Interview with Franz Ludick

Published 2018-04-21.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up outside the city of Durban, South Africa as a loner, spending most of my free time wandering about in the mountains and during holidays staying in my secret cave. At night, in the pitch dark I would watch the stars and wonder who was up there and if they would ever contact me. I started off by reading Cowboy books and then later graduated to Science Fiction, which hooked me for the rest of my life.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing short stories of Science Fiction when I was about 15 years old, but never attempted to have these stories published.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
All my books now published in Smashwords,(the Crankie Williams series and the Oh Hell, Joe! books) simply came into my mind and when I started writing the stories just kept coming. I found I didn't have to think about it too much, it simply just kept coming. I decided to translate the Crankie Williams series into Afrikaans as the Gawie Botha series as well and they are also published with Smashwords. At present there are three Crankie Williams and Gawie Botha books published and I am halfway through the fourth. Oh Hell, Joe! will not be translated unless there is a demand.
Smashwords, through their brilliant guidance made it easy for me to publish all my books and it has been a pleasure to deal with them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
In writing my stories the greatest joy I experience is to follow the stories as they unfold. Generally, what I write surprises even me! I wont say it is a great joy when the work is completed, because then the editing starts and the reading and re-reading over and over becomes more like hard work and tedious.
What do your fans mean to you?
To have fans enjoying my stories and the style with which I write is a great honour to me. It encourages me to produce more and more stories which I hope they will also find enjoyable.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the fourth Crankie Williams (Gawie Botha) book as well as four new stories which appear to be heading into the mystical/spiritual and fantasy direction, although none of my books will ever be 'hard-core' mind blowing science fiction.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many favourite authors but to name a few I would say, in no particular order of preference they are H. G. Wells; E. E. 'Doc' Smith; Stephen King; Isaac Asimov; Louis L Amour (who got me started); Arthur C Clarke; Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan of course; Robert Silverberg; L Ron Hubbard and Rudyard Kipling.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I get out of bed each day (even now at my age) with a will to live, a will to do whatever my hands find to do and to exercise my mind by story telling and playing computer games.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend most of my time while not writing tending to my bee colonies and doing as much woodwork as I can.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about a space ship and a great war in space, which I vividly saw and remember. None of my friends took this seriously but my mother did!
What is your writing process?
When I sit down in front of the computer to write, there is no process. It just keeps coming.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I ever read was a Cowboy book by Louis L Amour and this made me understand the power of descriptive writing.
Describe your desk
My desk is always cluttered but in a 'tidy' sort of way. I always know where to find what I'm looking for. I'm always being described as a 'perfectionist' by my wife and friends.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided to publish my books as E Books after all the uphill and nonsense experienced from traditional publishing houses. There are a lot of false promises made and in the end it costs one a big bag of dough for no results.
Why does your 1st Crankie Williams book not appear as an E book?
I unwisely entered Crankie Williams Goes Ballistic into a contract with a traditional publisher to publish this work, after they made it sound very attractive to me. Unfortunately this has become a very unsatisfactory and money hungry situation but I have to wait until the contract expires (±1 year), before I can take my book back and immediately publish it as an E book.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

The Bees' Story
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,510. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: August 3, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Adventure » Action
I wonder how many readers experienced the wish, or even just the thought, of being something or somewhere they’re not. Well, it happened to me, and not by my own doing either! My conscious mind was taken over by a bee, and suddenly I lived as a bee, and experienced the life of bees, in their hive and also while foraging for food and nectar.
The Sentinel Awakens
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 70,170. Language: American English. Published: May 29, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
The universe is in trouble, the galaxies are in trouble, and billions of planets are in trouble when the Dark Power decided to subjugate planets and their peoples by using influential leaders, to spread false information and manipulate populations into virtual slavery. The Presence appointed allies to withstand the actions of the Dark Force but then, after its allies suffered several defeats, the
Crankie Williams Goes Ballistic
Series: Crankie Williams, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 81,340. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 13, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Crankie hijacked a new Andromedan super ship and parked it in a safe place. The Andromedans blamed Milky Way pirates of stealing their ship and huge tension develops between the two galaxies. The Galactic Council was in uproar and gave the Galactic Security Service (GASS) instructions to find the culprits at all cost! Crankie recovered the new ship and took it back to the Andromedans.
Crankie Williams Goes to War
Series: Crankie Williams, Book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 100,570. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: November 19, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
The Dark Force gathered its armies and attacked the Milky Way and its allies. The allies were being annihilated when unexpected help arrived and the invaders had to retreat. The Valgonarians attack again with stronger forces and the allies knew they were beaten. They were about to surrender when the Halconans arrived. The Dark Force is captured and is taken back through the Dimension Spiral.
Crankie Williams Does Penance
Series: Crankie Williams, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 83,200. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 17, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The 1st book will be available March 2020. Crankie is taken to Hellkatrazz. He plans how to make Hellkatrazz into a thriving business. Crankie finally identifies the rogues who prey on space miners and using the Solar Plexus he destroys the killers. The Valgonarians plan to invade the Heshny galaxy. The Emperor becomes aware of the Dark Force’s schemes and he in turn communicates with Crankie.
Crankie Williams Goes Pirate
Series: Crankie Williams, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 85,090. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 16, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Crankie serves time aboard a fleet freighter until pirates attack and free him. He joins the pirates and becomes a successful pirate himself. He makes contact with his friends on Earth again and when one of his planned attacks end up with his best friend being killed he goes to pieces and eventually hands himself over to the captain of a fleet cruiser.
Oh Hell, Joe!
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 86,150. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 15, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
Joe, a notorious gangster and killer in the late 1920’s New York, was finally killed in a shoot-out with the cops. He ended up in Hell and met up with some of his gang. Joe decided this was not a nice place to be in and talked his friends into making plans to escape back to Earth. They repeatedly caused big problems and chaos in Hell. Hell’s management punished them severely time and again.