I struggled with it as a child. Writing was difficult, and my reading skills were below grade average. My 3rd grade teacher individually tutored me throughout that grade year. The principle task was to write, and I stayed in from recess and after school, honing my ability to spell and write properly. I hit a threshold where my weakness became a strength later that same year.
2. Did you always want to be a writer?
Mostly. By the time I reached the 4th grade my teachers could tell I was imaginative and had me take a summer writing course at the local university. I was full of stories.
3. Who are your writing influences?
Marcus Aurelius, Giacomo Leopardi, Tennyson, Tacitus, Homer, RW Emerson, Milton, Blake, Montaigne, and whoever wrote the Icelandic Sagas.
4. What is your favorite part of being an author?
Connecting with readers, talking about characters, sharing doodles from my sketchbook.
5. Did you have a favorite childhood book?
Not really. Anything by Shel Silverstein.
6. What is your current favorite book/author?
Simon Armitage’s “Death of King Arthur” is badass. Best translation I’ve read.
7. What does a typical day of writing look like?
It’s five hours of sitting at my desk in my home office between breakfast and lunch. Then, I’ll wander either to the local coffee roaster or donut shop. I buy only Wacom-equipped mobile devices to write with, so I can take in keyboard or pen input wherever I go, depending on my mode.
8. How do you come up with your character’s names?
I have no set methodology. Often, they’ll just get a code name in my notes or outlines, and let inspiration do the rest of the work later.
9. Did you read a lot growing up?
Not really. Idaho has a lot of public lands and I spent a lot of time in the outdoors. In bad weather, I played a lot of Dungeon’s and Dragons with my friends, so it was mostly game manuals, and Dragonlance.
10. Main Stream vs Indie Author. Who do you reach for? One better then the other?
I don’t read mainstream unless it is recommended to me by very select individuals. I read only the indie authors I have a personal connection with. Those that are my contemporaries, I will read them.
11. Do the classics intimidate or inspire? Both?
Neither, I suppose? Most of my bookshelf is older literature, poetry, and philosophy. Such is my regular reading.
12. How long does it typically take to write a book?
I write about 5k words a day on average when contributing to a manuscript. Depending on the length, it’ll take about a month to complete for editing.
13. Did you write as a kid?
14. I keep a journal handy for poetry ideas. Do you do the same in case a story idea hits?
Yes. I carry a Thinkpad 10 or a Thinkpad Yoga. Both take stylus/pen input. OneNote is my journal, and I keep one or the other with me at all times. I like the Thinkpad 10 because it is not as obtrusive as a laptop, and better for social situations when inspiration strikes me.
15. If you could change anything in your books, would you?
These are the thoughts writers try not to have. Sure, I’d change all kinds of things, and I have traded up covers and done some minor edits in the past. This is really the advantage of publishing to a digital medium.
16. Do you have a dream co-author?
17. UROBOROS SAGA is unlike anything I’ve ever read. How did the idea come about?
I’m fascinated by amnesia, and the way the mind collects and records our experiences. I wanted to write something speculative that would softly address certain economic, environmental, and social problems. I like exploring the ethics behind identity extensive technologies, artificial intelligence, and manmade and engineered servitor races.
I enjoy books like “Uriel’s Machine” and “The White Goddess”. Likely, they are complete nonsense, but the imagination and historical background to craft these works makes them interesting to read. I wrote Uroboros Saga to mostly to cater to my own interests and explore compelling ideas.
18. Have you ever had to deal with writers block?
No. I’ll die having not told every story that resides in my imagination.
19. Any new releases soon?
Uroboros Saga Books 6 and 7 should be coming up in the next few months. I have two other novels that I’m working on that might be ready in 2016 as well, but only if it won’t delay work on Uroboros Saga, Books 8 and 9 to be released later in 2016.
20. Name 1 thing we would be surprised to know about you.
I’ve tried to be a musician, and attempted many instruments. I’ve never been able to fully overcome the somatic dyslexia of my childhood that made writing so difficult. Even though my handwriting is super legible, and I work a keyboard well, I can’t play the piano, a guitar, or a saxophone worth anything. Sadly, I am really bad at Street Fighter and similar video games as a consequence.
21. Do you listen to music (if yes who?) when you write or do you like it quiet?
I like Swedish music: Soilwork, First Aid Kit, and Tord Gustavsen to name a few. My musical tastes are pretty diverse and I have about 20 GB of music in my iTunes folder from all over the world, all different genres. I have a Cannibal Corpse/Frank Sinatra playlist.
22. Do you have a favorite genre you enjoy reading?
23. How do you enjoy spending your spare time?
I work with a partner to build video games for mobile platforms.
24. What are you currently reading?
“Hope 239” by Jeffery Goff, Tacitus, and a couple manuscripts/drafts.
25. Any advice for future writers?
Keep everything. The delete key is your enemy. Keep every version of your work, and if you cut large swaths of text from it, you should keep that text. An interaction that didn’t work in one work, might work in another. Only add to the body of your work, and subtract nothing no matter how bad.
I’ve looked back years later and found things that I thought were crap at the time, and wondered how I didn’t see my own genius. The reverse is true as well. Sometimes, what I thought was a masterpiece turned foul with time. Don’t let the delete key rob you of either moment because they contribute to your own narrative and story as a human being.
We write to remember, and to be remembered.
Amazing Arthur …….. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!