1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
I became a writer mainly because I needed some sort of creative outlet. I daydream a bit too much, and needed some way to work with that. I decided to give writing a shot, and I very much am happy I decided too.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
The funny thing is I’m usually not too interested in specific authors as much as I like specific characters. I’m one of those people that believes the characters are the stars, not the person writing it. If I do have to pick one though, I’ll go with Stan and Jan Beranstain. As a kid, I loved those two.
Today, I’ve been trying to read a lot of classical books, some of the ones that usually don’t get taught in schools. This year I’ve read Tarzan of the Apes, The Jungle Book, and Peter Pan. I also started reading A Game of Thrones.
3. What was the inspiration behind Wiley's Grocery?
Two years ago, I was in a creative writing class where I wrote a bizarre fantasy story for my first of two assignments. Everyone else was writing these really serious dramatic stories. They kind of felt like soap operas in a way. I took that as a challenge to try and write something similar to them while still keeping my own bizarre ways. I wasn’t looking for an accurate grocery store portrayal. Just something weird.
4. Will we ever see any of these characters again in future works?
There is a boxer in the book named Ricardo Electric. I think I see something that could happen for him in the future. I’ve definitely had some ideas for that character that aren’t related to the grocery store.
5. As a new writer, what words of advice do you have for those also just wetting their feet in publishing?
Look for all the resources you can to help you with your projects. Make sure you say your ‘thank you’s to everyone that helps you, and, make sure you take the time to listen to every critique.
6. Were any of the characters' personalities or emotions taken from real life?
Not so much personalities, but emotions definitely. In the second story, there’s a character named Maria who sort of gets criticized by her friends in their hostel room. I definitely saw that happen before in a hostel.
7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?
I definitely want to try a fantasy one, but nothing that’s like elves or swords and stuff. Something a bit more unique. Just have to find the idea first.
8. If you could trade places with any character in these stories, who would it be and why?
I would say The Stranger in “The Hostel” story. I would love to see what his adventures are outside of the book, and maybe even learn more about his dispute with Russell. Stephaney and Gary kind of just got caught up in it. They never really were in the know of what was going on.
9. Would you like to see these stories as a TV show? Who do you want to see play your characters?
I don’t think so. One of the things with this book is that I tried my best to embrace the freedom of self-publishing. It doesn’t really fit too many rules of structure. I think some of the people that liked it, may have enjoyed that. With a TV show, there’s a lot more limits, so I don’t think it could work.
For actors though, I would want some people who we usually don’t see on TV. Some people who are new to it, and trying to get established. Kind of like me, you could say.
10. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
In ten years I hope I have a few more books out. And, my goal is to sell at least 1,000 copies on one title. I’ll be a bit cocky and say that I see myself doing that in ten years.
11. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
I think I would attempt at making a web video series. Maybe something with tiny army men and dinosaurs for characters. Finding other voice actors would be pretty hard though, I think.
12. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
I can, but not too many details. I am trying to write another fantasy book, but I might use a different name since it’s so much different than the current book I have. I’m getting more input from my buddies on this one though.
13. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
After reading Tarzan of The Apes, I think Edgar Rice Burroughs would be cool to work with. He’d probably find my weaknesses and make the book more exciting. His writing style would benefit my book a lot, I think.
14. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
1. I have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comforter.
2. I actually really enjoy black beans and white rice as a meal.
3. A friend of mine from 6th grade made me that awesome cover for my book!
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VGMYWLY/
Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25266323-wiley-s-grocery