Interview with JDeWayne Pierce

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
As a boy, I lived in various locations in America, but my greatest influences growing up were Langley AFB Virginia, Malmstrom AFB Montana, Keesler AFB Mississippi, Chanute AFB Illinois, and Dyess AFB, Texas. I am one of two kids of an Air Force Sergeant. Having to follow a sergeant's orders daily for 19 years was bound to have bred a slight disdain for authority and probably explains my rebellious, independent nature. The South's love of being left alone and the West's tremendous cowboy self-reliance have had there influences as well. I have always tried to do things my way, whether it was right or wrong. Sometimes, even if I knew it was wrong, I still did it my way.
This is sure to have reared its ugly head in my short stories and novels. I like to make fun of abusive authoritarians in my writings, but I try to disguise them so my readers get a chance to become part of the story a little by digging out a former boss as one of my disgusting sentient beasts or an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend or colleague.
When did you first start writing?
The first short story I wrote for just my pleasure alone, discounting school assignments, was when I was about 10. It was a war story, but even while I was writing I realized I knew totally zero about war. Still, I was not discouraged. I faked all of it and I'm sure it was pathetic and juvenile, but after all it was fiction, right? My dad chuckled at it and my mom said she loved it. I just knew I was going to be a best selling novelist before high school.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest novel, which is book one of a trilogy, concerns the attempt by Earth to build a spaceship that can traverse interstellar distances in days, rather than millennia. However, there is an added challenge. The amount of time allotted for the project has to be cut short. Researchers at the center have received a message from a presumably technologically advanced culture. The content of the message creates a stir among project officials. Should they reveal the content to government authorities?
Oberlux, and it's undaunted crew, is hastily sent on it's way. This forces the crew into a first contact with a violent, amphibian-simian like culture that accelerates into an unprepared for fiasco. Another civilization that is benign but haughty and meddlesome makes them "an offer they cannot refuse" and a cobalt skinned culture they meet is eerily reminiscent of some of Earth's ancient myths.
The travails, adventures and challenges they face will forever change everyone aboard and on Earth.
What are you working on next?
At the moment I am working on Book II of my "Earth Steps Forth" series, tentatively entitled Suszaja Marva: Power of the Cross. Suszaja is a character you will meet on the planet Traznor in Book I. She is one of those fictional characters--- Wait--- I always have to look around behind me to make sure she's not listening. She does not like to be referred to as fictional. But anyway, she is one of those fictional characters that has such a strong presence that they can take over one's writing. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it takes a kind of mental enforcement to make sure they do not exceed the boundaries I set for them. Such as in Suszaja's case, she gets into a situation where she is surrounded by evil murderous people. She is not a killer herself, so she has to stay within her specific boundaries to be believable- er - ah- well, sometimes. If I'm going to challenge my readers, then the characters have to be challenged, don't they?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The creation process itself. I am what is called a 'discovery writer', someone who creates the characters, sets their boundaries for them and then cuts them loose. It can take me into areas I may not have originally thought of and can be confusing, but it is fun. Especially when even I am not certain what will happen until I finish.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are my audience, the ones I want to entertain, without them I am a silenced. However, I also want to challenge and hopefully encourage them. There are literally billions of people in the world who are born pessimists. My job is to change their minds. To get them to expect a positive future, to learn to believe that their bright ideas for their future can happen and then go out and make them happen.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPhone hands down and Smashwords ebooks are so easy to read on an iPhone and convenient. Stanza is the best app out there for my phone.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Pretty much everything, from telling all my neighbors, to Twitter, to Facebook, to handing out cards with my ebook web links on them. I have even written my ebook web links on the back of a restaurant's copy of my debit card receipt. I was invited to a writer's workshop at a local church, so I'll have to get back to you on that one. A teacher recently asked me about ideas to get his students to read. I suggested my ebooks, an idea he seemed to like, but he was dubious about the principle and school board's acceptance of it.
It is really hard to tell which of all the above is the most effective, since we are not told on Smashwords who buys or reads our books.
Describe your desk
Hey, this is almost classified info, but if you go to my fan page you will find a picture I posted of it on May 31st of 2013.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I didn't want to wait anymore for agents who don't call or publishers who made me wait a year to get any feedback. I was so fed up with publishers that I even wrote a satirical short story about this subject. Check it out here
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
If I had not found out about Smashwords, I doubt if I would have ever found out about a less expensive way of publishing at all. The only method of indie publishing I had heard of prior to that was the so called "Vanity Publishers" who charge an arm, a leg and a first born, well maybe not the last one. Smashwords' popularity increases more each day, as it does, chances for my writing to become popular increase. It is just up to me to write the most entertaining and best books I can in order to stand out in the crowd.
Who are your favorite authors?
I won't hide this from anyone. I like the writers that the literary world looked down on at first. J.D. Salinger, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mark Twain, Michael Crichton, Robert A. Heinlein, James P. Hogan and of course Isaac Asimov.
Published 2013-11-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,100. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
A man fades in and out of sight standing right next to people. They can hear his voice but can't see him. His wife is so terrified by it she tells him to never come back. He must struggle to avoid being nabbed by police, so he can solve this mysterious phenomenon before he is dissected to see what makes him tick. But that's the least of his problems.
Wing Beaters
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,260. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
A postgraduate student working on a doctorate in Exobiology is sent to a backwater planet. No one has been to the planet in over two centuries and the older records are not always reliable. It is cataloged as unclaimed and safe, but the truth is always elusive.
Free Writer
Price: Free! Words: 2,630. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.56 from 9 reviews)
A novelist learns how the publishing business really works.
Series: Earth Steps Forth, Book 1. Price: $10.99 USD. Words: 67,220. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(4.86 from 7 reviews)
Can anyone say no to a young lady asking for help? Especially a young lady as beautiful, intelligent and engaging as Suszaja. Neither could the crew of the Oberlux, but do they understand the consequences of their decision?