Interview with Gary Ballard

What is your writing process?
Since I have a day job, I can't write every day. So instead, I set aside some time on Saturdays and Sundays to write. I'll get up in the morning, walk the dogs, eat my cereal while watching football then go upstairs and write. To avoid distractions, I put on the headset and crank up something on Spotify that fits the mood of what I'm writing - for horror, I'll do death or doom metal, for cyberpunk maybe some industrial or Tom Waits.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm a graphic designer by trade, so I'm able to do my own cover designs. I like to focus the design around one visual element that is usually a photograph of some kind that fits the theme of the novel, then add layers on top of it. Finding a good type treatment for the title is essential and involves looking through hundreds of font combinations.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
On the Road by Kerouac - it just has such a perfect rhythm and inquisitiveness about it.
A Clash of Kings by George Martin - the Song of Fire and Ice series is good epic fantasy, and this one has so many OMG moments.
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs - pure, mindblowing stream of consciousness mixed with a frank examination of the human as predatory animal.
Anna Karenina by Tolstoy - I love the darkness of Russian literature and this is the real masterpiece of Tolstoy.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - For great, stylish urban cyberpunk, this book has it all.
What do you read for pleasure?
Science fiction, comic books, epic fantasy and the occasional Russian or French literature of the 19th century.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
For a while, I'd been reading on my Android phone, but I recently got a 10" Android tablet and that thing is a sweet e-reader.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The best results I've found have been blogger reviews. A good review on a popular blog site can sustain great sales for months, sometimes years.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Meridian, MS and moved from there to Quitman, MS - both were smaller towns and in both cases, we lived in rural areas away from the towns. Country living gives you an appreciation for nature that you might not get in the burbs. This was before the Internet and cell phones, and we were too far out to have cable. That isolation meant that not only did I have to read for entertainment - since we only got 3 channels on the television - it also meant that I had to have an active imagination to keep myself entertained.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Getting an established publisher or agent to look at my work wasn't getting me anywhere, so I decided to write a novel specifically to publish in serial form on a blog. I enjoyed the process so much, I started a second novel. I figured that compiling the first novel into a paperback couldn't hurt, so went the print-on-demand route. Once I discovered eBook publishing, I decided to pursue indie publishing exclusively.
What are you working on next?
I've put my Bridge Chronicles series on hold for the moment to pursue a series of novellas. I've recently published the first in this new series, called The First Stone. The series is a modern take on the Cthulhu Mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft and it's called The Stepping Stone Cycle.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Honore de Balzac, Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and Leo Tolstoy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play copious amounts of video games and I've recently rediscovered my love the guitar. Plus I watch a ton of soccer and football whenever I can.
Published 2014-03-05.
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Books by This Author

The Metal Black
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Series: The Stepping Stone Cycle, Episode 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 35,140. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Horror » Occult
While searching for his missing wife, Dr. Jack Carter is drawn to the site of a gruesome double murder in small-town Mississippi. Two normal teen boys have killed two girls with the same name as Jack's wife, quoting lyrics from a doom metal song before killing themselves. Their mother sues the band, and when Jack joins the case, he finds a mystery that threatens to destroy his fragile sanity.
First Stone
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Series: The Stepping Stone Cycle, Episode 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 31,400. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Forensic psychologist Dr. Jack Carter wakes from a semi-catatonic state with no memory of the previous year. Jack is the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Sarah.When a serial killer in coal country claims to have killed her, Jack and FBI Agent Bill West investigate, finding a deeply disturbed amnesiac and a deeper cosmic mystery that goes beyond anything they could imagine.
The Complete Bridge Chronicles, Books 1-4
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 8. Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 234,780. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
This collection is available as an eBook only, a fantastic collection of Books 1 -4 of the critically-acclaimed cyberpunk series, The Bridge Chronicles, starring Artemis Bridge, the amoral fixer of the future. It contains the full text of Under the Amoral Bridge, The Know Circuit, if [tribe] = and The Long and the Short Swords, as well as two short stories.
The Long and the Short Swords
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,440. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Bridge didn’t get involved with his clients, especially clients who put him at risk. All the fugitive killer Logan wanted was someone to forge him a new identity. This simple job gets complicated by the secrets from Logan's past, a clan of religious assassins from ancient Japan. This thriller is the fourth in the critically-acclaimed Bridge Chronicles cyberpunk series.
Tales from the Bridge Chronicles, Volume 1
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,080. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The near-future world of Artemis Bridge has been critically-acclaimed in the Bridge Chronicles. In this diverse collection of cyberpunk short stories, Ballard dissects the inner workings of credit assassinations, illustrates what happens to GlobalNet ID’s of the deceased, and details the initiation of the mysterious technomancers in ten exciting short stories, some never before published.
The Bridge Chronicles Trilogy
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 7. Price: $5.25 USD. Words: 177,700. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
This collection is available as an eBook only, a fantastic collection of Books 1 -3 of the critically-acclaimed cyberpunk series, The Bridge Chronicles, starring Artemis Bridge, the amoral fixer of the future. It contains the full text of Under the Amoral Bridge, The Know Circuit and if [tribe] =, as well as two short stories.
if [tribe] =
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,350. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
L.A. street gang Los Magos' leader is assassinated by the rival El Diablos, both members of the Five Families. Gang war would bring the wrath of the corporate police department down on all the Families. Amoral fixer Artemis Bridge discovers the war is more than tribal bloodletting, and must use his wits to stop the war before it escalates to genocide in the latest Bridge Chronicles novel.
The Bridge Chronicles, Books 1 & 2
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 6. Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 102,790. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
This edition collects Books 1 & 2 of the critically-acclaimed cyberpunk series, The Bridge Chronicles, starring Artemis Bridge, the amoral fixer of the future. It contains the full text of both Under the Amoral Bridge and The Know Circuit, as well as two short stories that were only available in the published editions.
The Know Circuit
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,610. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Artemis Bridge can get you what you need no matter how immoral or illegal. When the city of Boulder is trapped in a mysterious dome, he sets aside his detachment to help his bodyguard Aristotle. Every step he takes towards the dome deepens the mystery, with flaming dragons, robotic golems and disturbing visions driving Bridge to a life-altering conclusion.
Under the Amoral Bridge
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Series: The Bridge Chronicles, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 51,020. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2009. Category: Fiction » Literature » Drama
Artemis Bridge is the know-to, go-to guy, the amoral fixer in 2028 Los Angeles with the connection for your illicit desires. When an associate dies in his arms, he is burdened with a damaging video of the current mayor. With assassins dogging his every step, he has only days before the corrupt mayor is re-elected. This taut futuristic cyberpunk thriller is the debut novel by Gary A. Ballard.