Interview with Doug Ball

What do you read for pleasure?
My Louis L'Amour's are all falling apart and the few newer modern westerns are getting that way rapidly. I'm learning to love Steam punk and a few Sci/Fi and magick books - not all, but a few. I subscribe to True West and Model Railroader, borrow Western Horseman from a friend from time to time, and try to stay up on my Bible reading and study. I follow a couple dozen blogs and listen to many a podcast on writing, editing, podcasting, marketing, and all the other stuff I need to learn to keep up with technology.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle and it is always full of great new writer's material. From time to time I even finish a book. There is still nothing like a real ink on paper book for me. They never run out of power.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Oh what a question! One on one and word of mouth are all that have worked in the two years I have been actively self-publishing. If you have a good idea, drop me a line. This is the toughest area of being a selfie I have found.
Describe your desk
My desk is just big enough for my laptop and a manuscript. It is on wheels and gets rolled to the quietest spot I can find when I want to write. Most of the time it is backed into the closet of my daughter's old bedroom which has been turned into the man cave/storage/train layout/ and writing room. Every once in a while a shirt gets caught in my laptop when I try to close it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up physically in Arizona, in a town called Mesa, 20 miles east of Phoenix. It was and is the third largest city in the state. I have never grown up enough to be called adult or grown up. I refuse to grow up. I will be 15 1/2 when I die.
When did you first start writing?
1980 was a great year for me; a horse, a ranch and a typewriter. My first two manuscripts were done on a typewriter. I rested from 1990 through 2010. Just got tired of the rejections without reading.
What's the story behind your latest book?
SAILOR was another book I wrote at sea in my head. I would be on watch and nothing to do except poke holes in the ocean, most of the time, and we would discuss what you could do and couldn't do with a nuclear submarine. It is the story of a submarine being hijacked with all its missiles and equipment intact. It is short, only 30,000 words, but it is getting pretty good reviews from my former shipmates.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Rejections from editors that didn't even read the manuscript. Most of them didn't even answer the query letter. One went so far as to say, "Send the entire manuscript" in the package returning my manuscript. I have no fondness for most of the editors I ran into.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
So far, it has given me, free of charge and road blocks, a platform. Me answering this interview is my first real move into the smashword environment. Amazon does well, but the limits restrict the blossoming writer.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy as a writer is to hear the comments of a serious reader concerning my books.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't think I know the words to describe my love and appreciation for my readers. A couple of my books are not the greatest. They were experiments that I'd like to take off the market soon, but most of my readers have read them and offered some great ideas on improvement in my writing. I even have a couple that suggest plot changes in my current WIPs. Email me if you'd like to join them as Beta readers. douglashball@gmail.com
What are you working on next?
I have two serious WIPs right now. One is a western tittled, "The Deacon." It is a Christian Paladin book. A young man raised by his phoney preacher father grows up. Untypical paladin style adventure with twists and turns not normally seen in a western, but still enough shoot'em up and fights to tire our any reader. The second is a murder mystery wrapped within lat 19th century baseball in Arizona. I am collaborating with an expert in old time baseball, John Darren Tinney, whose book on the subject comes out this March or April, we hope.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Four dogs.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Hiking, reading, rachetball, and preaching/teaching .
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Freebies mostly. When I find a good author, I buy. The public library is also a source. I spend a couple hours a week there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was called SAILOR and it sucked. There are no copies of even a page of it left in this world, I hope.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
BIG RED was the first book I remember. Guadalcanal Diary was the first one I was really challenged by, and so was my mother because of it being an adult book being read by a 9 year old in the days before we even had a TV.
Published 2016-01-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Death by Baseball
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,020. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Sports, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Baseball. Arizona 1898. A new club. A black man in a white man's game. Then comes murder, conspiracy, lots of money, more murder, and then serious manipulation all about one club in one season. Baseball? Who done what to whom?
State of Confusion
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,910. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Alternative history
Fourth in the series of stand alone books. Arizona has a new governor. Everyone wants to try his mettle. The southern border gets bloody. Special investigator, Les Brown , known as Tan, and his crew are off and running. New boss, new problems, new member. The problem is who in the world is trying to start the border war all over again, and WHY?
Deacon Underground
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,120. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Western, Fiction » Adventure » General
The Deacon, son of a now dead phony revival preacher, continues to struggle with challenges that conflict with all he believes and holds dear. The U. S. Army wants him to spy, a mine is being robbed, a man dies from wounds inflicted by person or persons unknown, Evelyn is kidnapped, Evelyn has a warrant out for her arrest on a charge of murder, he is being stalked, and it's all about gold.
Called To Good Works - a study in James
You set the price! Words: 23,930. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Biblical Studies / New Testament
This is a study in the Bible book of James. Some say James argued with Paul by declaring a different Gospel in this book. Read and make up your own mind,
The Deacon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,040. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure, Fiction » Christian » Western
My daddy was a phony tent revival preacher that could not keep his hands off the till, women, or the bottle. When daddy was too drunk to stand up one night, he told me to do the preaching for him. A wild night of revelation, a deputy, a murder or two, and I became The Deacon. Oh, and there was a girl. Or, should I say, two?
Sailor
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,580. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
All is peaceful until his shipmates die. He alone is left, along with the enemy who killed his friends. Submarines are dangerous. Even more dangerous when attacked from within. Can one sailor save a submarine attacked by an enemy as lethal as this? Can one man save the world from the threat of sixteen nuclear weapons loose and hidden by the sea?
State of Peril
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,770. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
Arizona is still in trouble. Drug cartels this time. Join Tan, Les Brown, and the Governor in their third adventure together as they struggle to secure the border to the south and put an end tot he largest danger Arizona's people have ever faced. It's a wild ride, from the desert in the south to the beauty of the Red Rock country in the north, all to stop one man.
Rebellion's New Beginnings
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 61,790. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Western
Sequel to Gentle Rebellion. The rebellion continues as Alex struggles to learn what school never taught him about ranchin', dancin', and romancin', all tangled up in wolves, family, business, dams, rustlers, women, lawyers, and friends.
Lone Tree
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,850. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
Lone Tree is a small town and not much happens there until one day when two men ride up Other Street towing a third horse carrying a dead man tied across the saddle. The men, being in a hurry to get home after a long hunt, leave the burying to a man and his son. What they find on the body leads to a hunt for GOLD, $40,000 in new $20 Gold pieces.
4 X Armed
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,030. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
It was just a small town in Arizona, but it was having large problems. Politics were complicated. Cows were being stolen. Drugs came in more often than clouds. Money was changing hands. Death stalked the high desert. Friends weren't really. Oh, yeah, there was romance in the air. Bottom line - all was not as tranquil as the Sheriff would like it.
State of Threat
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 71,000. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Arizona needs water to live. What if it rained, the lakes filled, and the rain continued. What if one man was determined to destroy the Phoenix Metro area and held out for a half billion dollars. What if?
State of Defense
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 81,630. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Arizona, a land of beauty, racial diversity,and politics. Arizona, a land of poverty and great riches. Arizona is out of money. What happens now?
Vengeance
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,490. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Krissy is ready for a wedding when outlaws kill her family in the worst of ways. Husband-to-be and his family dead by the same hands. What's a girl to do, but seek Vengeance?
Blood on the Zuni
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,500. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Take a man's belongings and find out what the man is made of. War on the high desert of Arizona brings it all together in one exciting, hard to put down western of Arizona in the 1980's
Gentle Rebellion
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,500. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
It's 1956 in the west, Arizona specifically. Alex is 14 and sitting on the stoop of a store in a dead end town dreaming. Read on as his dreams and life begin to mingle.
The Fishy Prophet
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 25,130. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Biblical Studies / Old Testament
A study in the life and times of Jonah the Prophet. How the book of Jonah applies to your life, now, today, and why you should pay attention to this little book tucked at the end of the Old Testament.
Puzzling Theology
You set the price! Words: 26,770. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Life / Personal Growth, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Religion and self-improvement
Picture yourself as a masterpiece hanging on the wall of Almighty God's Mansion. :Picture that masterpiece made into a jigsaw puzzle in a box. Picture a few billion puzzles just like yours dumped in a pile and tossed around by the winds of a hurricane. NOW, PUT YOUR PUZZLE TOGETHER. This book will tell you how.