Interview with Andrew T Locke

What is the title of your first eBook?
Looking Within: A Man's Journey to Find Himself
What is "Looking Within: A Man's Journey to Find Himself" (LW) about?
LW is about a young man from Nebraska, Jake, who fails out of college and moves back into his mom's house. They have a fight one night, and Jake runs away from home -- by hitchhiking. He gets picked up by an older man, Joey, and LW is the tale of how their journey helps Jake to mature and to take hold of his life. To find himself, so to speak.
What's the title of your latest eBook?
The working title of my latest eBook is "The Secret Shopping Cart Street Prophet" (SSCSP), which is the sequel to LW as well as the 2nd volume in the series "Jake's Wanderings."
What is "The Secret Shopping Cart Street Prophet" (SSCSP) about?
SSCSP is the story of Jake's relocation to California to finish his schooling at the University of California, Sonoma, as well as his chance to further his relationship with Julie; Julie is a young lady that he met on the road trip he took in LW. The lessons Jake learns -- through the move to California and through moving in with Julie; through a motorcycle trip he takes to San Diego from Bodega Bay in northern California with Julie and with some co-workers: Jackson, his girlfriend Jeanne' and John; through his continued schooling; and through the life challenges that invariably arise -- are the focus of SSCSP. The novel closes with Jake speaking to all the guests that have come to his college graduation party. (This book/eBook is not published yet, but it is on the way!)
What is your writing process?
I usually have a vision of the beginning of a story, and I also usually have an idea as to how I want the plot to resolve. I brainstorm the middle parts of the story to formulate a basic plot, but those plots often transmogrify during the composition process! Then I write an outline to sketch out the general storyline, and I try to include pertinent plot points; I have grown to anticipate the plot transmogrifications, though. I also begin to write the first draft of the manuscript on a computer. As I'm writing the manuscript, I edit and edit and edit and edit and edit and continue to develop the storyline. Once I believe the manuscript to be finished, I start to 'officially' edit the manuscript. And then I edit some more. Then I get the manuscript professionally edited, too, and I continue to edit some more. Finally, I pursue both traditional and digital publication. I had no luck with traditional publication with LW so published it via Smashwords.com, and I believe my poor luck was secondary to a poor level of persistence. The publication future of the remainder of the "Jake's Wanderings" series is still undetermined!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords facilitates the publishing process, and it does so via digital publication which is likely to be the latest trend with literature. Onward march the eBooks!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad. (Of course, there are times when I just want to curl up with a traditionally published paperback! :^> )
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkein. Jack Kerouac. Allen Ginsberg. William S. Burroughs. Tom Wolfe. Hunter S. Thompson. Ken Kesey. D.T. Suzuki. Lao Tzu. Chuang Tzu. Alan Watts. Deng Ming-Dao. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Raymond Chandler. Ed McBain. Steven Pinker. Richard Dawkins. A.R. Luria. Michael Azerrad. To name a few favorite authors, anyway.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Surf the 'Net. Spend time with friends and family. Work my full-time job to pay the bills. Daydream. Philosophize. Search for inner peace. Wander. Travel. Meditate. Read.
What are your five favorite books? Please tell us why they're your favorites.
1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

This series of books is so incredibly well-written. Tolkien created an entire civilization in a different place in a different dimension with different races, different abilities, and different classes of people. He did it so thoroughly and so well that he even developed different languages for some of those different races! Yes, that was very likely secondary to the fact he was a professor of linguistics, but his exceptional skills did not make the creation of a language any less complex. Maybe less difficult but no less tedious. Middle Earth is a tremendous creation, regardless.

2. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

This book is written as a proof that God does not exist. Irrespective of God's existence, I like the logic of Dawkins' arguments and the methodology that he uses, factually in his belief, to prove the nonexistence of God, of a higher, spiritual power.

3. Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

This novel was my introduction to hard-boiled detective fiction, and Chandler paints pictures of tough times for the down 'n' out private investigator Philip Marlowe in Los Angeles in the 1940s & 1950s. Marlowe sleeps in his office or his car frequently to make the cases but also because he has nowhere else to go. The early 20th century Los Angeles is a gritty, black-and-white film noir society in my mind, and hard-boiled detective fiction stories fit perfectly into that society.

4. Our Band Could Be Your Life: American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 by Michael Azerrad

This book is about my first love, music, and it is about the music scene in between disco and Alternative music, the Punk scene. It is an accurate description of the genesis of circa 13 pivotal bands in the Punk scene, and it is very interesting to learn the steps in rock 'n' roll that preceded and lead to the Alternative music explosion. The genesis of rock 'n' roll is fascinating to me, since I love music so.

5. Kerouac

As much as I would like to say "The Dharma Bums" or the classic "On the Road," I just have to state my love for Kerouac generally. I appreciate his technique, Spontaneous Prose, but I can't write that way at all. Well, not write WELL anyway. I don't wish to discredit his technique either. It simply does not work for me; it is not my style. Nonetheless, I love the fact that he just described everyday life events. His own, as well as life events of a small circle of his friends -- the Beat Generation. If forced to cite one of his works as a favorite, I would cite his "Lonesome Traveler" solely because I believe we are kindred spirits in that I am a lonesome traveler, too.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I moved from place-to-place a lot when I was younger because my father was promoted a lot and most of his promotions involved a relocation. I have continued to move a lot as an adult, and I have lived in 31 different places. I have a nomadic nature which I find conveyed through my novels thus far. Travel is a key facet of both my novels, LW and SSCSP, and travel is also a key facet of my life.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To make a long story short: I almost lost my life, and I realize that life can vanish in the blink of an eye. That taught me to appreciate every moment that I have. When I wake up each morning, I am happy to be facing another day and realize how lucky I am. That is what inspires me to get out of bed each day.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to create a picture that will not only catch the eye but will also relate to the story of the novel in some fashion. For example, a big plot piece in LW is the trip that Jake and Joey take in Joey's car, Marlene. So I put a photo of Marlene on the cover of LW. One of the main characters of SSCSP, John, was a homeless man living in Golden Gate Park for a period of his life. John was a "secret shopping cart street prophet" during his homeless days, and the cover of SSCSP is an Allen Ginsberg photo that inspired Allen to create the phrase SSCSP.
Published 2016-06-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Looking Within: A Man's Journey to Find Himself
Series: Jake's Wanderings, Vol. 1. Price: $3.95 USD. Words: 63,940. Language: American English. Published: January 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Jake fails out of the University of Nebraska, Kearney. He moves back into his divorced mother's home, and he can't swing with that scene. He runs away by hitching a ride with an older cat named Joey. LW is the tale of their road trip & how Jake 'finds himself.' Jake decides to return home, and Joey drives to the correct house without directions. How does he know where Jake lives?!