I’m a storyteller, and I write A LOT. But I'm sure you've figured that out already. In any case, I’m passionate about great writing and inspired to tell great stories through my books, plays, screenplays, writing classes, articles, and sometimes just a great conversation. Just make sure there’s food and coffee or 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 fiction and movies because they took me places I never knew I could go and showed me a little of who I wanted to be. Best of all, they led me to a life-changing encounter with my Creator, who inspires me still.
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 professional athlete. Motivation is good. Discipline is better. You have to practice and put in the work by writing every day. But you do it because you love it. You do it because you feel you have something worthwhile to say that can only be said in a good story. And you do it because you have people you care enough about to say it to.
I know there are a lot of young guys out there who, just like me, need an exciting, well-written story to tell them that they’re okay and things are going to be all right. 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.
With my wife Stephanie constantly supporting and sometimes pushing me along the way, I continue to write from our home in Southern California. So 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?
Oooh. Hard to say. While I have many personal favorites (The Lord of the Rings, Into the Wild, When I Was the Greatest, 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, epic storytelling, profound theming, and generations of brilliant set up and payoff. It's obviously the foundation for my faith, but it's also just really good writing.
WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR?
I adore the wit of Oscar Wilde and am obviously a huge Tolkien fan. Other than that, I love the writing of Jason Reynolds, Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, David Wiesner, and Erwin McManus.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
It can never be just one. 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, are some of my favorites right now, but I'm constantly discovering new diamonds.
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.
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 adding a second B.A. in English Literature. I completed my M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults at 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. Talk about a hero.
SOMEWHERE YOU'D LIKE TO VISIT?
Ireland. I've never been and it's part of my family heritage. I also love camping so Yosemite is high up there. 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. Though Avengers: Endgame was pretty spectacular!
KIRK OR PICARD?
No shade to Captain 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 podracing series or write about the sky circuses of Cloud City on Bespin.