I’m a storyteller and I love to write. A LOT. But you've probably figured that out by now.
Maybe you can tell from browsing through my website that passionate, inspired, and dare I say, obsessed with great writing, hearing other people's stories, and telling great stories of my own through my books, plays, screenplays, writing classes, articles, and sometimes even just a great conversation. Just make sure there’s food, coffee, and a nice fire pit to fuel the tale-telling. Nothing’s worse than having to endure a boring story on an empty stomach or empty mug.
Growing up, I fell in love with books and movies because they took me places I never knew I could go and showed me who I wanted to be through the heroes I admired. But best of all, stories led me to an early life-changing encounter with my Creator. Follower. Friend. Fan. You can call me whatever you want. I just know what God has done and who he has shown himself to be in my life, and let me tell you, it's a story and a life worth sharing.
Someone told me when I was young that I was good at writing. As it turns outs, that was enough of a push to set me on the path I’m currently on. What I’ve discovered since then, though, is that writing is lot like being an athlete. Motivation is good. Discipline is better. But you have to practice and put in the work by writing every day. You also do it because you love it. You do it because you feel you have something worthwhile to say. And you do it because you have people you care enough about to say it to.
With everything I write, I do my best to write with curiosity, hope, and maybe even a little Irish wit and irreverence, and I do what I can to tackle those difficult questions we all have about life, each other, and the Creator with humility and a hyperdrive worth of enthusiasm.
I also know there are a lot of young men out there who, just like me, need an honest, exciting, well-written story to tell them that they are loved and that they have something to offer. That life isn't meaningless and that there is a path to becoming the man and hero they know can be. I write for them as well as my fellow writers who sometimes just need a creative roadmap to guide them through the forests of their own creative process.
So keep reading. And keep writing, storytellers. Your best is still to come.
QUESTIONS I GET ASKED A LOT
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN?
The one? There's never just one is there? While I have many personal favorites (The Lord of the Rings, Into the Wild, James and the Giant Peach, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Tuck Everlasting) I can't deny the power and impact of the Bible. Beautiful poetry, great character studies, epic history, life-changing spiritual truth, and generations of brilliant set up and payoff that only God could write. It's not only the foundation and inspiration for my faith, it's also the guiding light and inspiration behind some of the best stories and ideas in all of civilization.
WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR?
I adore the wit of Oscar Wilde and am a huge Tolkien fan. Other than that, I love the writing of Jon Krakauer, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, CS Lewis, Jules Verne, Eric Metaxas, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
It's a tie between 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and Jaws.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?
Anywhere we I can get free refills on coffee or tea.
DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE TO MUSIC?
Classical or movie soundtracks, absolutely. I can only listen to music with lyrics if I'm trying to get into the headspace or voice of one of my characters before I write. I often create playlists with the type of music they might listen to if I'm writing from their point of view but then unplug before I start writing. I'm too distracted otherwise.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
I received my B.A. in Screenwriting from Azusa Pacific University, and just because I was crazy enough about writing, I decided to go double-or-nothing by studying English. I completed my M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the merry and magical Vermont College of Fine Arts several years later.
IS YOUR WIFE A WRITER?
Stephanie is a wonderful actress and an amazing storyteller. But while I write for kids, she actually gets to save them as a NICU nurse.
SOMEWHERE YOU'D LIKE TO VISIT?
Ireland. Hoping to get there someday. I also love camping so Yosemite is high up there as well. And I would happily go back to Boston or Alaska. Two of my favorite places outside of LA.
WHAT'S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
Lucille's biscuits with LOTS of apple butter.
FAVORITE RIDE AT DISNEYLAND?
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. No doubt in my mind. However, I do also have to stop by and visit Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln on almost every visit.
FAVORITE FILM IN THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE?
Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the first Guardians of the Galaxy. We'll see what Disney+ has to offer in the coming months.
KIRK OR PICARD?
No shade to Kirk (or Shatner), but I grew up on The Next Generation. Jean-Luc is my captain now and always. "Make it so!"
YOU WRITE ABOUT STAR WARS A LOT. IF YOU COULD WRITE ANYTHING IN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would love to take a crack at a Rogue Squadron miniseries, Podracing comic book, or novel set in the sky circuses of Cloud City.