I wanted to take a moment and talk a bit about who I am and what I write. I’ve gained quite a few new followers so I though it was time that I gave you a little more insight into me, what I write, and what inspires me to continue.
I am laying it all out there, because I am a communicator, well, online that is. In real life, I’m a bit of a recluse, and am not really good in social situations, which I am working on.
Who were my inspirations?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was really young. The first adult book I read was “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. I’ve always loved the supernatural, so I continued with other authors such as Poe, Lovecraft, King, Bradbury, F. Paul Wilson and many others. Oddly, my two biggest influences were Lovecraft and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Lovecraft is an inspiration because he loved description, words and his creation of the Cthulhu Mythos. Fitzgerald is an inspiration for his writing style, his ability to expose the dark underbelly of our society, and for giving us my favorite book, The Great Gatsby.
The Waking Dream is not all that I write, but it is a huge focus on my career because it spans so many genres and deals with many social issues, both for adults and young adults. I love to write horror, especially Lovecraftian Horror, because I do love a good scary tale, and it seems that there are not enough new ideas coming out. I have not been scared by anything that has come out lately. I abhor slasher type books, because the news does a pretty good job of covering that genre. It’s all too real and close to home.
The inspiration for the Waking Dream truly came from my personal quest to understand the nature of reality. I am inspired by a variety of things: the change of seasons, weird happenings, interactions between people, philosophy, religion, science and the paranormal.
When Did I Start Writing?
I really started writing stories when I was 12. I was attending a Catholic School in Woodbury, New Jersey. It was very old, and the basement was very creepy. I wrote a screen play about dark rituals happening in the basement at night. My teacher at the time, Mr. DuBois, fully supported me filming it and got permission for me to do so. Unfortunately, before we could do the film, my parents moved to Pennsylvania.
I was an avid Role-Player, and I’ve played just about every table-top game there is, and I enjoyed being the storyteller more than the player. I would write very involved campaigns, which were essentially interactive stories. Then when I got on the internet, I went crazy in the chat rooms with story lines, and had three channels devoted to different settings. Castle Nightshade was a high fantasy storyline set in a world I created with over 100 people playing at any given time. Night City was a vampire based storyline with many of the same people playing back and forth. And then finally, The Waking Dream which only had 12 players as a private group.
My first novel, which was published by Phantasm Books, is my crowning achievement as an author. I was very pleased to have my book recognized so quickly without having been published anywhere before. Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many to come. I enjoyed writing it, hated the editing process, and have stressed the promotion. But in the end, I am happy with what I have produced.
Here is the list of books I have written to date:
- Waking Dream: Devlin
- The Case Study (Horror Novella)
- The House of the Dead Timbers (Horror Novella)
- Immortal Memories (Short Stories from Waking Dream)
What is the Waking Dream All About?
I do get a lot of people who are very confused about the subject matter contained in the Waking Dream. I have many journals with all of the particulars about the Waking Dream Universe, because it is quite expansive. I am trying to create a world that is wholly unique, but emulates Cthulhu Mythos, or Frank Herbert’s Dune.
I am fascinated with the universe. I rarely watch any non-science shows, because I want to understand the nature of reality. So, I started the Waking Dream as a synthesis of all the concepts I feel to be true about our universe. If the universe were just a dream we should be able to control it. It’s just a matter of learning how to. We are all children, no matter how old we get. But, we tend to start to disbelieve that we have the power to change it. We get wrapped up in politics, our daily jobs, acquiring things, and we stop believing that life really is very magical. The fact that we exist at all is magical in of itself.
The Waking Dream is targeted to people who want to believe and it is appropriate for young adults, as well as adults. I explore social issues, so there is a lot of allegory in the novel. I also explore topics that plague our children today, such as coming of age, self-mutilation, poor self-esteem, dealing with loss, and how to fit in. On the social level, I address self-sustaining communities, religion, reincarnation, the degradation of society, politics, and the struggle between good vs. evil.
What Do I Do for My Day Job?
Currently, I am a data analyst, and I do enjoy it, because it has helped my ability to market my book, and self-promote. It all comes down to numbers. But, on the side, I am a programmer and I can program in 11 different computer languages. All of it self-taught, as I am a true autodidact. Structured learning is not my thing. I tend to learn better when I can move at my own pace.
However, I did not start out in this field. I have had many many different jobs in my 43 years. Here are the ones I can remember:
Gardener, Greenhouse Worker, Pastry Chef, Sous Chef, Line Cook, Toy Store Manager, Video Store Manager, Blockbuster Assistant Manager, Medical Sales, Web Designer, Project Manager, Grounds Keeper, Coder, Software Architect, Business Architect, Graphic Designer, and now Published Author.
All of the jobs I’ve had contributed to my experience as a writer. I have learned something valuable from each of them, though I wasn’t necessarily happy in each job. Working at a toy store during Christmas was an absolute nightmare!
What Are My Hobbies?
I am a firm believer in the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. Those of you who frequent my blog know that I try to post at least once a day. But I also have my facebook pages, my four secret twitter accounts, and my main @arkangyl account. So I do love social media. But my other hobbies include:
Drawing/Illustration (I have designed all but one of my book covers), Guitar, Drums, Music in general, Cooking, Console and PC Gaming, Role-playing, Poetry, Reading, Philosophy, Quantum Physics, Mathematics, Programming Apps and Board Games.
Writing I do not consider a hobby. This is what I ultimately want to do for a full-time job, and I feel confident that I will get there. As I’ve said to my other fellow authors, who are just starting out, it takes patience. Everything requires work and honing one’s craft.
Why Did I Do This?
First, I really did this because I wanted you all to know who I really am. I believe that it is important to engage my friends, (I hate the term followers). I do no spend all night looking for people to follow. I tweet and if someone follows me, I’ll follow them back if it seems we’d be friends! I always respond to everyone who engages me, because I do not want to sit on some pedestal and have people adore me.
Second, I am what I write. I am not writing to become rich and famous. I doubt I could deal very well with fame, as I am a recluse, as I mentioned. If you know who I am, perhaps you’ll be more interested in the stuff I write, and more importantly, you’ll understand why I write the way I do.
Again, thank you for listening, and I am always interested in a good conversation, either here, on Facebook or on Twitter.
If you hit the Interview Menu at the top, you can listen or read about my other interviews.
Happy Friday the 13th, my friends!