Saturday 21 July 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?  
I was born in Charleston, South Carolina at the Navy base.  I now live in a small town in Connecticut known for vampires and serial killers.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
 Yes.  Always a writer.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?  
From first grade I would say

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
 It took me a loooong time to get published, but the actual process from manuscript to publication for Generation Dead wasn't very long.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?  

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?  
Break My Heart 1000 Times, which will come out just before Halloween.  One word?  Scary

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
 I'm very superstitious, but me superstitions change, oddly enough

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?  
It depends.  My first drafts usually take 3-6 months, and the editing will take about the same.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
 I don't know that any of them was harder or easier than another

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?  
The future is unwritten......

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Always!  I think it could be.

What genre would you place your books into?  
Break My Heart 1000 Times is a ghost story and a thriller.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
 I wanted to write a scary book

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
 My favourite is whatever I am working on at the time.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
 My favourite really is whoever I'm "working" with at the time.  I love them all, but I'm not really sentimental about any of them, if that makes sense.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
 I feel like I have been all of them already!

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
 I've been writing since I was a little kid; inspiration is all around us, all the time

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?  
Plot ideas usually come from the intersection of a few conscious and a few unconscious thoughts.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I'm very portable; I will write just about anywhere.  I usually prefer to listen to music.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
 My agent

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
 My publisher does, sometimes.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?  
A couple of my favourites were the NY Times review of Gen Dead, the Charles de Lint reviews in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the analysis on  Just thinking about the tough ones makes me tear up.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
I tried to argue my case with a reviewer, once.  It was a mistake and not one I will repeat.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
 Disney had designed the covers thus far and they have done an absolutely stunning job.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
 Depends.  Usually the title is first but not always.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
  They occur in the writing somehow.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
 A little of both.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?  
Again, a little of both.  Sometimes you think things will be one way, but they go the other way.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?  
I like to write a couple chapters and then an extensive outline that will likely evolve over the process.

How do you market/promote your books?
I'm an occasional blogger.  I'll make appearances when invited.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?  
Great writing, great story, great timing.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?  
Nope.  "Writing" is not something a writer can shut off, even when they aren't physically writing.

What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
 I run, swim and listen to music.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
 I've never based a character on someone I know; every so often a semi-biographical scene will appear in a book.  Like in Break My Heart 1000 Times, when I saw a ghost.......

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")  
Yes.  Both secret and overt, subliminal and obvious.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?  
Many, many authors have influenced my life and writing.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
 I like 'em all.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
 My favourite books are Infinite Jest and the complete works of JD Salinger.  I've read both multiple times.  They contain multitudes.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?  
Some do, some don't.  I tend to like movies that alter the book a bit or provide a new take on the story.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
  I'm reading Wonder Boys by Dan Chabon.  It is a trade paperback and I'm enjoying it.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
 Not universally.  I can't speak for the UK, but in the United States teachers are up against terrible standardized tests and curricula that become impediments to instilling a love of reading and, certainly, to imaginative writing. 

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?  
And read and wrote constantly in school--often when I was supposed to be doing something else!

Did you have a favourite author as a child?  
I had many

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood?
 If yes, what is it?  Many.  I can't even look at D'aulaires Book of Greek Myths on myself without breaking out into a big smile.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?  
No, My preferences are always shifting.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
 No one book; there have been many I've set down.  Life is short.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?  
None that are top of mind, unless my friend Matthew Dow Smith finishes his novel in the near future.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?  
No, unless there are typos

What do you think about book trailers?
 I think they are wonderful

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
 Understand that not all criticism is good or even well intentioned; but the good stuff could change your life.  Learn how to take a punch, and how to refrain from throwing one.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
 I don't know, but it might be fun to create an alter ego.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?  
Hm.  Douglas Coupland,  Stephen King, and Kim Newman.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details? and

Your web site? 

Your Twitter details? @watersdan

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