Interview with Gordon Long

What motivated you to become an indie author?
An indie author provides freedom for the writer to handle his writing that keeps the writer involved in his own development. It seems to offer a chance to have an opportunity to try different type story lines with ease. I have written two very different books, and currently have a third which is something of a sequal to my first one. Another will be the second in sequence to my very different thriller.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
The contribution is somewhat hidden just now. I really need to take advantage of the many assists they offer. The offers appear to be tried and true directions. I need to get my hands off the keyboard, and on the marketing. Perhaps I need some form of agent.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having a stream of consciousness take over my direction and lets me flow. My background is so wildly variable in that I have written research reports by the hundreds which do not let me just 'write'. Surely my archives must have almost two hundred of those reports across dozens of industries, companies, and solutions. When I write now, just for the pleasure, my pages fly, and after writing nearly two hundred pages, I stop, and go back to read and reduce the output to some semblance of order. I think too many people anguish over what the first few sentences should be, when it would be better if they tried it my way.
What are you working on next?
While my first book is autobiographical - Livin PO in Sandbed Hell - Redux, I broke away from that on book two. Now my third is an extension of the first book. ESCAPEE FROM SANDBED HELL starts just after my first train ride at the end of Livin PO, Perhaps it is a form of megalomania, however, the twisted path of events in what could have been an ordinary life allowed me to experience events and circumstances that developed me into a person one could only imagine in any place except America. Perhaps not spectacular, but certainly different. The Air Force years, engineering school and research engineer, and then field engineer, for two major companies involved in millions of dollars worth of business, teaching seminars to engineers. Then getting advanced degrees in business and becoming a professor for thirty years and incorporating a marketing research firm with PAKS as a DBA doing psychological testing. Starting and growing professional organizations and student organizations was just a sideline.
Who are your favorite authors?
It is more of a what do you read? The answer is everything and anything from the classics to what many would call just trash books. Frankly I got burned out on being able to quote authors while working on my doctorate. Colleagues who spent too much of their time quoting others seemed to spend too little time in developing their own ideas, and concepts or solving problems.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What happens is that I awaken between four and six a.m. sometimes earlier and develop a stream of consciousness from sometimes rather weird and disjointed bits of information. It may be the direction I plan to write, or what I plan to build, or a wide assortment of things. I do not jump up to write down what I have churned up. My bet is that if it is of sufficient importance, it will come out later in the day, or come back on another morning. It is the pure pleasure of having my mind start at a rapid pace. Please God deliver me from dementia!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a do it yourself person. I earned and used an engineering degree. Before it was popular my wife and I flipped houses, built apartments and did much of the total building. I enjoy cutting wood, doing wood working, gardening, cooking, hunting, and have tried and will try just about anything. Age has slowed down many of the dumber things I have enjoyed. Every time I resolve an electrical problem, plumbing problem, or whatever, I mentally put the money that I could have spent to call a service person, in the bank!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't know if this qualifies as a story or not, however, my first real article was for a college student engineering magazine.
What is your writing process?
Decide where I am, and where I want to go, then innundate the pages with verbage. Paper is cheap and sometimes I throw away a bunch. The good thing is that I have discovered some things that don't work as well as I thought they would. Other times my chief editor hits me over the head to give me a new and better direction.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was a student in Girard Public School, about the fifth grade when I read a book called T Model Tommy. Author not remembered. What impacted me the most was that someone so young could have done what the book described as basically starting a trucking company. I believe I read every book and most of the reference books in that little library, gender focus not withstanding.
How do you approach cover design?
I don't rush cover design, the book content gives me the overall direction I want to go, then I talk with close relatives who know me well, and we have a very small focus group. Then one of the group who is 'hot' with a graphics program will emerge and put together several trial covers.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Android and Kindle
Describe your desk
My desk is like my mind somewhat cluttered, but I know where everything is and nobody else does. My wife of fifty seven plus years indulges me. My office is my 'man cave' in many respects. It is not a solitary place, just more messy than she can cope with! The walls are lined with things presented from students and others. Two items stand out, one framed excerpt from a graduating student presenting the Phi Kappa Phi honors address. She had asked me to read the entire speech, which I made a few suggestions about. So when she started at the graduation ceremony, I 'clocked out' and started counting up my score in an inane game many faculty play after years of hearing pompous people take the podium. Suddenly an alert went on in my head, that young woman is not delivering what we had agreed on, and in front of nearly 3,000 people. Want to be blown away? I was. Most of her speech was about the impact I had made on her life. The standing ovation just about pushed me over the edge. The second framed desk and office item that stands out from the many was from a colleague in the College Alumni Publication shortly after my retirement. He had written a rather lengthy story and included a full page picture of me in what looked like an obituary "Dr. Gordon Long 1969-1998 and below the picture; IS THERE LIFE AFTER Gordon Long" He went on to make sure everyone knew I had not actually died, just that thngs on campus were not going to be as much fun. It is impossible to pay for compliments like those. They occupy prominent places on my office walls.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The first seventeen years of my life were spent on a small, two mule farm in Girard, Burke County, Georgia. Frankly growing up took place over many years, and many places. Probably the most influential subject in high school was a half year course in typing. A group of students were upset that they were not going to offer typing so we put pressure on the principal to allow us to self administer the course. That course literally saved me from being forced to be a cook in the Air Force, and propelled me into administration. I was NCOIC of a Air Force intelligence office before I was nineteen with more responsibility than made sense. Reading hundreds of classified files made me aware of the better ways of writing.
When did you first start writing?
That question, I think, means books and articles. However, I really believe the best answer to be in about the sixth grade, writing book reports. It doesn't take too many papers returned with serious red ink to catch on to what someone will read and be happy about it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Murder from the Start is a thriller as differs from a mystery. The main character is a college professor who's pregnant first wife was killed by a deviant. The deviant was not convicted because of a technicality. 'Harry Overskille' decided to rectify that problem and in a sense 'went off the rails'. His proficiency extended into other areas where he was a highly paid assassin. Harry had a number of aliases and a wide range of correctable issues to address. He was never caught, never suspected and he spends part of his time in an assisted living facility with his wife, attempting to get the U.S. Attorney General to grant immunity both physical and financial to him and his family who have no knowledge of what he has done for years, or that he is extremely wealthy.
What do your fans mean to you?
Livin PO in Sandbed Hell was well received, and the people who reviewed it prior to the redux eBook version found it humorous and readable. They have encouraged me to go forward with Escapee From Sandbed Hell.
Published 2013-11-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Escapee from Sandbed Hell
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 136,030. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
"Escapee from Sandbed Hell" chronicles the life of a young man from rural Georgia as he begins exploring the world. It starts in 1950, when he enlists in the Air Force as the Korean War heats up. Poignant and humorous vignettes capture his footsteps as they change from bare feet on the farm through military boots to dress shoes of academia. What a ride! See also: "Livin' PO in Sandbed Hell Redux."
Murder From the Start
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 129,750. Language: American English. Published: June 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Harry Overskille a.k.a Harry O a retired assssin started his alter profession avenging the murder of his wife, pregnant with twin sons. An adult thriller, not a mystery, reduces the murderer to history in a unique manner. Other bad guys learn just how bad it is to have avoided the scales of justice and become the object of Harry O.
Livin PO in Sandbed HeLL Redux
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 96,990. Language: American English. Published: May 2, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American
This memor is an amalgam, episodic, almost historical, and nearly biographical. No one has read 'Livin PO' without smothering laughs or a gasped OMG!! Don't smother-enjoy. Not a Sunday School book, language is colorful, vintage country for the era and area. If you tire reading about some of the hard work, characters change with the various episodes so you won't lose the "thread" upon reopening.