Interview with Brandon Ford

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Any number of ways. There are a handful of authors I enjoy and read faithfully, so I’ll search to see if they have anything I’ve yet to read and/or coming releases. I’ll look for books by authors comparable to the ones I already enjoy, or books enjoyed by readers with a similar taste. Lastly, I’ll seek out books that contain a certain subject matter, or carry a specific mood. Example: I’m currently working on a novel that is quite dark and very disturbing in certain areas. So, to help keep me in that mindset and perhaps find a source of inspiration, I’ll search for novels with dark and unsettling themes. To help narrow down the search, I’ll often ask for recommendations by friends/fellow readers.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Unfortunately, yes. I was very young, maybe seven or eight, and completely unfamiliar with the idea of story or character arc. Not sure this particular story had a title, but it concerned a teenage girl desperate to own a dress she’d come across while window shopping. The pricetag was a bit more than she could afford, so she spent a line or two sulking over this unbelievable injustice. I’m not sure how, or even if I gave a reason, but she ends up with the dress at the end and the experience somehow improved her overall existence. I even included some hastily drawn sketches of the story’s protagonist and the garment she would’ve given anything to own. I have no idea where that story is today and for that I’m eternally grateful.
What is your writing process?
“Process” sounds so pretentious. I don’t know if I have a process per se. I just sit down and start pounding away at the keys when I feel inspired. I never consider anything finished unless I’ve penned at least two drafts. I don’t like to juggle multiple projects, so if I’m already working on something and stumble upon an interesting idea, I’ll write out a rough outline, then come back to it later. This method can be both useful and detrimental to my “process” because often times, I forget to check the files in my Outlines & Ideas folder and simply move on to an entirely new project. I’ve had several “oh yeahhhh…” moments when perusing these outlines and revisit ideas seemingly from another lifetime ago. Most of the time, however, I’ve lost all passion and interest in the premise and the story remains unwritten.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I’m almost certain the first story I ever read was “The Velveteen Rabbit.” I was very young, perhaps six or seven, and I remember the book was a recommendation by my elementary school’s librarian. I remember sitting along in a quiet corner of the room and reading silently to myself. By the time I closed the book, I remember feeling very sad.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually leave that to those who can draw, paint, sketch, or manipulate an image with a program like Photoshop. I can do none of the above. Usually, I’ll have a rough idea of an image that would suit the book, but I prefer to give whoever is working on it full artistic license. They’re the experts in that area. I’m not.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
In no particular order…

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger – Trite, I know, but I was something of an outcast, much like Holden Caufield growing up. Not that I got into any sort of trouble or did all I could to go against establishment. I was very much an introvert and always felt I didn’t fit into any category or group. I was a square peg in a round world, same as the book’s questionable hero.

“The Girl Next Door” by Jack Ketchum – One of the darkest, grittiest, most disturbing books I’ve ever read. One of only about three to ever bring me to tears. Heartbreaking and very difficult to read in certain areas, but incredibly powerful. Ketchum’s at his best here. His style is both impeccable and untouchable.

“Jack in the Box” by William Kotzwinkle – A laugh-out-loud coming-of-age story set in the 1950s. Dripping with overt sexuality and crude humor, it’s often poignant and on the mark when describing teen angst and the sensitive male ego.

“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath – A very sad and thought-provoking glimpse into the unsettling world of mental illness and one woman’s struggle to claw her way out of the mire that continues to pull her in. There is a lot of truth found on these pages. A lot of heartbreak, too.

“Me Talk Prerrt One Day” by David Sedaris – David Sedaris is a humorist who needs no introduction. When it comes to penning honest, heartfelt, and hilarious moments in Americana, there is no one like him. You’re guaranteed a great time and more than a few chuckles with any of his books.
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything I read is for pleasure. Books have always given me a tremendous amount of joy. If you mean GUILTY pleasures, though, that’s an entirely different ball of wax. My guilty pleasures include books by the likes of Tori Spelling, Christopher Ciccone (little brother to world-famous icon Madonna), Mindy Kaling, Traci Lords, and Jaime Pressly. I’m not proud of myself.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Absolutely love my Kindle Fire. I’m visually challenged and this device makes it a lot easier for me to read. Though I miss turning pages and holding physical books in my hands, this amazing tool is currently my only choice.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I don’t know if I can say one has been more effective than another, but I tend to find readers primarily through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Describe your desk
I’m willing to bet I’m not alone when I say my desk is more than a little cluttered. The suface is littered with notebooks, pens, Sharpies, Post-It notes, mugs, mail, and more.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Philadelphia and I’m not sure it influenced my writing very much. I always wanted to grow up in suburbia, so that’s where a lot of my stories take place. Though I’ve lived in a big city my whole life, I’d love to find some place a little quieter with less crime. Maybe I’d be more inspired if I lived in a cabin in the woods somewhere.
When did you first start writing?
I’ve been asked this question many, many times and the answer I typically give is age 8. That’s about the time I first started putting pen to paper on a semi-regular basis. But the more I think about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d started younger than that. When I was very little, I recall having a pretty strong fondness for notepads and stationery. I’d always pester my parents to bring me home fresh notebooks and pens to jot down random thoughts. I couldn’t tell you what it is I was writing way back then, but I can guarantee you I wasn’t using those pages just to scribble, as most children that age do.
Published 2014-04-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dead Heart
Price: Free! Words: 6,020. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
From the author of CRYSTAL BAY and PAY PHONE comes a dark and disturbing short story that shows just how far one man will go to achieve financial gain, and how far another will go to right the wrongs of the past.