I find it remarkably flattering that anyone, anywhere, wants to ask me anything. That said, here are some questions that I get asked up to twenty times a day. I will update as new questions occur to me.
What do you think of Demi Lovato?
I have no thoughts about Demi Lovato. From what I understand, she has an incredible voice and is an inspiration to millions.
Have you ever met the boys of One Direction?
No, but you will be the first to know.
Will you marry me?
No. I am in love with my wife, Jennifer.
Did you go to the prom?
Yes, but it’s not a great memory because I caught a horrible flu at the after party and was in bed for a week making number threes.
Do you have any kids?
Do you want kids?
Why don’t you want kids?
I am selfish. Having children is a remarkable responsibility. Think!
Do you know any words in Portuguese?
Yes, I know, “boa noite” and “eu te amo.”
What book should I read?
Do you have any pets?
Yes. I have two cats.
Where have you been/why aren’t you talking to me?
Chances are, either taking pictures or cooking.
Why do you respond to (blank) more than me?
Don’t be that way.
Wife’s phone number.
What is your tumblr?
Do you like Brazilian music/food/people/writers/architecture?
Yes. I love every single good thing about Brasil.
Can I meet YOU when I take the WB tour?
I’m flattered, but I think it’s best if we don’t.
Favorite sports team?
I don’t follow sports.
Do you have an iPhone?
Yep, I’m probably reading your question on it.
Do you like the color black?
What’s not to like?
My camera is a (blank)… is that good?
Where do you wish you were right now?
With my wife, floating in the gentle waters of Hanalei Bay in Kauai, Hawaii.
What would you be if you weren’t a writer?
Why do you forget me?
I don’t, but I can’t answer every tweet. I just can’t.
What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?
Strip: Bloom County. Show: He-Man. Magazine: MAD!!!!
What kind of camera should I get?
Do you like my picture?
Case by case basis. But please only share pictures you’ve taken! Stealing ain’t cool.
Do you like my profile picture?
I wish it was of you instead of someone else.
Film or digital?
What is your Instagram?
Do you want to visit my country?
Do you have any plans to visit my country?
Will you say hi/happy birthday/good luck to me?
No. When I do this, Twitter shuts me down.
Will you follow me?
Yes, unless you seem creepy.
What is creepy to you?
Determined on a case by case basis.
Why to you hate Emaya/Ezria/Haleb/Wrencer/Wranna/Spoby/Pemily/Paily/Jaria etc?
Do you eat meat?
What is your favorite book?
Immortal Poems of the English Language.
What is your favorite TV show?
Will you give me a shoutout?
Maybe, but please don’t ask a lot. I block spammers.
Why did you block me?
You either spammed me or sent me something I deemed inappropriate for an all ages twitter feed.
I tried to think of a funny closeted actor to put here, but couldn’t think of a funny one, so I’ll just say bananas.
Can I meet the cast when I come to LA and tour the WB?
It’s highly unlikely, unless someone happens to be passing by at the exact moment you happen to be taking the tour. Taking the tour on a weekend will decrease your already slim chances.
Will you take my picture?
It depends. My photography is something completely separate from my job as a writer and is in no way affiliated with any of the studios or shows for which I render services. Do you want your picture because you think it will help you meet someone on the cast, or get you on a TV show? Then the answer is no. Are you a model who just likes my pictures and wants to work with me? Contact me through model mayhem and we’ll talk.
Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
No, and I don’t have any plans to change this. I change my mind so frequently, I would be hard pressed to think of anything I want on my body forever.
Describe (blank episode) in one word.
If I could do that, we wouldn’t need the episode. PLL is an amazing show, all the episodes are amazing. Watch them all, no matter who you ‘ship.
Will you help me or my friend make it in Hollywood.
With rare exceptions, it’s really hard to make it in the entertainment business. I feel like I’m STILL trying to make it. But you probably aren’t going to make it without moving here, and you don’t deserve to. If your dream isn’t worth committing your life to it, the world doesn’t need it.
(blank) or (blank)?
If it’s food, usually both, if it’s something terrible, like diseases, usually neither.
What is your favorite color?
Any of the colors on my cat, Bonnie Blue. This includes, but is not limited to, the gray color of her fur, the green color of her eyes, the prickly pink of her tongue, and her pink and gray paw pads.
You comment on Instagram pics of girls, are you a pervert?
No. Because of the make-up of the PLL audience, an overwhelming number of my twitter and Instagram followers are teenage girls. I look at my news feed and like pictures and comment on them often. When I look at someone’s feed, I generally look for a self-portrait to like. This seems more personal to me than liking, say, their friends, nephews, a screen grab from PLL, or a picture of the book cover of The Hunger Games. Before I worked on PLL I used Instagram to connect with models. That’s how I met the awesome Deeb sisters, with whom I’ve done two shoots. I’m aware that all comments are fully open to the public. When I see someone on IG I’d like to shoot with, I’ll leave a comment along the lines of, “Come to LA so we can shoot.” This is not an attempt to get someone to run away from home. It’s my way of saying, I think you are good at modeling, have a cool pic, or have a good connection with the lens. Sometimes the person lives locally, which makes shooting a possibility, sometimes they are half a world away.
I do not shoot nudes, or implied nudes. My entire hope with modeling is that the model feels comfortable and likes the pictures she gets. I hear horror stories all the time from models who have been disrespected and harmed by photographers. I urge any models out there to listen to their instincts in these situations and get out. I wish there were a way models could blacklist dirty photographers, but I think it opens them up to libel or slander or something. I think every female should read The Gift of Fear. It’s a life-saving book.
What time is it right now where you are?
Los Angeles is located is PST. If you ever want to ask this question I think you should figure out where your time zone is in relation to mine and do the math.
What camera should I buy?
You can make mind-blowing pictures with any camera ever made in the history of cameras. When starting out, there is a real tendency to think the camera you use will make your pictures better. That is hogwash. The photographer makes the picture, not the other way around. No matter how much money you have, you have access to the tools to make great pictures.
Do you prefer dogs or cats as pets?
I live in an apartment, so I have cats, but I love dogs. If I had a yard, I would have a dog. From 1995 to 2001 I had the greatest dog who ever lived in the history of dogs. Her name was Nikki. She was so dumb, but she had more love in her heart than the flying nun. I had to say goodbye to Nikki when I left home for CA, because it didn’t seem fair to make that Virginian, nature-loving dog to have to live in a city. We left her with a friend who had recently adopted a little girl. The little girl could not sleep at night, because her pre-adopted life had been so awful. But when she got Nikki she started sleeping through the night. Nikki died in 2005. I go the phone call while I was working on Charmed. I sat in my office and cried my eyes out (CMEO!). It wasn’t pretty.
I would love to have a dog again, but I want to wait until we have more space.
Do you like (blank musical artist)?
There are just too many musicians in the world for me to keep up with them all, but I love almost all music, so there’s a good chance I would like this person.
Why are you so mean to Emaya fans?
Emaya fans are still dealing with a huge loss. It has made them extremely sensitive. I never want to hurt or mock or ridicule anyone. Even though these characters are fictional, they become real to us when we love a show.
Personally I don’t have a lot of reverence about death. I saw plenty of it starting at a young age and it’s caused me to get a tough skin. Mind you, I still think it sucks, but I use humor to cover the pain of loss. To me, this is a form of healing and celebrating life, but I understand it’s not for everyone. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt any feelings.
What do you do in your free time?
Take pictures, think of story ideas, cook, yard work and crossword puzzles.
How is it possible that you don’t like the show ‘Girls?’
Taste is very subjective. People like different kinds of foods and music and colors. If everyone liked all the same things, the world would be boring. I don’t like to rag on shows and movies and songs that bring other people joy. I don’t like to celebrate my hatred of something, or try to convince other people that they are wrong. A poetry teacher once told my class, “If you’re going to be a literary critic, please only write about things you love.” This has stayed with me. I can’t stand snarky, pissy, bitter movie reviews. The world doesn’t need more nastiness. So rather than go through a list of the reasons why I hate the show ‘Girls,’ I think it would be better to remain silent on the matter. Clearly it’s struck a chord with a great many of you, it’s touched your heart in the way art should, so who the hell am I to speak ill of that?
Do you believe in God?
Yes. I am a Christian. I have been since April of 1993. It’s the most important choice I ever made. I highly recommend it. I am very sorry for all of the terrible, ignorant things people do in the name of Christ. I guess we’ve earned all the bad feelings. It’s a very difficult thing to address in a fact, but I think these words from Corinthians come close…”Praise be to the the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble wit the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” When you hear someone professing to be a Christian, ask yourself if their behavior calls these words to mind, and if it doesn’t, please ignore the person.
Do you like One Direction?
I gather this is a singing group. I am not familiar with their work, and I don’t anticipate that I ever will be. Honestly it might be a little creepy if I did.
What is (cast member) like?
The entire cast of PLL is amazingly talented and lovely. So is the crew. I have never in my life seen people work harder or faster. PLL is a low budget show, and it frequently looks better than feature films. This is because of remarkable financial creativity, clever writing, great acting, and very very enthusiastic and gifted directors.
Have you read Harry Potter/Hunger Games/50 Shades of Gray?
Can you help me? I am being bullied and I hate myself?
PLEASE talk to someone. Twitter is not the place for these matters. Talk to an adult you can trust. A teacher, a parent, a pastor, a cop. Don’t hurt yourself. You are a unique gift to the world.
Can you describe (blank) in one word?
No. I hate this question and I reserve the right to answer however the mood strikes me.
Are you going to do a Ustream anytime soon?
I would like to, but I don’t want it to be lame, so I’m going to need some time to think about it and some help.
Are you a Christian?
Yes. And I am also liberal. I am disgusted when people use the Word of God to harm anyone in any way. Christians are called to submit and to serve and to love, not to judge or tear down or avenge.
What is your favorite music?
Sixties garage and classical.
Can you see the PLL cast on the WB tour?
It’s not part of the tour, but there’s always a chance someone could walk by.
Why did Chloe King and GCB get cancelled?
Will you tell or show (blank) to (blank)? It means a lot to me.
Sorry, but no. If I did this it would become a full time job.
Will you give a spoiler?
No. I never give spoilers, though some people are under the impression there are clues in some of my hashtags or tweets.
Is there a Halloween episode in season three?
Will it be a flashback?
Do you play any musical instruments?
Several, and not very well. Tuba, electric bass, guitar, drums, piano/organ, and sing. I’m in a church band and the church choir.
Will you take a picture of (blank)?
No. The whole reason I take pictures is because of the freedom it allows me. If I took requests, I would never have time for anything else.
Why am I ignoring you?
I can’t answer everyone. If I don’t respond it’s safe to say A) I didn’t see your question B), I already answered the question 20 times C) you are spamming D) your questions seems harmful or insulting to someone E) I’m not at liberty to divulge the information.
Who is your favorite PLL?
I don’t have one. They are a unit. One of the wonderful things about the show is the dynamic between all four girls. In fact, my favorite scenes have all four girls in them. That is the magic of the show.
What is your favorite episode?
307, because I wrote it and it’s creepy as hell. And any other episodes I’m lucky enough to write.
What is your favorite episode that you didn’t write?
What character would you most want to play?
Who is your favorite ‘ship?
I don’t ‘ship.
Will (blank) and (blank) end up together?
I can’t say. But hopefully PLL will be a long ride. And to keep things lively and fun, you have to throw obstacles at your characters. Difficult choices reveal true character. Even if people drift apart, it won’t mean they always going to be apart. And no, I’m not talking about any specific couple, I’m talking about drama in general.
How old are you?
I was born May 30, 1975 at 4:18 pm in Salem, Virginia.
What’s the one thing in your life you couldn’t live without?
Do you like (insert food name here)?
I like almost every food. I don’t like to pick between foods. The only things I’m not crazy about are olives. I am aware that this makes me less of a person.
How long have you been taking pictures?
I bought a Nikon D40 in February 2010. I devoured information online about photography, then I started shooting film in the summer of that year. Now I don’t own any digital cameras except my iPhone. I love film. I adore film. I have a lot of old junky cameras. Because it’s a hobby, I don’t need nice equipment.
I started shooting models in January 2012. I love that, too. My wife doesn’t care because she has me well tamed. I love her forever. Plus, the photo-making process is not very sexy to me or most models. Even very sexy pictures are not made in a romantic environment. Unless you get turned on by being sweat and achey and dirty and having a make up artist standing beside you. It’s work.
That said, it’s work I love and make no money from. I take pictures purely as a creative outlet. I wanted to have something creative in my life that no one could give me notes on. I’m not beholden to anyone. And I feel this makes me a better writer. If I made money from it, it would defeat the purpose of doing it.
Will you shoot with me?
Maybe. DM me or write me on Model Mayhem. A comment on Instagram may not be discovered, though I try to sort through them to edit out anything rude or self-promotional.
What made you want to be a writer?
There was a spoken word episode of MTV Unplugged, I believe in 1992. I decided at that moment I would be a writer.
Do you have any advice for photographers?
Yes. The camera doesn’t matter. Composition matters. Move your body. Zoom lenses are fun, but I really believe they encourage bad photography. Good pictures are seldom taken at eye-level. Look through the viewfinder and MOVE MOVE MOVE until you’re saying what you want to say. You shouldn’t have to wait to see the picture to decide if it’s good. You should know in advance what the picture will look like. You get better at this with experience. Also, as annoying as he can be, Ken Rockwell writes extensively on these subjects and I highly recommend checking out his website.
Are there any photographers you admire?
St. Ansel Adams and William Eggelston, Sydne Leavitt, Tamara Lichtenstein.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Learn story. Learn story inside and out. Think about what story is. You might be good at dialogue, you might be great with description, but those things can be learned in a matter of moments. Being good at them is not enough of a reason to be a writer. Have something to say. Care deeply about your world and your characters. You can find ways to be successful without caring and without having anything to say, but the world doesn’t need that. Every generation needs to be reminded again and again of what matters most. Generosity, kindness, love. If it’s true, it can be repeated again and again. The truer something is, the more often it should be repeated.
Making a living as a writer is so difficult that you should really believe in the value of what you’re saying. Why commit all of your time, money and effort to something that doesn’t matter to you? You should care about it so much that if God came down from heaven and ordered you to destroy what you wrote, you still wouldn’t be convinced that you should.
That said, you have to destroy your ego as well. Feed it to the fire. Listen to every note. Even if someone isn’t right about the specifics of what they’ve suggested. Even children can sense when something isn’t working. So scrutinize your work. Put it through every test you can dream up, because that’s the only way it will survive the test of time.
Do you miss Virginia?
Yes. I miss the sunsets and the mountains and the food and my family and friends.
What is your favorite movie?
I have several. The ones that come to mind first are: Vertigo, Mulholland Dr., Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Double Indemnity, The Old Dark House, Hush, Sunset Blvd., Edward Scissorhands, and On Strike For Christmas.
Tell me about your cats.
We got Heidi in Sept. 2001. We call her Granny. She is mean and old and bitter. She’ll hiss at anything. She’ll hiss at nothing. Sometimes she gets up from a nap, stands, and just hisses into the air. We think God gave us this horrible, bitter creature to teach us patience and mercy.
We got Bonnie Blue in the hot hot hot summer of 2007. I was unemployed and, did I mention it was hot. We took frequent walks because that was the only thing we could afford to do. On one of these walks, we came across the scrawniest little gray cat you ever did see. We spent TWO MONTHS trying to catch her. This guy we met told us that the best way to catch a cat was to use a pillowcase, because the opening is so big. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. I lost most of the skin on my arms. I mean, Bonnie went postal. But after two months, we finally trapped her in a cage and cleaned her and filled her tummy and now she is the sweetest cat who ever lived. She has a high voice and she loves to cuddle and she always greets us at the door. She is terrified of strangers. She wants to be friends with Heidi, but Heidi won’t have it. Heidi would murder Bonnie Blue, but we think she lets her live because she likes having another living thing that she can bite and scratch and hiss at. The worst part is, Bonnie is bigger and she could beat the crap out of Heidi, but there is nothing but love in her little gray heart.
Have you every been to (your continent/country/city here)?
I went to Germany when I was in high school, summer of 1992. I had a wonderful time. I especially loved the food and weather. I stayed with the Pütz family in Remagen.
In January 1993 I went to Sweden to visit a long distance girlfriend. Her name was Johanna, and we met while she was an exchange student at my highschool. It was freezing and beautiful. Her family lived in the small town of Hova.
In November of 1999 I went to London to visit my now-wife, then-girlfriend, Jennifer. We had met in March earlier that year while I was in graduate school and she was a senior in college. We had an incredible visit, and I’m pretty sure I successfully convinced her to spend the rest of her life with me, but I had to be very secretive about this because I didn’t want to scare her off. Any time she accused me of getting too serious, I lied and said that I was cool just dating, when in fact I knew much earlier that she was the one woman for me and that I would do whatever it took to make her mine. We got married in October of 2001.
In 2005 we went on a belated honeymoon to Isla Mujeres in Mexico. It was incredible. I loved it so much. We would have gone sooner, but we were broke as all get out when we got married. It took us four years to be able to afford to go anywhere, and even then, we had to go somewhere cheap. But oh was it gorgeous. We didn’t do much. We don’t like to explore or learn on our vacations. We like to eat, lie on the beach and make out.
Thus far, this is the sum total of my word travels. I know I should get out more, but I’m really committed to establishing myself as a writer, and I’m 6’2”, so cramming myself into an airplane seat is a form of torture.