Interview with Lee Wardlow

What do your fans mean to you?
They are the most important part of being an author. I try to always answer emails that I receive. I make my email address available on my website. I have twitter and Facebook too. I saw once a comment a reader made about another author where she was just interested in book 2 in a series and didn't hear back from the author. She was very frustrated. I enjoy interaction with my readers. I love to hear what they thought of my stories because their interest, their opinion is most valued in my book.
What are you working on next?
I'm torn. I love this new series I'm working on called Dark Secrets of the Craft Book 2. I love it better than the first. i'd like to continue with it but i also am in love with my Civil War novel Cannons & Corsets. I'd like to continue on with that line as well. I wish I could write faster. For now, I'm working on Dark Secrets of the Craft.
Who are your favorite authors?
Sandra Brown, Stephen King, Deborah Bladon, MN Forgy, LA Casey, John Grisham, to name a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My daughter and grandchildren. They are my reason for smiling each day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working. Family time. Dinner and a movie with my two best girlfriends. We love to laugh.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Sometimes I see ads on Goodreads or Facebooks and I click them. Sometimes just browsing on a site for a good book. Fellow Indie Authors. Or suggested reading because I've chosen a certain book and I thought hey that does look really good. I often wonder why readers choose certain books. Once or twice it has been word of mouth.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
God no. I was in college taking Creative Writing, possibly even before that because I'm fairly sure that I wrote in Mr.Kitchen's class in high school too. I seem to remember him critiquing my stories. Hmm, I very long time ago.
What is your writing process?
Draft 1, get the story down before it drives me crazy. Draft 2, go back and re-read it and see what works and what doesn't. Draft 3 re-read again and look for plot holes, my own stupidity where my creativity has gotten away from me and I've gone off on a tangent and the voice of reason has returned. Draft 4 I have a pretty solid manuscript now. I walk away for a little while and let it rest. Then a week later or maybe only a few days depending on my mindset I go back and edit for errors, run on sentences, spelling mistakes. I have been known to do a last and final draft by then i'm exhausted.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The one story that always sticks out in my mind is Gone with the Wind. It is such an epic novel. Scarlett is a strong character for a woman of her time, written in her time which always made me want to write a Civil War novel but my character Raven does not say anything like Fiddle-de-dee. I hope i spelled that correctly.
How do you approach cover design?
I design my own covers. Artist here. Have also worked in marketing at various other positions. Maybe a huge mistake. I don't know. I purchased a template a long time ago. I keep my covers consistent and simple. Same layout, similar fonts. Change picture and colors. It works for me.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Gone with the Wind - it is just plain epic.
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton - this woman just cracks me up. I couldn't wait for the series to continue.
Shopping for the Billionaire Series - Julia Kent - another woman who can crack me up. I couldn't wait for the next book.
Not really a book - Dante's Inferno - I love this story from college. It continues to inspire me.
Anything Stephen King from the earlier days when I just needed a good look over my shoulder to see if the clown was in the window. Yikes.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything. Whatever tickles my fancy. You would be surprised what I read.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad with the Kindle Reading App but sometimes I also use the app on my laptop too.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Ads and Giveaways. Everybody likes a freebie which gets your name out there.
Describe your desk
Two laptops-work and writing. A notebook for jotting down notes for my ah-ha moments. Pens that always disappear then i figure out they are stuck in my ponytail. My cell phone. An iPad. Near a window so I can see out. The dogs are always nearby for company.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in Ohio that no one has ever heard of. I usually say do you know that mall at Eastgate? Yes. I grew up a half hour east of there. Oh, you grew up that far out? Yep, I did. We didn't have a McDonalds until the last few years. We have progressed and we are the only town in the 20 mile radius who has a McDonalds.

Yes it influenced my writing. I like to use small towns and small town life as the character's settings for my novels. There is nothing like the heart of a small town.
When did you first start writing?
Middle school, is as far back as i can remember although I don't remember what those stories were about.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Dark Secrets of the Craft is a story about witches in a small town in Ohio. Go figure. They don't realize the strength of the power they have. The oldest sister is compelled to leave with a mysterious stranger who happens to be a warlock. The second book is nearly complete and I like it a lot. It became bigger than I had intended so much emotion and underlying story line that I hadn't expected.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like the independence of it. I can control what i write, when it is published and how. I have complete control over my work. I like the togetherness we display with each other. We support each other. Most of us do at least.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm new to Smashwords but I'm excited about using it for the first time. I have read and heard great things from other Indie Authors about their success with it. I can't wait to publish my second Dark Secrets of the Craft novel with Smashwords
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Entertaining someone. Hearing someone say they were so engrossed in my book they couldn't put it down. That is a really good book. Bringing these characters that pounding away at my brain eager to get out to life on paper.
How do you measure success as an author?
I think too many authors approach this and think I want to be Stephen King or John Grisham or Nicholas Sparks. EL James! I wouldn't mind being able to make this a full time career choice because it makes me happy but I'm not looking for the next book I write to be made into a movie or the next book to be a millionaire maker. I don't want my book to be labeled as the next anything. I just want it to be mine and see that people are enjoying it. Cannons & Corsets is doing pretty well. That has given me a sense of accomplishment. I can't retire but I can be proud.
Published 2016-06-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.