Interview with Ernesto San Giacomo

Published 2014-01-20.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always been a fan of do-it-yourself projects. When I first got into writing, I was horrified that traditional publishers take so long to accept or reject your work. And you can only submit to one at a time! As an indie author I have total control, and can accomplish things on my own schedule, without waiting on judgment from some far-away office.
What is your writing process?
Ideas come from strange places, and I never know when something good is going to spark my imagination. If an idea grabs hold of me, I'll form the story in my head, and then get the first draft down as quickly as possible, so I don't lose any of it. Then I'll spend a lot of time with my editor before presenting it to a critique group, and sometimes a few trusted beta readers. With their input, my editor and I put the final polish on the piece before putting it out for the public.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love getting feedback from readers. The best reaction I ever got was from a woman who beta read one of my horror short stories, and had a dream about it! There's nothing like seeing your art have an impact on someone.
Describe your desk
Besides the obligatory desktop, monitor and printer, there are notebooks, pens, religious pictures, and several writers' reference books. And of course, a bag of cat treats. But the wildest part about my desk is the room it's in. I've painted it to look like a ruined castle. There are pictures on my blog, if you're interested.
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorites are Julio Cortázar, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jorge Luis Borges, and Umberto Eco, to name a few. Each of them has had a big influence on my own writing, whether it's my short stories or my upcoming fantasy novel.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Generally it's my cat pouncing on my head, wanting to play.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Editing and blogging. And cooking.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a big history buff, so I read a lot of historical non-fiction. The fact that what I'm reading actually happened gives a sense of drama and immersion that I just don't get from fiction.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Word of mouth, mostly. If I do browse on my own, I'm heavily influenced by the Preview of the first few pages. If it looks really interesting and is free of typos, I'll get it.
What are you working on next?
My current long-term project is a fantasy novel with the working title "The First Light." I'm hoping to have it released late this year. In the meantime, I have several short stories slated for release over the next few months. The next will be "Little Red Revolution," due out in mid-February 2014.
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