Interview with Dennis Porter
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing stories in elementary school... My friend and I would write one-page stories on one side of our blue-lined notebook paper -- the text, written in longhand, had to fill up that space -- and draw an illustration for it in the white space at the top of the page. Then we would show each other our latest writings and comment on them. Pretty constructive discussions as best I can remember, never critical or derisive which is notable given our ages. Fun stuff. We never came up with an infrastructure use for the three-ring-binder holes to the left side, however. That was my best friend John Lay who was killed in Vietnam a bit less than ten years later.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This is a how-to book on dealing with disability, specifically Multiple Sclerosis and wheelchairs. It came about as a result of my wife's heroic struggle against Primary Progressive MS (the worst kind) and the various shortcuts and workarounds Diane and I have discovered, or invented or blundered into over the years. Nobody tells you the daily issues to come, what is likely to happen, how best to go about getting help, how to deal with these things -- so our book tries to fill some small corner of that void. We hope it is helpful to others facing these challenges.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Writing is fun! It is an exercise like no other and just feels good. When you get it right -- which is WAY seldom, in your own eyes -- the feeling is marvelous and you are proud of those words forever. Hopefully, anyway! And if you write something truly dumb and publish it... Yow! You cringe every time you see THOSE words in time to come. Either way it has your name on it and is at least some level of achievement.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By launching our current book on so many platforms at once it lowers our workload tremendously. And it's almost instantaneous! No delays, no wait a few days. BLAM! It's up there, baby. Way cool. Well worth any small cost along the way, absolutely.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Self expression. Sharing of ideas. Putting your thoughts out there in the world, hoping another person will understand what you meant to say and find it useful in their world.
What are you working on next?
Getting my book on learning to draw live caricatures out there in E-Book world. It is written but we have some techie issues to fight through in the meantime. We will get there!
Who are your favorite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Douglas Adams, John Kennedy Toole, Tim Dorsey, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Joe Vitale, Colin Wilson -- and about twenty more...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My endlessly fabulous little wife Diane... In wheelchairs for over fifteen years now, no longer able to do ninety percent of what she enjoys most -- and Happy Anyway! All day, every day, regardless. It is not an act, she honestly IS happy, really does enjoy herself no matter what is going on. Lots of laughs. A terrific girl and the perfect wife and partner. I am a lucky guy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Drawing! I never ever get tired of that. And after drawing some 250,000 faces at parties over forty years or so I am WAY fortunate that it is still fun. And we are still making a living at it. Yes! Go team, go!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly online or via email links.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not a chance, too far back there! But I remember the first story I invented from whole cloth, in my head at the time, standing guard duty in the US Army in Europe. Long night, lots of time to think. Never wrote it out, but the story line is still in there.
What is your writing process?
Get a keyboard and a blank screen and have at it. Never had to wait more than a few seconds to get going.
How do you approach cover design?
Throw all the factors together and torment them in Photoshop till it is more or less Okay. Then TRY to leave it alone.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.
Books by This Author
Beat MS Now!
by Dennis Porter
Tips on dealing with MS, with disability, with wheelchairs, with government agencies and the stress of it all. Written by a married couple who face this daunting challenge with relentless good humor and a magical marriage that has stood the test of time.