Tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you’d like your readers to know:
At eight-years-old, in a small motel room, I watched my father die. That moment shaped me more than any other, until the day I was sentenced to prison. My mother, a thirty-seven year-old widow with five kids, struggled to keep us fed. Out of the grips of poverty, at age ten, I entered the business world, turning a hobby into a multi-million-dollar empire. After the national media dubbed me the “Teen Tycoon” there were book offers for my teenage memoirs, calls from People Magazine, Donahue, international press, etc. On my twenty-first birthday, I was an invited guest to Reagan’s White House. Just five years later, I spent my twenty-sixth birthday in federal prison, for financial improprieties. I was penniless.
What made you decide to become an author?
During the federal investigations, my attorneys instilled a moratorium of talking to the media. Ill-equipped to deal with early fame and less able to handle the sensational accusations, I found release in writing the story I had not been allowed to verbalize. In prison, I discovered that I loved to write. At the time, legal constraints prevented the publication of Teen Tycoon. After adjusting to life outside of prison, I made a successful return to business, only to abandon it after seven years. I then moved west to pursue writing.
For the next decade, I started several novels while writing a newspaper column, publishing a magazine and running radio stations. But it wasn’t until 2012 that it all came together. Mike Sager, a NY Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist for Esquire, signed me to his new indie press. In January 2013, Outview, my first novel was published by the Sager Group. Five months later, Outin was released and on November 12, 2013, Outmove will complete the Inner Movement trilogy.
Who are your favorite authors, and how have they influenced your writing?
Tolkien was the first author I knew by name (other than Dr. Seuss). At a young age, his work taught me that worlds could exist as real as our own. Those places were filled with characters and creatures I wanted to meet, and others that scared me. John Grisham showed me that the business and legal realms I’d grown up in could be exciting and dramatic to those who had not. Cormic McCarthy’s writing (not the story, but the mechanics of his writing) was the first to move me. His word choices and the order in which he lays them down are akin to the color choices and brush strokes of Monet.
Tell us about your book:
The Inner Movement trilogy: Outview, Outin and Outmove are coming-of-age thrillers of mystics and magic.
We follow Nathan Ryder between the ages of sixteen and nineteen as he is pursued by nefarious people for reasons not initially clear. His flight turns into a quest and, along the way, he encounters mystics who reveal an incredible destiny. He and his friends are forced to wrestle with some of life’s deepest philosophical questions.
Creating a protagonist who lost his father at a young age and found himself unable to deal with his power as a teen – is in way over his head, pursued by authorities – was no accident. People have commented how authentic Nate is. Although Outview is a work of fiction, to a great extent, metaphorically told, it is my story.
I’ve heard from readers in twenty-two countries, the first two books have been added to 4400 to-read lists on goodreads, have appeared on eight amazon best seller lists and garnered more than 170 5-star reviews on amazon. Outmove (book three) is due 11.12.13
Everyone has their idiosyncrasies, what’s yours?
I'm an extreme introvert and I've continually chosen roles that require me to act like an extrovert. My favorite food is bacon, but I don't eat it because I'm vegan. I love the mountains, but I get nervous on edgy mountain roads. I don't like Christmas, but I'm often caught singing Christmas music.
What’s your favorite book turned movie and why?
Four of my favorite all-time movies were based on the writings of one author: Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Hearts of Atlantis and Stand By Me. The author, of course, is Stephen King.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Thrillers. At least these days I need a book that makes me turn those pages. I also love memoirs and biographies because real lives are the best stories. Fantasy is another favorite; I am intrigued by imaginations and the unseen.
Which do you do more, read or write, and why?
For years reading won my time, but during the last couple of years I’ve been writing so much that the scales have tipped substantially. With a new trilogy coming out in 2014 and another planned for 2015, plus the possible release of Teen Tycoon, it’s likely to stay that way for a while. However, kindle has made reading so easy, I’m finding new slices of time in which to read.
What is your writing process like, and what’s your favorite part of it?
I love writing more than any “work” I’ve ever done, yet it’s very challenging. Mornings are best. If I’m on a roll I’ll go until my fingers stiffen. Music is a must. Many readers have said reading my books are like watching a movie – it’s because of the background music.