Rae: First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an iced Coffee with coconut milk. I’m so happy summer is here 🙂 ! What would you order?
Golden: Iced Americano with coconut milk, or if I’m splurging an Iced Caramel Macchiato.
Rae: Ok, so I have to ask… how does a Chemical Engineer shift careers and find himself a working as a professional photographer taking pictures for book covers and building clients that appreciate a skilled eye behind a lens?
Golden: Over a loooooong time. LOL. I’ve always had an artistic flair to balance out the uptight nerdiness. However, it wasn’t until I got a new camera and decided to start taking stock photos for myself that the door swung fully open.
Rae: For those who are not familiar with your FuriousFotog brand, can you tell us how this evolved?
Golden: Certainly. It started off small and on weekends – portraits, newborns, even weddings (and bridezillas) to occupy my time. However, by December 2012 – after opening in August – I was approached by Alexis Alexander with the question “Do you shoot book cover photos?” Not knowing what exactly to do, but knowing a few good looking men, we did a full custom shoot for a cover and teasers for her book “Strong Enough.” The rest is, as said, history.
Rae: How do you find your models?
Golden: I used to stalk… I mean scout them on Instagram and Facebook. Social media (before the big swing toward making profit off posts) was a great tool for the industry. Similar to how books in the 2012/2013 era saw author careers blossom. Now, most approach me due to my status though there are still a few that I want to shoot badly but the oceans lie in between. haha
Rae: If you could shoot your dream book cover, who and where?
Golden: Chris Pratt… anywhere
Rae: So, we’ve established that your a successful and sought after photographer, how do you have time to write contemporary romance, erotica, science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal? Was this an easy transition from your Engineering work?
Golden: I would say the writing was easier than the photos – since it’s a technical craft that doesn’t require direct human interaction (just words and planning). However, as time went on, my peopleling skills developed and I think I am okay with both at this point. I guess speaking in front of hundreds at the old job embedded those skills I am thankful for.
Rae: Which genre is the easiest and which one is the most challenging?
Golden: Easiest for me is fantasy. Most difficult is contemporary, with its lack of fantasy lol.
Rae: Where do you draw your inspiration for your stories?
Golden: Personal imagingings and old daydreams, but mainly a case of “what if…”
Sometimes the models aid in character development – Gage Crosse for example (from the Journeyman Series) being a good representation of the model playing him – personality wise.
Rae: Do you plot your book before you sit down to write?
Golden: Yes, thanks to the engineer in me. I don’t do a hugely detailed outline, but for Cooper (my longest book) I took the approach I’ve used since:
General Arc > Chapter listing > General “must happen here” / “the point of this chapter is…” > writing.
This approach lets me hop arround too, instead of having to go in order. That doesn’t always work though… as characters do have a mind of their own and like to toy with me.
Rae: Do you use tools like a whiteboard or notebook to jot down all the details?
Golden: Note book.
Rae: Writing a book takes time, how do you carve out that pocket of time to write all the words and balance between photographer and writer?
Golden: Late nights, early mornings, and sometimes when sitting at the gym.It all fits in somehow, but don’t expect me to take on a full time designer job as well. lol
Rae: I appreciate how much you connect with your readers on social media, what is the most challenging aspect of sharing with your readers?
Golden: I think, for me, limiting myself. While we all love sharing ourselves and details, some aspects of everyone’s life should remain private. It becomes hard to do when a lot of people become friends, but not everyone has your best interest at heart, so it’s good to tread lightly.
Rae: Are you still able to maintain some privacy in your personal life?
Golden: Yes, but it is a challenge being so visible in a society that demands attention – always glued to the phones, etc. Private time is something I do cherish and just like my old job it’s learning a constantly adjusting balance.
Rae: What can we expect in 2018?
Golden: The rest of this year will focus on releasing the A Song of Ages Duet (following on from the Journeyman Series but 20 years later), along with Swole 6 on June 6 and Swole 7 later on. Ending the year will be The Steam Tycoon 2 and leading next year will be Cooper Bennett 2.
Rae: Where can readers find you in 2018?
Rae: Thank you for hanging out in the cafe today
1. What is a must read book and why?
Mine: The Secret Life of Cooper Bennett. It just has the right mix of everything!
Others: Stephen King’s IT. Looooong and challenging to read, it’s a real classic (and one that I read when I was 9…. lol)
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
Definitely the Space and Rocket Center. Huntsville is known for its role in the space race and has a large NASA presence.
3. Do you take-in or cook? If so, what is your “go-to” dish?
I love oriental food and try to cook it whenever I can.
4. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you?
That I’m gay… lol! Seriously, a lot of people don’t realize when they find out. I’m not sure if thats a good or a bad thing. haha
5. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist?
Mix of both – I like all kinds of music.
6. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go?
Old Europe (like Norway, Amsterdam, etc.) I just love the vibe from those cities.
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
Carbs. All of them.
8. What are you afraid of?
Disappointment and failure.
9. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one?
I’m covered…. haha. My first is a tribal “tree” on my back that has a lot of alchemy symbols used to create the philosopher’s stone. My mother was going through her battle with cancer at the time so it was my way of dealing with that issue.
10. Organized or Free Floating?
Organized to a fault.
11. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)?
12. What’s on your playlist?
Random tunes mostly, but mainly EDM for the gym.
13. What play or musical do you want to see next?
I want to see Wicked again.
14. Are you a crafter?
I want to be more of one.
15. What’s your favorite TV show and why?
Gosh what a tough one. I would say Stranger Things now; just hearkens back to the 80s.
16. If you could pick a book you’ve read and make it into a movie, which book would it be (besides yours 🙂 )?
Haha damn! I would say it’s already being done with IT (Chapter 1 out last year; Chapter 2 coming next year)
17. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
Lord of the Rings – just geeks me out to the max.
18. Would you rather see a movie in the theater or at home on DVD and why?
The theater experience is a must for some… just the large screen and sound is an amazing experience.
19. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Goals and love.
20. If you could invite 5 people to dinner (not friends and family – that’s too easy) who would be at your table? Where would you eat?
I would invite my favorite authors (who are spread across genres) to talk shop. That would be interesting to see what is similar/different. Oh, and Chris Pratt because anyone who knows me knows of my obsession with the man. If I could get ONE official photo with him I would be in heaven.
21. If you could try any career for a day, what would it be?
Is billionaire from a romance book an option? LOL
22. Person you admire and why?
My mother… her strength and battle with cancer are my daily drivers. Even though she lost the second fight, my goal is to do her proud first.
In the beginning, Golden worked the standard corporate rat race, completed college for a Chemical Engineering Degree, and began a small photography company on the side.
Since then, and the growth of the FuriousFotog brand, Golden became an internationally published modeling/fitness photographer and eventually began working as a book cover model.
Having been in the industry for at least six years, he has interfaced and networked with countless authors and other clients. As part of his work as a photographer, he worked with them to create book cover images – now numbering over 550 at the beginning of 2018.
Learning the ins and out of the book world, along with being an avid reader and storyteller himself, Golden finally decided to write and publish his first book, Homeward Bound, in 2016.