Interview with Guenter Heyes

When did you first start writing?
I began to write on the suggestion of my literature teacher when I was in 1st grade Technical High-school in Austria. I was 14 at that time. Part and parcel of our Lit-class was to read and review a book. For some reasons I never liked the "endings" or how certain 3rd place characters were treated. So my Lit-teacher simply suggested to write then my "own". And as they say, "never challenge a teenager"; I did just that.
What's the story behind your latest book?
That's complicated! In essence I have always pondered the questions for a better way of life. Lets face it! NOTHING sees to work. No matter what political system man has invented, what ever "-ism", sooner or later a system self-destructs. For much of my life I dabbled with the question as to "What IF" if outside influences would not have touched a given society. Because in essence each action today is a reaction to an event from the past. So I focused on a society that had remained untouched from the events of world's history and turmoil.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Mostly the royalties and the audacity of regular publishers. After all they make money with the sales of "My" product/book. Yet they then still insist that I should "pay" for promotion. I presently use the "print on demand" services of self-publishers. Personally I prefer the hard copies of any book, however with the present trend for e-books, it makes a lot more sense to go this way.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I can't say much about it yet. I just uploaded it a day ago. However I got "tipped off" abut Smashwords via Forbes magazine. Well if they "smell a success" then I sure want to be on the side of "success". Overall impression is just excellent.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To analyze a given problem and to solve it mostly via the written word. In writing I do not deal with real life "idiots". These are the "negative characters". The joy is to let the "positive" characters get a true say.
What do your fans mean to you?
The word "fan" is maybe misplaced. For me the people who enjoy my writings also share my visions for a better world.
What are you working on next?
I am right now in the process of editing and designing the covers for the other 2 sequels that are already finished. "Tiny Eden" will eventually become a 8-book series. It is in essence the "same event" just told from 8 different points of views. If people find this "boring" they will be in for a surprise!
Who are your favorite authors?
Antoine de Exupery, Karl May, Harper Lee, Anton Kloepfer, Wolfgang Borchert, Siegfried Lenz and several others who I just can't list right now. I am bad with naming names right off the top.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
This should be re-phrased to: "What inspires you to stay UP all night?" The silence of the night and the ability to concentrate. When I write I almost "live" inside the story. I visualize the scenes, events and actions.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Researching! Very often an idea to my writings comes from often trivial events. I am European after all, also I reside in Canada now. So I am used to "sit and observe". Sitting at the terrace of a Cafe` and just observing people as they walk by and interact can result in another 20 pages added to a chapter at night. Also mostly documentary shows on TV or some articles on-line can trigger another flood of ideas for my books.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I personally hardly ever read e-books. I have little time for this. I am writing on the "Tiny Eden" series, I am also writing under my legal name Non-Fiction" works. The Non-fiction takes plenty of research. So most of my time I spend doing just that.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Actually "Tiny Eden" IS the 1st story ever. As I had said in the beginning, I had observed very early in life that "something is wrong" with the world and society. I had excellent teachers in school who got us to "think and question" things. So from history I was aware that every "action" will cause a "reaction" in the shape of political and military decisions; as well will manifest themselves in rules and laws for society. SO the present state of affairs in a country or globally are the results of past events. So this was the question that I began to explore. It took me from 1971 to 1999 to finally come up with the "Tiny Eden" as it is published today. I would say that the present book is the result of at least 20 "re-writes" of the original idea.
What is your writing process?
The "process" is a complex one. 1st of all I need to "leave this world" and enter the "writing world". For this I need "silence", preferably a "howling wind" and a good CD as back ground.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The 1st story that I read was "Robinson". I was 8 then and our weekly newspaper had a "Kid-section". What inspired me was the "starting new" scenario. To simply begin with a clean slate.
How do you approach cover design?
Well for starters I "hate modern art". So for me a design has to be visually "symbolic" and carry in pictures the actual story. As in "Tiny Eden - Volume 1", the main character "Ardos" is visible and so is the "Beach" of the island. This should give the impression that it is a story that takes place in some far away location. Also my principle is that things should be "simple". A story should be appealing to "all people" not just to a select few intellectuals.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I can't list 5 favorites since alone the collection of Antoine de Exupery are more than 5 books. However all my favorite books instill in me the desire to make a difference. Books have to "motivate".
What do you read for pleasure?
News, historic documentation and naturally as a pilot I can get lost for hours on aviation related content.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have none. I simply don't read actual e-books unless I can use the PDF format and use Adobe reader.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
To link with websites that share my visions. Also via friends and supporters and word of mouth.
Describe your desk
A mess! Organized chaos that drives my spouse nuts! However I do know where everything is, - unless she cleans up.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Austria, Europe. I was born a decade after WW2 and naturally endured still the "rebuilding" of my country. There was a certain degree of hardship. Of course the same cannot be compared to the hardship and poverty of a 3rd world country, however it was not a times of plenty either. And it was also giving me the exposure to the damages done to the human soul. This was clearly visible in the inter personal actions of the people around me. The hurt and pain of the ones who have been affected by this war. And in Europe, ALL have been touched by it in one way or another, not just the actual soldiers but also the civilians.
Published 2015-05-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Tiny Eden, Volume - 3, "Marco's Story"
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 198,740. Language: Australian English. Published: May 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
From an escaped slave of the sect he rises through the ranks of the resistance movement to a powerful member of the Freeland Intelligence services.
Tiny Eden, Volume - 2, "Carlos' Story"
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 149,080. Language: Australian English. Published: May 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Carlos is one of the main characters in the Tiny Eden Story. Readers will "meet him" within the 3rd chapter and will rapidly embrace this boy into their hearts. He enters the story as the "Boy-POW" from the "Youth Militia" that the Sect loves to deploy as cannon-fodder in their genocidal wars. He is an endearing character who however has a brutal past to overcome.
Tiny Eden, Volume 1
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 269,560. Language: Australian English. Published: May 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
A powerful story of adventure, love, & courage of one boy to one man. A fictional blend of a "Robinson & Lord of the Flies" story with a much more pleasant outcome. This story is a tale of intense emotions, of tragedy and triumph, of brutal religious fanaticism, and redemption through trust and strong moral character.