Have a question that isn’t answered here? Contact me.
- How many books do you have available?
Apart from the upcoming THE OTHER MRS MILLER, my current offerings include STRINGS and THE OILMAN’S DAUGHTER (co-authored with Ian Thomas Healy). I also have a smattering of short stories available on Amazon, both as standalone downloads and in few anthologies.
2. How can I acquire review copies?
For all applicable links, please visit my Contact page!
3. You used to have more for sale. What happened?
Early on, I self-published a few books and many more short stories. The novels were more of an attempt to experiment with digital publishing platforms as well as to get a feel for how people responded to my work. While the feedback among readers was generally positive, I was never satisfied with the editing quality. I could also say the books in question “no longer reflected my brand,” but that only makes me sound like a douche, even if it is true. As for the short stories, my goal is to form a collection that includes both the old stories I still think pass muster, and new ones yet to be written.
4. What about the Colt Coltrane books?
I am still very fond of my Colt stories and fully intend to re-release those at some point, possibly under a pseudonym that will also cover my other speculative fiction work. As of right now, the two main Colt books are still available on Audible.
5. Will you ever re-release THE LAST SUPPER?
I think about it from time to time. It has a tiny but mighty fan base, and it also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. That said, I’ve never really loved the book myself. Certainly not enough to do what it would take to resurrect it to my current standard. There are a lot of complicated emotions here, but it comes down to THE LAST SUPPER being my earliest novel, with all the trappings of earliest novels. It’s rough around the edges, and not in a particularly endearing way. You the reader might not see those flaws, but I always will, and nothing short of a complete tear-down and rewrite that would fundamentally change the book in several key ways would satisfy me. If you have a copy of TLS, consider yourself part of a highly exclusive club. You could also burn it. (Okay I’m kidding. Mostly).
6. Why did you switch genres? I thought you were a horror/sci-fi writer.
I think my whole writing career up until the last few years has been an exercise in finding where I fit in. My horror was always more “horror lite.” Same for my science fiction. My flair for the vague and ambiguous kept me out of a lot of genre publications over the years, and it also made my self-published work harder to sell. The most successful stories I had in horror and science fiction were when I did manage to double down my efforts on the genre elements, but those ideas didn’t come frequently enough to sustain a career. Additionally, my speculative fiction concepts would only come to me in the short form. It’s hard for me to spend a novel’s length of time in places where I have too many world-building rules to follow. Those authors who can do it, and do it well, have my undying respect. When I wrote STRINGS, it was like opening a door. I found I could anchor a story in the real world, with no fantastical or speculative elements, but also still create the mood I was always chasing: dread and discomfort, high tension, that moral quandary when you find yourself sympathizing with a shitty person. I realized thrillers and suspense were where I was meant to be. So I pivoted, and I haven’t really looked back. To me, the scariest monsters are the ones you might one day actually meet, either on the street or when you look in the mirror. Even though what I write now isn’t nearly as visceral as STRINGS (that was a unique once-in-a-lifetime spleen vent), I try to stick to the core spirit of it in everything I do.
7. Do you have an agent? If so, how did you get an agent?
I am represented by Stephanie Rostan of Levine Greenberg Rostan.
I wrote a lot of books that got turned down by other agents over the years, and then I finally wrote a book that didn’t. That isn’t coy. It’s really what it takes. You can use sites like QueryTracker to find agent listings based on your particular criteria, and I highly recommend Query Shark for learning how to write a great query letter. But what helped me in the end was closely studying the market for books that were similar enough to the one I’d just written (female-driven thrillers and suspense), and then looking up the agents of the authors who’d hit the bestseller list in that genre. Because having an agent is one thing. Having an agent with a proven track record is another. I came up with a list of about twenty authors. I tailored my query letters to each specific agent, based on who they represented. At the top of that list happened to be Stephanie Rostan, who represents Gillian Flynn, and whose audience I’d hoped to target with my book. It’s also worth noting that in addition to writing STRINGS, reading GONE GIRL was probably my biggest inspiration for my genre pivot. I read that book and knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do. While there ended up being several other interested parties for the book that eventually came to be called SECRET THINGS, Stephanie was the one I clicked with the best, and when she offered representation, it was a dream come true. While that aforementioned book has yet to find a home, we hit pay dirt with THE OTHER MRS MILLER a few years later. And that’s another object lesson of finding an agent: even when you end up with a great one, it isn’t a magic bullet. Sometimes the book she loves enough to sign you isn’t the one that sells. So always keep writing.
8. How long have you been writing?
Professionally, a little over a decade. It took many years after that to start earning any money at it, but I put in a lot of work writing, reading, freelance editing, self-publishing, doing conventions, and teaching workshops. All of it helped develop me into the odd mishmash of obsessive thinking, insomnia, caffeine addiction, and generalized anxiety otherwise known as Writer.
9. How long does it take you to write a book?
Drafting a book doesn’t take me long at all. A couple months, give or take a few weeks. Making it into a GOOD book takes a lot longer, and the process varies a great deal from book to book. The revisions on THE OTHER MRS MILLER are henceforth going to be defined as “pre-sale” and “post-sale.” I technically started that book in 2014, though it sat in limbo for several months until I powered through and finished the first draft in the middle of 2015. It sold to a publisher in 2018, however, and it went through about six drafts (including a couple of full rewrites) before it editors ever saw it. It then went through about three more revision with my editors at Putnam and Sphere (my UK publisher). With STRINGS, it had about three drafts before it went to the publisher, and then one or two more before publication, but things are a little different on the indie publishing side. There aren’t as many eyes on the work, and with a less voluminous roster of authors, the turnaround is faster. When the original publisher for STRINGS closed, it went through another revision before the second edition was released via Local Hero Press.
10. Can I send you my book for a blurb or your general opinion?
At this time, unless the request comes from my agent or publisher or someone I already know very well, I can’t commit to that. But I am happy to point you in the direction of some excellent freelance editors and beta readers!
11. Are your books available in other languages?
As of right now, THE OTHER MRS MILLER is set to be released in the following territories: North America, UK, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. I will update this as new territories or translations are added. At this time, there is no plan to have my other available books translated.
12. What are you currently working on?
The Next Book. Always the Next Book.
13. Do you have a fan club?
There is an unofficial group on Facebook that I had absolutely NO part in creating. They call themselves Dickheads. Join if you like, but I warn you: they are cannibals. AKA, my kind of people.
Lightning Round of Random Questions
- Pineapple on pizza? Absolutely
- Will you marry me? I am happily married to a wonderful man, and I will only do bigamy for Angie (she knows who she is).
- Do you put on both socks and then shoes, or sock-shoe-sock-shoe? The first one.
- Can you even? I’ve only ever been an odd.
- What scares you? Being lost. Plane crashes. Gummy worms. Red hats.
- Favorite books? The Dark Tower series, Different Seasons, Little Women, The Color Purple, The Road, Oryx and Crake, Gone Girl, The Exorcist, The Martian, You, Fight Club… I could keep going.
- Dogs or Cats? Yes. Also lizards.
- Favorite serial killer? Bundy gets all the attention, but Pee Wee Gaskins or H.H. Holmes make for some damn interesting research.
- Favorite TV shows? Westworld, Better Call Saul, Hannibal, Great British Bake-off.
- If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be? A contestant on Great British Bake-off. Gotta work on my accent though.