1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve lived in several states over the last fifteen years, but consider myself a Minnesotan, adopting the state where my wife grew up and still has family. I’ve run for US Congress, founded and edited a literary magazine, been a college English professor, published poetry and criticism in several small magazines, covered professional soccer in North America, and am currently a house spouse. 2. When did you start writing, and why?
I started taking writing seriously in college. My focus for a long time was on poetry. I eventually went on to earn my MFA in creative writing-poetry from the University of Notre Dame. Poetry, especially lyric poetry, appealed to me because it became a medium that allowed me to blend my love of language, metaphor, and philosophy.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
For the last few years, I’ve written mostly nonfiction and of that it has mostly been articles on North American soccer. I still write poetry but have come to keep that work rather to myself. With the novel, Adversaries Together, that I self-published late this year (2014), I am making my first foray into regularly writing fiction.
4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
Adversaries Together is my first book and the first book in a long series I have in mind. Right now I envision a seven book series, called Ascendant Realms. It’s an epic fantasy story—swords & sorcery—where I’ve taken away magic and imaginary beasts, sex and violence, and replaced them with politics and wrangling of would-be nations, religions, and commerce.
In this opening book, I introduce seven heroes who will appear throughout the series: Avery Roth, a secretive wanderer; Kira Ambrose, a young priestess; Goshen Staad, a chivalric paladin; Wynne Landis and his daughter Fery, two nobles responsible for saving their city; Jena Char, a woman ranger who is as tough as nails and kinder than most; and Declan Rainway, a world weary mercenary. What I like about these characters is the chance they afford me to show how every individual truly needs others in order to become what they are.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
This first book was written during National Novel Writing Month; I wrote every day over thirty days. The manuscript, warts and all, is the product of that event. After writing the novel, I decided to pull the trigger and self-publish. I’m now planning on completing the series over this next year.
In the world of Syr Nebra, there is no such thing as magic, yet every human clings to their faith and country. Avery Roth is a wanderer scratching out a living in the hinterlands trying to avoid the religious zealots of The Cathedral and the imperial ambitions of The Seven Spires. But when a young woman and her paladin guardian literally run into him in the wild as they are fleeing bandits, he is entangled in a political web that tightens the more he struggles to free himself and others. Roth aids the duo on their way but in so doing is drawn into the duplicitous schemes of the elites from rival realms.