Interview with LC Cooper

How do you approach cover design?
Covers are designed from the emotions the story evokes from the reader.

I avoid showing character details on covers. This gives the reader the lattitude to generate a unique version of the character in his/her mind as the story unfolds. This way, the reader has ownership.

Of late, I use Julie Pevnick Levy, an artist by trade, for cover design. She did a marvelous job on "My Slice of Heaven."
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Dirk Pitt Series by Clive Cussler. Because it is an adventure series that uses scenery and narration to set up the plot; this is a style I have learned to incorporate into my own stories.

2. "1984" by George Orwell. It's scary as SHIT, and I want to go back in time and smack George Orwell for giving our government the idea of "Big Brother".

3. "Star Wars, Episode IV, ANew Hope," by George Lucas. It's an epic coming of age story that profoundly effected me.

4. "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe," by Fannie Flagg . This story has a most delicious plot twist, so profoundly creepy that I've molded the concept into most of my stories.

5. "Legacy," by LC Cooper (li'l ol' me). This tale grew out of a challenge from one of my FanStory fans. I was dared to tell two stories at the same time around a plot that weaved both stories together. The result lays out a dire scenario for the future of humanity.
What do you read for pleasure?
My favorite stories are adventure mysteries and romantic comedies, but I have read so many that I can't point to a specific favorite author.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPhone is my e-reader of choice.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This interview template has proven extremely helpful. Also, my publicist, CJD.sign, greatly expanded my reach to many new readers and potential fans through a new website and social-media platforms.

My short stories are priced for free to entice readers to purchase my novels. My first novel, "Legacy," is discounted to help overcome reader reluctance.

Giving away my novels for free doesn't work and neither have contests and periodic sales at retailer sites.

Indie publishing through Smashwords.com has proven invaluable, whereas Amazon's KDP platform has yielded meager results. Thanks to Smashwords's retailer partnerships, Barnes & Noble remains my most successful retailer platform, followed by Apple, and then Sony. I keep a suspicious eye on Amazon because, if what Mark Coker (founder and president of Smashwords.com) predicts becomes true with Hachette Publishing Group, then I'll focus only on retailers and publishing platforms that provide an ethical balance that is fair to authors. I hope Hachette has the guts to pull out of Amazon, or it will spell the end to the agency-pricing model and the end to author-publisher-determined pricing.
Describe your desk
My desk consists of a laptop and my reclining sofa.
When did you first start writing?
To shock my preschool teacher, one day , my best friend and I colored our bunny pictures green, which earned us sad-face stamps. That was when I realized that my efforts could motivate people to react. My first attempt at writing a story with a plot came when I was 13; I wrote a Star Trek short story and submitted it to a relative for editing. She wasted no time in turning my offering into a pulpy mush. The masochistic bug took hold, and I was hooked.

During my early formative years, I read a lot of timeless adventure, mystery, sci-fi, and comedy stories, which still remain influencers. Then, Erma Bombeck, Patrick McManus, Albert Einstein, Shirley MacLaine, tell-all baseball tales, and "Doonesbury", "Calvin and Hobbs" & "Bloom County" helped broaden my world and hone my rapier wit :).
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book under construction is "Royal Venom," in which a jealous prince and a ruthless opportunist conspire to change royal lineage. Collin Reggero, the hero in "Legacy," becomes an unwitting pawn in this blood thirsty tale. -What would YOU do to become King?
What motivated you to become an indie author?
An unfriendly publishing environment, where I was rejected 54 times by agents and publishers for my first novel, proved the impetus to jump ship and try something different. Thankfully, I did my research and avoided the trap of vanity publishing. In 2010, all-knowing Google pointed me to self publishing via Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing. Without these platforms my short stories and novels would have become a meaningless hobby without an outlet.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is looking at the world differently, and then coming up with stories and plot twists by tapping into my subconscious, the universe, and God. I am thrilled to write; it's a lot of fun to turn off my brain and let the stories's characters take over.
What do your fans mean to you?
There is no greater thrill than having someone download a story and spread the word to other readers. I purposely leave out non-essential details about characters so that my readers, fans in particular, can "own" the story--visualizing their own characters.

I would like to thank my family, my publicist - CJD.Sign, Julie Pevnick Levy, Ruth Ann Nordin, Stephanie Beaman, Joleene Naylor, and especially God for their contributions and encouragement over the years.
What are you working on next?
After "Royal Venom", the next project is "For The Love Of Peace"-- The story of a band of Copperheads sent to make peace with the South, during the bloody Civil War. Peace at any price?
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Kids and cats compel me to get out of bed. Beyond that, a back log of over 50 short stories, novels and series inspire me to write.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend my time gardening, playing with the kids, tormenting the cats, and eating out.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords gives me access to many tools that, when combined with the breadth and depth of its extensive retail and library partners, lets my novels and short stories reach potentially millions of readers. The Smashwords tools are truly "viarl catalysts," in that I can make any number of changes to settings, pricing, keywords, and many more things that get my titles in front of readers that may not otherwise discover my stories.

Also, Smashwords collects its revenue from me only when I sell books, which means I'm not charged up-front fees common to vanity publishers.

Then, my stories aren't butchered by editors and agents--those who feel they know best what readers want. I'm not pigeon-holed into any specific genre, and I'm writing exactly what I want to write.

In summary, Smashwords gives me the freedom to express myself without constraints.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most often, I read books recommended on blogs I follow. These blog sites usually attract folks with similar interests, so their reading suggestions are often spot on.
What is your writing process?
Inspired by a general thought or insightful title, I'll quickly jot down a first draft of plot points and rough out my characters. Subsequent edits lead to writing my first draft. Then, I get out of the way, turn off my critical brain, and let my imagination and the characters drive the story.

I enjoy writing within a pre-formatted template. I feel doing so eliminates the tedium of including major formatting tasks to the chore of editing.
Published 2017-03-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Royal Venom
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,530. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Collin Roggero, hero of Legacy, becomes a pawn in an aristocratic power play. Stuck in the Australian Outback, Can Collin entrust a black-market profiteer to help prevent a royal tragedy? To succeed, he and his wary ally must disarm a gang of fundamental extremists before a future monarch's visit to Australia.
When the Lights Go Out - Ink Slingers' Halloween Anthology
Series: Ink Slingers Anthologies. Price: Free! Words: 110,020. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
(4.00)
A collection of twenty-five short stories just in time for Halloween. Enjoy thrills, chills, and mysteries. Meet ghosts, demons, vampires, and monsters everywhere from dark city streets to the English countryside. Scares lurk in the most unexpected places and, when the lights go out, no where is safe and no one will be spared.
Loving Reflections
Price: Free! Words: 11,530. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Holiday » Halloween
(4.00)
What if those things that go bump in the night are real? How do you feel as you stand before your bathroom mirror at midnight? For Damon, the experience was far too real to be dismissed. The love of his life was not his fiancee, but a mysterious woman he couldn't touch until Halloween.
Robin Williams, My Comic Inspiration Box Set
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 123,310. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Holiday » Halloween
My royalties from sales of this ebook box set are donated to the Hogar de Vida home for abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Costa Rica. Because Robin Williams profoundly influenced my writing style and my life, I dedicate this ebook box set of my humorous stories to him. Two novels (Christmess and Diary of a Reluctant Vampire) and 4 short stories are included.
My Slice of Heaven
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 106,720. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Inspirational
Losing her family leaves Claire fragile and alone. She befriends Frankie, a boy forever challenged by the ravages of childhood leukemia. How can Claire and Frankie rise above their rough start? Can others learn from them and heal a decades-old scar?
Heart's Lust
Price: Free! Words: 6,640. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
(5.00)
Be careful what you wish for … you might get more than you ever imagined.
There Was a Knock at the Door
Price: Free! Words: 2,740. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas, Essay » Legal
(5.00)
How would you react if your family was violated by a trusted government agency? It happens every day ...
Barefoot Homecoming
Price: Free! Words: 2,230. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Contemporary, Fiction » Inspirational
(5.00)
After years spent traveling and wandering to live the corporate dream, it's time to come home.
Man Cave
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,480. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Horror » Crime
Homelife wrecked, Adam agrees to spend his birthday camping with his best friend, Eric. What they must endure will test the limits of their friendship … and their sanity. Adventure-seekers at heart, these men have no idea what awaits them in Manton.
Diary of a Reluctant Vampire
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,370. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
(5.00)
Eugene faces more than the usual challenges of a young teen. He's given a very short time to decide whether or not to become a vampire. He trips into love, but is it too late? What will his stepmother and stepsister say if he joins the forever-damned? The perks are incredibly tempting. Oh, what's a goofy little kinda-vampire to do?
Christmess
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,270. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Holiday » Humorous
John Odapobi loses his dream date, thanks to Jennifer Funkhauser's aching bladder. Blizzards and cranky old men have nothing on these two. Although angst, animosity, and anger run deep, John and Jennifer must rely on each other to survive Margo's challenge. John and Jennifer's antics lead to the destruction of what's usually a peaceful event. From the ashes, can they salvage the season?
Simmering Consequences
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 77,940. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Can we repair mistakes? What happens when the relationship between best friends detonates? Some embrace the electric excitement of change, while others retreat inward and dream of reliving the glory days. Rebecca Perkins travels a slippery slope as she winds her way through Ryan and Savannah Meyers' marriage. She'll do anything to keep the friendship alive.
One Lousy Wish
Price: Free! Words: 3,170. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
(4.60)
Jilted by her estranged husband, Cheryl Evans laments spending the weekend alone at a luxurious resort. If given the chance, will she make lemonade?
Dan's Accidental Convertible
Price: Free! Words: 1,370. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
(4.00)
When married to the neighborhood's hot-head, strained friendships and frayed nerves become ominous warning signs that change must occur. Enough is enough.
Of Yellow Snow and Christmas Balls
Price: Free! Words: 5,330. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Humorous
(5.00)
Aren't holiday family portraits wonderful? Come read the story of how one of ours became known as "Yellow Snow and Christmas Balls."
The Voices of Cellar's Bridge
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 117,340. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
There are two sides to every story. "The Voices of Cellar's Bridge" chronicles two very different viewpoints about the same events. In the first tale, "Katherine's Hope," Katherine Newton grows to lead an empire. Her choices drive her to Haddaway Island and to Cellar's Bridge. "Hattie's Crossing" tells the story of adventurer Hattie McCabe. She finds more than trouble at Cellar's Bridge.
Halloween's Perfect Storm
Price: Free! Words: 2,000. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Humorous
(4.25)
What happens when all elements come together one fateful night to create Halloween's "Perfect Storm?"
Legacy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,650. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
(4.50)
What happens to a restoration mechanic when he stumbles upon an insidious secret left hidden within the shadows of an evolutionary nightmare? "Legacy," a fast-paced adventure novel is the tale of one man’s quest to realign the natural course of history. Events rooted in the final frantic days of World War II follow a carefully orchestrated plan that heralds in a new era for humanity.