Interview with Eldred Bird

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided to become an indie author because telling a story is more important to me than selling a lot of books. Sure, I want as many people as possible to read my novels, but I find being commercially viable is less motivating than just getting a good story out into the world. Traditional publishing might be in my future, but for now I enjoy the freedom of doing it my way and in my own time frame.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I think the best thing about being a writer is the ability to let the voices in my head out to play. I get to talk to my characters and listen to what they have to say. It may sound a little crazy, but they do give me feedback. They will tell me if the dialog or their reactions to things are not correct. Most of us lose the imagination that was such an important part of our childhood. Writing helps to keep it alive.
How do you get inspired to write?
Most of my inspiration comes while I'm walking or cycling. The physical activity gives my body something to do while my mind is free to wander wherever it pleases.
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
The basic idea for "Killing Karma" has been rattling around in my head for a couple of years. Last fall I drove across the country with my wife to attend the funeral of a close family member. His passing brought about a big change in the lives of those surrounding him. The round trip presented us with a total of five days to fill as we drove, so we talked. I brought up the idea of the book and we discussed it at great length. How do you fill the void when your whole life has revolved around someone who is no longer with us? What is true definition of family? These are the questions I wanted James McCarthy to seek the answers to.
What is your writing process?
My process varies, so this is a tough question. Most of the time it starts with a simple idea, a spark that can come from anywhere. I sit down and start making story notes. Sometimes it happens fast, sometimes it takes days or even months to develop the idea. At some point I'll start to write something based on my notes. By the time I'm deep into the story, it has usually taken on a life of its own and diverged from the original idea, creating a much better plot line.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I try to write about anything that comes into my line of site. You never know where it might lead. I was talking to another writer recently who was blocked. She mentioned she was going to her class reunion. I suggested she pick two people from her yearbook that were least likely to get together and imagine how they would have hooked up!
How do you approach cover design?
I looked at a lot of other people's book covers before I even started on the cover design for "Killing Karma." I wanted the cover to instantly tell a story without being too busy. Due to marketing in the electronic age, it also needed to look just as good in gray-scale as it does in a thumbnail image. You never know what device your potential reader is going to be shopping on, so check your artwork out on as many different platforms as you can.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on the second installment in the James McCarthy series. This book will provide a deeper look into the Dugan clan as James learns to navigate life with the help of his new family. I don’t want to give too much away, but look for the return of Jimmy Ray. At this point, I'm planning to be ready for a spring release.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
The best advice I can give is what was given to me: Just write! Write about anything and everything. You never know what may grow from the seeds you plant. Some will germinate, some won't, but all will give you experience. The other thing I have found to be more than worthwhile is to find a writer's group in your area. Getting feedback from your peers is priceless!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My primary reading device is an older Kindle Keyboard, but I have multiple reading apps on several devices. You never know what format you may find something in, so I like to be prepared. That said, I still like the old Kindle. It's simple, light and reliable.
Published 2015-11-04.
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