Q1. How many books did it take until you felt like you came into your own as a writer?
CML: I learned how to tell stories in the years I spent exclusively making comics. I did a bunch of one shots, anthology shorts, contest pieces, three webcomics, and three graphic novels. With the exception of a horror comic called The Wrong House they all felt somewhat disingenuous. I compromised my own world view and presented some insincere, mainstream sensibilities into my work.
Philosophically I'm drawn to thinkers like Nietzsche, and young William Blake. I'm attracted to old world ideas of heroism and greatness, rather than contemporary Judeo-Christian sentiments. I was afraid to embrace those natural inclinations in my earlier writings.
It wasn't until my first novel, The Devoured, that I really found my voice as an author. I was able to cast away some the mental chains I had laid upon myself and write in way that was confident, honest, and fresh.
2. Can you share with us a few lines or a catchy phrase from a WIP or a recent release?
CML: This is a little snippet from my upcoming novel, It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World:
"While The Antique Man lay suffering in the hospital and the two lovers collectively known as The Picasso Killer terrorized a murder groupie who went by the handle AbsurdByrd_666, another man with an unusual pseudonym of his own was crouching by an open window, watching a U.S senator through a sniper's sight. The assassin's Christian name was Jack, but to most he was only known as The Rhodesian."
Q3. What's a writing tip you'd give an aspiring writer that you had to learn on your own the hard way that nobody had told you about early on but you wish they would have?
CML: Be yourself. Never get so caught up in a potential opportunity that you lose sight of the kind of stories you want to tell. I spent a lot of time doing contest pieces, and writing stories aimed at particular markets just because an opportunity was present. In hindsight I would have done myself a far greater service by staying the course and focusing on what I was passionate about rather than what I thought might sell.
Thank you Curtis! And good luck to you in the future.
Be sure to check out my previous interviews too with authors Tonia Brown and the estimable Jonathan Maberry.
Micro Interview #1
Micro Interview #2
Micro Interview #3