1. What inspired you to write Waiting for the Rain?
I’m tired of how our society seems to be glorifying teenage sex and pregnancies. I think there are fewer healthy relationships in books; it’s all about hot millionaires, supernatural beings, and great sex. So I took it in the exact opposite direction – two young adults, mature for their age, who have a committed relationship and fulfill each other’s emotional needs. To make it worse, they can’t even kiss until it rains. So instead of basing their relationship on appearances and sex, they base it on something much deeper. There are plenty of bad influences out there for kids (pop stars, MTV, etc.), I wanted to write a book with more admirable characters.
2. Because Josh, the lead male character in your book, is a bull rider, there were a lot of interesting details about that sport in your story. What kind of research, if any, did you do to come up with those details?
Wikipedia, my go-to source for basic research. I tried not to make it too technical. On one hand, I wanted to show the spectacle of it, and on the other, I wanted to indicate how much training and risks the riders go through. Josh is only nineteen years old, so I think that makes it even more impressive. Ultimately I just wanted to have enough details so the reader may believe Josh can really ride bulls, not to overwhelm the reader with many bull riding scenes.
3. Mac, the lead female character in your book is a chef who cooks up all sorts of delicious dishes. (Bacon popcorn was my personal favorite) Are you a good cook as well, and if so, what is one of your best dishes?
No, I’m not a very good cook. I just had to do my best to show Mac’s passion for cooking. Apparently I did a good job, because several people have asked if I’m a chef. I can probably only cook about five meals, the best being chicken Alfredo. I’m pretty good at cooking chicken. But not much else.
4. What TV show, book series, or movie franchise are you currently excited about?
I don’t watch TV really, and I’m not a big fiction reader. Mostly I read non-fiction, namely history books. I am a fan of a lot of the Marvel superhero movies, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, and such. So I’m most eager to see the new Avengers film. And I’m also anticipating the new Star Wars film, really hoping J.J. Abrams doesn’t screw it up. I’m only thankful Michael Bay isn’t directing it.
5. When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
Fourth grade. Computers were still pretty new in schools, this was about 1996. Every day after school, I would stay after and type out of a baseball book, learning to type without looking. I fell in love with words and the act of typing, and dreamed of having my own books. I finally published my first book, “Waiting”, on January 3rd of this year. So it’s been a dream in the works for eighteen years.
6. Why did you pick Romance as the genre for your first story?
First and foremost, I wrote it for my wife (at the time, my girlfriend). I mainly write action/adventure thrillers, but my wife doesn’t like those so much, so I wrote “Waiting”, a romance, so she could enjoy reading one of my books. Girls tend to not like action/adventure books.
6. Do you plan on only writing in the Romance genre or are there other genres you are interested in exploring creatively?
I have a half-dozen other romance books in the works, but mainly I’m into action/adventure. That’s what I’m working on right now. But I like switching genres, I think it’s a good challenge for a writer, or any artist in general, to experiment with genres they’re not comfortable with. I play a little guitar, and someone told me that it’s a good idea for guitarists to play music out of their genre. If you play metal, try playing a folk or country song. Not only is it a good challenge to test your skills, but also you can incorporate things from those different styles into your own style, so you can in some way blend folk music with metal, or whatever style you choose. In essence, by writing a romance book, it allows me to incorporate things into my action/adventure books that I wouldn’t otherwise do.
7. What is one of the nerdiest things about you?
Well, I am a bit of a geek. My wife said she likes nerdy guys, so I was always like, “I’m sorry, I’m not your type.” But then I realized I am in fact geeky. It occurred to me on a Friday night, a night when anyone else would like to go out and party, I wanted to go to the library to read about President Eisenhower’s administration. Also, I have absolutely no problem going up to complete strangers and start talking to them about 17th century history. I also like to recite the names of the Presidents in order to people, I’m very proud of that, and I get a lot of awkward looks. So after years of denying it, I can freely admit now that I’m a nerd. My wife (as usual) was right.
8. What is one of the coolest things about you?
I include red pen draft pages with some book signings. I edit my books with a red pen, very English-teacher-like, and I call this the “red pen draft” because the pages are all covered in red corrections. I include pages of the red pen draft with some books when I sign them, so readers can see all my mistakes. I really aspire to be fan-friendly as an author, because I love getting autographs from baseball players and bands that I like. It just takes a second to sign your name, but it can make someone’s day, maybe be one of their most prized possessions. So because it means so much to me, I want to be sure that I’m good to any fans I have, and maybe make someone’s day.
9. Without giving spoilers, is there anything you can tell us about Waiting for the Rain that the synopsis does not cover?
Oooh… Hmm… Well I would say its Bree’s storyline. To me, Bree is the character in the book my heart really goes out to. She’s always supportive to her friends, and nothing good really ever happens for her. She lives in a miserable house, her brother is an extremely annoying brat, her mother isn’t supportive, and her father is a bad guy. So I can’t understate how much I like Bree’s storyline. She isn’t just a character who is there to support Mac, her friend, she has her own stuff going on, and what happens with Bree in the end of the book makes me cry every time. I’ve never read the end of “Waiting” without crying.
10. I like to do a small word association game at the end of my interviews. I’ll start the sentence and you finish it however you like.
(A) I am happiest when…I print out the manuscript, and hold one of my books for the first time.
(B) My favorite day of the year is…Christmas, I love finding things I know people will like, and finding out what they’ve gotten for me.
(C) When I was a child, I loved to…Ride around town on my bike.
(D) You would be surprised how good I am at…Remembering history; I love history!
(E) I always laugh when…This is a new discovery, but when my grandpa fake-speaks in Spanish to announce soccer games. It’s hilarious because he tosses in some real Spanish words, but the rest is complete gibberish. He literally had me on the floor laughing.