More About the Author
Q: Why should someone buy your work?
A: Because it's awesome. (laugh) I also donate a portion of the profit to charity.
Q: Why the name SeaMonkey Ink?
A: Why not? (grin) What's not to love? I mean it's Ink squirting out of a Seamonkey. I mean sure no one has ever witnessed such a phenomenon but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. (laugh)
Seriously, when I was in school (high school and beyond) I used to play pranks under various code names - one of which was Seamonkey. I also have always enjoyed writing and back when I started to do so, I used to write everything by hand (which requires either lead or Ink) even long after I got my first word processor and computer. After I finally started typing directly, it still took ink to print.
Hence SeaMonkey Ink.
Q: Have you ever actually owned Seamonkeys?
A: Actually I have and I'm pretty well convinced that there is a wanted poster with my name and likeness up somewhere in the SIA (Seamonkey Intelligence Agency) headquarters for mass genocide. (laugh) I try but I fail.
Q: Are any of your characters based on people you know/knew in real life?
A: Not really. Most are composites. However, I will say that more than a little of my own personality/thoughts/expressions pop up in my stories and among my characters.
For instance, in Rebellion Book I: Book of Quay, Phong Quay makes a statement that one day he is changing his name and not telling anyone what he changed it to. I've said that to people since I was like 5 - particularly when I get agitated at being disturbed.
So if any real life person is used as a template for some of my dialogue and character behaviors it would be myself.
Q: You write some historical novels. How accurate are they?
A: Accurate enough. (laugh) I always say I do just enough research to be dangerous.
I enjoy history and find some of the portraits of these figures, times and places to be fascinating. I actually do put in quite a nice chunk of time trying to make the story as historically accurate as possible though I would like to think my work is more character driven then driven by the time, places and figures that inspired it.
Q: In addition to traditional 50,000 + word novels you also write novellas. Why?
A: Because I have a short attention span sometimes. (laugh) It's true. Just give me the remote or put me in charge of the radio and the channel will be changed between every commercial/song. I scroll ALOT.
I also don't like the practice of padding. Many traditional publishers force writers to add unnecessary bolly hollicks to reach a desired word count or page number. I prefer to present my work exactly as envisioned. Although it's hard work to be your own editor and marking department, etc, it's one of the reasons I like self-publishing. It gives you 100% creative control over your work.
But also, if someone is like me, they may actually have a life outside of my books (scary to imagine but true). They may not have the time or inclination to read a 1,000 page monster novel or they simply may not care about how 3 paragraphs of comfortable the chair in the center of the room is (unless of course its comfort is caused by the corpses stuffed inside of it or something of the like). They may have a low threshold for magazines with all of their endless pages of ads, tireless celeb gossip dribble or writers telling them (and quite authoritatively at that) what's best for them and how they should live their life (not to mention that that's my job). They may also be wanting something to read a little more substantial than how to wear stripes or position their package in their underthings for maximum effect. Then again, they may just have a really, really short attention span like I do.
That's were a novella comes in handy. It's just long enough to keep them occupied for a nice chunk of time but not so long that they end up neglecting their family (thus resulting in divorce and CPS involvement), spending their whole vacation in a book (thus being mugged by local thugs) or going to work the next day a stressed out, sleep-deprived wreck because they just HAD to finish it (thus causing them to get fired for sexual harassment).
Not only that, several completely fabricated studies show that people who do not add novellas to their library diet run a 300% higher risk of stroke, heart disease, impotence, diarrhea, brain damage, Tourette's, drug, alcohol & gambling addiction, schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer's than those who don't. If they can't do it for themselves, they should do it for their families.
Q: Why don't you include your photo?
A: Because I'm incredibly homely. (laugh)
For my personal safety. (laugh) I'm always raising someone's hackles for some reason or another whether it's intentional or not. I'm also very private person and I would prefer to gain readers/admirers based on my work rather than my appearance. My appearance is just a bonus. (wink)
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: I have 1 head with some hair on top of it; 2 eyes; 1 nose; 1 mouth complete with teeth, tongue, gums and uvula (my parents paid extra for that one); 2 ears; 1 neck; 2 boobs affixed to 1 torso; 2 arms (hands included though they were sold separately), 1 girlie part with 2 cushions affixed to the back, 2 legs and 2 feet. Sorry but I'm still waiting for the shipment with my toes to arrive.
Q: What are some interesting facts about you?
A: I once lived in the jungle... naked...covered in only animal fecal matter, weathering the elements with only a grass blade for protection. I survived by eating only those things too damned slow and stupid to get away from a naked, fecal matter covered human using a grass blade for an umbrella...for no particular reason whatsoever.
Ok, so not really.
I was in Guinness Book of World Records though. Yes, really. I was a part of the World's Largest Human Rainbow formed at Transco Tower in Houston, TX in 1997. The record held until 2002 which means I was in it during multiple editions.
I have a strange button fixation. I like to press buttons both figuratively and literally. Most people would do well to keep me from the preschool aisle of a store or the holiday "press me I dance" toys because we'll be there all day.
I also have a strange affinity for trees - the larger, more gnarly, the better. No idea why I heart trees so much (aside from the air purification and oxygen expulsion). I always say I must have been a druid in another life.
I don't ever sell anything - even if it's brand new and I decide I don't want it. I tend to give things away - typically to a family member, friend or a charity. I have also been known to give things away to strangers.
Even most of my completed novels were posted online on Seamonkey Ink for free for a long time. This moving into a place where I am actually publishing and marketing my work for sale is a very new concept for me. Still, it would be nice to get to a place where all I had to do to win my bread is something I love - write novels.
I will, however, offer free download days/codes on my titles in exchange for a review. Go to my site: www.SeamonkeyInk.com and click on the Free Download Days link for titles/days when free downloads will be offered.
Q: Why not sell things?
A: Because I was homeless as a teenager and I always remembered how awesome it was when people donated things that were in turn passed on to me free of charge. The organizations I donate objects to the most are S.E.A.R.C.H. Houston and Covenant House Texas (also in Houston) because not only did they help me the most during that time but because they give your donations to participants free of charge. I prefer that model to the we'll sell it and give a portion of the proceeds to the needy/charity model.
My preferred cash donation charity is the Houston Food Bank although I do donate to others.
Q: Don't you give a portion of the proceeds from your book sales to charity?
A: I do, yes. (laugh)
Q: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
A: Yes! Buy my books. (laugh)
By contributing to my income through a purchase, you make it possible for me to spend more time writing new novels for you to enjoy. As a portion of the profits of my sales do go to charity, you are also placing yourself 2 degrees of separation from being a philanthropist!