Interview with Bedford Hughes

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the northeast. I traveled a lot as a teenager. I spent time in the Caribbean and Central America. I've driven cross-country five times visiting most states. I've been living in California for twenty years. I love all the life events and places that have shaped me. I loved growing up in a place with four seasons. I've loved spending time in the fast-paced environment of NYC and feeling the laid back nature of the Florida keys. It's all very important. And I think having a vast array of experiences can only make someone a richer, more confident writer.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in 2010. I read a lot of free online stories over the years. I would get these ideas of something to write and brush it off. No matter how hard I tried, I would always come back to it. So I started to write little stories on my own. Sometimes it would just be a scene, but it was instantly addictive. My first self published story had all kinds of issues. The feedback I got was mixed. Getting feedback was a total high. I loved hearing from people. I loved being told where I could improve or what they enjoyed most. That was it for me. I write whenever I have free time. I've published a few stories, but I probably have 18 or 19 in some state of completion.
What is your writing process?
That's a tough one. I don't write in any traditional or structured manner. I get an idea and I begin to write it. I don't sketch out the story or draw up an outline. I don't figure out all the characters ahead of time. I just dive in to whatever part of the story that I keep obsessing over. Then I see how it goes. I usually rewrite the initial part(s) over and over until I find the tone and pace that I'm looking for. After that I push forward and try and get a chunk down on paper, usually 50 to 75 pages. At that point, I invite a beta reader to come in and get a chance for early feedback. After feedback, I make initial changes and edits. Then I reread it, take some time to hate myself, decide that I'm an idiot for writing this at all, and swear I'll never revisit this story. A day or two later, I sit back down and tear into it with new vigor. At this point, I reread the story from the beginning every time I work on it. I make edits and changes all the way through and then turn out a few more pages. The story begins to take shape and the first part gets better and better as I rework it each day. I'll invite other beta readers to read as I get further along. And that's it.
Describe your desk
Overly neat. I'm borderline obsessive/compulsive when it comes to cleanliness. My desk is always well-organized. I can't write if it's messy. It distracts me. It's also fairly large. I've always been a fan of having a good sized workspace. I'm not one of those people that grew up with a television in my room (computers weren't fancy enough to be entertainment devices yet). My parents always stressed the importance of having a good desk instead. It's something that I've carried with me my whole life. If I ever have a project (writing or otherwise), I like to be able to spread it out and work on it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been an amazing resource to distribute my stories. Not only do they allow my writing to reach the largest audience possible, but they have excellent resources on how to get the word out and make my stories successful. Writing is time consuming. Without a way to monetize my work to at least a small degree, I wouldn't be able to continue.
How do you approach cover design?
Clumsily. It's something that I've never really put a lot of thought into until recently. I'm not a photographer or graphic designer by trade so it's been a bit juvenile. I've been teaching myself the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of products including Illustrator and Photoshop. Every so often, I redo the cover and resubmit. They get a little better each time.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! Feedback is my lifeblood. Good or bad, I respect the thoughts and comments of anyone who has spent time or money to read my stories. I have a team of beta readers that offer me crucial advice during my writing process. I need that sounding board to know how to improve and connect with a greater audience. Without readers, my writing would die on the vine.
What are you working on next?
I'm still writing more on COOPER FAMILY PRIDE. I have two other stories that have been churning in my head as of late. One, is a May/December love story between a widow and a teenager who is forced to do community service for her. It's an exploration of the idea of soulmates. The other is about a young woman who is kidnapped by human traffickers and put into a reform program to become an obedient and capable mistress. Both stories need a lot of hashing out before they'll be ready to write.
What do you read for pleasure?
Lately, I've been reading a lot of airport novels and bad erotica. I don't mean bad as in awful. I mean guilty pleasures. Things that I find somewhat satisfying that I'd be embarrassed to tell anyone I read. I include a lot of science fiction in that grouping as well. My inner nerd has definitely blossomed late in life and I can't help but enjoy some good sci-fi. I tore through the RED RISING trilogy when I stumbled upon it. I believe he has new books in that sequel that I'll probably have to read as well. Don't judge me, please.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
A near impossible question! I have ecclectic taste so narrowing down to favorites is just an awful task. I enjoy everything from the classics to contemporary to cheesy erotica. I enjoy books that invoke emotion in me. I know I've read something good when I get to the last chapter and I'm dreading the fact it will be over soon. Some books that I've enjoyed immensely...
East Of Eden by John Steinbeck
Count Of Monte Cristo (unabridged version) by Alexandre Dumas
Rule Of The Bone by Russel Banks
Electric Koolaid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I haven't really tried a lot of e-readers. I have my trusty iPad which is so old at this point that I'm certain it'll crap out on me soon. Maybe I'll look at my options more when I upgrade and then I can update this question.
Published 2018-09-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Cooper Family Pride, Book 2
Price: $2.49 USD. Words: 44,090. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor, Fiction » Erotica » MILF
With Mr. Cooper all twisted up in the head, Danny pushes forward with the bet. He's got Mandy head over heels in love with him. Mrs. Cooper can't get enough of his boy batter. Jason is only beginning to suffer. It's all coming together just as he planned. Follow along as Danny continues his rise to power with hilarious results.
Cooper Family Pride
Price: Free! Words: 51,340. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor, Fiction » Erotica » MILF
Danny Dugan is a perpetually bullied loner. When a head injury leaves him with the unbelievable ability to control minds, he devises an intricate and humiliating plan for revenge against the source of his anguish--The Coopers! He challenges the Cooper Family Pride with a straightforward bet that is anything but conventional and the Coopers are just mind-fucked enough to accept!
The Diary
Price: $2.49 USD. Words: 65,220. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Literary Erotica, Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
On her 18th birthday, Callie receives a special gift--an old trunk that belonged to her late mother. Unbeknownst to her father, the trunk contains far more than just some old clothes and jewelry. It also hides a set of diaries that tell an unusual and taboo love story. Callie questions everything she once believed, which starts a chain of events that drive her and her dad toward a lurid end.
The Novelist
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 223,410. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Tom Bolden was living a pretty charmed life. He had made a name for himself publishing best-selling sexual thrillers rooted in dominance and submission--an echo of his own secret life. But Tom's world is thrown into turmoil when an unexpected guest arrives on his doorstep.