Q: What motivated you to start writing a novel?

A: Well, first, I have a huge entrepreneurial spirit. Second, I have always been a story teller of sorts, weaving intricate story lines and detailing vast worlds for use in fantasy role playing games. So, on April 20th, 2011, when my friend Dave Schaper posted online that he was writing a book, a light bulb blinked on and I said, “I can do that too!” I decided right then and there that I should put my story telling skills to the test. As my new creative outlet, it was the perfect combination that satisfied my entrepreneurial desire and my unyielding love of fantasy. The rest was history.

Q: How did you find your editor, Derek Bowen?

I was a regular visitor of MythicScribes.com, and when I saw that they were launching an online fantasy magazine, I immediately submitted my short story, The Ravenous Flock. They accepted it and assigned Derek Bowen to me as my editor, and that’s how we first met. Later, when I needed an editor for The Soul Smith, I emailed him and asked if he would be up for working with me again, to which he was very interested in.

Q: What organization or composition methods did you employ as you wrote your novel?

I tried doing a chapter by chapter plan of my novel, though my experience was that I could not fit all the events that I had planned into one chapter. As a result, my chapter outline needed continuous revisions until I abandoned it and decided to write more organically. As I wrote, I would decide at that moment how the character would react to the situation. I even surprised myself a few times as the characters got themselves into predicaments that I did not expect. With proper motivations in place, I still took the characters from A to Z and always followed what I coined as ‘The Logic Test’. If at any time a reader is pulled from the story to wonder, “Why don’t they just do this instead!?” then there is a real risk of pulling the reader from their state of suspended disbelief. If that were to ever happen, then I would feel like I failed as an author. When crafting the story progression, I had to make sure it had no holes in it.

Q: How did you come up with the story of The Soul Smith?

A: I employed many techniques of story/world building that I had used when playing RPGs. First, I create the over-arcing story line, but I only conceptualized the beginning and ending scenes. I had to figure out how the characters were going to take the story from A to Z. But when I first began composing, I wanted to be original. I wanted to step away from classic fantasy elements, and in doing so, I started constructing the world. I invented new races of creatures, new enemies, and even distorted the physics of nature which all stemmed from this one question, “What if the Gods abandoned man after giving an elite few their power?” Forcing myself to be as original as possible is what birthed the story of The Soul Smith.