1. What inspired you to write Story of The Ghost?
The inspiration is from my own experience when I was in college, playing football at the University of Arizona. Someone came up to me one day and called me "The Ghost." I had never heard that name before and sort of shrugged it off. Years later, I had the thought of what it would be like if someone was "put upon" like that, meaning: what if there were expectations placed upon a person who wanted to achieve a certain goal that were outside of that goal? What if things got out of hand and the person (hero) had to deal with the ramifications of what others thought about him and what he was doing? I used this as a way to build my story from the inside out.
2. Would you tell us a bit about your process of shaping the book, over the course of 2+ years?
I started from a visual sense. A scene was occurring over and over in my head, and I felt stronger each day about what I was feeling--that there was something good enough to write about. So I started to write from where I thought the story should begin. After a year, and maybe 50k words, I started over again, keeping things here and there and trying to write better. I then used flashcards to write my chapters, rather, ideas about them. Then I made note of the characters' world, whether it was my hero, antagonist, or any other. Using the flashcards helped me to spread them out over the floor (literally) and rearrange them according to dates and times. After about two years I was finished with the story, but from that point I had to go through it multiple times to flesh it out. A lot of times I had to delete what I call "long writing" and try and simplify it for the reader. Some of the stuff I thought was so great to begin with I had to cut it out. I wanted mainly to "show" rather than "tell," but some of my beta readers wanted more of that telling aspect, and I ended keeping that in mind as I went through it time and time again.
3. Where does your own experience intersect with that of the novel's main character?
My own experience has to do with playing football. My hero gets involved with the game, and I used a lot of my knowledge to write some unique sequences. I know a lot about the game, and I wrote from a very unique aspect of playing it. What I let my hero do in the novel has never been done before in the game of football--on screen or in a book--and I think it all worked out very original and how I wanted.
4. How does the landscape of Arizona feature in your book?
The desert landscape of Arizona, specifically Southern AZ, is vital to my story. The San Pedro River might even be a character in itself. I created fictional towns here and there and used Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca for anchor points. Sunsets are important as well in my story since they are so wonderful in Arizona.
5. Now that your debut novel is complete, what project(s) are you working on?
I am looking to be inspired by another story, and I hope to start something soon. SOTG is what I call a "little story with big themes." I don't think I could write something like it again right away. My hope is that I can find another story close to me and bring it to life. And hopefully I can use everything I've learned to write faster than I did!