Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the west side of Chicago and think of myself as a true Chicagoan. Unless you're one yourself, it's difficult for me to explain what that means. The best example I can think of who epitomizes the quintessential Chicagoan is Mike Royko, (although I wouldn't want to insult his memory by comparing myself to him).
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading anything that's thought provoking.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Good question. If you know of any, please share them with me.
Describe your desk
Heh heh... I'd rather not.
When did you first start writing?
I became a chronic blogger soon after the whole internet wave started back in the 90's. I found I enjoyed sharing ideas and arguing with strangers from all over the world.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
If nothing else, Smashwords has taught me patience and perseverance through their frustrating formatting and publishing process.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest and only book is an autobiography about a time when I abandoned common sense and treated my life like a chip on a craps table.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Let's face it, it's nearly impossible for an unknown author to get published by one of the main publishing houses. Even J.K. Rowling was turned down by the first couple publishers she submitted to. Digital self publishing has changed publishing into a true free market enterprise where the readers themselves determine the market.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When someone reads my book and tells me they couldn't put it down.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A very self centered and needy beagle.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I fly corporate jets and work on motorcycles from time to time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was laughing about this with someone just the other day. It was a story I wrote in 3rd grade about the first Thanksgiving. In my version, the Pilgrims and Indians ended up getting into a big war because some of the Indians got sick and thought the pilgrims tainted their food "on purpess" [sic]. Ben Franklin and Davey Crockett fought valiantly side by side, but all the pilgrims eventually got wiped out. (I remember it was almost recess and I needed to think of a quick ending.)
What is your writing process?
Kind of the way I think... like the feather in "Forest Gump".
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
As a kid I loved reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle stories about her and her upside down house; and how she cured kids of various mental problems. As I got older I liked reading short stories by Jack London. The impact these had on me is, I always finish everything on my plate (from one of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's cures); and I have an innate fear of getting trapped under a fallen tree in the snow in wolf country.
How do you approach cover design?
By calling a friend who is a brilliant graphic designer and imposing on her.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I have to say, I loved the entire Harry Potter series. I thought Cosmos by Carl Sagan was brilliant, as was "A Brief History of Time" by Steven Hawkins; and I also really enjoyed "The Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End" series by Ken Follett. Why do I like all these? Why does anyone like anything?
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.