Why do you write for teens?
I sort of got fed up with some of the books I was reading. I felt like a lot of general market teen books glorified temptation and the Christian teen books tended to have too many “rules” in keeping totally clean of anything “worldly.” I wanted a balance. I wanted to write books that were real. Real characters dealing with life, messing up, learning something, moving on. So sometimes my characters will do the right thing. But sometimes they’ll do the wrong thing. Because that’s life.
How many books will be in the Captives/Safe Lands series?
There will be three Safe Lands books.
How did you come up with the idea for Captives?
How many books will be in the Mission League series?
There will be seven books: four full books and three novellas. You can learn more about them at www.themissionleague.com.
Do you plan to write more books in the Replication series?
I originally designed the series to be a trilogy. It all depends on how well Replication is received and if I have time to write the sequels. I’d like to.
How many books are in the Blood of Kings series?
There are three books in the Blood of Kings trilogy: By Darkness Hid, To Darkness Fled, and From Darkness Won.
Do you plan to write more books in the Blood of Kings storyworld?
Nothing that I can announce now, but I’m working on it.
Where did you get the idea for the Blood of Kings trilogy?
My son and I were walking along the streets of Burbank and we saw a burned-down house. There was a tree in the yard that had partially burned. It was half charred and half leafy green. I thought it was the coolest image. I ran home and Photoshopped it. It’s the same image that’s the header on my blog. I knew I wanted to write a story about this tree.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I remember wishing there were more options for teens to read that were clean but dealt with real-life topics. There were quite a variety of these types of books for teen girls but few for boys. I thought to myself, “I could do that.” (Boy, was I naieve! It was a lot harder than I thought.)
What are your favorite books?
Too many to name. But here are some: The Hobbit, Hunger Games, The Circle Trilogy, This Present Darkness, Ender’s Game, Maximum Ride, Percy Jackson, Pendragon, Little House on the Prairie, Harry Potter, Alex Rider, Ella Enchanted, Pride and Prejudice, The Chocolate War, The Lord of the Rings, Speak, The King of Atolia, and Timeline.
When does your next book come out?
Project Gemini, the second full Mission League book, releases in June 2013.
Where can I find your books?
All my books are available in ebook formats.
Paperback versions of Captives (The Safe Lands, book 1), Replication: The Jason Experiment, and Go Teen Writers: How to Turn a First Draft into a Published Book are available wherever books are sold. If they don’t have copies in stock, they’ll order one for you.
My Blood of Kings trilogy and Mission League series are published by a small publisher, so you won’t find paperbacks of those titles in most stores. You can purchase them online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook.com, or the Marcher Lord Press website.
Also, many libraries carry my books. If yours doesn’t, ask them to order them. If they are hesitant, download the library reviews on my Free Downloads page, take them to your librarian. Those might help.
Why does the Sanctum need a password and how can I get the password?
The Sanctum is a special area of my website for those people who help me promote my books. If you are interested in helping with this, please read the information under Team Novel Teen
Can you do a critique for me?
Unfortunately, I can’t do a critique for everyone who asks. If I met you at a school or writer’s conference, and I told you to email me, please do so. But be patient with me. I sometimes get behind on email. If not, you are welcome to enter my monthly critique contest
Can you recommend a freelance editor?
You bet! Check out my page on freelance editors by clicking here
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love creating characters. It’s amazing to sit behind a keyboard and bring people to life. I love getting to know my characters and seeing how they will shape the story I’m writing.
What is the hardest part about being a writer?
Patience. It’s really hard to write a novel, rewrite it a dozen times, and still have to wait to see it in print. That’s a hard thing to deal with. Understanding that, I write to honor God with my story and to enjoy the process of writing has to be enough, because it may never be published.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write and read a lot! The more you study the books you love, the more you’ll understand what makes a good story. The more you write, the better you’ll be able to tell a story. You also need to lean the craft of writing. You can do this by reading books and attending writers’ conferences. I have recommendations for both on my Teenage Author blog
. Also, visit Go Teen Writers
for a fabulous community of teen writers online.