How did you develop your writing?
By writing. When I was a personal trainer, I had this client that would tell me “I want to have a dancer’s body” which I then preceded to tell her “You want a dancer’s body? Then be a dancer.” I came up with exercises that would help her with dance technique and what not, but in the end, if you want to be something, then be it. You want to develop your writing, sit down and write. Write a poem, who cares if it’s hard on the eyes and ears. The key is to write something everyday.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Movies and Netflix mostly. Music too, but for the most part, when I see how the world has inspired an artist and then that inspiration being reflected in their work, that’s inspiring to me.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
For me? Marketing, hands down. I’m not a very social person to begin with. I can be content being alone, and because of that I hate…no, strongly dislike social media. It freaks me out to some extent, but for the most part, I don’t like the mess that can come from being social and what not, and since marketing is a very social process, I struggle with it.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Most definitely. At least three. “Saga of the Nine: Five” “Saga of the Nine: The Reformists” & “Saga of the Nine: The Original Nine”. After that, I have no idea. Maybe I’ll try a screenplay.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I work at a labeling manufacturing company. We make the labels you see on vitamin bottles, chapstick, watter bottles, the things granola bars are wrapped in. That’s us. I’m also an onsite manager with my wife for a student complex at BYU and I coach high school football. It sounds like a lot, but it’s all about time management. My hope is that one day my writings will make enough that I can be job optional.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I’ve been working since I was 14 and back then I helped an elderly lady in my neighborhood take care of her house. After that, I worked at a movie theater, which I hated, and then moved to the labeling manufacturing company I’m at now. I’ve moved around in the company, but it’s not something I want to make a career with. It’s getting my wife and me through college, and for that, it’s been a blessing. At one time I was also a personal trainer. I loved working with my clients, but I slowly found out how corrupt the company was and it went under shortly after.
If you could study any subject at a university what would you pick?
The truth of the matter is, I love to learn. I love it, and writing gives me an excuse to learn about the most random things.
“Why are you learning about Russia? Are you a communist?”
“No, I’m a writer.”
“Oh, it’s okay then.”
That’s one thing that attracted me to writing a novel, is that you have to learn if you want to sound credible. I’m not a perfect writer by any means, but to answer your question, I don’t know. I’ve changed my degree three times and it’s simply because I want to know everything. So many people go through the motions and get a degree because they are told they have to, and then they have no idea how to apply what they’ve learned and wind up in their mom and dad’s basement. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d spend as much time as I could at a university learning everything I could. Unfortunately, money is an issue, so I turn to Google instead.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Laptop, for sure. I have a little notebook I carry around everywhere as I go throughout the day, jotting down ideas and cool things I see, and then when I get home, I put those ideas into my laptop. It’s a nice little system for me, merging handwritten thoughts into digital ones.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
I know a few writers in the industry, Sarah Eden being one of them, but for the most part, I’m kind of a pioneer in my circle of who I know. My family and wife give me the most support, but they don’t really know how this industry works. That’s where Sarah Eden lended me a hand. Once I got going though, my little sister decided she wanted to write a book, I’m proofreading some stuff for my friend’s wife, and I’m just helping out where I can; I’m giving support where I didn’t feel I really had any.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I love movies, video games of course. Reading is fun, but it’s not really relaxing because I am constantly dissecting what I read, movies and games too. But I like to be active where I can. Working out, boxing, training, that is therapeutic for me and relaxing believe it or not. Writing is such a cerebral activity that in order for me to relax, I need to do something physical.
Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.
The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.
In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.
Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.
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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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