Frequently Asked Questions

When did you start writing?

My mom will tell you that I’ve always been a storyteller, though when I was little I used to tell my stories with crayons and pictures. I think I started writing in earnest between my 8th and 9th grade years in school when we were assigned a short story to write over the summer.

When did you finish writing your first novel?

If you’re talking my first ever novel, I finished that when I was 19 years old at 2:30am the summer after my freshman year at Emerson. It was pretty terrible, but I still have the original draft of it. That book would actually become the foundation for a number of my other books. At this point, I’ve written a total of 10 novels, the first of which is Designs of Death which will be followed up by Destiny of Death.

What brought you to writing horror and supernatural fiction?

When I was quite young I started reading John Bellairs. The Curse of the Blue Figurine really stuck in my head, but it was Stephen King that really got me into horror when I was about 7 or 8. I’d spent the night at a friend’s house and after his parents had gone to sleep, we snuck downstairs and watched The Shining. At 8, I didn’t know what to make of it outside of the fact that I thought it was terrible, not at all frightening, and maybe a comedy. I told my dad the next morning that we’d watched it and he asked what I thought of it and I told him I thought it was dumb. He took me out to The Stone Lion in Fort Collins and bought me a copy of The Shining. I asked him why I should read the book when the movie was so terrible, and he said don’t judge a book by the movie. I fell in love with King and fell down the rabbit hole of horror. One year when I was 10 or 11 I went trick or treating as Freddy Kruger since I loved the Nightmare on Elm Street series (and still do, to some extent).

What inspires you?

That’s a tough question since there are so many things out there that inspire me, but I think the thing that first grabbed me and sat me down at the keyboard to write was death. Before the afore-mentioned overnight, a good friend of mine died of leukemia. Several years later, when I was 12, my sister would die of cancer when she was 18, and then when I was 18 another friend would take his own life. While all these other kids around me were living their lives, I had this specter of death that hovered around me at all times. I found myself talking to this idea of death in my head, writing down made-up conversations with her (it was always a her in my head, and when I discovered Neil Gaiman I might have fallen a little bit in love). Over time, these conversations turned into parts of the stories I wrote until she had, herself, become a character that thread through so many aspects of the characters’ lives. If I say more than that, I’ll be giving away too much.

Who do you spend your time reading?

There are so many great books out there! Obviously, Stephen King! But there’s also his son, Joe Hill who wrote what I consider to be the best haunting tale ever put on paper, Heart Shaped Box. I also enjoy Richard Chizmar, Paul Tremblay, Marie Doria Russel, Carol O’Connel, Peter Straub, Nathanial Hawthorn, Jim Butcher, Madeleine L’Engle, Neil Gaiman, Tess Gerritsen, Ray Bradbury, and so, so many more.

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