Interview with Duane M. Carter

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Hmm, can't say I do, though it probably started with, "it was a dark and gloomy night" or something like that. My maternal grandmother used to tell us all these Louisiana ghost stories from her life on the bayou. I suppose that's why I gravitated towards Edgar Allan Poe as a child. So I'm sure my first writings were in this genre.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I keep myself busy with other creative endeavors. I am also a musician as well as songwriter/composer, so I spend a lot of time doing that. I enjoy being around family when I'm not locked away in my creative cocoon.
What is your writing process?
Bird by bird, of course. Though for me, I don't know if I'd really call it a process. I'd love to be that diligent writer bravely facing the blank page every day, but I'm not. Life happens with its many distractions and obstacles to creativity. But, I'm always listening, and when I find stillness I let the voices appear on paper. Then writing begins and rewriting continues until I force myself to say that's enough.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Well, the first novel I read was Dragon Summer by Ruth Arthur. I spent a lot of hours at the small branch library around the corner from my house. I checked it out from there one summer. I just remember losing myself to it, being transported somewhere else, experiencing another life. That's the magic of fiction.
How do you approach cover design?
I am fortunate to have a son that is a graphic designer. So my approach is to look for designs I like and then to ask him to find a little time in his schedule for his desperate father and to work his magic doing something in a similar vein.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm no where near mastering marketing. I've successfully used both social media and emailing my current contact list. I also have a website and a news blog that I use to keep the world informed. Successful and effective are relative terms though. I'm just doing what I can to get the word out about what I'm doing.
Describe your desk
Crowded. Things I'm reading, things I'm researching, things I'm hoping to get to, notes, and my computer. I like to stay surrounded by the most urgent so I don't forget about them.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Chicago and grew up in South Central Los Angeles. My perspective then has been large city urban environs. I believe survival in such a setting has a lot to do with observations of people and your surroundings. I'm sure that must be reflected in my character development and the descriptions of settings.
When did you first start writing?
That's hard to say. I've been writing music almost as long as I've been playing. In fact, I'd have to say that the writing aspect is possibly the impetus for my performing. Putting words on paper started around the same time, 10 years old I'd guess. All are forms of self-expression, which is a bit of a misnomer. Self-expression sounds egotistical to me. In reality, writing - whether words or music - is a process of going within to go beyond the self. It is more like meditation, an altered state to connect with that creative spirit that flows through you in silence.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'd say the real story is that things happen to us for a reason. There are no coincidences. One of my poems speak of finding love across time and space. I believe this book has the same underlying premise. I find it amazing how people encounter one another, even if it's just a momentary glance where eyes meet in the acknowledgement of another's existence, at a particular point in time and in a particular space. And then maybe you find someone you love. Mind-boggling.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
This is my first novel. I've been looking for the right market for it, but it doesn't really fit a category. The book centers around a love story, but it is definitely not a romance novel. I suppose it fits under mainstream fiction, which is pretty much a genre that doesn't fit any other genre. So, I figured indie publishing would be a good route for me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I heard about Smashwords at a library conference and was impressed by the presentation. I had been looking for print options, but needed more funds to make that happen with all the bells and whistles I desired. Really, the success of Smashwords is in the opportunity to have my book published, distributed, and into the hands of readers immediately.
Published 2015-06-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

No Promises
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,760. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Michael Mason III is a promising young cardiac surgeon with an unquenchable passion that leads him from one woman to another. When reassigned to an inner city clinic his new life becomes an entanglement of rivalry, love, friendship, soul-searching, loss, and reconciliation. In the end, Michael is convinced that everything happens for a reason.