Interview with Cortland Callenreese

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was always intimated by the daunting task of plotting out a full novel, so I never thought it'd be possible. A friend of mine gave me her old Kindle when she upgraded and after reading several gay short stories I thought, "I could do this!".
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
We'll see, won't we now.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When the words come out without having to think about them. For some reason, this mostly happens at like 3 am when I should be sleeping.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm still getting used to the idea that I have fans. Right now, I just have a fanbase on Tumblr but they mean everything to me. This is because their presence and like/follow habits shape my plots, kinks, and themes into really good content that I'm proud of. I have some anxiety over making content people truly like, so when people *do* like my posts or my stories, it inspires me to be better for them and keep writing. It's so important to not lose the momentum.
What are you working on next?
I've been working on my Big Debut for months; I technically finished the rough draft in July but I have to completely rework it with legal mumbo jumbo. The working title is The Boy Who Kicks the Ground and 90 pages with 1.5 line spacing so far; it's about a lawyer with poor self esteem and how his life changes once he meets an extroverted electrician with deteriorating family problems.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stuart Wood's older work for sure; his new work is all rich people beach trash novels. Phillip Pullman. Stephen King. Akimi Yoshida. I am obsessed with Julian Cope.
In the porno sector, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, Ryan Loveless, and Erastes. Erastes is the most brilliant erotic fiction writer, but reading her work destroys me because she's just a level above everyone else.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Probably my parakeet screaming at me that it's too late and he wants out. Adorable little bastard.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Panicking about writing, squealing at my birds, listening to music, and browsing the evil entity that is Reddit. I like to hike, ski, and swim.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Oh don't judge me - torrents. But I save all the ones I like so I can pay the authors back. Also, browsing Dreamspinner's website.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. We had something in elementary school called Young Author's Day where we'd write stories then make books out of paper and brads. My mom has them somewhere.
What is your writing process?
Write until the hand cramps start. Freeze. Panic over plot. Wonder how on Earth my fingers keep making so many errors. Write more. Look at cock on Tumblr. Write more.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, I don't. Too young.
How do you approach cover design?
With a lot of trepidation. I try to find a good image first and let it inspire me. You can't conceive the layout, fonts, and colors until you find the perfect cover image.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is like picking favorite children...
Stuart Woods - Under the Lake
Stephen King - The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Julian Cope - Head-On/Repossessed
Kristiana Gregory - Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847 ( from the Dear America Series)
Phillip Pullman - His Dark Materials trilogy


And graphic novels...
Akimi Yoshida - Banana Fish (graphic novel)
Harold Sakuishi - Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
Toko Kawai - Cut
What do you read for pleasure?
Reading a lot of Michael Koryta right now. I have a subscription to National Geographic magazine. Also picked up Dancers Among Us by Jordan Matter and loved it.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an older model Kindle. I love it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Stiiiilll trying to figure this out. Tumblr has been an unexpected boon.
Describe your desk
Google photos of the tornado that hit Washington, Illinois.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Texas. I hated it. I wrote a lot of depressive drivel inspired too much by anime and yaoi. Ugh.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Fin and Jonas had a good thing going in college, but life and schedules made them incompatible. They gave up but never let it go, so this story is about a second shot.
Published 2013-12-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sticking The Landing
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,610. Language: American English. Published: December 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
Jonas Li and Fin Davidson thought their college romance would last forever, but between Fin's brutal gymnastics schedule and Jonas's commitment to the Police Academy, there wasn't even time for a kiss. Unable to reconcile, they both accepted it was the end...until six years later when an emergency suddenly thrusts Fin back into Officer Li's life. Is there still a chance to save broken love?