Interview with Arsen Ward

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I saw a lot of what was being produced in my preferred writing niche and felt a few things needed tightening up. I hate to say it that way, but that's the reality. I felt quality competition might inspire others to create great African American/Urban Fiction ebooks that weren't trotting out the same tropes and pandering to debasing stereotypes. I try to be authentic but well-written.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy for me is seeing reviews and feeling like the reader really connected with the message I was trying to convey. I think every story is in some way a morality tale, and it's rewarding when people "get" it.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the world to me. I'm no big shot author walking around with an attitude bigger than the books I write. I'm a Regular Joe writer, and whether I have one fan (hey, mom!) or a million, I'm pretty sure that's how I'll always see myself. It's humbling to think about readers as fans at all! I just want to entertain you.
What are you working on next?
Right now, I'm working on a new series about a barber, and--man!--the research is interesting. I do mostly erotica, so listening to my boys talk about their experiences as cheaters or getting cheated on counts as research and a good time at the same time.
What do you read for pleasure?
I actually gravitate more to poetry books than anything else. Saul Williams, Rupi Kaur, Kate Savage, Donney Rose--Poets familiar and new, I love them all.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My cellphone, but that's only because I rarely read eBooks. I still prefer print. (Don't judge me.) :)
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
It's hard to say because I don't really have to handle the marketing end. We have a blog and a Facebook Page and our Social Media Liaison is really the one who pushes, plugs and markets our material. But, I'm looking to start putting more effort into building my brand, too.
Describe your desk
I do not have a desk. Don't tell the other writers. I write from my bed, as bad as that is for my back. It's the only way I can really get comfortable and sink into my work.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in New Orleans. 'Nuff said. But, if I have to expound, I'd say the culture, color and flavor of The Big Easy rubs off on anyone who's here for long enough. I think my background living in some grimy ghetto areas influenced my desire to be able to crossover and write for people who grew up like me, but to not have that be the only kind of people who can get into my books.
When did you first start writing?
I got a late start. I always fooled around with it but I didn't get serious about writing until maybe my sophomore year of college.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book? Well, I went in for a haircut and some guy was talking about working offshore and expecting his wife to probably mess around. He said he made a point of calling her to let her know when he'd be on his way home from work because he didn't want any surprises--like walking in on his woman with someone else. Needless to say, I thought his nonchalance was interesting and started thinking about a character who might exploit the information men thoughtlessly give up at the barber shop.
Published 2015-10-28.
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