When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always written things, but never had any interest in publishing until I wrote Pie’s story.
How long did it take you to write Pie An Old Brown Horse?
It took about a year to get the whole thing to print.
Love the title! How did you choose it?
The title is actually a quote from the book. It fit the story so well there was really no other choice, but to use it as the title
What was your favorite part to write?
The part I like the best was writing the effects that Pie had on other people, especially his special needs riders. When I was writing that, I was reliving the experience and those were truly glorious moments.
What is your writing schedule like?
My schedule is a little crazy anyway. I have a full time job and I take care of a barn full of horses, some of which are special needs. So my writing has to fit in where I have the time. It is generally really early in the morning or really late at night.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I would say it’s that I keep the entire thing in my head until I am ready to write. Then the book pretty much writes itself. I do a lot of thinking about the book while I am at the barn taking care of the horses. That requires a lot of manual labor and it’s a good time to get into your head without a lot of distractions.
How did you choose this particular writing genre?
I did not choose this one, it pretty much chose me. Pie had a story that needed to be told and this is where it fit best. Now I see that he fits in many genres because he keeps jumping the genre lines.
Where did you get your information or ideas?
I got the idea from working with Pie for the last 13 years. He is an exceptional horse with extraordinary influence and healing powers. I felt his story needed to be told.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Knock on wood, not yet.
What does your family think of your writing?
They had no idea I was writing Pie, but when it came out, they were very proud of it.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I knew Pie had a good story, but when writing the book, I remembered things that I had forgotten about, that made his story even more influential.
Have you written any other books?
As of this time, I have not. There is one rattling around in my head that will probably be out next year. I need to clean a few more stalls and work a few more horses before I am ready to commit it to paper.
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of things do they say?
I actually do hear from my readers quite often. Well, Pie does, since he is the voice of the book. They are always asking how he is doing and what is he up to now. They also compliment his story. I have many readers who have really connected to Pie.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think a good story is any story a reader can connect with, they can be in any genre. They just have to pull the reader in and hold their attention.
Do you think most authors understand the importance of marketing their own work?
I think they do now. Back in the day, the publisher did all of that. Now unless you are mega million writer, you get to do it all yourself. So far we have not done too badly. Pie has been in January Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Focus on The Family and has been the recipient of a 5 star review from Readers ‘Favorite.
What are some of your methods for self-promotion? What has worked, what hasn’t?
I have used many sites on the internet, radio interviews, book signings, and online interviews. Pie has done some character work online, video trailer…
The quickest and most marked responses came from the book trailer. I will put it here and you can see why.
Has it been necessary to travel while promoting your book?
I have not done a lot of traveling yet, just a few book signings. However, I am scheduled to start traveling in the next couple of months to promote Pie at some conferences.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I really like hanging out with and taking care of my horses and dogs. They are great stress relievers. My full time job is working in an alternative junior high, which is a very stress related job. Between my full time job and my writing, I am going sometimes 20 hours a day. Sometimes I just need to go get focused, as the old Indian used to say.
Do you ever use friends, family members or acquaintances as character models?
Yes, my book is full of them. Since it is a nonfiction book that is really not a surprise that I use them for characters.
How do you deal with criticism?
Like most people, I don’t like it, but I try to see it from the other person’s point of view. If I think it is valid, I will try to use it to better myself, if not, I just blow it off.
We often hear the term, Write What You Know. Do you think this is always true?
In my case, it was the best way to go. As far as a fiction book, I do not know how that would work.
How much time did you spend researching information for your book?
This particular book covers a 13 year partnership. I did not realize at the time I was doing research for a book, but, that is the way it turned out.
Do you write other types of content?
Yes, Pie and I have written articles, short stories and done author interviews.
Do you have a blog? If yes, do you think it’s been a helpful marketing tool?
Yes, I do have a blog. I’m not sure how much it helps, but I know it definitely does not hurt. Many of my readers use it, and Facebook, to keep up with Pie’s antics.
Are you active on any social media sites besides Facebook?
Yes, I am also on Goodreads, and LinkedIn. I have not figured out Google+ yet. It will require more research.
What is your opinion on using a pseudonym when writing?
I can definitely see where it would have its place. Pie is not a pseudonym, he is his own personality. He and I both write things to be published.
Has any book (or movie) influenced your life?
I love Crime and Punishment. That is probably my favorite book in the world.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Edgar Allen Poe and Fyodor Dostoevsky. I love the way they both deal with the deepest parts of the human psyche and how things will come back to haunt you. They both have a twisted version of Karma.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
If you want to write, write. If you have a story to tell, do it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. Even if you don’t sell a million copies, if it makes you happy to do it, then do. You must be prepared to spend twice as much time after you write the book to promote it. No one can buy it if they do not know it is out there.