Interview with Edwin Betancourt

How do you approach cover design?
I try to find a significant item that is in the story and will have the readers intrigued. I don't put much designs into covers because you're not supposed to judge a book based on it. But for me it's about the appeal and about what each item means. For example, my book "Publicity!" has blood running down in the top corners and that's significant because in 5 out of the 6 stories in the book blood is shed. Then I have stiletto shoes in the bottom corner because the protagonist Laurel Quinn is never caught without those shoes. They serve a purpose for her. Whether they're connected to the bloodshed...who knows? Only time will tell. (laughs evilly)
What's the story behind your latest book?
I always wanted to write about the scandals in Hollywood and give it a crazy twist. Similar to Law and Order SVU, who always have the craziest twists! This story "Publicity!" was always in my head it was just a matter of creating the protagonist. I wanted a character that was cold yet sarcastic, one that had the mind set of Lois Lane and the attitude of Cat Grant (a Geek joke referencing Superman) and I came up with Laurel Quinn. Then it was down to whether I wanted to create a novel with chapters that catered to a huge scandal but the way Laurel was in my head; she wouldn't waste a day on a scandal she would solve it within an hour. Then I decided to create each story as episodes. Thus how this amazing yet crazy twisty story was born. I'm also a feminist so it was IMPORTANT for me to create a female protagonist that was just as strong as any male protagonist out there.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read...was actually a short story titled 'The Murders In The Rue Morgue' by Edgar Allan Poe. I know it seems strange for a thirteen year old to read that (laughs)..but it was a huge twist that I didn't see coming and I wanted to create stories that have that same exact impact on people.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Honestly, I don't read as much. I know that's bad, but I'm more of a tv guy. While many people state that is even worst, for me it's how I approach my stories. I'm an actor so every show I watch has to have an intriguing storyline for me to pay attention to.
I did read Harry Potter then the books got thicker and my patience shrunk. I also used to read a magnificent story series about a Girl who died but then she was some kind of magical being so she died but unknowingly switched bodies with her sister. So her sister is dead and she's now her sister. It's confusing but it was really great until she had sex with her abusive ex boyfriend, then I lost interest.
When did you first start writing?
At the age of 13. I was-well still am actually, a huge fan of the horror video games Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Their stories were so unique to me because they were survival horror but each game was a different story and a different problem. I started writing fan fiction in a notebook and I was focused on growing up to publish them; it wasn't until I learned about Trademarks and copyrights that I changed my focus on original work (laughs).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm not the richest person alive so I don't have the proper finance to go to a publicist and hand them my manuscript. I also wanted the freedom to create this story without someone telling me to change my character and the story. I believe I get certain ideas implanted in my head for a reason and I will make sure each of them get told.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm a newborn on here so ask me in a few months...April ideally.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating stories that no one has heard or seen before. I hate cliches. They take away from originality and they don't do anything special for me. If I know Tom is the killer and then it's revealed Tom is the killer it's because the evidence pointed to him early one. Where were the Red Herrings? Another joy is-I'm very weird (laughs) I write in a spiral or composition notebook and once I'm finished writing there, I type everything up where I change alot of ideas again. I can't sit at my laptop and just type anything that pops in my head.
What are you working on next?
I have a few projects in my head. Of course I am working on another installment of six more Laurel Quinn stories. I've always been working on a Fantasy novel with a Gay Protagonist that is VERY important to me! Being Gay myself I want to create a world of LGBTQ characters that aren't the stereotypical best friends or closet cases, but are strong, courageous, powerful and smart beings.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a cornball but I have to be creative. If I'm not I feel like my purpose in life is gone. So when I'm not physically writing I'm thinking of what to write next. See? I'm a cornball.
What is your writing process?
I first think of the concept and what I'm trying to say. Whether it's a novel, short story or script and then I name the characters. Name's are important, for every character their names hold their legacy. After that I then focus on the story, is it drama, horror are their zombies etc. Once I get that down packed I start writing summaries then I start writing the story in a notebook. Once I get halfway finished I start typing up the story, where I change everything I wrote. It's frustrating because that's when the negative muses that cause me to doubt myself dance around my head. But ultimately I always win.
Published 2017-02-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Judias Grey: 'Heart of Lies' (Vol. 2)
Series: Judias Grey. Price: Free! Words: 15,520. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Picking up right after the events of Vol. 1, Judias Grey and Nathaniel Echoes meet a vain Prince named Ezra who needs help looking for his missing fiancé but instead of hiring the Witch and Knight to find him, Prince Ezra wants Judias to create a love potion-which is against the law in the Magic Realm. Meanwhile flashbacks reveal the day Judias and Nathaniel met. And a familiar face returns.
Publicity!: Perils of a Hollywood Crisis Manager "Exposed!" (Story 5)
Series: Publicity!: Perils Of A Hollywood Crisis Manager. Price: Free! Words: 3,510. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Flamboyant Pop Star, Elizabeth Glitters is being blackmailed by a perverted blogger and she quickly enlists the help of Laurel Quinn. Meanwhile, Laurel enlists the help of a Private Investigator to investigate what really happened the night Elijah died, and the heartbreaking truth is revealed.
Publicity!: Perils of a Hollywood Crisis Manager "Elijah" (Story 4)
Series: Publicity!: Perils Of A Hollywood Crisis Manager, Book 4. Price: Free! Words: 3,250. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Laurel Quinn and her assistant Tony Vincetti, help Meryl get rid of the evidence and body. The eventful night reveals what led Meryl to snap and what Laurel's plan is for the Oscar Award winning actress. And everything about Laurel's son, Elijah, is finally revealed.
Judias Grey
Series: Judias Grey. Price: Free! Words: 20,150. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Male Witch, Judias Grey left the Magic Realm 500 years ago to live his Immortal days in the Mortal Realm, relaxing; until his longtime friend is brutally murdered in the Magic Realm. He is reluctant to return and the arrival of his ex-husband, Knight of the Magic Realm, Nathaniel Echoes, doesn't make it any easier. The Witch soon realizes he'll have to face the Demons from his past, literally!
Publicity!: Perils of a Hollywood Crisis Manager "Poser" (Story 3)
Series: Publicity!: Perils Of A Hollywood Crisis Manager, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 4,290. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Media tie-in
Action star Cody Posey is at the top of his career. He has been cast as the leading role of a huge superhero film franchise. But when a sexual assault allegation threatens to destroy Cody's career, he has to either face the truth or lie his way out. And Laurel faces a shocking truth that leads to a huge challenge for her.
Samus' World S2: Episode 6: "My Last Resort"
Price: Free! Words: 7,040. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In the season finale, the Hookup Killer reveals everything! Ursula decides to let go of the fight she and Samus had, in a BIG way! As this chapter closes, Samus, Marco, Ursula and Gustin will face a new chapter of uncertainty in their lives.
Publicity!: Perils of a Hollywood Crisis Manager "DALA" (Story 2)
Series: Publicity!: Perils Of A Hollywood Crisis Manager, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 5,060. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Laurel Quinn is hired to help prep the latest Hollywood 'It' couple- Pop sensation Damien Marx and Model Lola Ferrari- on their first on air interview. She coaches them with ease but it doesn't take long for Laurel to see there is a huge problem the young couple is facing, one that could be the ending of 'DALA'.
Publicity!: Perils of a Hollywood Crisis Manager (Story 1)
Series: Publicity!: Perils Of A Hollywood Crisis Manager, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 4,460. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
After posting a picture of the American flag on fire, rapper Lil Holler loses endorsement deals, Twitter followers and his image is completely tarnished. He hires Hollywood Crisis Manager Laurel Quinn to fix the scandal. Unaware she has a few tricks up the sleeves of her designer dress that could restore his image or end him permanently.
Samus' World S2: Episode 5: "A Perfect Illusion"
Series: Samus' World Season 2. Price: Free! Words: 4,770. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, Samus finds out the truth about his boyfriend. Ursula discovers the real reason why her mother abandoned her. Marco and Constable Wyatt find a face picture of the 'Hookup Killer' and they search for him, with disappointing results. Samus comes face to face with a familiar face. The 'Hookup Killer' is finally revealed!
Toxicity: Episode 1: "Promise"
Price: Free! Words: 8,630. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In this screenplay episode, meet Elizabeth Glitters, Elias Solis, Valerie Blake and Lindsay Kaine; and discover the problems currently plaguing their personal lives. And a murder takes place, testing the friendship of all four.
Samus' World S2: Episode 4: "Don't Speak"
Series: Samus' World Season 2. Price: Free! Words: 3,760. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, the aftermath of the tragedy is revealed and it changes Samus' world. Dylan confronts Ethan. And Samus learns a shocking truth no one was expecting!
Samus' World S2: Episode 3: "Two Can Keep A Secret If One of Them Is Dead!"
Series: Samus' World Season 2. Price: Free! Words: 5,350. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Plays » Gay & Lesbian
In this episode, Samus has a heart to heart with Gustin about 'Misfits Of NYC'. After the meeting he runs into Ethan and Carlito where Dylan unknowingly joins them. Ursula decides on a life changing decision that could better her motherhood. Dylan finds it harder to keep his secret and resorts to an extreme measure. And a tragedy occurs.
Mannequin: A Collection of Original Poetry
Price: Free! Words: 4,140. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Gay & lesbian, Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
This book contains 24 original poems dealing with various topics. From Love, Pain, Heartbreak, LGBTQ Pride, Fear of falling in love, Self acceptance and many more! Proving that beauty really does come from pain.
Samus' World S2: Episode 2: "Cloud Nine On Fire"
Series: Samus' World Season 2. Price: Free! Words: 5,150. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, Samus and Ethan try to act civilized toward each other but considering their past together, that might be easier said than done. And when Samus finds out why Ethan is in New York City all bets are off! Later on, a secret is revealed which can change the dynamic of everyone in Samus' life and the 'Hookup Killer' claims another victim.
Samus' World S2: Episode 1: "Hello Again, Friend of a Friend!"
Series: Samus' World Season 2. Price: Free! Words: 5,050. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, Samus Ortiz is back one month after his attack. He is already taking on a new responsibility at his new job while also juggling a relationship with his new boyfriend. But things take an unexpected turn when he is confronted with a ghost from his past! And the arrival of a new threat will change Samus' World forever!
Samus' World: Episode 6: "The Last?"
Series: Samus’ World: Season 1. Price: Free! Words: 4,260. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In the finale episode of the season, Samus is fired from his job but receives an amazing opportunity from an unlikely source. Meanwhile, Samus' attacker is revealed and it's probably not who you were expecting! And the lives of Samus and his friends are changed dramatically in an unexpected way.
Samus' World: Episode 5: "The Truth Revealed!"
Series: Samus’ World: Season 1. Price: Free! Words: 3,660. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, Dylan tells Samus the reason he blocked him after their date and the truth causes Samus to make a decision. And the flash forward reveals the last visitor Samus had over the house, before he was stabbed!
Samus' World: Episode 4: "Next!"
Series: Samus’ World: Season 1. Price: Free! Words: 3,470. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, Samus goes on a date with Thomas Redfield, a proud nerd and Gaymer. Things take a very weird and disgusting turn. But Tara comes to the rescue with her speed dating event where Samus encounters all sorts of guys-each messier than the next; but the night ends with Samus running into an old familiar face! And, the flash forward reveals the fate of our protagonist.
Samus' World: Episode 3: "Porky"
Series: Samus’ World: Season 1. Price: Free! Words: 2,900. Language: English. Published: May 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General, Screenplays » Drama
After a confrontation from his ex boyfriend's current flame, Samus goes on a date with an older man and it takes a strange turn no one was expecting. And the flash forward pins our hero against all odds.
Samus' World: Episode 2: "Exes and Oh...Nos"
Series: Samus’ World: Season 1. Price: Free! Words: 3,170. Language: English. Published: May 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, Samus and Ursula catch up on their crazy love life- or lack of one. Then Samus goes on a date with a man named Phillip who isn't quite as ready to move on as one might think. And, a flash forward reveals the fate of our protagonist.
Samus' World: Episode 1: "Pilot"
Series: Samus’ World: Season 1. Price: Free! Words: 4,220. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General, Screenplays » Drama
In this episode, we meet Samus Ortiz who is the Entertainment Writer for NYC's top LGBTQ paper, 'L&G Daily'. After a date goes awry, Samus decides to start writing a dating column geared towards Gay men, which doesn't go well with his boss. The ending will leave readers in shock and waiting for the next episode.
Perfect Dream: A Collection of Original Poems
Price: Free! Words: 3,980. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs, Fiction » Poetry » Gay & lesbian
Perfect Dream is when I'm with you, Perfect Dream, because you're so true. Perfect Dream, your love I feel, Perfect Dream, was never real. This is a collection of 23 original poems. Each poem deals with heartbreak, finding love, losing love, wanting to be in love and dreaming about finding the perfect love.
Monologues:From A Homosexual Hazard
Price: Free! Words: 7,430. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Screenplays » Drama
(5.00)
What is a ‘Homosexual Hazard’? A Homosexual Hazard is a Gay man who is proud of who he is, what he has accomplished and doesn’t care what society thinks of him. In this book, you will find monologues and scenes geared towards Gay Men about Pride, Love, Life, Suicide, Dating-both online and offline, Depictions of Gay Characters on TV, Marriage, Body and Self Confidence and many more!
A Halloween Serenade: A Collection of Original Halloween Poetry
Price: Free! Words: 2,950. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Poetry - single author, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
Halloween is scary, this is true. But Halloween lives within me...does it live within you too? 'A Halloween Serenade' consists of 16 original Halloween themed poems that will: scare you, make you laugh, make you think twice before eating candy from a Witch and of course make you smile.