1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been an oral storyteller, but I began writing after losing everything in the 2008 financial crisis. The primary owner of the real estate company I’d been with was an infamous playboy. There was so much great material, and I began posting a series of stories to social media (names and locations changed, of course) about the business, the debauchery, and my financial collapse. I titled it Caligula Realty. It was therapeutic, and I included much of it in my first book, Delusions of Grandeur.
The stories were a draw, allowing me to build a following.
2. How long have you been writing? How many books have you written?
I’ve been writing since 2008. I’ve written two books, and had a story included in Belt Publishing’s The St. Louis Anthology.
3. What made you want to self-publish?
Control of the content and the timing. Plus, publishers were wary of lawsuits because House of Villadiva is so damn spicy. I was in fact sued by an infamous conman in the book, but it was dismissed. That lawsuit was great publicity.
4. Would you recommend new authors self-publish, and would you recommend Gatekeeper Press?
If you can get a book deal you’re happy with, that’s fantastic! So often, though, there’s so much waiting and uncertainty involved. Gatekeeper Press has a level of personalized service that’s hard to find, and I highly recommend them.
5. What do you do marketing-wise to help announce and sell your books?
I agreed to donate all the pre-sale profits to a local food bank, and in turn they promoted the book in their newsletter and on their social media. I ran targeted Facebook ads, and I leaned on all the connections I’ve made over the years contributing to magazines and newspapers to get media coverage.
6. What advice do you have for a new or fledgling author?
You have to build an audience. Share your work with them, and welcome their feedback.
7. What social media platforms are you on?
Facebook is my main platform, followed by Instagram and Twitter.
8. What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known when you first started out?
My oldest brother published a book titled Jubilee City in 2007, and he gave me advice early on that changed my life: “Write the story like you would tell it.” There’s a tendency with new writers to be too formal and reserved. You will find your voice when you loosen up. And then hire an editor to clean it up.
9. What do you feel is the biggest challenge authors are facing going into 2022 (and beyond)?
Getting noticed with all the new titles constantly hitting the market. Be sure to have a rollout strategy.
10. Have you won any awards or contests that you would like to mention?
House of Villadiva was named “A Must-Read of 2021” by St. Louis Magazine.
Please share your website/social media links below: