As a nomad carnival vendor, I draw a lot of inspiration from my gregarious guests. In my travels, I have seen some strange things that give me a whole lot of strange ideas. A writer, an artist, and a dark thinker, I like to weave a visceral web of twists, terror, and wonder. My tales are burgeoning with treacherous environments, colorful characters with dangerous talents, and mind-bending story arcs. A touch of comical mischief follows as we journey the unknown wilderness in search of another scary story to tell ’round the campfire.
As an author, I am inspired by the masterful, world-building works of such great writers as Stephen King, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, and George R.R. Martin.
I share my original short stories and illustrations on my website at www.morbidtoybox.com.
What inspired you to start writing this book?
It all originally started because I wanted to write a vampire story with the world-building diversity that was like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, only I wanted to set it in a more modern, urban environment.
Tell us the story of your book’s current title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
I knew what the title was going to be even before I really knew much about the plot. The title was to be the derogatory name of the fictional city that the story takes place in.
Describe your dream book cover.
I have already commissioned a wonderful artist who will remain anonymous until the book is ready. But my vision is to show one of the lead characters in the story posing provocatively before a sports car covered in blood, set before the skyline of my imaginary city.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
This is something I have thought very passionately about.
I would want Milan’s gothic metal band Lacuna Coil and their song “Through the Flames” playing at the end of the movie.
Also, there are various tracks from Los Angeles’ rock band In This Moment that I would love to have featured in a television or film adaptation. If I could get those artists on board, I would be on cloud nine.
What books are you reading (for research or comfort) as you continue the writing process?
Jack Carr’s Terminal List series, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, and Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I pay all my bills and finance this literary journey I’m on all with funny money…as I make my living drawing caricature art at fairs, festivals, and concerts. I also have an undying love for mixed martial arts and comic books.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
I liked Shakespeare and some Italian poets when I was young. The old 90s and early 2000s action/horror movies inspired me the most.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I can write pretty much anywhere if I can get alone. But my favorite place to write is at a library…any library.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Depends on the project. For ParaVice, I start every session listening to that Lacuna Coil song I mentioned earlier. Then I switch my playlist to movie and video game scores. Oh, and I need my coffee. That always gets the gears moving.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
I want people to think. I want my readers to crave more when they are done. I want them to get excited, but I also want them to realize that even monster stories can have a little heart. I want you to fear for the safety of my characters, to root for them, and to pity them. But most of all, I want you to have fun playing in the dark.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.