- What is your earliest memory of writing?
My earliest memory of writing would have to be in 2nd grade. I created a character named Super Potato which was basically a potato with superpowers. I remember creating a comic book for this character and my teacher thought it was amazing that I had such a vivid imagination.
2. What inspires you? I am inspired by the human condition.
There are so many amazing stories that revolve around surviving the many challenges of life. We all live life differently and I find that to be quite interesting.
3. What do you think makes a good story?
I think a personal connection to the subject makes a good story. If I have a connection to what I’m writing about then the passion can be felt in the words I write.
4. What are some of your favorite books, tv shows, movies?
My favorite book is Finding Fish: A memoir by Antoine Fisher, another book I enjoyed reading was Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers. As far as TV is concerned, I really enjoyed watching Kim’s Grocery on Netflix and the British TV show Misfits which is currently on HULU. When it comes to movies, I’m a big fan of comedies and the two movies that stand out to me are Old School starring Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn and Ocean’s Eleven with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. I remember being stationed in Germany and watching those two movies at least once a week.
5. Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process usually involves me free writing for a few minutes and then seeing what I can pull from the various thoughts on the page. I usually have so many ideas in my head that it’s best to just get them out and then see what I can use.
6. What’s the most surprising thing you have learned from writing?
The most surprising thing I’ve learned from writing is how therapeutic it can be. I’ve written about many problems I’ve had and sometimes in writing about the problem the solution was sometimes revealed.
7. How did participating in a WGI workshop help your writing, (if so) ?
I participated in the WGI workshop for veterans that took place in the spring of 2020. There were so many established writers who mentored us and it was such a great experience because they provided great feedback and to receive a compliment from an established writer did wonders for my self-esteem.
8. How do you juggle writing with everything else?
That seems to be the dilemma, always trying to find time to write. I decided to keep it simple and at least write in my journal consistently throughout the week. I also write story ideas in my phone’s notepad. I’ve been doing that since about 2013 and I have so many ideas. Now it’s just a matter of sitting still to go through those ideas and create.
9. Do you have a “writing quirk,” if so, what is it?
Whenever I find myself not able to think of the next line I usually stop and start washing dishes. It’s something about washing dishes that allows my mind to wander freely and some of my best ideas come from that. I picked up that trick from the singer Al Jarreau who revealed during an interview on PBS that washing dishes is how he came up with a lot of his music.
10. Any advice or tips you’d like to offer?
Try to write in a group setting from time to time. I find that doing this increases my confidence and also allows me to learn from other writers.