Drew, first thing in the morning.
His mood greatly improves after a strong day of storytelling.
Drew explores what happens when technology clashes with magic.
He’s been compared to Ursula LeGuin (Harry Potter’s biggest influence), Elaine Cunningham (queen of dark fantasy and Forgotten Realms), and Fydor Dostoevsky (godfather of Crime and Punishment), but he takes his greatest pride in the fact that he can juggle more balls than any other author on the planet.
Drew explores what happens when technology clashes with magic. He’s been compared to Ursula LeGuin(Harry Potter’s biggest influence), Elaine Cunningham(queen of dark fantasy and Forgotten Realms), and Fydor Dostoevsky (godfather of Crime and Punishment), but he takes his greatest pride in the fact that he can juggle more balls than any other author on the planet.
His books feature post-apocalyptic genetically engineered humans joining forces with magically empowered aliens (Moon 514), superstitious steampunk societies warring with a magical society temporarily deprived of its magic (Unproven), high-tech assassins trying to distinguish memory implants from reality (Assassin Hunter), a villain origin story (Assassin Hunter’s sequel: Soul Hunter), and drug enhanced magic systems (Slice).
He accidentally found himself a bestselling author in YA SFF Steampunk and Action & Adventure (Unproven) and SFF Anthologies (for 5 Blades) and a Top 5 Author at SciFiFantasyFreak.com (for Moon 514). Currently, Drew’s working on Sea Dragon Apocalypse (a futuristic sci-fi thriller meets epic fantasy mashup).
Drew has also dropped a couple million words into ancient near eastern, legal, and historical texts if you need a cure for your insomnia. He graduated Phi Kappa Phi from Brigham Young University before entering the J. Reuben Clark Law School on scholarship. He practiced law for sixteen years before repenting and becoming a full-time author.
for the uber curious
While in college, I thrust my OCD tendencies into a good cause: I returned to my childhood juggling addiction. I was awarded Utah’s Best Professional Juggler award in 2001 and have retained that title ever since (mostly because they quit having the competition, but I like to brag about it anyway – did I mention I can juggle 8 balls?). I juggled as a performer at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. I competed at the 2006 IJA competition and handily lost because I dropped too much – but at least I saved one drop with an epic sidekick that really wowed the judges! I was also a staple performer at the Timpanogas Storytelling Festival for more than a dozen years because I’m the only juggler in the world that tells stories while juggling. Really – it’s true: I bill myself as the Story Juggler. You can hire me to juggle for insane amounts of money (please…) or you can just watch me on YouTube for free – your call.
I suppose I should mention that I’m happily married, I have a boatload of children, and that I’m happiest when “authoring.”
After graduating from BYU (Phi Kappa Phi) with degrees in history, music, and logic, I entered BYU’s law school on scholarship and began teaching philosophy at UVU. Forsaking exotic and life-changing trips around the world with jazz bands (Europe) and symphonies (China and the Philippines) and recording on CDs (only two), I began my new journey of helping people beat each other up with reams of paperwork that cost ungodly amounts of money and that are only read by a very small group of people (litigating as an attorney). I suppose I’ve drafted millions of words in that vein – including a number of thousand that made their way to the United States Supreme Court (we won).
None of that persistent fighting saturated my appetite for violence so I fought my way (nearly) to a black belt in karate until I broke my back and had to take a sabbatical – don’t worry, I didn’t do karate alone – four of my kids got their black belts alongside me! It’s illegal to beat them at home but at the dojo, we just call it sparring so – no worries mate!
SAMPLE MEDIA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Who or what inspired you to become an author?
- It took a few different sparks to encourage me to pursue a career as an author. In high school, one of my teachers told me she thought I had a natural talent for writing fiction. I don’t remember her name, I don’t remember anything I wrote in her class, and I hadn’t considered becoming an author until that day, but the encouragement endured. However, the idea quickly faded as a career option. I’m a juggler. At first inspection, you might guess that hobby had nothing to do with my career as an author but you’d be wrong. I’m the only juggler in the world who uses juggling patterns to help tell stories. It’s a tricky process to craft stories for juggling gigs because you’re somewhat imprisoned by a very limited amount of nouns and verbs – imagine improved object stories constrained to genre, gender, time period, and a one-room house enclosed by mustard yellow wallpaper. Despite the constraints, I loved the process – and the audience response.
- Around the same time, I started telling bedtime stories for my children and writing them down so I wouldn’t forget them. 177,000 words later, I started writing a novel on Wattpad to support my eldest daughter who was writing stories there. Soon, she surprised me by announcing my book was #9 on Wattpad. When I checked, I’d risen to #2 in fantasy. To maintain momentum, I wrote two chapters a week for four months when I somewhat-accidentally finished the book. Until Wattpad suffered a massive data crash, I was getting 1,000 reads a day. I was encouraged by those numbers so I published Moon 514 and started pursuing a full time career as an author.
- Who or what inspired your latest novel (Unproven)?
- An editor at WorldCon amicably complained that no one seemed interested in writing a book about a technological society battling a magical society. That theme was already brewing in Moon 514 so I started researching what other people had written on the subject, everything from “Who Wins: Valdemort or Han Solo?” posts to book reviews to various genre blurring ideas I found online. At the time (and after much consideration), I thought the only level of technology that offered an even playing field against a magic society would be steampunk-esque so I started envisioning how their conflict might begin. As you can see from the book cover, my answer came in the form of gliders. P.S. Gliders don’t offer much competition for dragons. After further thought, I found some ideas that would allow a magic society to be competitive with advanced technology so that is the basis of my upcoming technothriller-epic-fantasy-mashup-novel, Sea Dragon Apocalypse. I wish I’d written down the name of the editor who was making a plea for someone to write those books. It didn’t seem very impactful at the time but his comments led me to write (at least) two books and launch my writing career.
- How did you develop your plot and character for Unproven?
- Like many of my plot lines, the initial story of Unproven came from a painting I discovered. In the picture, a small group of people wander towards a gargantuan stack of bones (still in anatomical position but sticking out of the ground). That would never happen in real life without amber or tar or something … so, it had to be magical. Because this is how I think, I had to write the story of how that came to pass, how those bones came to be like that. That only provided the opening scene of Unproven but asking questions about that scene led me to a backstory and other details that ultimately allowed me to merge those ideas with the suggestion I’d received from that editor at WorldCon.
- As to character development, I recognized some holes in my game so I took David Farland’s Story Doctor course. I knew from previous experience that I could discovery write but I felt like I was missing emotional punch that I felt outlining could fix so I took Dave’s course. The course helped me develop a better system for outlining but what really helped me develop a more fulfilling plot for Unproven was looking at each supporting character and considering their aspirations and feelings about the protagonist and his story line.