Interview with Eric Kiser

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't know that I ever set out to be an 'indie' author. I just always felt like I had a book inside me trying to get out. But if I had to pick one 'motivator' that got me writing, that would be my Mother. My mom, more than any other person on this planet, is the reason I sat down and pounded out my book. She told me a million times that I should be a writer. Usually after she read something I wrote on a birthday card or someplace like that. And she was serious. My mom is proud of me for taking up writing. What's great about her is she would be the first to tell me if she thought I wasn't any good. One thing you can count on with my mom is that she is honest. I figured out a long time ago that if you want the truth, ask my mom. If you want something sugarcoated, eat a doughnut. Seriously though, I owe any success I have in this field to her.

In case you can't tell, I'm a 'momma's boy'. But in the cool, tough guy kinda way. Not the wimpy kind.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I spent the first 10 years of my life in a place called Rock Island, Illinois. Then my family moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico. I lived there until I was 20. I got out of there as soon as I could and moved to Southern California. Been here ever since. But, lets see, how was my writing affected by these places... hmm. You know, I talk a lot of crap about Las Cruces, but I will say this; I had a couple of really fantastic teachers, actually in both places, Rock Island and Las Cruces. In Illinois it was JoAnn Bamsey. She was my first grade teacher and taught me how to read and write. She was also a family friend, so I always tried harder for her. Later, In High School in Las Cruces, the teacher who influenced me most was a guy named Mike Dobbyn. At first, I thought he hated me. He was tough. But one day when I was slacking off, he took it upon himself to try and straighten me out. Don't ask me how, but he saw some potential in me and basically laid down the law. He wasn't going to let me get away with anything, and he was going to hold me to a high standard because he knew I could handle it. He was challenging me. Which was just the right way to motivate me. So, I did my best to rise to the challenge. Mike really showed me that the only limits that I had to face were the ones I put there in the first place. He probably kept me from dropping out of school, so that means, he like, saved my life. Seriously. I'm still in touch with him. He is a good friend. Mike was a big help with 'The Forgotten Cost of Freedom'. Really more than anyone else. But, he's probably a little pissed at me right now. I've owed him a phone call for a month or so. I need to fix that.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock and the pile of bills next to it.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of biography's. Pretty much on anyone I can find. I spend a lot of time going to thrift stores and sifting through the shelves looking for really off-the-wall ones. That and a lot of history. As far as fiction goes, I grew up on Stephen King. He is the Master of his craft; Carrie, Christine, The Stand, Cujo.... I had his entire collection. I would read and re-read them until the books fell apart. Recently, I was turned onto Nelson DeMille. I really enjoy his style of writing. He has a character in a couple of his books, Night Fall is one of them, its an ex-cop named John Corey. Corey is probably my absolute favorite fictional personality ever! DeMille really brought this guy to life for me. Like I said, he has a great writing style and his stories and characters are nuanced and multi-layered better than any I have ever read. I'm a real fan.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Well, for this book, (The Forgotten Cost of Freedom) it wasn't so much about joy as it was about getting some frustrations out. I'm a fairly political person. As I try to explain in the book, I realized that mainly due to my work, I get a chance to talk to a wide variety of people. Celebrities, Musicians, Business Owners and Pro Athletes on one hand. Addicts, People in Recovery, Homeless Vets, Police Officers and Drug Counselors on the other. And I really try to listen to what everyone has to say. You never know where you'll come across a piece of wisdom. Over time, I began picking up on some common areas of concern from folks on opposite ends of the spectrum. At least, I thought there was a enough of a common thread that it would be interesting to bring a few of them together and have a conversation about government. Cop's with Criminals, Military Officers with Musicians, the Wealthy with the Whacked-out... I discovered some interesting things and learned about the problems these groups shared. I put together a small group of my friends to see if we could come up with possible solutions to the problems. We came up with a few relatively small changes, that if we could implement, might just help fix some of the issues we face in America today. We created a Political Action Committee (PAC) to help spread the word. You know, the number one thing I felt adamant about was that this wasn't going to be just another book pointing fingers and listing the problems this country is facing without trying to do something about them. I really wanted to have options we could toss onto the table as well. At least this way, when, or if, this conversation gets started, we'll at least have something to talk about. I hope that answers your question.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I was given an iPad by my two wonderful sisters, Karen and Marilyn (Love you girls!), for my birthday about two years ago. I am now an Apple fanatic. I grew up on PC's. But I'm a convert, now. I've had the iPhone, got my iPad II, iPod, iPod Nano, and I'm about ready to upgrade laptop's. I just can't believe how long it took me to figure it out...
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been a major factor in the success of my book. When researching publishing options, specifically e-books, I stumbled upon Smashwords completely by accident. As a new author working on my first book, it was important to have something, you know, tangible. Something I could hold in my hands. BUT, I understood I needed to put out an e-book also. If I wanted to get my book to the widest possible audience, this was something I absolutely needed to do. Smashwords was the answer. I checked out a bunch of other places on the web, but I kept coming back and comparing them to Smashwords. I finally realized, that this was the best place out there for me, so I stopped looking. Its been a great relationship.
Describe your desk
Actually, I have a couple. I'm Vice President of the largest Film and Television studio in San Diego, so I have an office and desk there. And I have one buried someplace in my living room. But I like to think of the whole world as my desk. I write a lot... quite a lot... on my iPad. I use a great app called 'Evernote' to sync between my laptop, mobile phone and tablet, so I can work literally anywhere. And I do.
What are you working on next?
I'm trying my hand at a work of fiction. Of course, I need to "stick with what I know", so its a political conspiracy book. I've been describing it as "An epic end-of-the-world, ruling elite conspiracy thriller disguised as a real world history lesson." I'm having a lot of fun writing it. But, I want to be clear; I'm not advancing any kind of theory about something I believe may actually be happening. Its a work of fiction. But, I take about 95% of the major "tin foil hat" conspiracy theories that are out there and weave them into a completely believable storyline. I've managed to include everything from 'illegal IRS tax laws" to 'Bankster Cabals rule the world' to 'RFID implants are coming' to 'Global Warming is a Hoax' and others into it. Its almost writing itself. A few of the folks who help me with research and editing have been telling me that the storyline comes across as totally believable. One even suggested I might want to include a "disclaimer" on the title page. But, I'm pretty sure people will figure out its not real on their own.
Published 2013-09-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Forgotten Cost of Freedom
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 58,200. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Democracy
A Handbook for a Free America in the 21st. Century. Our Founders gave us an enduring gift -- Democracy --We must use it to meet the challenges we face as a nation.