When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I remember writing as a child and in fact, I wrote my first full-length manuscript when I was a teenager. Unfortunately, due to lack of confidence and guidance, I didn't pursue my dream of becoming a writer until around 2007-2008. I published my first book in 2010.
When did you write your first book?
Fire was published in 2010.
What inspired you to start writing?
Throughout the years, I've always hoped that my writing has caused people to think, to be empathetic and to see various perspectives. I enjoy provoking people because they are more likely to get involved in the story if they feel an emotional connection.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I write a chapter a day and have 50 chapters in my books, so in essence, 50 days to complete the first draft. Editing and figuring out details such as a synopsis and cover image also take some time but it can vary. For the last few years, I've published two books a year.
What is your genre and who is your main audience?
I always talk about how I hate being stuck in a genre because I like to think my writing falls into many categories: suspense, thriller, murder, crime, romance and so on. I even have a couple of books that fall into the fantasy category.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I gain information from simply reading about and watching documentaries and interviews about topics that interest me. Many of the topics end up becoming a part of my books. For example, I often read about cartels, violence and the psychology of a criminal, which ends up making it in my books.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Check out this answer 🖕🏼and research time varies. I don't really pay attention to how long it takes.
Do you write using a pen or computer?
Computer. However, I do write notes on characters and each chapter in a journal in order to keep organized and for reference.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Editing because it's very tedious and it requires extreme focus. Writing the back cover synopsis is always a challenge too but I usually have some help from other writer friends.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Ten so far and my latest, And The Devil Will Laugh is my favorite to date.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? ( if you have any?)
I only write chapters early (like 6 AM) in the morning and I do so with no interruptions, unless necessary. I don't get up to eat, take out the garbage or anything else when I'm writing. I try to stay focused and not divert my attention because it's very difficult to get back once I do.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
It tends to be the other way around. I usually write around my work schedule. On mornings that I'm not working, I get up and write. On mornings I'm working, depending on how much time I have, I might do some light editing on previous work, work on social media, upload or record a video for YouTube or any other task that requires my attention.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I recently read a quote that said that writers aren't playing God when writing a book but are merely the secretaries. This is completely accurate. You cannot force a character to do what they don't want to do unless you enjoy getting writer's block.
What is your favorite type of books to read?
Non-fiction about topics that interest me.
Were there any authors of books that had a particular influence on you or your writing?
George Orwell. He was a genius. Orwell had the ability to observe and analyze human nature and create works of fiction that reflected how he viewed the world in a way that was served as much as a warning as an entertaining tale.
How do the books get published?
This could be a rather long answer but essentially, you can self-publish, seek out a smaller publisher who is interested in your specific genre or seek out an agent, who will, in turn, proposition larger publishing houses. Large houses generally only deal with agented writers. Always do your research when doing any of the above. There are a lot of scumbags out there.
Do you design your book covers or how do they come about?
My publisher designs the cover but I pick out the image I would like them to work with and perhaps make suggestions such as, darken the image, colors I prefer etc.
How do you market your books?
I mainly use social media but I also use my website, send press releases when new books come out and give out bookmarks with all my covers. I'm always trying to think of new, creative ways but social media is my first stop.
Where can we get your books, other than here?
Everywhere online!! Check out my site for more details.