Interview with Stan Morris

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the Los Angeles basin and I lived there until I was thirteen. This influenced my writing in several ways. It was a very conservative area, and I still have conservative views on some aspects of life. It was a multi-ethnic area, and this would prove to be an big influence later in life. And it was a place where a boy with a skateboard or a bike could travel a long way, due to the flatness of the basin. Independence came early to me, and this has also influenced my writing. My characters tend to be family oriented, but also very independent.
When I was thirteen, my family moved to northern California, west of the San Francisco Bay area. This was a much more liberal area, and it was where I became interested in the Civil Rights movement, and where I came of age during the Vietnam War. My independent nature thrived in this environment, and during my senior year in high school, I sometimes skipped school and rode the BART system to spend the day in Berkeley or in San Francisco.
When did you first start writing?
I must have been fourteen when I did my first serious writing. Serious for a fourteen year old boy, I mean. There was a new, cool TV show called Star Trek, and my first novel was a scifi that featured public teleportation booths that allowed people to travel between Earth and Mars. Zane Grey was a big influence for me, so my second novel was a western. Both books featured scantily clad girls in desperate need of a hero. Smith-Coronas had not been invented in those days and typewriters were very expensive, so I wrote those books in longhand cursive. The books have since been lost to posterity, much to the irritation of my wife and the private gratitude of me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is Surviving the Fog-Kathy's Recollections. This book is a sidequel to my first published book, Surviving the Fog. Surviving the Fog has been a big success, but some of my female readers complained that I had focused too much on the boys and had neglected the viewpoints of the girls. That was valid criticism. I was corresponding with one female reader, and I had never been satisfied by how I had written, Kathy, one of the minor characters. I began thinking of how Kathy would have viewed the events in the book, and to my surprise I realized that she was looking at the scenes in a different light. I sat down to record her comments and 200,000 words later, I had Surviving the Fog-Kathy's Recollections, a book that is twice as long as the original.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have been involved with the technology of computers for a long time. I assembled a computer in 1987. In those days they were known as 'IBM compatible.' I started a computer company and ran it for the next two decades. I remember DOS fondly. When I finished editing Surviving the Fog, I started going through the traditional method of obtaining a copyright by submitting the manuscript to the Library of Congress. After that, I planned to submit it to Baen Books or Tor. But there were new sites on the web that were offering books online, so after becoming impatient, I submitted the book to a few online sites. Later I discovered Manybooks and Feedbooks, and finally I discovered Smashwords. I've been epublishing at Smashwords ever since.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
There is no doubt that Smashwords has been a major contributor to my success. The meatgrinder had made it easy to publish a well defined ebook. It gives me a great sense of confidence each time I see a new manuscript converted to an ebook. Smashwords has made it very easy to get my books into many different channels. When I see my book offered through iTunes or Barnes & Noble, I know they got the book through Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I would use the word satisfaction. The greatest satisfaction is delivered by readers who enjoy reading my books. The feeling I get when I finish a book is great, and when it is finally online, that is another great feeling. But when readers write and tell me that days after finishing the book they are still thinking about it, I feel very happy. When someone says that they've given it to their wife or to their children or recommended it to a librarian, that is even more important to me than selling a book
What are you working on next?
I epublished Surviving the Fog-Kathy's Recollections in May, and I haven't started another book as yet, but I have been working on several short stories and a novella I call, New Friends. My plan is to combine the novella and my short stories and to publish them in one volume of about 90,000 words. I am also taking an extended vacation soon, so I don't know if I will finish the editing process before the end of the year. I'm not sure what book I will work on after that, but it might be Surviving the Fog-Douglas lives.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a great fan of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. As for writers still alive, I like the romances of Jayne Ann Krentz and Pamela Morisi, the historical mysteries of Lindsey Davis, and the science fiction of David Weber and Eric Flint. My favorites have change over time; these are just the latest. I also love history books, including those of Shelby Foote, William J. Bernstein, David McCullough, and Samuel Morison.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The alarm clock or the sun in my face.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to watch sports. I have four LCD TV's in my man-cave. Today, Friday, I began my day watching one of the Web.com tournaments, then the PGA Barkleys, and now I'm watching a Nationwide NASCAR race at Bristol and a preseason football game. I love to garden. I have a farm with lots of chives, lemon grass, asparagus, plumeria trees, peach trees, and about forty five orchids, most in bloom. I listen to music almost every day. My tastes run the gamut from hard rock like Black Sabbath to Mozart.
Published 2013-08-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

What's In My Shorts
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 90,390. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2014. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
An rich amphibian acquires a young servant from a planet with the unlikely name of Earth. A barbarian vows revenge on the young princess who scorned him. A boy, a dog, and an AK47. The captain of a spaceship watches a possible extinction event. Orange trees in Los Angeles, a tsunami, and how to use zombies. Remembering a trip to a hardware store and slaves on the Underground Railroad
Surviving the Fog-Kathy's Recollections
By
Series: Surviving the Fog, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 201,890. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
I don’t recall, exactly, when I accepted the likelihood that my mother, and my father, and my sister, and my brother were dead. I remember gradually becoming alarmed when the Camp Administrator, who we called ‘the Admin,’ did not return with the counselors who had left with her. And the first time I cried was the morning when Jackie, the single remaining adult, would not leave her cabin.
The Colors of Passion and Love
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 103,620. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
"Destiny is nothing compared to love." Princess Elanoria Romand has a secret power. She can see the auras of the men around her. But around one special man, Magesty Yoll, Master of Arete, she can see a lot more than the standard twenty two colors. He is the man of her destiny, but he is also the son of her enemy. Betrayal is followed by exile, passion, and a meeting with a strange creature.
Sarah's Spaceship Adventure
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 102,810. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
When Sarah sneaks out of her house to go joyriding on her boyfriend's space yacht, she expects to be back before dawn. But her boyfriend is not as swift as she had thought, and now Sarah is in trouble. Then a chance encounter with some space junk and with a young spacer sends Sarah off to the Hoop on the adventure of a lifetime.
Tales of the Ragoon, Amy's Hero
By
Series: Tales of the Ragoon, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 38,660. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2010. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
When her father asks the alien Ragoon to help solve the problem of a daughter who is withdrawing from life, Amy Torelli finds herself living at the Merced Human Rehabilitation Center. Why is she there? Will Amy be able to make a life for herself? And why is she more comfortable around a big gray monster than with people of her own species? And who is Joe?
Tales of the Ragoon, Kate's Movie Star
By
Series: Tales of the Ragoon, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 33,230. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2010. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
On Kate's night out, she had the bad luck to run into the Ragoon. Sixteen, no Comprehensive Personal License and no note from her owner. It's off to the Merced Human Rehabilitation Center for her. But an automobile accident and an absent minded father leads to a chance encounter with a famous movie star (he is famous in his own mind.) What's a girl to do? Sexual situations but no graphic stuff
Tales of the Ragoon, Sam's Winnings
By
Series: Tales of the Ragoon, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 40,080. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2009. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
The mercantile Ragoon have rules. One of those rules is that property exchanges must be recorded. You'll get in trouble if you don't. But what if the property in question is your sister? And how will Sam's life change now that he owns the girl of his dreams? Read what happens when a joke bet turns into prison, exile and a new forced relationship.
Surviving the Fog
By
Series: Surviving the Fog, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 109,180. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2009. Category: Fiction » Drama » American
Have you ever been to camp? What would you do if the adults left “for a few hours” and they had not returned a week later? What if your parents never showed up to take you home? What would you do if you realized that the area below was surrounded by a mysterious brown fog that was dangerous? How would you survive the winter? What would you eat? Warning-sexual situations, cursing, violence