1. Do you prefer to write with a typewriter, pen and paper, or a computer?
a. I write with a computer since I tend to do research as I write, and it's just easier to be where I can get online if necessary.
2. Do you need music or silence to write?
a. Yes. Haha. I do both, actually. Plus, I use a website called rainymood.com and coffitivity.com. They provide background noise that helps me when I’m home and it’s too quiet. I don’t usually listen to music that I know, but when I do listen to it, it’s mostly instrumental or Classical music.
3. Did you read a lot as a child?
a. Oh, yeah. I was reading voraciously at four years old, and I was the kid hiding under the blanket with the flashlight, devouring encyclopedias, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, etc. Anything that had printed words on it, I read.
4. How did you pick your cover art? What was the inspiration?
a. For Finding Balance, I had been in touch with Michael Hamlett who had done some sketches of my main characters about ten years ago. On his website, he had a picture of five heroes in a stance similar to the one on my cover. When I asked him to do the cover, I showed him the other picture, and he modeled my cover after that. It works for a debut novel. For the sequel, Memory’s Curse, I asked for an action scene similar to one in the novel. Michael and I worked together to hash out the details, and he suggested a change to the original idea that works for the cover.
5. What would you like to be remembered for?
a. I honestly don’t know. Probably something to do with my teaching and my writing, but specifically, I couldn't tell you what that should be. I think people will remember something about me that resonated with them. I just want to be the best teacher and writer I can be. If that’s why I’m remembered, then that’ll work for me.
6. Are there any of your characters that are based off of any people in real life?
a. Nope. I avoided doing that. I wanted the characters to be individuals on their own merits and not tied to real people.
7. Of your characters, whom do you favor most, and why?
a. Oh, unfair! That’s like asking a parent to choose a favorite child. Of the four main characters, I have grown attached to each for very different reasons. Dan Fairmont was my first character for this story—my firstborn, as it were—so we’ve spent the most time together. He’s a brooding sort, and I can relate to that more, but I don’t think I favor him because of it. Sarah Jacobs is my youngest, I guess, and I’ve grown to love how headstrong and feisty she’s become. She grew up with two gay dads and a single mom, so she’s probably the most diverse of the four. Plus, she’s my Wiccan character, so I’ve learned a lot from her about that. Now, Aleta Halston is sarcastic and snarky, two qualities I admire, and she and I have had it out on a few occasions. She usually wins. My spiritual one is Brandon Jeffries. He’d be a “flower child” if he lived in the 60s, so in touch with nature and the animal world. Also, his compassion is humbling. But, to ask which one I favor? That’s not something I can say.
8. How long did it take you to write your very first novel?
a. Finding Balance started out as a short story called “The Olympus Corps.” when I was in high school (1985). I worked on and off with it for years until I was with my ex. He had his own business so I had a lot of time to myself. That, plus he was emotionally abusive, so I channeled my frustrations into my writing. It’s amazing how much fuel you get for creativity from anxiety. I actually finished the manuscript in 2010, but then I had to begin the editing process that took about two years. In February 2012, Finding Balance was published.
9. Of your characters, who is it that you just love to hate? Why is that?
a. It’ll be a bit cliché, I think, but Ares. Even being the bad guy mostly, he does have a role to play in the “grand scheme,” so for as much as I think he’s a jerk, he’s also a necessary evil. Throughout the series, he will probably evolve a bit, becoming less one-dimensional. He plays a significant role in Finding Balance, but not so much in Memory’s Curse. He may make an appearance in The Liar’s Prophecy, but it’s too early to tell.
10. How old were you when you first started writing?
a. Maybe eight? I was young enough to have been watching the Smurfs on TV with my sister, and she had the collectible figures, so we wrote some stories together. Rather, she’d help me with the ideas, and I would do the writing. After that, I think I wrote stories in junior high, probably based in myths since I was just starting to read them.
During the age of Olympos, when a vengeful goddess shatters the Sacred Scales, both immortals and humans alike suffer. Apollo, the god of truth, goes from a glorious existence as The Shining One to a victim of Zeus’ wrath, and his journey makes him question his godhood, his role in the cosmos, and his views on humanity. Prophecy and the Fates direct his course, and he must make difficult, yet vital, choices. Millennia pass, and Dan, Aleta, Brandon, and Sarah—four reluctant modern-day heroes gifted by ancient civilizations born of the gods—bound by prophecy, have to choose whether or not to save their world when it could mean they never existed. They must master their new powers while battling against incomprehensible forces from the Underworld and repairing the Sacred Scales, destroyed long ago. With the equilibrium between Order and Chaos unhinged, and the Olympian gods struggling to exist, these four must ally themselves with the United Nations to protect an endangered world, becoming the only group who can fight against metaphysical threats to the Earth, forging Task Force: Gaea. Can mortals succeed where gods cannot go?
Boston born, I grew up on Long Island in New York, and have my B.A. in English with a Master's in Secondary Education. I currently teach AP English Literature, IB English, and Creative Writing in Land O' Lakes, FL. My avid appreciation for fantasy fiction came from a childhood love of Greek mythology and comic books, especially Wonder Woman. Stemming from this literary love affair, I published my first novel, Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance, in February 2012.
In addition to my fantasy writing, I have written poetry, much of which was influenced by my travels abroad, namely to Ireland. My hibernophilia extends not only to a great love of the Emerald Isle itself, but also to the writers who hail from there, namely W. B. Yeats, and I studied this poet in a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship at the National University of Ireland in Galway in 2005.
Additionally, I have traveled to Spain, France, and England—all with trips I have led with students—and hope to show more of my students what the world beyond Florida looks like.
I'm "living the dream," as it were, and I love life—I just hope it loves me in return. I reside in Land O' Lakes, FL with my partner of 13 years, Gavi, and our two cats, Yankel and Shayna.