For Fantasy genre it would be J.R.R. Tolkien and David Eddings, Christian would Frank Peretti and Max Lucado.
2.Who has had a major influence on your writing?
J.R.R. Tolkien and Max Lucado, Tolkien goes so incredibly deep and detailed, while Lucado makes each chapter so inviting and human.
3.Can you name at least one book that you never finished?
Most of my college math related books come to mind first, but I know that’s not what you’re looking for. The Grapes of Wrath - I know I should be flogged for that, but I started it in High School as a class assignment, but was too young focused on other things to appreciate it and it has been on my “to read” list ever since.
4.What word or words do you always have trouble spelling?
LOL, the “i before e, except after c (sometimes)” words.
5.What three adjectives best describe you?
Determined, creative, and humorous.
6.Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
Luke Baker in The Eyes of the Heart is one that I wish I could step into his shoes and use the Cat Eyes to clear a few things up in life (I hope that’s not a spoiler).
7.Which author would you invite to dinner?
Wow, although he’d be fascinating to meet, I fear that J.R.R. Tolkien would lose me in “elf talk” in the first few minutes, so I’d would probably go with the Apostle Paul from the first century. He could quickly clear up a lot of the religious errors of the day (who knows, I might also get him to fix my tent afterwards).
8.Where do you write?
Mostly in my sleep just before I wake up in the morning, that moment in time where you sort through your thoughts while its still quiet. I just have to make sure I don’t get any of the dreams mixed up (that would be embarrassing). I do love getting away to our cabin in the woods to work through the big interactions.
9.When do you write?
Generally mornings (organizing my earlier mental thoughts before they escape my brain) and late evenings as I replay them in my mind.
10.What makes you happy?
My family and my time with God. I have found both to be the most incredible adventures when I go after them with all my heart.
11.What do you most fear?
Time. The older I get the faster it goes by and I have so much to do and say before it runs out on my life.
12.What is your favorite vice?
Sweets. I love dessert and they seem to always love to hang around me (mainly around my midsection).
13.What is the quality you most like in yourself?
My ability to find the good in a person or situation, which usually comes right after I almost lose it with them or it. It’s so easy to find the faults or problems in people or life, but the real challenge is finding the good in all situations.
14.What are the qualities you most like in your friends?
Loyalty and truth.
15.Would you be lying if you said your works were not autobiographical?
Great question. They are often more autobiographies of who I’d like to be, or what I would like to do than who I am. So much of what I write about are based on what I have learned from my own mistakes and successes, as well as others.
16.What part of your personality do you detest?
My lack of spontaneity (there’s that “i before e” issue again). I have to think through everything before making a decision, which is why God put me with my incredible wife who is the image of beautiful spontaneity and chaos combined (we balance each other out).
17.What is your favorite adjective?
Smile/smiled. My use of it with my main characters drove my editor crazy (what can I say, they like to smile).
18.What is your favorite book?
Excluding the Bible (which has some of the most brilliant insights), I’d say The Last Stand of the Tin Can Soldiers, by James Hornfischer (World War II story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour). It is the most incredible story of courage, bravery, loyalty, and the character of man in difficult times. I tried my best to interject those same character traits in my novel The Black Dragons. Even in fiction, it falls well short of those real life heroes.
19.What book would you read three times?
The only one I can think of is the Bible. It never gets old to me (living and active) and there are new truths and nuggets of wisdom to be found and applied every time I read it.
20.To whom would you award the Nobel Prize for Literature and why?
In this digital age there are so many great and creative authors out there (most of them independent) whose incredible stories have simply gotten lost in the magnitude of digitally published books. Whether due to economic or pre-screening criteria, most authors do not have a champion (a publisher) to promote it to those who cast such votes. So unless they could take turns sharing it, to say one book is the best seems a little narrow in their perspective. Yikes! I almost fell off my soap box. :-)