I actually began this process when I was only six years old. I was inspired by video games
like Legend of Zelda, Faxanadu, and Final Fantasy. My friends and I started creating games
for each other on paper. We drew monsters and designed levels and then had each other
play them. Before I fell asleep at night, I thought about my game and imagined myself in it
with a host of characters. Of course, it was about as deep and complex as you might
imagine a six year old’s imagination to be, but eventually the characters took on a life of
their own, and I dreamt about their ever-expanding adventures every night for the next
twenty-seven years until they became the story it is today.
Did you ever think about turning The Creator’s Eye into an actual video game?
Its first iteration was actually supposed to be one. I wanted my audience to be active
participants. I even had some ideas for fight sequences that were pretty ahead of their
time. I story boarded it out and when I was twelve I even arranged a meeting with a small
local video game company. They kindly entertained my pitch, perhaps intrigued by what my
ideas might imply about their target demographic, but afterward, I decided I would rather be
a kid for a while longer and returned the story to the private vault of my brain for the next
few years. When I came back to it in my early twenties, my ideas had been surpassed by
the latest technology. I turned to writing a novel as I could have more creative control and it
could more easily be reshaped into other media.
Mover of Fate contains a number of allusions to mythology and creation stories.
Where does that come from?
I am a cultural omnivore. I devour anything that may be good for me or I store it away in a
mental squirrel hole to be used during a summery drought of ideas. At its essence, my
story is a creation myth, but it doesn’t come from one particular source. There is wisdom to
be found in many cultures and religions and they have all seeded ideas in my work.
Fate and self-determination play conflicting roles in your book. Tell us about that.
I always believed that if I worked hard towards something I desired, I could achieve it, but I
have also learned from the times that I failed that I must listen to my intuition. During the
process of writing Mover of Fate, I went through a rapid series of career and relationship
crises. I was devastated at the time because I had put so much effort into those things. It
actually led to a crisis of faith in myself, but also galvanized me to try new things, including
finishing Mover of Fate. The book may not have happened otherwise. I learned that
sometimes there are better things out there than what I want or wish for, so it is vital to
listen to my heart and keep an open mind.
What inspires you?
Everything from taking fencing in college to backpacking the Lost Coast has benefited this
story. I am always trying new things, because I never know what will be useful, but on a
practical basis, I find that being in nature is particularly helpful. Whenever I get stuck, I take
a hike in GriffithPark. By the time I get to the top of the mountain, I have a pretty good idea
of where the story needs to go.
How has being an artist affected your writing?
Art helps me imagine scenes more vividly. Each of the illustrations I created for the novel
were images I held in my head for years, but otherwise, they are very different activities. I
can rarely paint and write during the same day. Writing is also an incredibly slow process. I
used to think assembling enough artwork for a solo exhibition was a great undertaking, but
that can be accomplished with a few months of devoted studio time whereas Mover of
Fate took at least four years at my keyboard.
The Creator’s Eye involves people who can create things with their minds. Is that a
metaphor for your artistic practice?
I’m just going to sit here with my arms crossed and a wry grin.
When may we get to see a Part II to Move of Fate?
The Creator’s Eye is intended to be a trilogy with each novel divided into several parts.
Parts II through IV of Mover of Fate are already written and most of the illustrations drawn.
They are just going through the last rounds of editing. Barring any holdups, Part II should
be released late summer, 2015. Meanwhile, the next two novels are largely outlined and
grumbling for attention.