- How long have you been writing?
--I’ve been writing actively for five years.
- When did you feel called to write?
--When a lady spoke into my life, saying that there were untapped talents that needed to be revealed, I haven’t stopped since.
- Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
--My first novel actually came from an old Dungeons & Dragons game I ran years ago. The rest come in various ways: a title, a song, a movie, a verbal idea from my kids, and pure imagination.
- What are your thoughts on critique groups?
--They are good ideas and can be very helpful, since they hold a plethora of skilled people who can contribute in many ways.
- Was it hard to develop a writing style?
--Nope. When I type, it flows as it is given to me.
- Who is your favorite author?
--I don’t have a favorite, but I do own multiple books from Dennis L. McKiernan, Graham Taylor, and Donita K. Paul.
- Have you dealt with writer's block? If so, how did you overcome it?
--Hmmm, the main way I deal with it is I sit down with my wife and verbally discuss the story up to the sticking point. On many occasions she has come up with an idea or a tidbit that sparks new ideas for the story to continue. Gotta love her!
- Do you find a part of your personality sneaking into any of your characters?
--Yes. In my trilogy, Relics of Nanthara, I’ve found several of my traits in more than one character. Odd that it played out like that, but I try to spread the love.
- Were there any scenes you found difficult to write? Made you angry or made you cry?
--There wasn’t anything too difficult to write. Although the scene of the alliance fleeing Annotin after their confrontation was a bit unnerving as I pictured myself in the scene.
- Do you use outlines or let the story develop on its own?
--I’ve done both. Most of the time, it flows on its own.
- What do you want your readers to take from your book(s)?
--I want their hearts touched by what the characters experience
to the point of wanting to change their own lives for the better. Although it is YA, I try not to sugar coat the stories, and I am not afraid to portray real world strife and horror in my stories. It’s not hidden from the kids today, so why hide the truth in words?
- Can you share any upcoming projects with us?
--Currently, I am finishing up Relics of Nanthara: Dawn of the Apocalypse, Book 3 in the trilogy, and I have several other projects in the works at various stages of completion. One is a Sci-Fi superhero, The Nuclear Fist Chronicles; three take place in Nanthara, The Onyx Tomes (taking place 30 years after the trilogy); Sons of the Trident (most likely a trilogy); and We Came To Die (a mercenary seeking revenge after being left for dead). I also have a historical fiction, Enemy Within The Ranks.
- With a full schedule, how do you find time to write?
--I write in between patients, at home during quiet times, and when the kids are in bed. Even when we go out of town, the laptop is with me.
- When creating a character, where do you begin? Do you give them a background even if it may never be mentioned in the storyline?
--The name usually comes out first with an image of the character in my head. The background usually comes later.
- Can you share one or two nuggets of wisdom to those wanting to travel down the writing road?
--Don’t write for money. If God is part of your life, write for Him. That is, write with a purpose, a message. Bless God in your work, and watch what He’ll do for you. I’ve seen it in my practice and in all things I do, and I’ve never been sorry.
- Where can readers find your books and contact information?
--For The Relics of Nanthara trilogy, my website is relicsofnanthara.weebly.com. Once the others show, I will either create a separate site or link them.
- What is your writing routine? Do you need peace and quiet, soft music, or does it matter?
--I prefer quiet with music relating to the genre/story I’m writing about playing softly in the background. It helps get the juices flowing.
Sir Angelo gave a casual observation of the Evanien troopers and the surrounding activity swirling around the party. The horsemen moved to block off the intersection, eliminating possible paths of escape.
Out of the corner of his eye, Courtar caught Azin slowly reaching for his weapons. His eyes bulged in fear, wanting to grab Azin’s arm and stop him. Instead, Isaac grabbed the assassin’s wrist, impeding the partly withdrawn blade. A small snarl curled Azin’s upper lip as he glared at Isaac.
“Not now…not yet,” Isaac whispered, eyeing the Evanien soldiers. Azin’s lips mouthed a smart retort. Nevertheless, he released the blade and relaxed under the soldier’s observation.
“Everyone hold,” Jaspar said.
No weapons were drawn as they approached the alert guards. As the group neared the intersection, a loud command bellowed from a mounted officer. “Halt!” The horsemen moved into action, surrounding the alliance with swords and short lances drawn. Civilians scattered.
Courtar gulped. E’Umae looked at him. “Hold your composure. Now is not the time to get nervous.”
As E’Umae shared her words of encouragement, Courtar’s attention focused down one of the connecting cobblestone streets where he spied a large wooden gallows guarded by Evanien troops, the nooses full of motionless civilians. Next to the apparatus stood a cart choked full of newly slain commoners of all ages.
Courtar tugged on E’Umae’s sleeve, directing her gaze down the dreadful road. “Yes, it is.”
“What is the problem, sergeant?” Sir Angelo asked with a calm disposition.
“You and your misfits are under arrest,” the sergeant said. No smile broke his rugged,
Sir Angelo stood with both hands up in a submissive gesture. “Under what charges?”
Foot soldiers now moved in to help surround the group. The crowd had circumvented a large area around the confrontation, keeping the alliance centralized under Evanien scrutiny.
Courtar watched the sergeant’s grip on the horse’s reigns tightened—the leather creaking under the strain. He slipped behind E’Umae in order to hinder the officer’s field of view.
The sergeant spat onto the ground at Sir Angelo’s feet. “My men overheard your group speaking on forbidden topics, poison in this realm.”
Sir Angelo’s eyes showed a hint of narrowing, and his jaw muscles flexed.
“Oh, oh. He’s getting mad,” Courtar whispered.
E’Umae shoved her elbow back into Courtar’s stomach. A small gasp hushed him.
“Like what?” Jaspar asked.
The sergeant pointed at E’Umae and Courtar. “Those two miscreants spoke of Sovereign and prayer. Filthy talk such as theirs is grounds for the gallows.” He directed one of his foot soldiers to shove Jaspar out of the way, exposing Sir Angelo’s attire. “Heh, another knight who believes in ghosts.”
The Evanien soldiers laughed; others spat on Sir Angelo.
“Taking the blood of a knight of Temple Sovereign without justification has harsh repercussions. I suggest you conjure a more effective charge against us, or let us pass.”
A malevolent stare burned in the sergeant’s eyes. “Your insolence will be paid with your life, you foulskin misbreed.” Several of the horsemen moved in, tightening their noose around the party with looming iron spear tips ready to thrust, allowing two men to move in and grab E’Umae, one by the back of her cloak, the other by her hair, and drag her violently out of the
E’Umae screamed as she fought against her captors, yet to no avail.
Courtar slipped by Boren’s grasp and moved toward the soldiers. “Hey! In the name of Sovereign, I command you to stop!”
In an instant, the Evanien troops focused on Courtar and stopped for a moment. Perfect for the alliance to shift into improved angles of attack.
The sergeant growled. “Take that boy and stretch his scrawny neck as well. Use it as a lesson for anyone else who wants to shoot his mouth off.”
“Eh, we can take ‘em,” Boren whispered.
“Hold, Boren,” Sir Angelo replied in a soft tone. With reluctance, Boren obliged as Courtar and E’Umae yelled and struggled against their captors.
Sir Angelo didn’t move. He smiled with his hands folded loosely in front of his belly. The alliance mimicked him.
The sergeant’s fist slammed his saddle in anger and spittle flew. “And take the pompous knight as well. For him, tell the men to ready the axe. His head will serve as a nice trophy to our collection.”
Two Evanien spearmen moved toward Sir Angelo. The paladin lowered his head, his gaze fixed upon the approaching troops. His arrogant voice bellowed in confidence.
“I think not.”
A crossbow string thwacked. The commotion forced the soldiers dragging Courtar and E’Umae to stop. Courtar could see a bolt embedded up to the fletching through a horseman’s throat. His gasp for air was blotted out by gurgling blood as he fell over dead on the cobblestones.
Sir Angelo’s effective parries from two different foot soldiers allowed him to slash the face of one soldier then finished him with a thrust through his chest. Isaac stepped beside him and split open the second soldier’s side in a bloody repulse.
Dreg lunged toward the sergeant and grabbed his lance. With a mighty roar, the barbarian yanked him off his horse. The sergeant crashed onto the street and rolled over onto his back long enough to look up and see a longsword punch straight into his chest. Jaspar removed his blade and continued the fight.
Vindicar flowed with Alkanien grace as he unsheathed his bastard sword and splintered the lance of another horseman in one smooth, fluid motion. When the lance shattered, the soldier sat but a second before Azin flipped a front hand spring over the back of the horse, and landed with his blade red. The cavalier teetered for a moment before slumping onto his horse’s neck, coating the mane with blood.
With Boren cleaving the front limbs off one horse, the thrashing mount crushed his rider underneath and kicked another foot soldier and snapped his leg at the thigh, thus buying the alliance a moment of time.
“Run!” Sir Angelo said. The entire party broke from the encirclement, running pell-mell for Evershaw.