When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?
I have been a musician for most of my life, writing songs and creating music, so I really like that and I have incorporated some of that into my work “Amiranda.” I am fortunate enough to like music so much that I also DJ for various events, which although can be work, can also be fun and relaxing for me.
What makes your book stand out from the rest?
One thing that makes my book stand out from the rest is that I am not a writer, nor do I claim to be one. My book was mainly to be a basis on what I envisioned a classic animated fairly tale should be… similar to older ones like “Snow White”, “Cinderella” or even “The Brave Little Toaster.” Today we see so many animations where they use “cheap slapstick humor” or “toilet humor” to get laughs from children or fast paced non-stop action to keep and hold their attention, but these values doesn’t really teach them core values or incorporate on how they should behave or interact when dealing with one another. When writing Amiranda, I wanted to step back and bring back the basics of fairy tale storytelling, or at least that is what I envisioned.
The other thing that makes my book stand out from the rest is, I believe, my use of characters. I thought long and hard about the characters… their names, their behaviors, their reactions, their strengths and weaknesses, etc. I also got to help create what these characters look like working with the illustrator Christopher Donovan, who I think did a remarkable job in depicting what I envisioned. I believe this really helps the reader get a true feel for these characters, and even a good look at Amiranda herself… her gazing out to the countryside at her vast town of Luxing which she does not know much of. I think the illustrations and caricatures really set apart my book from just words on a page, had I otherwise not included them.
Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?
A stately dressed butler hurries into the room. He is properly dressed in tails, medium in height, lean in stature, with balding gray and silver hair.
“Amiranda, hurry down here!” the proficient butler calls out to her, careful not to shout, as that would be undignified. “…Already you are way off your schedule! You know if you’re not down here promptly for your swimming practice, your father will have my hide!”
The butler is hasty in his routine around the manor as he always tries to maintain a rigid schedule, and is fervent as far as his duties are concerned. Ritualistically, he prepares some garments and towels, folding them and draping them over the changing partition.
A young girl’s voice replies politely. “Can't I have breakfast first today, Jove? It's too early to go swimming; I just woke up.” Although she cannot be seen, the girl’s sweet voice rings clearly from the top of the stairs. She has the kind of voice that resonates in the purest of tones and with the most perfect pitch, yet remains timid and not overpowering.
The young girl slowly makes her way down the marble staircase; seen only by her bare feet first, and then the frilled lace bottom of her long and flowing white nightgown, hemmed neatly at ankle-length. Pitter-pattering at her feet, the paws of her puppy move closely along beside her. The young pup makes his way clumsily down the stairs, too small yet to manage proficiently by himself, although he tries. He consistently trips on the young girl’s toes as she descends the stairway, but she remains diligently careful not to step on her faithful companion.
If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?
Not to be religious, but I would have to choose Easter for a couple of reasons. One is that is marks the beginning of spring, which is what I akin Princess Amiranda to be like… new, curious and teaming with life (but forced to keep it all bottled up in a jar). The other is because it is like a rebirth of the Earth, where flowers come back to life after a long season of winter, animals come out of hibernation, and helpful insects begin to emerge (like bees and butterflies aid in pollination).
Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?
In writing Amiranda, I often thought about a prequel and perhaps a sequel to help fill in the gaps. There is not much told by way of the story of the protagonist and I feel like I wanted to keep that as a whole ‘nother tale, as this story was about Amiranda specifically. The king is another character where much is not divulged, but again a lot of that is specifically intentional. Also Adam, who becomes a main part in the story of Amiranda later on, I feel has some history I also left out for a prequel.
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
I have written a few short stories and I copyrighted two books of poems and quite a few songs. I think I always wanted to be a writer, but more of original songs and rather a producer of a “completed work” such as a movie or animation. Since I really don’t read many books (I often do not have the spare time to do so), to me a finished polished work would be more of an accomplishment. Again, I am not a writer nor do I claim to be. To me the ultimate goal would to see “Amiranda” on the big screen, as a completed work, and having Amiranda-based toy figurines given out with McDonalds happy meals (lol, a pipe-dream, I know).
What’s next for you?