What inspired you to draw ideas and edits from your readers? How much of your series do you think you can attribute to your fans?
I knew the fans deserved the best. Considering the fact this was my first novel, I chose to solicit feedback. Many of the minor changes came from amateur writers who called and said, “Have you thought of this?” The biggest changes came from soliciting the advice of other experienced writers. The series has gone through three editions and over 30,000 copies have been sold while gathering feedback.
How did fans respond when you first gave them the opportunity to contribute? Why do you think it is important to connect with your readers in this manner?
Fan reaction was mixed. Some people thought I was revolutionizing writing, others thought I was making a mockery of the process. My Belief: I sought feedback to ensure the art of writing was respected.
What is the strangest idea a fan has submitted to you? What is the most helpful idea you’ve received?
The most helpful idea I received was from my youngest son, who is twelve. He said, “Dad, who cares if someone doesn’t like your book? At least you’re going after your dream.” The strangest idea I received was regarding the creation a race of beings called the Ultorians. This idea came from a 60-year-old woman in Colorado.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you do before delving into this series?
I wrote a lot of love notes to girls. Does that count? I was in the Navy, then did mortgage and real estate.
What do your sons think about your books? Are they fans?
My oldest is 18 and is too cool to care, but my youngest loves his dad’s fame and lives it up. He has asked me to come to his school. I think he wants to show me off this next school year.