A guest post “Sailing Into Summer“, a 3 winner giveway and the full interview with me, followed by an excerpt of my upcoming release “The Angel of Berlin” are available at Top2Bottom Reviews.
Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be with us today, Red.
Will you begin by telling us a little bit about yourself and your background?
My background is somewhat unusual because I am Native American, my tribes are Chiricahua Apache and Eastern Cherokee, but I was born in Germany. I consider it my home country. Just the same I am active in Native American life and traditions and served as president for four years on a Native American Education board in the US, yet I am as comfortable with German society and culture. I’m rather a Euro-Indian.
I’ve worked in several different professions and have a wide range of interests. I enjoy meeting and getting to know people of all kinds, and have widely traveled.
Was there a defining point in your life when you realized that sharing your stories was what you were meant to do?
Because of early circumstances in my life, I was a child who lived very much inside their own head and heart. I created friends and worlds to keep me company. They were special and comfortable and ordinary to me, and though I’d read so many books, I felt some of my ideas were more interesting, when I grew older and finally spoke of them to certain people, I was made to realize how unique they really were. For the non-fiction works I pen, I felt I had to tell them because they could help others come to believe one can truly overcome the horrors of the past. We don’t have to remain hostages. After my own personal “zero hour” when I was around thirty years old, this changed the direction of my life.
Specifically relating to the gay fiction genre, I felt an overwhelming need to present another view of life, love and relationships when it relates to two men being together, where sex and its description or even sexuality in itself is not the central component. That’s a little of why I realize my work is labeled as gay fiction because of the characters, understandably so, but it is more important that I write a good, well-rounded novel where sexuality and preferences are an attendant fact only. It’s simply fiction for me. Simply life and living.
How long did it take for your first book to be published?
The first work I had published, I submitted an excerpt on a Friday evening. On Sunday morning they wished to see the complete work, and on the next day they sent me a contract.
To date, how many books have you written?
Both published and unpublished, close to twelve.
Is there a particular sub-genre in which you enjoy writing more than others? (i.e. paranormal vs. historical)
Although most stories I have on the market at the moment are contemporary, fantasy is my first love. Within that sub-genre I have everything from speculative fantasy to high or epic fantasy in the works or planned.
How long does it generally take for you to finish a manuscript?
For a variety of reasons, I usually think about a story a long time before I ever start writing. I completely plan its structure, characters, events, etc. and what I wish it to say and become, so it depends on how long the manuscript is going to be as well as what’s going on in my life at the time. Sometimes the story comes to fruition, sometimes it hibernates, but if it is full-length, I’d say several months. If it’s a short story, it may take as little as a few hours.
How much creative input do you have in the cover design for your books?
Except for the initial nap-sized dream cover for A Lieutenant’s Love and the anthology I contributed to, Boys Getting Ahead, I have designed all covers for my books. All are based on original photos I’ve taken or my artwork. Incidentally, the generic cover of A Lieutenant’s Love has now been replaced in the Kindle format, with a cover I created.
Do you write full time? If not, how many hours per day do you attempt to dedicate to your writing?
At the moment I am a full-time student working towards a degree in Psychology, work daily as a private chef and am just closing my book shop since I’m moving to another country. My life is triple double full-time in many categories, and I am also a single parent of a special needs teen, but I write every day in some form. I have a review/interview site that specializes in indie authors and their work, and I blog at my site “Songs of the Universal Vagabond,” so I am usually back and forth on a notepad all day and night. I don’t dedicate any certain amount of time to writing. My schedule is always in flux.
To read the full interview (there’s lot more!), please visit Top2Bottom Reviews. It’s a great site with a great staff, so if you’re interested in or read m/m or gay fiction like mine, drop by.
From 16-20 May, they are also hosting a 3 winner giveaway for 2 of my ebooks. All you have to do is comment here to be entered. Deadline 11:59pm Eastern time zone.