Interview with Jeremy Morong

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is getting an idea and bringing it to life. I often don't even know where these ideas come from - they seem to materialize from thin air, and I'm just a conduit to put them on a page.

And I won't lie - I love when people genuinely tell me they enjoyed my book. I'm sure some people are just being polite, but there are times when you know you've actually achieved your goal of writing something that people enjoy, and enjoyed the same way you've enjoyed books throughout your life.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm working on another adventure story called "Adventures of Braxton Revere." It's about a guy that was born into a vampire-hunting family in the late 19th century, but there's just one problem - his family has been so successful with their life's mission that nobody believes that vampires and such even exist. So he's a pariah, a joke, and he's on his own when vampires begin to return. It stems from my love of playing the old CastleVania games on the NES and watching the Universal Horror classics with my brother growing up.

After that I'd like to try my hand at a more modern story, set in our world, and then I plan on writing sequels to "On the Backs of Dragons". I think that's enough on my plate for now! Hopefully my wife doesn't see this; she's suffered enough. I've been trying to pace myself better after obsessing over my first novel attempt.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Well, I have a newborn son, and a five-year old daughter. They don't really leave me much choice!

If that didn't work, I have a beautiful wife as well. What more do I need?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
As mentioned, I have a wife, a newborn son, and a five-year old daughter. Occupying my time is not a problem! I try to read when I can, and work out a little bit, and hopefully there's still enough time to have a shower and so forth. That about does it!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm old-fashioned. I'm selling a book as an ebook, but I still read paper ones. I have a stack of books that I have barely made a dent in. I'm a long way from needing any more books, though they still seem to find me! I can imagine it would be worse if I had an ereader. And I'm weird - I actually like the smell of books. I don't know about e-readers, but my other electronics don't offer much in the way of a smell.

That said, everyone else should have one, and they should then load "On the Backs of Dragons" up on it first thing! And save room for "Adventures of Braxton Revere."
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yeah. I won't spoil the ending of the Narnia series, but it's a beautiful ending. But not for someone who was obsessed with the Narnia books - I wanted more adventures. So I took a crack at writing a sequel, in which the characters go after Susan and try to bring her back to Narnia. I'm trying not to spoil the series for those who haven't read it, but in a decision that is still controversial, Lewis chose to exclude her from his beautiful ending. That never sat well with me!

I also wrote a story in high school about a white kid who went on to win a freestyle rap battle. I remember getting a pretty good grade on it in high school English. I should've ran with it, because it worked pretty well when they did "Eight Mile!"
Who are your favorite authors?
Mark Twain is my favorite author. "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is my favorite book, and I've read it numerous times. Of course, I love Tolkien - even his more difficult books like "The Silmarillion" and "The Childen of Hurin". JK Rowling is one of my heroes, because she had a vision and she executed it.

He only wrote four books and he was an avowed racist, but I really enjoy Forrest Carter. He wrote "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and "Education of Little Tree." C.S. Lewis and his Narnia series is another big influence. I first read those in fourth grade and loved them. And I still do!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
"Huck Finn" is the first "adult" novel I ever finished. I never saw it as a racist novel. I saw it as having racist characters, including Huck, who is only doing what he taught - but he manages to overcome that from time to time. It seems to escape a lot of people that the core of the book is contrasting Huck's lousy father, Pap, and his surrogate father, Jim, who raises him much better than Pap ever could. Huck even says at one point that Jim loves his children as much as white people do, which is a heck of a thing for Huck to say considering the way they're treated by white people as they go down the river!

It's hard for me to say how much it impacted me, but I think it probably did so quite a bit.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"Huck Finn," which I've touched on quite a bit already.

"Lord of the Rings." I like it for the same reasons that everyone else who likes it, likes it.

"Watership Down." Just an amazing book. I'm an animal lover, but the way Adams gets us to care so much about these little rabbits is something else. And then he did it again with "The Plague Dogs."

"Education of Little Tree." I still can't believe a racist wrote it. Maybe this book was his apology to the world for his ignorance.

"The Count of Monte Cristo." You have to read the unabridged version. Just a masterpiece of adventure! Dumas at his absolute best.

Bonus pick: "To Kill A Mockingbird." Basically, a perfect book.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I believe in competition. I know the big thing in independent publishing right now is to publish exclusively with Amazon, but the last thing I want to see is a monopoly. It's bad for everyone - except for the one that holds the monopoly, obviously!

I really like Smashwords because it allows me to release my work in many different platforms with just the click of a button. I haven't had a ton of sales, so every one counts!
What is your writing process?
My process is to just bash my way through a first draft. It ends up nearly indecipherable, but hopefully when I'm done I've generated enough good ideas to play with during the second draft. After that, I just revise and revise and revise. I only have one published novel under my belt, so I'm still formulating my process, but that seems to work for now.
What do you read for pleasure?
I actually prefer non-fiction books. I'll pretty much read anything and everything that catches my eye.
How do you approach cover design?
I am graphically challenged. A good friend of mine, Shawn Leader, took care of the design of "On the Backs of Dragons." It could probably be cleaned up a bit as we don't know what we're doing, but overall, I like it. I'm someone who really doesn't judge a book by it's cover, but I'm in the minority from what I understand.

My main goal was to stay off the "Lousy Book Covers" website. So far, we have succeeded!
Published 2013-09-14.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

On The Backs Of Dragons
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 130,020. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Adventure » Action
"Life can get awfully complicated when you make promises you intend to keep." So says Akari, and he speaks from experience. A simple promise he made to his sister leads him to faking his death, living with dragons in a live volcano, and using all of his powers and skill with magic and warfare to overcome the ruthless army of Azoria. Eventually, he realizes that only he can end a costly war.