Hello, Travis! I'm absolutely honored to have you here on my blog, answering my fan questions. You already have three books from the Solitary Tales out, and the fourth one is on its way. Can you describe the feeling you get looking back to the beginning of it all?
Some ideas seem to evolve slowly over time. But the idea for this series came at one sitting. I still remember it very clearly and I mapped out some of the story. Like many ideas, I thought it was a good idea if a publisher took a chance on it. As I wrote the first book and began to weave the mysteries and the backstory of Solitary, I began to think that I had something really special. I still do.
I do, too. So, which one of the books was the easiest to write and why?
I’d say book three, Temptation. After a mysterious beginning and then a darker second novel, I wanted to lighten things up. Because of this, it was fun to have Chris run the opposite direction and avoid things. Of course, this is short-lived. Soon things come crashing down on him.
I completely agree. We all have our moments of weakness and denial. Out of the three (or four?) books in the series, which one was your favorite? What/who made it be so?
My favorite is probably the fourth, even though I loved writing that first one. The first book, Solitary, is all about mysteries and secrets. I was discovering them as I went along. The fourth and final book, Hurt, is all about answers and resolutions. I love endings to my stories, so it was natural to like Hurt.
Oh, shucks! This makes me want to read Hurt even more! I'm dying for answers! So, I was wondering, is any of your characters based on a person you know from real life?
This is all my autobiography, didn’t you know that? No—seriously, Chris is obviously based a bit on me. There are certain characters that have similarities to real people in my life. But the more Chris’s world has evolved, the more those characters have become truly unique.
Nice sense of humor, but seriously - I hope you don't mean Chris is like you in his battle with the supernatural, 'cuz that would be umm... slightly weird. Though it's kind of possible when you think about it. Okay, since we started the topic, if you could get into the Solitary world, which character would you like to impersonate and why?
I mention that Chris is a lot like me, so the obvious answer would be Chris. But someone else would be Uncle Robert. I’d like to fill his shoes and make him the hero he ought to be.
Oooh, Uncle Robert! Good one! I hope we see more of him in Hurt. He's been so mysterious thus far. Which leads me to the next question. Which character was the hardest for you to portray?
That’s a good question. I’m not sure, to be honest. I think when you’re writing in a first person point of view, you’re so focused on that character (Chris). Jeremiah Marsh is a difficult person to sometimes convey because he is inconsistent. That’s just his character. At times, he seems truly evil. Then at times, you’re wondering if he actually wants good things for Chris. He’s complicated, so that was sometimes hard to convey accurately.
I was wondering about Pastor Marsh myself. I love tricky characters, so I can tell you - you did great with him! Well, there was this one character that stunned me beyond belief, and in case you're wondering I'm talking about Aunt Alice. Could you tell us something more about this special lady? How she came to exist in your world?
I guess it’s just my demented imagination. When I first wrote Solitary, I wanted to add something totally crazy, so here came Aunt Alice and her mannequins. But like everything in Solitary, she has a purpose and a backstory. A rather important backstory, too. (I actually just got goosebumps writing that—I’m not lying). See—you can tell I kinda like this series!
I love this series! I can't wait to read about Aunt Alice and her crazy story!And in the end, I'd love to have a little sneak peak into your fourth book in this series (which I also hear is the last one). What is one of your favorite lines from Hurt that you're willing to share?
Hurt ends the story of Chris & Solitary. I love how it ends. I looked over the last ten chapters trying to find a line to share—there are many, many lines that I dearly love. But some give away too much. I found this one which is vague but has a lot of meaning to me, on a personal level as well as in terms of the story:
I want to take the silent nights when I look up at the stars and do something with them.
Wow! It sounds so melancholic, and sparkly at the same time! I can only say one thing -thank you so much for doing this interview!!!
Thanks for having me! Appreciate your support and enthusiasm for The Solitary Tales. Hope you enjoy Hurt!