Frequently Asked Questions

"Excellent and thorough documentary-style interviewer and writer."
—David Perry, Fmr. CEO, Gaikai

General

What projects are you working on?

I'm writing a sci-fi novel that explores a post-Earth universe through a young adult lens. I love stories with deep lore, world building, and adventure. My ultimate goal for this project is to build a universe that can be adapted for the screen as an animated film, so there's a bit of screenwriting and storyboarding in my future.

I'm also considering developing a few more books of interviews. I have some interviews lined up, but I don't know when I'll start production. These books would be published under my own imprint.

Do you have any upcoming book signings?

I rarely do book signings, but when I do, they are announced by the local venue.

What video games are you playing?
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey by Ubisoft
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 by Larian Studios
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance by Warhorse Studios
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire by Obsidian Entertainment
  • Seven: The Days Long Gone by Fool's Theory
Are you looking forward to any new video games?

I can't wait for Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt RED and Days Gone by Bend Studio.

What are your all-time favorite video games?
  • Breath of Fire by Capcom
  • EarthBound by Ape/HAL Laboratory
  • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest by SquareSoft
  • Inindo: Way of the Ninja by Koei
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals by Neverland
  • Robotrek by Quintet/Ancient
  • Secret of Mana by SquareSoft
  • Shadowrun by Beam Software
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars by Squaresoft
  • Super Mario World by Nintendo

…and the list of SNES games released in the 1990s goes on and on.

Are you a game developer?

Yes, I've worked as a technical producer, quality assurance director and tester, narrative writer, and user experience designer. I've also contributed to game design and tools development.

Are you a venture capitalist?

No. Given the heavy focus on business in my books, some reviewers mistook me for a venture capitalist. I have founded several companies, but I've never raised a funding round.

Are you a musician?

Yes! I've played guitar for nearly 20 years, performed live, and recorded for electronic music DJs. I primarily play original Celtic music, but I also play blues and hard rock.

I have five guitars: a 1958 Gretsch New Yorker acoustic, a Yamaha APX-500 acoustic-electric, a Baby Taylor acoustic, an Epiphone G-400 electric, and a $100 Yamaha acoustic that sounds as good as any Taylor.

In elementary school and junior high, I played the alto saxophone in the school orchestras. In high school, I was in the boys' competitive choir; we sang military hymns and folk/blues songs.

Are you an actor?

No. I was an extra in the Veronica Mars and John from Cincinnati television series though.

Interviewing

Why did you become an interviewer?

I've always had a curious mind. I'm constantly investigating how things work, why people do what they do, and how we can get what we want out of life. When I was in school, a teacher told the class, "If you have questions, raise your hand and ask them. Don't be embarrassed. Chances are that if you have questions, others do, too." Well, I have questions and the means to get them answered, so why not share what I learn?

How many entrepreneurs have you interviewed?

I've interviewed 53 entrepreneurs across two books and features for media outlets. Some of my interviews are unpublished, including a few I don't count.

Was scoring interviews with video game pioneers difficult?

The game industry is full of generous people who want to share their stories, their expertise, and the lessons they've learned. For some who make themselves accessible, you can just email them, but for others, you need access and you get that access from either people you know or public relations teams. As I've interviewed more and more luminaries, the process has become easier, but I still have to give my best pitch and hope they say yes.

Writing

I want to write a book. Where do I start?

Anywhere. Just start writing. It doesn't matter where you start because all the magic happens in editing. Your challenge throughout production will be momentum. Once you lose momentum, recovering is extremely difficult. That's why you hear stories of authors working on books for years or decades; they spent most of that time thinking about writing, not writing. If you write whatever you feel like writing, you'll never stop.

When do I stop writing?

When you have enough content for another book. Personally, I like to double or triple the page count I'm targeting. That gives me sufficient room to maneuver until I reach the desired quality bar.

How do I get published?

Traditionally, you write a manuscript, write a query letter, and convince an agent to do the rest of the work for you because some publishers will, understandably, work only with agents. If you are interested in going down that road, read Query Shark first. If you are still interested, stay up-to-date with new deals through Publishers Weekly to get a sense of what's selling. When you're ready to find an agent, check out Literary Market Place and Writer's Market, or ask authors you know to introduce you to their agents.

I didn't go the traditional route.

Can you review my manuscript?

I don't work for free. You can hire me as a freelance editor.

Personal

What is your religion?

My mother, a Roman Catholic, feels deeply that evangelism is antithetical to a healthy, personal relationship with God. My father, a scientist and engineer, believes Man makes his own destiny. I was raised to neither believe nor disbelieve. When I was in junior high, I attended a Protestant Christian youth group where I performed Christian rock on acoustic guitar. The church leaders were similar to my parents and never sought to force their beliefs on me. They encouraged me to ask questions, to debate, and to challenge, and so I often did. They wanted me to come to an understanding that was my own. I was born without faith, and to this day, remain so.

When is your birthday?

January 20, 1986.

What is your political affiliation?

I'm a radical centrist. I'm pro-business but I believe no corporation is too big to fail, income inequality needs to be fixed, and the role of management is to support the people who create value. I'm pro-science and consequently pro-choice, but I do not support preemptive science policymaking based on philosophical or religious questions.

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