Interview with Don Hayward

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Personal contacts and newspaper interviews, plus working with local libraries.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my desktop computer using Adobe Digital Editions. I have now purchased an android device and will try that for my "emergency" reading.
Describe your desk
Cluttered and mostly taken up by my compuer, scanner and printer.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in High Falls (Spanish River) Ontario. We were on a river, well back in the bush of the Canadian Shield. The location resembled a national park and gave us all a feeling of freedom and mystery of the rocks hills and forest. At the same time it was an industrial site, a hydro-electric generating station, so we were exposed to technology, corporate business structure and a sense of purpose and community. A nearby abandoned homestead made me consider the temporary nature of things. Indeed, our town was torn down in the 1970s and all of the workers then commuted by car. In sum it all left me with a basic optimism tempered by melancholy and an understanding of the possibility that seemingly permanent ways of life could disappear quickly. I think these can be found in After the Last Day.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote stories, idea essays and poetry from about Grade 4 on. My first attempt at a novel was a terrible science fiction piece. In university I wrote news and humour for the college paper as well as editing. I did a few humerous pieces for local papers but only seriously began writing again in 2009 when I began After the Last Day.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The peaking of affordable natural resources and the widespread mistaking of debt for wealth led me to research the possibility of a near term global economic collapse. After the Last Day began as an effort to explore what such a collapse would mean locally.
June 7,2015 the short story Legacy was inspired by the invitation of John Michael Greer for short stories set 1000 years in the future with a realistic possible scenario. I wrote Legacy for that, but now intend to write a collection of short stories inspired by After the Last Day. The sequel to that book is already underway.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The retention of editorial control and the fact that I wanted this particular story to be told quickly. No main stream publisher would consider such a project from an unknown author. I also consider myself a story teller as opposed to a writer and considering my age have no career ambitions. I do plan to work on a sequel and have other writing projects in the works; however, they all relate to stories I want to tell and not from a desire to build a career.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
In terms of electronic publishing Smashwords makes it easy to publish a work with very clear and helpful advice and documents. Just reading the publishing guide and other material taught me a lot and led me to understand many technical terms and issues. I would recommend Smashwords to any writer.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting lost in the story and characters. It is the same thrill as reading a good book with the ability to control the outcome.
What do your fans mean to you?
The support of my readers and friends has given me the strength and desire to carry on and write more. They make it seem that the four plus years that have gone into After the Last Day have been worthwhile.
What are you working on next?
I have a partly completed novel called Sherwood Green about eco-terrorism based upon the manifesto of Deep Green Resistance. I am also working on a humour piece with the working title of Conversations at the Café. The first outline of a sequel for After the Last Day is about 70% completed. All of these are progressing in parallel but I will likely make a big effort to complete Sherwood Green.
Who are your favorite authors?
In science fiction, Asimov, Heinlein and Bradbury and many others. I like Margaret Atwood and older authors like Orwell, Shute, Wells and Vern. I like to pick up books by new authors and be surprised.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Sunrise. It is always hopeful.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Gardening, photography, discussions on the internet and time with my family.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually they are refered to me by my friends and contacts.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, but my first poem in grade four, now lost except for a snippet.
What is your writing process?
I create a rough storyline, then detail it in point form chapers with some internal notes. I then usually write drafts that might be sequential or they might be parts of the story well into the piece. I like to either sit and contemplate the section I am working on or sort through it as I take a walk, especially at night. Many parts of After the Last Day were written this way. I do all of my writing on the computer, although I make many scribbled notes in note books, pads and scrap paper.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The earliest book I remember was a very long (1200+ pages) history of World War One. I attended a one room school for the primary grades and we had a lot of reading time as the teacher worked with others.This book geve me both a fascination for war and the beginnig of my understanding of the horror and futility of war.
How do you approach cover design?
I use my own photographsand text and let my publisher work out the details.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Silent Spring - it gave me my first real insight into the destructiveness of industrial civilization.
The Limits to Growth - the first warning I had that industrialism could not go on forever.
1984 - making me sensitive to propaganda and dictatorial control and manipulation.
The War of the Worlds - scary fun
Klondike by Burton because it reminds me that history is full of real and ordinary people.
What do you read for pleasure?
Science fiction and war history and personal accounts.
Where can i get a paper copy of After the Last Day?
Virtualbookworm: http://www.virtualbookworm.com/collections/alternative-history/products/after-the-last-day
Does the story, Legacy limit any possibility of some form of technical civilization surviving beyond After the Last Day?
Legacy is dealing with a very narrow situation. It does not eliminate the possibility that there are more sophisticated societies in existence at the same time (1000 years hence from After the Last Day). The sequel, set about 100 years after the first story will ahve industrial enclaves and lots of local technology. I think there are many possible short stories to grow out of After, and prehaps several more novels if my health and the economy last.
Published 2015-06-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sherwood Green
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 82,710. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Sherwood Green envronmental resistors attack Toronto. The police focused on the above ground supporters of Sherwood Green. Jos Amiel, a young reporter for the local TorontoNewsNow television network, caught in the middle hoped covering Sherwood Green would build his career. Eventually, as violence increased, Jos realised Sherwood Green victory would destroy the city and his career
Murder On the Goderich Local
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 55,800. Language: English. Published: January 13, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
The clash of diesel and steam mixed with lust, hate, greed and fear result in murder. The investigation by an ex- RCMP railway cop with his own agenda leads to a bitter-sweet outcome.
The Seventh Path
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,590. Language: Canadian English. Published: February 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history
A century and a half after the collapse of global industrialism a young girl is given the quest to keep humanity from repeating the disaster. She must find the light of wisdom that balances mysticism and science. To do so she is forced to choose between personal safety and success.
Legacy
Price: Free! Words: 7,610. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Essay » Literature
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Legacy is based on a scenario in my major novel, After the Last Day. It is the story of the people who were left to guard nuclear waste buried in an abandoned mine near Sudbury Ontario. One thousand years later, when the knowledge of the purpose of the mine has been lost and the containment is failing, one person discovers the danger and vainly tries to warn his fellow villagers.
After the Last Day
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 432,340. Language: Canadian English. Published: January 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Alternative history
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
The world descends into murderous chaos after a global economic disaster. This is the story of progressive people in the Great Lakes basin banding together to survive. Resisting evil dictatorship and internal dissent, they struggle to create local territories that promise a livable future unencumbered by the shadows of the past.