He has published two novels: Two-Faced Wolf and Teddy Roosevelt’s  Goblin: A Bigfoot Story. His books are action and adventure thrillers, social commentary, and contemporary and historical fiction.

Teddy Roosevelt’s Goblin: A Bigfoot Story delves into themes of cryptozoology.

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

Writing is a daily habit for me—an addiction if I’m being honest. I’ve had a serious case of hidden graphomania since the third grade. I write whenever I find a quiet moment, very early in the morning or late at night.

I’m a stay-at-home dad. My daughter comes first, and my writing second. 

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

When I write, I take about a half hour or more to think about what I want to accomplish. I then put myself in the story and try to see each character’s perspective from behind their eyes.

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

When I hit a wall on a story, I take a day or two off and work on another project. It helps clear my mind before I return to where I left off. 

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between? 

I’m somewhere in between. My stories come to me when I read or see something inspiring. I try to build upon ideas and create a story skeleton then I free-write until things get fleshed out. I create dialogue organically and cut and modify what does not work. 

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

The last book I read that really made me say “wow!” was Berlin Dance of Death by Helmut Altner. Altner was a German teenager conscripted by the Nazis in the final days of World War 2 and forced to take part in the final battle for Berlin in 1945. His straightforward writing style and vivid descriptions of the futility of war will always be with me.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

I constantly recommend The Sand Pebbles by Richard Mckenna. It’s a story that blends history and fiction with complex characters who have incongruent worldviews. McKenna was born in my hometown, Mountain Home, Idaho.

My high school English teacher recommended  I read it after I told them, “No one from our town has ever written anything famous.” 

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

My To Be Read pile consists of books from Idaho authors. I plan to read:

  • White Boy on the Rez: Mostly True Stories about Coming of Age on the World’s Best Reservation in 1980’s North Idaho by Joe Mitchel
  • Echoes from the Hills of Idaho by Ruth Butler
  • Idaho: A Novel by Emily Ruskovich

What advice do you have for readers?

My advice to readers is to give different or nonstandard writing styles a chance. I write my Joe IDAHO stories in the present tense, which people either love or hate. It wasn’t until I gave the style a second chance myself that I came to appreciate and prefer it. 

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

I would like to have a conversation with Kurt Vonnegut, the author of Slaughterhouse Five. His journey as a writer and human being has always intrigued me. It amazes me how a person who went through so much and saw so much destruction could form the worldview he did. He found humor in places you should never find humor. 

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

My earliest memory of reading is hearing my mother read the Bible stories and Grimms’ Fairy Tales. She made the stories come alive. I remember seeing the words on the pages and telling myself that someday I would be able to read and that I would write my own stories. 

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

The authors who have influenced me the most are Michael Crichton, Vardis Fisher, Flannery O’Connor, Charles Dickens, and Jack London. In particular, Dickens’s use of the present tense really resonates with me as a writer. 

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do least enjoy about being a writer?

The thing I enjoy the most about being a writer is finishing my stories and seeing how readers react to them. There is no better feeling than when a reader understands a story I’ve created. What I enjoy least about writing is the time it takes to complete a project. 

What would you tell a new writer?

The advice I would give to new writers is to never wait to get started and never be afraid. I spent years thinking I had to accomplish this or that before writing, such as finding a steady job or finishing college, when I should have just started. For decades, I was afraid to put myself out there as a writer when I should have charged forward. 

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