We’ve heard that you personally acted out every fight scene in The Lives of Tao. Do you act out dialogue too? Are there other ways in which your acting experience has informed your writing?
I don’t act out the dialogue because that would just be silly. Okay, maybe once or twice to work out the breathing. After all, have you ever tried to punch someone while you’re talking?
Actually, I think acting has helped with the timing of writing banter. The Lives of Tao has many light moments and a lot of what makes dialogue successful is pacing and comedic timing. Acting helped out with that immensely when I ran the scenes in my head.
You’ve published two novels, but don’t have any short story credits—what’s up with that? How did you decide to leap straight into novels?
I don’t have any short story credits because I’ve never written any. Personally, it’s not my bag. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever tried to write a short. They are an entirely different beast from novels, and in many ways, they’re much harder. With short stories, you have to make every dang word count. Every meaning has to be exact. I like to take time with my scenes, let them slowly unfold, and be leisurely in playing it out.