|I am an engineer by day and aspiring writer by night. I try to bring in the design principles and quality rigor from my professional experience, then port back the creativity of writing to my day job. I primarily write fantasy. I like to explore more deeply into myths and legends, and try to put such fantastical things into a modern context.|
*If you had to describe your occupation to someone without using ‘author’ or ‘writer’, how would you describe it?
This question is a bit of a cheat for me… I already call myself a Literary Engineer. I’m a Systems Engineer in my day job and I enjoy bringing those same concepts for design, quality, and rigor into my writing. I like Story Architect as well. Basically what I do is take possibilities, ideas, and curiosities, and then step by step refine them into stories that people that are not inside my head may actually enjoy.
*Paperback, Hardback, or ebook?
eBook. I love me my electronic toys. I also can pack a lot more books in much smaller space when traveling. Most of all I find the instant gratification when I want a particular book very appealing to me. I lived in a small town when I was young so it sometimes took years for me to find the next book in a series. Digital distribution changed all that.
*What’s the first story you remember ever writing?
The Runaways. It was about a bunch of homeless kids that were living in the forest by my school, and they would come out on the weekends and snow days and take over the school. One day a new kid ended up having to withdraw before even starting so one of the runaways finally went to school. I don’t remember the middle so much, but the ending had the schooled runaway finally returning home.
*If you had to live the rest of your life in a book that you didn’t write, what would it be, and why?
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I return to it on a regular basis. The struggles that Aerin goes through to figure out her place in the world really resonates with me, especially when I was younger. To some extent I’m still trying to find my place, like Aerin.
*Computer, typewriter, or pen and paper?
Computer. As a Technogeek it’s the best way for me to draft. I keep trying for larger and larger screens so I can look at more artifacts. And quite frankly my penmanship is too atrocious for anything of length. I _do_ like pencil for brainstorming though. I’ve got a ton of paper doodles, diagrams, and phrases littered around the house.
*Do you like to break the rules of writing, or stick to them completely?
I thought the only rules about writing is there are no rules? Thats pretty hard to break (or to follow, depending on how you interpret the logic). Ok, in all seriousness I’m a studier. I like to dive deep into domains and educate myself as much as possible. Because you have to know the rules first, to understand how and when to break them.
*When did you realise that you wanted to be a writer?
I first started writing when I was a kid when I wanted new stories. There were popular shows my parents wouldn’t let us watch on TV, and at first I was jealous I since I couldn’t follow what my peers were talking about. And then I finally got to watch an episode, and I thought it was absolutely stupid. Thats when I started writing, I figured I could write more entertaining stories myself.