Interview with Abraham Lopez

What is your latest project, Going Gone, about and why did you write it?
This anthology is a collection of 12 short stories that are all related, in some respect or another, to the events that unfold in the very first short story. Specifically, there is an assassination of a Middle Eastern leader, that then has serious effects worldwide. The remaining stories are about those effects, written from the perspective of former intelligence members, a kid walking to the YMCA in New York City, a rock star right before a concert, a reporter investigating a cult, even from the perspective a new form of artificial intelligence.
There are several reasons I wrote this anthology. First, it’s a project I’ve been wanting to finish for some time now, and the more time went by, the more I would see subjects that I had written about in the news. So, felt like what I was writing about was pertinent to the state of world right now. Second, I’ve always been fascininated with history in general, and the causes of wars and calamities in particular. How some seemingly minor events can cause huge reactions in many countries, and I realized that something like that could easily happen now, because of how global and interconnected we’ve become. Finally, I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing short stories, and especially enjoyed deconstructing the meanings behind some of my favorites, the symbolism and thoughts that made them up. I guess I just wanted to try my hand at using some of that symbolism in a modern setting.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Holy Cow, how hasn't it? I self-published my first short story on Amazon Kindle and offered it free (with a Prime account) and tried every way possible I could imagine to get any interest (friends, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), but only had a few people show any interest. I had heard of Smashwords in passing, but only recently really looked into it. So, I published both my short stories and have gotten more than 450 downloads each (doesn't sound like much, but I had only gotten around 20 downloads in almost a year previously). At the very least, it gets my work to a wider audience, and I can let them decide if it's any good, and what more I have to work on.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Necessity. I don't currently have the resources to be able to write full-time, and to try to get an agent or get on with a publisher probably isn't in the cards at the moment. However, once I self-publish my next, longer works I hope to develop a little more understanding in what it takes to get published and noticed.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oooh, always a hard question to narrow it down to just five.
I’d say “One-hundred Years of Solitude” has to be one. The entire storyline, and the ways in which the supernatural is blended in with everyday life has always fascinated me. I’d love to read it in Spanish someday, to see what nuances I can pick up that are different from the English translation.
“It” has to be another one (love the most recent movie incantation of it, by the way). I first read it in middle school, and even though it terrified me, I absolutely love the the friendship aspect of the Loser’s Club.
I have to put a non-fiction book in there, and for that I’ll pick David MacCullough’s “1776”. I love American History, and the whole story of the formation of the Continental Army, and how close it was, several times, to completely disintegrating is just amazing.
Finally, though this may be a bit of a cop out, I need to choose two Cormac MaCarthy books: “No Country for Old Men” and “The Road”. He is just such an amazing storyteller, and both of these books are just brutal and beautiful simultaneously. In fact, “The Road” is something of an inspiration for parts of my “Going Gone” anthology.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. This was a very rural and economically starved area of the United States to grow up in. I don't miss the harsh weather, but I do miss the serenity and nature. It often has an impact in how I write and who I write about in that my protagonists tend to be solemn and stoic, or thoughtful but brooding, and I often imagine them growing up in a rural environment like I did.
When did you first start writing?
I first began thinking that I could be a writer when I was around twelve. I remember reading "The Outsiders" many times over, and read somewhere that S.E. Hinton was only sixteen when she wrote it. Before that I had been in creative writing classes and just thought of it as fun, but never really considered being a writer full-time. Although currently I'm a computer programmer, I really feel that my true calling is writing, and want to do whatever possible to make that my full-time gig if at possible (programming isn't a bad thing to fall back on, though).
Describe your desk
A mess, with Post-It notes in every stage of life (brand new and still part of the pack, somewhat used with a neatly and well thought-out list of things to accomplish, full of scribbles and crude cartoon and book ideas, near the end and being used as a coaster for my coffee mug, crumpled up).
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Inventing new characters and circumstances for them to traverse. Also, I like to present them with moral dilemmas and see how they react to them (my characters are flawed and far from perfect, so moral dilemmas are always interesting). Further, I like to inject the symbolism of social issues that I see in today's America.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, running, and writing code. Oh, and spending time with my lovely wife (she's looking over my shoulder right now, so play it cool, guys).
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm not sure I have any right now, but once I do, I'll never stop thanking them. I do write for myself, but I love getting feedback from people that I don't know and may never get to meet. Honestly, the feedback means a great deal to me, because if you only write in the vacuum of your own mind, you never know if your ideas are getting across, or if you're explaining yourself well enough. Also, since I've so far only published short stories, I've gotten more than one comment of the "it's great but I want more" variety, which is the greatest critique I can ever receive.
Who are your favorite authors?
Raymond Carver, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stephen King, Micheal Crichton, S.E. Hinton and David McCullough. Realistically, any genre, any format as long as the author has passion for his or her work.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The hope of something new, and the fear that I wasted yesterday.
Published 2017-11-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Going Gone
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 72,640. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Alternative history
What is a single life worth? In our modern world, where wars are on the cusp of igniting at a moment’s notice, what can the death of a single person mean? It can mean the tenuous line between peace and destruction. Twelve intertwining yet unique lives and stories, some saved and some ended, some Going, some Gone…
Trial 39
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,040. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » General
A stranger walks into a wolf's den of a bar. The men there are ready to kill him just for the pleasure and thrill of seeing him die. But they quickly realize he is not to be trifled with, and that the title of Stranger could not be more apt. This is an Old West tale with a Sci-Fi twist.
The Man
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,630. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
(5.00 from 1 review)
A thrilling morality story unfolds, pitting a mysterious, schizophrenic homeless man against his unsuspecting adversary. Their briefly shared past, though insignificant to one, is the other’s entire focus that pushes him onto a homicidal path that has no forks and one destination.