Interview with Jeremy Lee

What are your favourite books of all time?
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter.
This is an astounding piece of work. It cements almost countless deep concepts brought to humanity over many years of scientific and mathematic discovery by the worlds deepest and most revered thinkers. Although the book is a long challenging read, Mr. Hofstadter engages the reader in an intelligent and witty style that makes such a profound book a pleasure to read.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by astrophysicist Carl Sagan was first published in 1995. I had to read this with a dictionary in the other hand, just to be sure that I fully grasped the eloquence of his communication. I have to say, this book must be the most compelling collection of arguments for sane thinking ever written. I particularly like his "BALONY detection kit" and quotes like “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.” Insights like that should be taught in schools.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I like to search Smashwords for reading material. Other than that, the Gutenberg project provides a lot of quality text. Some of the old writers had a wonderful style and used words that one no longer generally hears. The Internet provides me with a wide range of pdf-formatted research papers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The most important book I read was at about age seven: Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine, which is the third novel in the Danny Dunn series of juvenile science fiction/adventure books written by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams. It still gets at least four stars. At that time, a desktop computer was pure science fiction. In short, Danny tried cheating at school when he obtains use of a computer about the size of a wardrobe But the teacher secretly knew, and gave progressively harder homework to Danny. In the end, he worked far harder than anyone else in class but also learned a lot. It's a great read. Check it out on Wikipedia!
What are you currently working on, and what is your writing process?
I am currently writing a science fiction novel. I started with a very broad mind-map, then progressed with the story from start to finish. As I write, it's like I am on a journey. Hopefully this journey will be interesting and exciting to the reader when it is complete. All the while, I am aware there are details, facts if you like, that are important to mention earlier in the narrative which initially mean little, but will later be explained. This means I have to remember or record little items that must later be brought to conclusion. Otherwise the reader will feel unfulfilled at the end of the novel because of loose ends. I get the impression it might feel a little like not finding that last little bit of chocolate after someone secretly pinched it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I got hooked on drawing portraits in pencil and joined an online forum where many talented artists interacted. They used a particular method of communicating which, at first,in found difficult to follow. Over time, I learned the language and started to publish mini tutorials. These were well received and several people suggested I write a book. That's how it started. Little did I know that writing a book is no small undertaking, and it took me four years to finish. I am sure it could be done in a much shorter time but then again, another friend I know started his book roughly the same time and is still battling away.
How do you approach cover design?
I've been drawing and painting for many years, so it is, at least possible to produce my own graphic designs. I get ideas, draw them out, ask friends and family for comment (my sister is brutal), then refine the design until it feels right. Then I put it all together using a vector drawing package called inkscape.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I did a fair amount of research and decided in the end, that the print run was typically rather a short lived affair. Publishers get a big cut, and much control is removed from the author. In contrast, an ebook can compete indefinitely and there are no production costs. As an indie author, one can choose to whom, and when a book is given away, promoted, or altered in price. I am sure that marketing is key after and indeed before publishing, and also recognise that I could do a lot more to promote my book. However, it's a small almost passive income which is contributing towards my children's education and that can't be bad.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords took all the hassle out of distribution, and at a reasonable fee. The ease of use is astounding.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have a full time job. This gets me out of bed at 5:30am. I spend an hour each way on the train which gives me time to write or draw, or do research through Wi-Fi. On the weekends I pursue painting and various practical projects ranging from woodwork to elecronics.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finishing somethi
Published 2014-06-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How to Draw Portraits
Price: $6.75 USD. Words: 37,500. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Art - how to, Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Applied arts
How to Draw Portraits is a unique collection of techniques, terminology, and examples for the beginner and advanced graphite artist. Over one hundred illustrations support carefully reviewed explanations of elemental technique. Simulate skin texture with circularism. Find out how to draw hair, and how to break down complex shapes into simple abstract components.