Interview with B. R. Fleming

What do you read for pleasure?
Since I also teach high school English lit, much of my reading time devotes to reading the materials I teach. I have a backlog of books from my favorite writers - Thomas Pynchon, Umberto Eco, Margaret Atwood, Phillip Dick, and others - that I squeeze in when time allows, and I also have rereads from Bradbury, Dick, Vonnegut, and others, that I would love to have time to re ingest.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle that I love, mainly because I can carry so many resources around with me so easily. That's the only one I've used, so I can't speak on any others.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Twitter has proved very helpful in marketing my name and books. I found that I spent way too much time on Facebook with little result. I'm still investigating other marketing techniques.
Describe your desk
I actually have several "desks" - workstations - that surround me when I'm working. I have an all-in-one that serves as my main computer with an extended desktop monitor, a laptop that serves as my main writing instrument, and several other notebook/laptops that serve different functions, all on work tables surrounding my desk chair. I sometimes work at the island in the kitchen to get off my butt and on my feet or work on the patio when I can.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the country-side in Arkansas on a chicken farm on seven acres of land surrounded by woods. The trees covered our property and kept our field of vision enclosed. I would climb to the top of the trees to be able to see out beyond the treeline and have a view of the "world" beyond our acreage. I still revere the countryside and rural aspects of society, yet I spent my teenage years in an urban setting and that too has influenced my love of the theatre and movies and the club scene and playing music. My first two novels, "Summertime Blues" and "The Secret People," directly reflect the influence of my rural and urban upbringing. I now live in SoCal and love the lifestyle here.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing screenplays and stageplays in college while pursuing my BA in Humanities and Theatre in the '70's. My first full-length project was a film adaptation of the Flannery O'Connor short story, "The Artificial Nigger." I then took a screenwriting class while pursuing my Masters in theatre from OSU and completed my first full-length original screenplay, "Torus I." When I moved to CA in the late '80's, I took screenwriting workshops and classes and graduated from the UC Irvine Specialized Studies in Screenwriting Program, where I added three more screenplays to my listing. I now have five full-length screenplays and two novels that I market, am working on my next novel project, and have several more novel/screenplay projects in the wings.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"The Secret People" started as a screenplay idea when I was working as a middle school social studies teacher and chaperoned student trips to the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center outside of Cortez, CO. I had become very interested in Carlos Castaneda's work, "The Art of Dreaming," and loved the time I spend at the center studying the Puebloan cultures of the area. I finished the screenplay while working on my specialist certificate in screenwriting and then wrote the novel based on the screenplay.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As a screenwriter, I found that not many avenues were open to new writers in the genre. I kept submitting materials to contests and agents and kept getting rejections and no results. I determined that many of the movies that become produced started out as novels and decided that that would be a possible way to "sell" my stories and possibly generate some interest in the screen versions of the stories. I followed the same procedure when I finished my first manuscript, "Summertime Blues," and again received little interest. Then I began investigating the new idea of self-publishing and bought Dan Poynter's "Self-Publishing Guide." I learned a lot from the process and now have two self-published novels and a growing interest in my work and in indie authoring. I have writing friends who have followed the traditional publishing route, while I have followed the indie route, who have yet to see their work in print
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has provided one of my main avenues for marketing my materials. Their overreaching marketing and ability to provide a variety of file types and venues for my ebooks has allowed my works to find many niches that would have not been open to me if I had limited myself to Amazon or Lightning Source.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing a compelling, entertaining story which provides some meaning to the reader.
What do your fans mean to you?
I really don't feel any writer could say that she or he writes just to add to a pile of manuscripts that never reach readers. Writers depend on readers and then fans for support, and it is extremely gratifying and humbling when readers, fans, express their enjoyment in my stories and say they can't wait for the next one. I love pleasing my fans and readers and truly appreciate their support. I haven't gotten to the point where I can just write for a living, but I hope to one day get to that point, and that will only happen because of fans who enjoy my stories.
What are you working on next?
I have two projects going now. One is a sequel to my novel, "Summertime Blues," which was actually requested from some of my fans, and the second is my sci-fi trilogy based on my screenplay, "Torus I."
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to list all of them, but Beckett, Vonnegut, Pynchon, Chayefsky, Eco, Atwood, Ionesco, John Gardner, Bradbury, Dick, would all be at the top of my list . . .
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I want to experience everything I can in this life, and each day brings new experiences, new ideas, new resolutions, new wonders . . .
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I still must work to make a living, but in my free time, when I'm not writing, I love to ride my motorcycle, take photographs, play music (drums), work in the yard, exercise, eat well, just pretty much enjoy life!
Published 2015-08-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Secret People
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 49,800. Language: English. Published: November 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
The Secret People follows Lesley Whitney as she enters the realm of Native American Spiritualism and encounters the Inorganic Beings on her search for her missing father in the Four corners region of the US.
Summertime Blues
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 88,380. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Summertime Blues chronicles the coming-of-age of Peter Bennings as he weaves his way through high school and the "sturm und drang" of the teenage years. The novel simultaneously traces the “British invasion” and the emergence of Rock and Roll. Peter’s universal appeal, though, rests in his quest for answers to the ubiquitous questions about girls and sex and dating that no one will help answer.