Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I'm a combat wounded Army vet turned romance novelist and cover model. I also co-founded the veteran sports non-profit VETSports to help my fellow veterans transition properly.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Resilient, Stubborn, Strong
If you could have unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
Carbs... Always carbs.
What do you like to read in your free time?
Stephen King is my shit. I'll eventually read everything he's ever written. I love some dark romance as well.
In your book, Xander plays a guitar. Do you play an instrument?
I've dabbled in guitar and I grew up playing bass. I have big, clunky fingers so I never really could pick up the guitar as I've always wished to.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That people actually enjoyed reading them lol
What's your least favorite part of the book process from getting the idea to hitting publish? Favorite part?
Least favorite part is the editing process. It's necessary, but torturous. My favorite part is pulling the paperback out of the box for the very first time. It makes all the hard work worth it.
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Definitely 'On Writing' by Stephen King. It's a beautiful, poignant part memoir-part writing guide.
You hear us talk about BBFs all the time. Are there any badass heroines you like? Who and what book?
I can't say that I've read many with bad ass heroines in them. Not that I've avoided them by any means, but I just can't think of any off the top of my head. I do have a major crush on Grace from Renee Carlino's Before We Were Strangers though.
There are songs listed in your books, are these the songs you were listening to as you wrote or are they picked because they fit the feel of the chapter?
They were picked to fit the feel of the chapter, but they were also listened to pretty regularly throughout the writing and editing process as well.
Is there a certain type of music you like to listen to? Do you put playlists on Spotify for readers?
I have a bunch of different playlists available on my Spotify including all those from my books. I love rock mostly in every day life, but when writing and finding influence, I listen to EVERYTHING.
How did you get the idea to start the Broken Outlaw series?
The Green Mile is one of my favorite books/movies. I've always had a very visceral, heartfelt reaction to the final scene where they have to put John Coffey to death knowing he didn't commit the crime. I randomly caught the movie one time in the hotel room on an author signing last year and the story instantly overwhelmed me. I jotted down ideas then and there, and the rest is history, I guess.
You co-wrote A Lover’s Lament with KL Grayson and solo wrote Into the Nothing. What did you like better about co-writing? What did you like better about writing on your own?
I prefer writing on my own. While having the support of a co-author is a god send and an immense help in the writing process, I do prefer the creative control that comes with writing solo. I loved playing sports in high school and baseball will always be my favorite, but I actually got more fulfillment from wrestling. Mostly because win, lose or draw, it's on me and only me. I guess I find the pressure that goes along with that to be a sort of adrenaline rush.
Are the characters in Into the Nothing inspired by anyone in real life? Who?
Yes, they are. Twitch is one of my best friends, and fellow combat wounded vet, Josh. Irish is one of my other best friends, and active duty coast guardsmen, Rob. There's a lot of pieces other people in there as well, but those two were almost exact representations of my boys with only a few creative liberties.
Which character was most difficult to write and why?
Xander because he is me and his struggle has been my own at times.
Where did the idea to incorporate welding into the story come from? Are you familiar with it?
At a small signing in Tampa, at this art fair, I noticed these really bad ass welded sculptures. After inquiring about them, I discovered the artist goes to junkyards and stuff, finds random objects and creates the sculptures out of them. I was blown away but the ingenuity and creativity behind that and wanted to highlight it.
If you could spend time with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Irish, Twitch and I would go to some hole in the wall karaoke bar and get good and liquored up hahaha.
What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
Ethan creeps me the hell out and Cody would get his ass beat in a heartbeat. I wanted to write characters I truly despised when it came to those two and in that, I was successful. Truly hated them both lol.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm co-authoring an untitled novel with Stevie J Cole.
When do you think Into the Blood will be released?
I'm hoping for early spring, possibly even closer to the beginning of the year.
Thanks BT for letting us interview you!