Author of the Shakespeare’s Star Wars Series. The Force Doth Awaken is out now from Quirk Books.
When I was 15, I spent the summer memorizing Shakespearean soliloquies. No real reason, I was just a nerdy 15-year-old. Of the ten or so speeches I learned, I have only retained two in full (Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” and Jacques’ “All the world’s a stage”).
I got rid of all my Star Wars figures in 2005. Sad, but true. I had decided that, since I had become an adult, it was time to let the figures go. Now I wish I still had them all!
The first time I wrote iambic pentameter was in my senior year English class in high school. We were studying John Dryden’s poem “Mac Flecknoe” and we were assigned to write a satirical poem in opposition to a well-known figure of our choice. I wrote ten lines of iambic pentameter against Barney, the Purple Dinosaur.
My favorite authors are Tana French, Brian Doyle, J.K. Rowling, David James Duncan, Sena Jeter Naslund, and Stephen King. By “favorite” I mean I buy and read anything these authors write. Stephen King could publish his shopping list and I would read it.
I can write anywhere. I don’t have any special writing rituals, and often the way things work out I end up writing amid distractions. It doesn’t matter—I can tune out just about anything and keep going.
On average, I read around 80 books per year. Usually, I wake up early in the morning before my family is up and read for an hour or so. I’m really anal about my reading schedule and goals. I’m also a firm believer that to be a good author you have to be an avid reader.
My spouse Jennifer and I are lovers of Scotland. I wrote William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh while we were staying on the island of North Ronaldsay—in the Scottish Orkney Islands—during Jennifer’s sabbatical in 2014.
When I was growing up, I was never much of a science fiction reader. I loved watching Star Wars and Star Trek, but I didn’t read a lot of sci-fi. Since 2016, I’ve been trying to fill the gaps in my sci-fi knowledge, reading heavily in both classic sci-fi and more recent works.
The thing my kids think is coolest about my success as an author is that I have a verified Twitter account. No joke.
I feel like the luckiest man alive to get to write the books I write. Six years ago, this wasn’t anywhere on my radar. Every day, I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had.