When and why did you begin writing?
The first story I remember writing was a comic called Lightening Man. I can’t recall my exact age, but I was young. It was a really stupid story about a guy being pushed into a pool by his friend just as lightning struck the water. The friend left him for dead, but what really happened is the protagonist survived and developed the power to shoot lightning bolts out of his hands. Not my most original material. I definitely remember getting serious about writing in middle school. I think it’s pretty typical, but I was pretty angsty and weirdly disheartened during those years and writing stories and poems and even rap songs made me feel like I was in a better space. I’m a much happier person today, but writing remains that old friend that’s continuously there for me.
What are some day jobs you have held?
I’ve had a good number of jobs. I think this is a requirement for 99.9% of writers. When I was 15/16, I was a cashier at a pharmacy. I used to steal cigarettes and sometimes try to sell them on the cheap, but usually, I just gave them to my friends. I was a stock boy at a gourmet market called Delicious Orchards. My best friend at that place was a guy I called Cokehead Frankie. He loved drugs and was amped up all the time. He taught me a lot about standing up for myself. I did a few roofing jobs here and there. Many guys who had been doing that job for years had busted knees. They would constantly tell me to find another line of work—anything but roofing. When I turned 19, I started working in TV. I’ve worked at MTV, Nickelodeon, FUSE TV, Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, and I’m currently at CBS Sports Network as their Studio Operations Assistant. I’m fortunate to say that I also act whenever I get the chance. I was recently in a pilot called Shelter that was filmed for HULU. The director is currently finishing up the edits and we’re all hoping HULU picks up the series.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
I’m really excited about this new book. It’s very dark. But I think there’s a strong reason behind that. Someone told me the other day they felt it was a mix between American Psycho, Frankenstein & Saw. It’s funny because I didn’t set out to write a novel like that. But once I got going the story took command and led the way. I think fans of both horror and philosophy might get a kick out of this one.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I couldn’t get the story out of my head. I have somewhat of a routine whenever I think of a new story. I do everything I can to not write it. I first think about it and become really excited about the possibilities and then I stop and try my best to forget it. If I find myself thinking about it months later that’s when I know it’s something I should pursue and I finally sit down to write. With The Eternal Echo, I had thought of the idea while I was working on a screenplay called In the Ring. I figured it would be easy to forget about Echo since I’d be busy with the script but once I finished that, and let another few months pass, I still couldn’t shake it. So I finally picked up a new notebook and went in. Seven months later I had the finished manuscript.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast?
I love this question because it would be incredible to have The Eternal Echo turned into a movie. I’m not saying it would be an incredible movie. I’m saying it would just be an incredible experience….but hopefully it would be a good movie too.
I could see either Malcolm McDowell or Anthony Hopkins as the main character. Striking. Commanding. But most importantly, someone with the ability to captivate and terrify at the same time.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love Sam Pink’s work. His work genuine, sad and humorous. I think he is one of the most unique writers out there right now. I’m also a big fan of Noah Cicero, Mark SaFranko, and Joseph Edwin Haeger. Oh! And Dan Fante was one of the best 21st-century writers in my opinion. He just recently passed away. That guy was a beast.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
Be your own audience first. I don’t mean that, as a writer, you’re the only one that matters. I don’t think that’s true. Constructive criticism from others is crucial to the writing process. What I mean is the world of writing involves a great deal of patience. One might write a great book and think that thousands and thousands of people need to read it and read it right now, but that infrequently happens. So be prepared to be your own audience for a bit and have faith that people will someday join you.