Right now my latest book is set in the same world as my World on Fire series and centers around Arthur and Niccolo twenty years before the events of Raven's Peak. It sets the stage for things to come and focuses on an errant Bishop who is out to do harm.
Describe your desk
It is occasionally cluttered, but whenever it gets too bad I quickly clean it up and keep my working space clear. There are usually coffee mugs nearby, though most of the time they are empty. I drink coffee in the morning, but not usually later in the day.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in central Ohio, and I think it had a big influence on me because of watching the growth and sprawl of city life. I was raised in a city where there were about ten homes, and by the time I was an adult there were several thousand new homes to replace it. It influenced me by making me realize just how fast and dramatically things can change and how much impact humans can have on the world around them (and not always in a good way).
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Email lists have been good, but I've noticed that their overall value has been slipping in recent months. Direct marketing and website promotion have been good for me as well, but I've probably seen the most success from any methods that cross promote many authors at the same time to try and generate drive-by promotion in my book. Lots of things like giveaways and group promotions.
When did you first start writing?
When I was about seven I tried writing my own book. It didn't turn out well. Then, when I was fourteen I wrote two terrible novels and my father paid to have them printed. It was fun and exciting, but they were atrociously bad.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I've only ever used a kindle as an e-reader, and I've never really had any problems with it. They work great, look great, and the battery lasts forever. The paperwhite is probably my favorite since they are so bright and easy to read.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I work full time as a software developer, and I didn't want to work with a publisher because: first, they wouldn't allow me to release works that didn't 'fit' my genre branding, and second I didn't want to be in a situation where if my books don't sell my family doesn't eat. I've always wanted writing to be fun and extra, and indie allows that in ways that traditional publishing doesn't.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I've only just started using it, though I'm looking forward to trying it out. I love the idea of the affiliate program.
What do your fans mean to you?
For me, hearing from a fan that they enjoyed reading one of my books can make my day. It means a lot to know that someone actually found pleasure in reading the stories that took me months to create. All in all, knowing that people are waiting on my books raises my own personal level of expectations and forces me to ask more of myself.
What are you working on next?
As soon as I finish my current series, I'm going to turn back to some other projects that have been sitting on the back-burner, including a series about new technology that is near-future, as well as a science fiction horror set in deep space that I'm really looking forward to writing. I've got too many projects and not enough time!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.