1. Hi Peter, thanks for taking time out to do an interview here on Q7, I really appreciate it. Tell me a little about yourself - any hobbies or activities you enjoy that we might not know from your life as both an author and musician?
Sports and four-wheeling. Turns out most of my writer friends don’t like sports. Many actively mock them. I don’t get that. There’s a grace and beauty and determination in sports I would think writers would dig. Anyway, I’m a big sports fan: baseball, MMA, football, gymnastics, etc. And I’ve owned a Jeep since I could drive. I love getting out away from the maddening crowds into the hills where no one else can go.
2. I've read both of your novels, The Unremembered and Trial of Intentions. I remember saying to myself as I read each that you have a way of not just telling a story but imbuing a strong sense of humanity and how it really works out here in the "non-fiction' world. What inspired you to create the world in which they are set in?
First, I appreciate the compliment. What you describe matters to me. And I try to get it on the page. As to inspiration for the world of my series, I wanted to explore the consequence of choice, intentions, music for sure. Aside from all that, I wanted a place where I could tell a story on a grand scale, with a conflict of ideologies. I wanted bad guys to have good purposes, good guys to poor decisions. I wanted heroes, and moral dilemmas. I wanted characters who suffer, and then try to rise above that suffering.
3. You're also a talented musician, spending a lot of time as vocalist for different heavy metal bands throughout the years. I understand you have an appreciation for all genres of music, what drew you to heavy metal rather than other forms of music?
Well, I’m actually drawn to all kinds of music, with the possible exception of EDM—maybe it’s because I’m not much of a dancer. I actively listen to most everything. When it comes to vocal performance, though, progressive metal, e.g. Dream Theater, gets close to where I live inside. It’s thoughtful, powerful, dynamic, and athletic to sing. There’s a lot of straight metal I like, of course, and plenty I don’t, as well. But strains of metal like power metal and symphonic metal have an epic feeling about them. They lend themselves to storytelling. They tend to thrill vs. other emotions. And I love to be thrilled.
4. Recently, you announced that you'll have the honor of writing a novel based on Dream Theater's concept album, The Astonishing. That has to be pretty exciting, can you share a little about how that came about?
I’ve been a DT fan since the start. And when they announced the Album, John Petrucci (the guitarist) and I got talking. He was aware I’m a writer. A very cool series of long phone conversations resulted in a mutual desire to have me write the book. There’s no doubt it’s a melding of two of my great passions. Of course, my own series has a music magic system and music as an underpinning to the world. But to write something explicitly for Dream Theater is pure awesomeness!
5. You don't strike me as the kind of person who isn't full of ideas and I get the impression from your work that you have a deep love of life itself - so I'm curious, do you have any other projects or things that you want to try to accomplish that maybe you haven't yet?
Ha! Insightful of you. I have a few films I actually want to make. Sounds a bit crazy when I write it out like that. But I have a few screen ideas that I want to do more than write the screenplay for. I don’t know much about directing, but I have very specific ways I’d like to see the film presented on screen. So, someday, with enough time and money and influence . . . maybe. I’d also love to sing on Broadway. I can handle the music part, but you don’t just show up and do that. Still, it’s a dream.
6. Is there any one thing in life that you see differently now or have a better appreciation for than you did as a younger version of yourself?
Family. It was always important. But I feel like the younger me didn’t appreciate it the way the older me does.
7. What is one thing that you'd like to share with others about pursuing your goals and dreams?
Enjoy the ride. Of course, stick to it and never give up and all that. But you have to love the thing itself, whether writing or music or spreadsheets. Moment to moment, even during the struggles, be sure you’re loving it and not so fixed on the endgame that today’s scene or rehearsal or whatever isn’t a joy.
Q7 Corner: Author Interviews
A.L.Deleon loves to find and interview authors, Indie or Traditional. This is where you'll find all the details of those interview spotlights. Typically you'll find her asking seven questions of each author featured.