When did you start writing, and what did you write?
I started writing in early high school, and I mainly wrote poetry, usually with either a humorous or dark theme. I think it started off as an assignment for English class; the teacher liked it a lot and I realized I was a decent writer, so it graduated from poetry into stories - mostly flash and short stories. I've been writing ever since.Your stories are very... unique. How do you come up with the ideas?
Sometimes it just starts as a "what if?" sort of thing. I'll mention it during a conversation to see where it goes. Other times ideas come from something I'm reading - a thought will stick in my mind and then I'll start expanding on it, and it keeps getting bigger until it becomes a story.Why did you decide to self-publish rather than try the traditional route?
I have more creative freedom: I'm able to make and use my own book covers; I can do my own layout however I see fit; I can promote my own stuff to the audience I want it promoted to. I can offer myself more than any traditional publisher could offer me.Does that mean you'll never work with a traditional publisher?
Not necessarily. It's possible, but my ultimate goal is to become a traditional publisher.What do you plan to publish next?
As a publisher, I'm compiling an anthology of stories that aren't mine. As a writer, there's a novella that I've been working on. I'm also in the beginning stages of illustrating a children's picture book.I have a lot of trouble juggling more than one creative hobby at a time. How do you balance writing and art?
A lot of times, I don't. I'll start on a story and get writer's block and move along to something artistic, whether it be drawing or painting or graphic art. Sometimes getting those creative juices flowing gives me ideas to go back to writing. Or vice versa.When did you discover you were artistic?
When I was about five, I drew a picture of my mom with a heart-shaped head, heart-shaped body, heart-shaped hands - everything was heart-shaped. She even had a heart-shaped pocket on her shirt. My mom and her friends were playing rummy when I went to show it to her, and someone at the table looked at it and said "Why does she only have one boob?!" That was also my first criticism as an artist...What made you decide to study graphic design?
I've always wanted to do something artistic, so when I graduated high school, I went to college for an associate's degree in art. I set out to get a job in the art field, but in small town Mississippi, that was pretty much impossible. I even called the art museum in Jackson, MS, but without experience nothing was available. I started working random jobs and joined the Air Force, but none of that was for me. After a few years, I moved to be closer to my family and met my fiancé. She was a graphic designer, and I saw what she did and realized that could be my artistic career.So you have a background in traditional art. Do you favor one medium over another?
I prefer painting. It's just as much of an expression as it is a work of visual art. If you're drawing a picture, it's got to be a picture of something. If you're painting, it's just as much about your method of painting, your movements, the way you produce the art, as it is about the art itself.Do you prefer graphic design over traditional art?
It's a hard question to answer. Traditional art is more expressive, but I feel like I can be more creative with digital art.I know it's a tough question, but which do you like more: writing books or designing their covers?
It depends on the cover, for starters, because I have more creative influence over my own covers than those I make for others. But if I'm doing my own covers or writing my own books, I would have to say with writing, I feel like I'm getting more off my chest. It's like, 'this thing happened, and I don't want to be the only one who knows about it.' With my book covers, I'm trying to convey to the intended audience not only what the story is about, but also the emotion evoked.
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