Interview with G. Alvin Coon

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have been writing intensely for many decades, and decided it was time to write a full-length novel. I have blogged, written essays, and short stories. I spent most of a year on Reloading the Colts, writing a book I would love to read. I feel I have succeeded, and I am hopeful that others will love to read it too.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is like a trip to another world for me. When I am writing I am laughing, crying, feeling the joy and suffering the pain of my characters. Time flies when I am writing, and I am transported to places that I created, but they still have to be explored. I tell others that I have to write it now, so I can know what is going to happen next. It is wonderful.
What do your fans mean to you?
My goal is to give my readers a fascinating place to visit, and interesting people with whom they can share experiences outside of their normal lives. I want them to find a happy escape, as well as time they will consider to be well spent. I also like to inspire contemplation of interesting ideas. I truly enjoy making my readers happy. I pour my heart and soul into my work, and my fans, wherever they may be, are kindred spirits, my friends connected to me through my stories.
What are you working on next?
I am well on the way to finishing the second book in the William Galactic Empire series: The Colt Valley, which will be published soon.
Who are your favorite authors?
Isaac Asimov has always been one of my favorites. I have read many books by Rick Shelley, James P. Hogan, and E.E. Doc Smith. I really enjoy Victor Hugo, and one of the greatest of all time: Charles Dickens.
What is your writing process?
I start with an idea, something that would fascinate me if someone else wrote about it. What if Mr. Jones were living in Dallas, Texas where he taught economics at a community college, and his friend, who taught physics at the University of Texas, showed him an invention that did something that was previously impossible to exist. A time machine, a transmutation machine, a thought to matter converter, something. And the man falls into events that take over his life.

I next try and extrapolate where he will end up at the close of the story. And I outline what seem like reasonable steps for him to take, both intentionally and unintentionally, in order to reach that location. I usually will start writing the steps, adding detail, and as I do that, new ideas always come to me, what about if this happened or that? There is a reason why a book takes so many months to write, because it has to mature like wine aging. Ideas grow to maturity and give off shoots to other ideas. It has the flavor of working magic, but not being sure what the spells will actually do until I try them.
How do you approach cover design?
I love Photoshop. What a great tool! I approach my covers with the intention of conveying an event in the story, or a flavor of what the story is about. I want the cover to have elements that are as exciting as the story itself is. When you buy a book you get the cover too. And just looking at a well designed cover is an experience all its own. I enjoy studying covers and seeing if I can identify what part of the book is being shown and how accurately it shows what the story describes. Sometimes, something in the cover will highlight a detail I might have missed when I read that scene, or at least I hadn't given it the proper weight.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use the Kindle Fire primarily. I also have a small pocket Sony reader that fits in my coat, and at least in the winter, I always have a book with me.

One of the things I like about the Kindle, is that I love being able to read in the dark. I'll put on the simulated fireplace, and relax with an herbal cup of tea, and a great book. Soon, I am lost in the book's world.

One of the drawbacks of print or LCD screens is that you need a good light to read by. With the back-lit reader that is not required. The iPad and the Android tablets, like my wife's Galaxy, are great too.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Isn't it amazing how childhood impacts our entire lives? I was born, and spent my first thirteen years in Loma Linda, California. The little town lies about sixty miles east of Los Angeles, and it was buried in smog during the years I was there. My home town was populated by Seventh-day Adventists, and I was raised in that denomination. Offsetting the rigorous rules of the church was my alcoholic father. I suppose in an odd sort of way that lent some balance. It certainly shaped my world as a boy, and made for an interesting combination, and often not a happy one.

As an only child in a family that had enough on its plate without trying to deal with a child, I spent a great deal of time alone, in my room, or out taking walks, and puzzling things out for myself. Fortunately, I suppose, I was an introvert, and so being alone was not altogether unpleasant for me. It was certainly preferable to listening to a drunken tirade. I learned a great deal about myself during those years, and creativity was a must to find interesting things to do. If I had found writing back then, I wonder what course my life would have taken?

Life was a school, and hard knocks abounded. Things were good and they were bad. I saw the world in the Navy, and found the love of my life, forty-three years ago. So, there is a bumpy integration of many parts of my life forming this metaphoric writer before you, and all the things of my past, help to filter my thoughts as they go into the written word. It is often obscure which part of my life is having any particular effect upon my writing. It is interesting to contemplate though.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am a man of routine. I get up in the morning, every morning, in part because it hurts too much to stay in bed. Okay, I would get up anyway. I can't stand boredom. I have to be doing something, and with my computer and internet, there is always something to do. I have written millions and millions of words. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't write something. When I am not writing for a web page, or for a story, I am writing emails. My son told his wife, "You will write a short email to Dad, and you will get a book in reply. But its okay!" It isn't just that I love to write, I simply can't NOT write. It is in my blood.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing, I am often writing. I write essays for web pages, I write emails, I think about things I want to write. I also read a lot, play guitar and sing, sometimes for an audience. My running days are over but I still love to hit the fastest machines at the batting cage. I love to hike, though it has been awhile since my wife and I have had a good one. I have a five year old granddaughter and she is wonderful. And her brother is almost two and is the spitting image of his daddy. When we have the two of them over it is heavenly. I've physically slowed with the years, but life is still good, very good.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I browse through the online book stores for new books, and Gutenberg Project for the old classics. Many of the books I have on my Kindle I originally bought as print books and I liked them so much I bought them again to have a nice portable copy. I am fairly new to Smashwords, but it is an amazing resource for books. I'm glad I found it.
Published 2017-06-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Reloading the Colts
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 131,160. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
He awoke in blackness, a deep rumble in his ear. Gone were his bedroom, home, planet, and even his galaxy. Married fifty-three years, but his wife was only nineteen. A planet all their own; had they died and gone to Heaven? Yes, and no. They were androids, but their reward? Fate dealt their hand, all the chips were in the pot; time to turn the cards over.