1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always had a creative imagination. As a child, I was quiet and shy. I listened well and observed everything. Growing up through my high school years my escape was an English class. I could utilize my imagination in the essays of short stories. I almost failed grade 12 the second time due to my attendance record because had a few jobs that took me away from school. My 13 year younger sister kept my imagination creative & active in my teen years. I would improvise and share funny stories from my imagination just to entertain her. That inspired her to become a bookworm. In my later teens, I would begin to write poetry and music lyrics. My voice was beautiful and I would sign a melody and write along with the tune of my thoughts. Without realizing it, I was taking my creative skills for granted. When reflecting on this question I would have to say when I was 18 years old.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
Well, Little Ty was brewing in my thoughts for a few weeks. I had manifested the ideas to write about a character based around my son Ty. I had written half of the story in one night. After a week of meditation, the rest of the story came to me and I finished within a few hours. I sent it off to an editor for polishing and Debbie from Pages of Sunshine reviewed my story with a positive response. Because my son is half Honduran. I immediately thought to have it translated into Spanish for his other family lineage. Good thing too because I found a very creative graphic illustrator from Argentina. I sent Fernando the Spanish version of the short story. This inspired him to create some very interesting illustrations. I sent pictures of Ty’s room and objects of interest. He took about 2 months to complete them while he worked his regular full-time job. We used online language translation programs to communicate online and spoke once over the phone. The total process of this first children’s book took 3 months from start to finish. Now that I have all the proper contacts, each new book will probably take 2-3 months at a time.
3. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
As an entrepreneur, I have the ability to create my own hours of work. I always try to keep myself actively going. I usually have a couple things on the go. Being a father to the best boy in my world. Time management is important for me to keep track of.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am original. I think outside the box. I am witty and the characters I create are too. Creating an illusion from words is a craft. I tell the story as if the characters are real to me. If they are believably real to me then you will welcome them in your thoughts too.
5. How do books get published?
I thought of the traditional publishing routes. I decided to bypass any potential rejections and research print on demand through online self-publish websites. I really liked the no-cost upfront system that Smashwords offered in comparison to their competition. Everything is laid out on their website. A great templated model that spells out the same steps all the big publishers do as well.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Most of my information comes to me from a life of observation. I tie creativity into the story and get inspired by interesting people, like my son Ty. I feel invigorated and filled with ideas when we hang out. I used to take my creative approach for granted but now I see it is a gift for me to share with the world. I learned there are not enough sources of original creativity being written. I felt the need to start somewhere, so Little Ty Books was born as a platform for me to bring some stories together from my imagination.
7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
After day dreaming about so many interesting stories, inventions, and business ideas, it has taken me 38 years to sit down and write my first children’s book. I kept all the interesting stories in my head since I was a kid. As a young boy, I often played outside and created new characters when playing with my siblings. We would act out nonfictional characters with improvisation.
8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
What I am doing when I am not writing poetry or children’s books is spending time with my son and immediate family. I spend some time on social media to keep updated with my friends and relatives. I consult for a regional moving company I built called FamilyMovers.ca.
9. What do your family and friends think of your writing?
My family thinks I found my passion. My friends are proud of my accomplishments and already know me as a successful businessman. My family loves to share my stories with their friends, co-workers, and students. They are proud to talk about me and that makes me feel humble and grateful.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
What most surprised me about writing books was the amount of effort involved. For me, the effort involved is the same as operating any other large organization. I am used to hard work. Yet, there is so much to write about. Writing passionately about anything, and that keeps me as busy as I can be.
11. How many stories have you written? Which is your favourite?
That’s a good question. I have written a few dozen of poems and short stories, I would have to go back and count them over the years. You can find some of my poetry on my Facebook page called Philosophical Poetry. However, my favourite would have to be “Little Ty & the Pirate Monster”. Seeing my son’s image as a character in this story really brings this creation to life.
12. Do you have any suggestions to help anyone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Just be yourself. Write down whatever you are thinking in point form. Your thoughts might be constantly racing with ideas. Elaborate later on your points joining your story together with passionate efforts. Originality is a great tool. How you see the world, and what your imagination can offer in your stories to share is a great asset when it comes to writing your version of any story. Always have a purpose in mind when creating anything. Hold that purpose as the reason why your characters are playing out the story in your mind, and write about what happens during those events. Give your characters obstacles and explain how they overcome them. Always have fun with your writing. It’s ok to be silly and make mistakes. A “miss-take” can be edited out later during the editing process. Get that story out of your head and into words.
13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I often receive positive feedback. They are entertained and want to read more stories with wonderful illustrations. They say my stories are easy for their children to comprehend, and fun to read while enjoying a few laughs and lessons along the way. My readers inspire me to create more for them.
14. Do you like to create stories for adults?
I enjoy creating stories for all ages and many genres. As an author, I have to build a brand for audiences that will remember my name attached to a project and be able to associate it with top quality work. That being said, I do have a few interesting adult stories manifesting in my mind that I would love to write about.
15. What do you think makes a good story?
I used to think the ending creates a good story, but I realize now the ending of one story is only the beginning of a greater story. How the plot unfolds in a story is just as important as the ending. The purpose of a story has to reflect truth in the audience’s expectations.
16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to do everything. One day I wanted to be a Fireman because the firetrucks had sirens and lights and worked with water and fire, the next day I wanted to be a race car driver and race Formula 1 race cars, the next day I wanted to be an astronaut and visit the stars, then a Policeman because they had visited my grade 4 classroom to talk about safety, and then I wanted to be a doctor just like my family doctor to help people when they become ill. Then I realized I could write about them and become anyone in any story I wanted to write about. I became an entrepreneur because of my versatile work ethics.