Taking yourself too seriously is a surefire way to lose sight of what’s really important. I make time to enjoy life, find something fun to do, or simply hang out with people who inspire me to laugh and be part of something bigger than my everyday life.
Fun with dogs!
If you’ve met me, you know I’m an easy-going guy. I love meeting new people and learning new things. Being a novelist is rewarding in many ways. Talking in person with readers who’ve enjoyed my series is humbling, especially when they encourage me to: “Hurry up and release the next book!” I wish I could write faster.
Self promotion is something I find awkward and difficult. I’ve been taught humility is a good trait, so I’m uncomfortable talking about myself or my books. If you’ve ever seen me at a writers conference, I’m terrible at doing my own introduction or endorsing my latest novel. I’d rather talk about the craft of writing, editing, and polishing a manuscript. I enjoy giving back what others have given to me. I wouldn’t be published without the help of Ridley Pearson. He offered encouragement early in my career, something I’ll always cherish.
I love supporting other authors, but I also support my family, my church, my community, and especially my wife Carla. My passions outside of my writing career center around helping organizations that help animals, our veterans, law enforcement officers, and first responders. Doing so brings balance to my life.
It’s a highly competitive industry, but I believe you can be successful if you’re willing to work hard and never give up. I’ve wanted to be a traditionally published for many years and indeed it took many years for that to happen. I attended dozens of conferences where I sought the guidance and advice from editors, agents, and other authors. Being a novelist isn’t a glamorous life, but it’s fulfilling. My writing is my career and I hold myself to high, professional standards.
To those of you who are aspiring authors I say, “never give up.” If you’re passionate about your writing, keep at it! Always look for ways to improve your craft. Don’t work in isolation – go to conferences to hone your prose. Yes, this might mean ten more re-writes. Take this to heart: Writing is the art of rewriting. On average, I do 15-20 editorial passes through every book.
If you enjoy sharing your stories and want to earn a living doing it, there’s no magic pill, shortcut, or back door. Join a writer’s group, attend conferences, and ask lots of questions. Put yourself into the professional mindset of a novelist and write!. That’s how you get your book published. I’m living proof it can happen!