Why do you have so many books about werewolves?
I love the werewolf as a metaphor. He embodies everything society tells us we have to repress about our natural state. I find it fascinating to play with that idea.
How many books will there be in The Werewolf Saga?
I don’t know. Nadia’s Children will close a particular chapter in the Saga, but the characters will still exist in my mind, at least. I have written an apocryphal novel to the Saga, a romance about Bjorn Halden and his wife Morwen, but at this point I can’t say if it’ll be published. Another historical romance I began several years ago tells the story of Josef Ulrik’s first love. As I close in on finishing the first draft of Nadia’s Children, I can already see threads of where future stories may wander, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Does that mean some major characters will die in Nadia’s Children?
Yes. An atomic bomb wipes out most of the Pack. Really? I’m not giving that away.
What inspired Seven Days in Benevolence?
We lived in a big old house in Ponca City, Oklahoma, for a while. Some of the sounds and the issue with the light bulbs really happened. I’d wanted to write a haunted house story for a long time and, when Phillips Petroleum bought out Conoco (where I worked at the time) they gave all my department’s work to outside contractors, so I was “on the clock” with nothing to do, so I wrote the book then.
Does being a teacher influence your writing? Do you write about your students?
Now that I’ve stepped into the young adult market, yes, things that happen, or that I hear about at school does influence me. Certain attributes of my students and co-workers show up in my work, but I try to be careful about not recreating one particular person in a story.
Besides being a teacher and writer, what other jobs have you had?
My first job was temporary, working in a cemetery making Christmas decorations for graves. Since then I have been a fast food fry cook, done retail sales, sweeping, and stocking, auto body repairman, grocery bagger, machinist, bookseller, warehouse shipper, journalist, corporate writer, public relations director, and then became a teacher.
I assume you are an avid reader. Are your parents? Your wife? Your kids?
I owe my love of books to my mom. However, she’s the only family member I have who reads for pleasure. I know, I know, they don’t know what they’re missing. Thanks, Mom!
Most of your books are based in Oklahoma, where you’ve always lived. Would you want to live anywhere else?
I would love to live on the Oregon coast, but you’ll have to buy a lot more of my books before I can afford to make that move. Even then, I’d probably miss the heat, ice storms, and blowing red dirt of Oklahoma.
What can we expect to see from you soon?
As of this writing, my next book will be After Obsession, a young adult paranormal romance co-written with NY Times bestseller Carrie Jones, coming Sept. 13, 2011, from Bloomsbury. In November 2011 Bad Moon Books will release Amara’s Prayer, an adult urban fantasy novel. Sometime in 2012 Bad Moon Books will release The Prometheus Syndrome, an adult horror novel.
What are you working on now?
Other than Nadia’s Children, I’m revising a young adult novel about black magic, and there might be something else from me and Carrie in the works. Besides those, I have some other projects in various states of completion, both adult and young adult.