1. Have you always been interested in writing, or did your desire to write develop over time?
I've always had some interest in writing, for as long as I can remember. When I was little kid, I wrote poetry and works of fiction. My book Stand By Me was actually written over the span of 10 years. But, as I grew older and wiser, I started writing based on personal experiences. My commitment to writing definitely developed over time.
2. I noticed that you publish in PDF format and sell your own books on your website. Why do you publish and distribute independently instead of through big retailers?
I actually considered trying to get my work published, but I wanted to try selling it all myself first. I figured having it up myself was a good way to gauge if anyone would actually purchase my writing. I chose the PDF format because I see it as a very universal file type that anyone would be able to view.
3. As someone who writes both poetry and prose, how do you decide which genre is the best for the ideas you want to express?
My writing sort of chooses me. Whenever I have an idea, it usually comes to me formed already. I'll think of a couple rhyming sentences, and then I'll write a poem. Or I'll think of a couple lines and know it would work as prose instead. The real challenge is deciding between prose and articles. For that I just see what sounds better at the end. Then I make whatever changes I need to.
4. Who are some authors, artists, musicians, or other people who inspire you creatively?
I would say one of my biggest inspiration is Gerard Way (formerly of My Chemical Romance). He always had an attitude that said "it's okay to be a little messed up." I've always felt different, so his message really stood out to me. But my biggest inspiration is the author Christopher Gutierrez. He made an entire career out of telling stories about his life. They aren't even well written, but it's because he always delivers powerful messages with them. He's an amazing author. Every time I feel like my writing isn't very good, he reminds me that it doesn't have to be. It just has to have a whole lot of heart.
5. What projects are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on two novels. One is a sort of autobiography about the places I've been and the people I've known. The other is about the challenge of living with a mental disability. I was diagnosed as bipolar when I was teenager. It's been rough journey into adulthood. Obviously, it affects personal relationships, keeping a job, and everything else. I want the message of the book to be that it's okay to be a little messed up.