Interview with Robert Zimmermann

When did you first start writing?
I first started writing back in the eleventh grade. I really haven't stopped since, but it wasn't until I was almost done earning my Creative Writing degree that I found what I really wanted to write about. That's where the idea and some material for "From Where I Stand" came from. College was a big step toward knowing I really wanted to be a writer.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
There are many different views on going Indie, just like there are many views on being a traditionally published author. For me, I don't think I ever wanted to go the traditional route. It's not out of the question for the future, but I like the experience of going through the process of self-publishing. I like having as much control over my work as possible. While I lack the marketing team, graphic design crew, and editors that a publisher might be able to help me with, there are alternatives. I've made many friends who can take place of these roles when needed for advice or actual work (like proofreading/editing and help with the horrors of formatting).

No one road is better than the other. It's all in the individual and how it meshes with him or her. For now, Indie is the way for me.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. If I didn't have any, no one would be reading my work. However, I'd still be writing no matter what. While they aren't what motivates me to get my words on paper and out of my head, having a group of people who are willing to read (and actually WANT to read) your work is a great feeling. It's motivation to push through a dry spell in writing. I've made some great friends of some fans and might not have met them under other circumstances.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm a big fan of keeping thing's original, at least when it comes to a cover image. You can only do so much for originality in the layout, but still trying to do things other people are doing all the time isn't for me. I try to make my covers look as professional as I can while still making them "me."

All my covers have images I've taken myself. I then mess with them to get the colors and everything else the way I think they'll work best. Next comes the text, etc. I see too many covers that look the same out there and it baffles me to a point. I understand that stock images will be used by many people, but it's not incredibly difficult for someone to learn to use a basic image manipulating program in order to put their own twist on the image. It works for many readers though, and who am I to say "don't do what everyone's doing?" I'm not anyone to say that. It's just not how I do things.

Photography is another one of my "hobbies" right there beside writing (before it became more serious in the form of published books). If I have the chance to go out in the world taking pictures, then throwing them on my covers, I'm going to do it. Eventually, I think I'll be putting together an ebook that's a mixture of poetry and photos. It's something I've always wanted to do.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a very active person. Sometimes I find that it actually gets in the way of my writing time. You can often find me out in the woods on my bike, or running. I busy myself with work around the house, often doing projects that really don't need to be done. Luckily, these activities are great for getting my brain working on poem or story ideas, so it's not all wasted time.
Who are your favorite authors?
This is always a difficult question to answer, but I'll give it a try. If I may, I'd like to split it up in two categories and throw a few names out in each.

Recent favorites: S.M Boyce, she'll always be on top of my list for her amazing fantasy series, The Grimoire Saga. I think she could write in any genre and I'd enjoy it. She knows what she's doing with a pen (keyboard). Tiffany King is also high up on that list. Ok, sorry to the rest of you, if I kept saying why I love you all, this'll be a LONG answer. Just go check out these great authors: Jessica Park, Karina Halle, Jessica Fortunato, Sonya Sones, Ben Ditmars.

More classic answers: Ernest Hemingway (read so much of his work in high school), Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Dean Koontz, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, and many more.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My top five favorite books, in no particular order are (this is starting to sound like High Fidelity...which will end up being...)
1) High Fidelity by Nick Hornby - I'll admit, I saw the movie first. But then I grabbed the book and fell in love with it as well. This is the first book/movie that I can say is about 95% similar and both equally as great. I'm a big fan of Hornby's writing in general. I really enjoyed the story of High Fidelity, the inclusion of music (which Hornby's great at) really pulled me in. I was especially into music at the time I first read it as well. That helped.
2) Lichgates & Treason by S.M. Boyce - I'm going to throw these two together since they're book 1 and 2 of Boyce's Grimoire Saga. I'm sure book 3 and 4 will be combined with these in the future. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy books, but once I started Lichgates, I was converted in a way. Boyce knows how to play just on the edge of a few genres to grab many different readers and not overwhelm them with the fantasy. This grabbed my interest and I fell in love with the world of Ourea and her main character kara's pretty bad-ass.
3) A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway - It's the first book I've read twice, in my life. I read it in high school at (probably) an impressionable age. It made me way to go to France and try and live out a life like Hemingway had writing in cafes, meeting other authors, and traveling all over.
4) ...um, I'm just going to leave it at 3. I'm terrible at choosing just five favorite books. I really am, not trying to be lazy here.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I discover them in many different ways. I think my number one way I find the great ones is by interacting with other readers and the authors as well. I do this on Twitter mainly, but also Facebook and their blogs.

Another way is in a few groups on Facebook that share some great reads people have recently finished. I also just go onto the Amazon site and Smashwords site and randomly search keywords that might lead me to something I'll find interesting.

It's hard to find great books all the time, but if you don't go out and search for them, you'll never find them.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My reading device of choice is my Kindle. I own a Kindle and a Kindle Fire, though I once used an iTouch while I was between devices. I mainly read on my Kindle because I hate reading on a computer screen, and the Fire is pretty much the same as a computer screen.

I had some off-brand ereader when I first jumped into the ebook world. It worked just fine for me, until I dropped it one day and it broke. I'm don't have total brand loyalty to Kindles, but I'm very pleased with the products and I do most of my ebook shopping on Amazon and Smashwords. If I were to have to switch to a different device, I wouldn't be opposed to it.
What are you working on next?
Right now, my next planned project is a collection of my erotic writing. I have one published flash fiction piece, Breakfast in Bed. From there, I wrote a few pieces for some fellow author's blogs. My plan is to take all this released work and combine it with a few stories that I'm currently working on and some that are still in my head. It'd be great to have it all in one place for fans of my erotic fiction.

I'm also thinking about what my next poetry collection will be. I'm still in the very early stages, but since it's soon to be fall, I know I'll get an idea soon. All my better ideas tend to come around this time of the year.
Published 2013-08-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Words
By
Price: Free! Words: 410. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2014. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Words is a short poem that's a taste of an upcoming collection of poetry that I'm working on. The poem started out as a simple observation of the snow in moonlight, and turned into a poem with more to offer. I'm offering it free to my readers. I've had it on my blog, where it's gotten much response, and wanted to give everyone another way to access it.
Breakfast In Bed
By
Price: Free! Words: 800. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Romance
Erotic Romance flash fiction story - about 600 words in length. Julie isn't a morning person, but her husband Nick knows just the right way to wake her up.
I Would
By
Price: Free! Words: 520. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2013. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
I Would, is a short poem that touches on the difficulties of being in a long distance relationship. Yet, with the difficulties there are always hopes of a reunion on the horizon.
Winter's Homecoming and Other Poems
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 920. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2013. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Winter's Homecoming and Other Poems is an eight poem chapbook by Robert Zimmermann. In this insightful new collection, Zimmermann shares his love and appreciation for the beauty of nature and the changing of seasons, as well as the endless search for happiness.
From Where I Stand
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 4,630. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2012. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
From Robert Zimmermann comes From Where I Stand, an emotional debut poetry collection. Zimmermann explores strained parental relationships, loss of life, and the despair associated with grief. Alongside these darker themes, he delves into the small areas of life that often go unnoticed but become the hope we are searching for.