Fans, readers, critics,
Welcome to my blog, the only place where you will see the inner workings of my mind--unless, of course, you read my books. Currently I have two published: The Twins of Noremway Parish and Harvester: Ascension (co-written with Andrew Utley). The Book of Ragas, the sequel to The Twins of Noremway Parish, will be out in due time. Be patient my dear readers, for the conclusion to this epic tale is forthcoming.
For my first blog, I will conduct an interview with myself. I hope questions I ask myself provoke interesting answers.
Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Those of you who have read either Twins or Harvester know that my novels tend to careen toward the creative edge of fiction. As I write, voices shout at me from the corners of my apartment, from under the bed, the closet, the toilet, anywhere, telling me to write this or that. Seriously though, I look at the world a bit differently than most, and I think my fiction reflects that. I am passionate about my writing, and I think I would be doing myself a disservice if I don't try pushing envelopes wherever I can.
Who are the twins in the title of The Twins of Noremway Parish?
To answer this question, I would be giving away a large part of the plot, but this is what I can tell you: in the first book of this two-book series, the twins set everything in motion. Without the twins, Decon and Teret would never have realized or acted on their love for one another. They appear mysteriously in the parish cathedral. Who they are and how they appeared--where they came from--is revealed in The Book of Ragas.
Why did you ask yourself a question you didn't want to fully answer in this interview?
That's just how I roll, I guess.
Indeed. If you could name one reason why someone should pick up The Twins of Noremway Parish today, what would you say?
It has a very compelling love story. Decon Mangler and Teret Finley are in positions of authority in Noremway Parish that require them to swear an oath of celibacy. When these children come into their lives, it seems reasonable on the surface to allow Decon and Teret to care for them, but as they do, their feelings for each other come out in full form. Some in the parish will do anything to prevent any type of sacrilege from happening, even if it means destroying Decon and Teret's lives. It really is a statement about morality in the way that some people define moral behavior so strictly, that they lose a sense of what it is to be human.
Why the strange title? And...parish?
I had a rhythm in my head for what the title should be. And I fit words into it. Noremway was something I made up. I wanted three syllables. I was going to call it The Twins of Noremway Village, or The Twins of Noremway Derby. But I settled on "parish" because of the religious undertones, and every religious term in the book is purposely misapplied. So I thought why not do that in the title as well?
Is there anyone living or dead that you would like to have a conversation with? Who and why?
John Lennon. I love this man. He was murdered before I was born, so I never knew a world in which he lived, but everywhere I look, I see his influence. In music...and to a degree in my own writing. Lennon was a phenomenal writer--mainly of songs, but he wrote a couple of books too. He was a brilliant wordsmith. Listening to him in interviews, you can see this man was a genius. He wasn't afraid to speak out against an unjust war, and he wasn't afraid to follow his heart.
In 2004, I went to New York City, and after seeing Ground Zero and observing a moment there, I needed to go to the Dakota to observe a moment at the sight of another tragedy, the place where Lennon was shot.
Now I want to ask you about Harvester: Ascension: Why did you co-author a novel?
I always wanted to be a writer. I'd been writing stories since elementary school, but I eventually bought into all of the discouraging remarks about how it was a pointless endeavor. It probably didn't really hit me to write an actual novel until I was reading a bestseller and thought, I can write better than this crap! (I might have been reading Twilight, I can't remember). But I didn't know how to start.
One day, I was drinking with my buddy, Andy, and we decided to make up a wikipedia page. We created this character--I forget what it was now--and wrote this biography about him and posted it as if he were a real historical figure. That was fun, but more importantly, I discovered that Andy could write. We got talking about writing and how we were both trying to write novels but weren't sure how exactly to go about doing it.
So in October of 2009, writing on the novel that would become Harvester: Ascension commenced. Although The Twins of Noremway Parish was published prior to Harvester, Harvester was my first novel.
What is the experience of co-authoring a novel?
Frustrating... a lot of disagreements, banging your head against the wall, and did I mention frustrating? But it was an awarding experience. Without input from both of us, the story, for better of worse, would have been something entirely different.
What do you have coming up?
Andy and I will be finished with Harvester: Evolution within a few months. The Book of Ragas, the sequel to The Twins of Noremway Parish, will be published shortly. I am also writing two other novels: a science fiction thriller called Temporal Winter...and a horror/fantasy called Orchard Hills.