1. Reading a bit of your bio I am curious what brought you to writing after going to school for biology originally?
I was writing a bit during college, and for a while after graduation I was working in a lab while taking writing classes. I even applied to a PhD program in animal behavior and was waitlisted. But around that time I just realized I was happier writing. In many ways I’m still trying to answer those same questions that got me interested in biology, questions about human nature and our place in the universe.
2. What authors inspired you into writing?
Hmm… I grew up with classics of sci-fi and fantasy, Tolkien, Heinlein, Frank Herbert, as I got older I got really into Stanislaw Lem and Ursula Le Guin. Sci-fi has always been my favorite genre to read, I love its emphasis on big ideas. I also need to give thanks to my mentor at CalArts, Brian Evenson (who writes excellent literary horror, if you haven’t read him.)
3. What inspired you to create such a unique and intricate world as you did in Sightless City?
Boredom, mostly. I came up with the basis of the universe as a teenager. I think I’ve always been interested in industrial decay, and the allure of ruins and wastelands. In this digital age, there’s something bizarrely attractive about old industry, even as destructive as it could be.
4. What are your favorite characters to write and why?
I have a soft spot for Sylvaine, but honestly it's a lot of fun to write villains. Villains can just go places and do things that more heroic, or even just vaguely decent, characters wouldn’t, and it can be equal parts fun and horrific to see what they are capable of. Verus, I particularly liked to write, he’s just a jerk, and does the least to hide it.
5. Does your personal and private life seep into your books?
I hope not! There’s not too much in my life that fits directly into the grim world of The Sightless City. I’m sure if I dug deep I could find some comparisons, but I prefer not to dig.
6. How did you become interested in Fantasy fiction novels?
I’ve always loved sci-fi and fantasy. As for my own work, I’ve never been too strict with genre conventions. I write things that aren’t real, and I think it’s easier to fit those things into fantasy, sci-fi has some extra rules. As for why I write speculative fiction in general… I like the freedom it provides. I also enjoy worldbuilding, creating landscapes, histories, and cultures, and we kind of already have all of those already in the real world. (Though I do love reading about them!)
7. Do you see yourself as becoming a famous author with followers?
No idea. I hope so, or rather, I hope I become a writer with readers. Fame and followers themselves don’t particularly matter, (I’m terrible with twitter anyways) I just want my book to be in the hands of those who would enjoy it. I want to provide the wonder I received as a young science fiction and fantasy reader.
8. What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’ve been hard at work on the sequel to The Sightless City. I have the trilogy all sketched out, I’m just doing all the filling in. I also have another project, but it’s still in progress and I have no publisher at the moment, so I don’t want to announce too much.