I was born and raised in Phoenix, and currently reside in Glendale, Arizona. I have been married to my lovely wife Vaneza for fifteen years, and she is my biggest supporter. We have no children (unless you count fur kids, in which case we have three, two that bark and one that meows). By day, I work as a medical biller, and am a staunch fan of the Diamondbacks and Cardinals. I love to read, mostly Young Adult, and I ONLY read indie authors, because they need my support, and because some of them are awesome!
When and why did you start writing?
It wasn’t a lifelong goal of mine, that’s for sure. In early 2014, I started to get nostalgic about my middle-school years (which, apart from the bullying, weren’t all that bad), and I started to think about how I might have changed things if I could go back. So then I started to write a story in my head about a bullied boy – who looked a LOT like me – who triumphed over his tormentors, won the respect of his peers and earned the love of a beautiful girl. A classic underdog story. After nine months, the story had a beginning, a middle and an end, and I said to myself, “Maybe I should write this down.” And three months later, Joshua’s Island was on Amazon. And then, other stories started rolling around my head, and I had to write those too!
Being bullied in middle school was awful, and in high school, it only got worse. I was never popular or athletic, and I went from short and scrawny to overweight in no time flat. I was so lonely and depressed, and all I could do to make myself happy was eat. For thirty years, I suffered from low self-esteem and a lack of ambition, despite having a wonderful, supportive family. Writing this book allowed me to purge myself of those demons that I’d been holding inside, and I hoped that by writing it, it might encourage others to avoid making the same mistakes that I did.
If there is one thing you’d want people to do after reading these books, what would it be?
To look for the signs of bullying in their kids, in their friends, in their classmates. Because honestly, the most horrific signs are NEVER near the surface. I would hope that this book would encourage people to seek out those who are friendless, are sad, are outcasts, because you just never know … that person who everyone else has overlooked may turn out to be the best friend you ever have. And because no one, especially a child, deserves to walk through life alone.
What has the reception of your books been so far?
Well, it’s been phenomenal. It would seem that I am a decent writer, after all. My three books (Joshua’s Island, Ethan’s Secret, Sophie’s Different) have racked up over 150 reviews on Amazon, all positive, with an average score of 4.8. That is beyond even my wildest dreams. Additionally, I entered Joshua’s Island in several literary competitions, and have won two, most notably a gold medal in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. It was one of the biggest honors of my life.
What is the best way to connect with you online?
I practically live on Facebook, so you can connect with me on my author page there, but I’m also on Twitter. I also run a YA group that has other fantastic authors who blog about different topics called YA Rendezvous that you can check out here. And you can always drop me an email.
- Between Chaos and Order: The Need For A Middle Way - June 18, 2018
- Spiritual Mamas: Intuition, Spirituality, and Motherhood - June 4, 2018
- Neither Selfish or Selfless – Only Loving! - April 30, 2018