a demon-infested post-apocalyptic Earth – kind of a ‘Lord
of the Rings’ meets ‘Star Wars’. The second book is 75% complete. I
plotted it out to book six.
‘Little Agony’ is a novel about the third generation of Martian
colonists living in a corrupt dystopia. Inspired by ‘The Grapes of
Wrath’ and ‘Firefly’, this was my first attempt at a novel. I’m working
on rewrite number eight.
Yeah, I’m a big geek who lives on caffeine.