Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
That was a long. long time ago! It was maybe not the first book I read, but I do remember The Flaming Forest, by James Oliver Curwood while in 7th or 8th grade at Morrow Town Idaho's one room school house. That small library had several books by Curwood, all of which I read and hugely enjoyed. This one had a huge impact on me in that it was my first experience with printed fiction - my life made me well familiar with the verbal variety. In those days, schools existed to teach the 3 Rs and to plant uplifting pro family and pro country seeds in young minds. The noble women in Curwood's books added several feet to the pedestal I'd already constructed for all of the feminine persuasion, instilled by my home life with the only women I knew well, my untouchable and never to be criticized mother and sister. I fear I've never really outgrown that awe and respect for meme=bers of the fair sex.
How do you approach cover design?
That's a very good question. The honest answer is "with fear and trembling." I'm an indie publisher with very little capital to share with outside artists and editors, so I try to design a cover I hope will lead readers to look inside while accurately communicating what they will find when they do so. I'm afraid I didn't do a good job of that for "Truth & Freedom, A Match Made in Heaven," my only published book to date. There I chose a young married couple with their two young boys for the photo, hoping that would communicate that the book was about truth, freedom and God's blessings on both. Sad to say, many seem to have taken the book to be a marriage manual and never got around to purchasing the book to see what I really had to say.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Man, you ask HARD questions! I've read so many of so many different kinds it's hard to choose just five. Here are five of my favorites, neglecting the NKJV Bible, which I spend more time in than any other one book: 1. Kenneth S. Wuest's "Word Studies in the Greek New Testament" Volume III Eerdmans. I read this collection as individual books, but was pleased to find them all available in one volume. Wuest opened up to me the beauty and added richness of Greek that can't quite be translated into English. I treasure I highly recommend. 2. Isaac Asimov's "I Robot", some of the best of his many science fiction. No, let me back off on that; I'm not sure "I Robot" was a full length book. Let's go with "Foundation Trilogy", same comment. 3. Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising", my favorite of his mostly very good books. I read all them until he began to use co-authors for some that were nowhere near his high quality. 4. Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities", in my opinion the very best of his mostly really good books. Though I must say, many of the later ones began to seem like the same book with different characters in new settings. 5th but not last, "McArthur's Waf - Pusan to Chosin" by an author whose name I have forgotten of a book that apparently has been removed from the local library's collection, possibly because of its harsh criticism of General MacArthur and the Army throughout the Korean Conflict. I am especially interested in this book because the ship on which I served hauled many of those same Marines from Pusan to Inchon, then when they had secured Seoul, picked them up again and landed them north of Wonsan, from where they made the long trek to Chosin Reservoir, then the longer trip back through a much larger force of Chinese.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm trying to establish myself as an indie publisher and author, so have little time to read for pleasure. Part of my efforts to gain recognition include joining Goodreads where I've reviewed several books, some very good and some not so good. I'll not say more about that here; if you're interested you can find my reviews on my Goodreads page. I do download a free or cheap Kindle book once in a while and spend an evening reading there. And that's about it for pleasure reading.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I don't think of it as a story, but I think I know what you're asking. Several years ago I become concerned about the fact that Christianity, once a single faith with a single doctrine had splintered into some say 20,000 competing groups and some say 40,000. With the current attacks on Christianity worldwide and now even in my own once Christian nation, it became clear to me that the only way to correct the problem would be to somehow return believers to the once universally believed faith. That was in my mind as I wrote "Truth & Freedom, A Match Made in Heaven", and is definitely in my mind as I work on this one. I've learned much more about the situation since I published that book, and will be addressing those things in this and future writings.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As the old hymn goes, "I have a story to tell to the nations", and I quickly found I would get nowhere with traditional publishers. I am retired with time on my hands, lots of ideas floating around in my head, a belief that even at my age I can do anything I set my mind to, and that's why I am here answering these questions.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm a newbie here, so can't say it has. I surely hope it will.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing eyes light up and hearing questions begin to flow when someone finally gets it!
What are you working on next?
I think I answered this one in my profile. I'm planning a collection of short essays tentatively titled "What the Bible Really Says About ...."
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I'm retired and living with my wife of 54 years in a 34 year old house with a 1/3 acre yard containing seven fruit trees and a raspberry patch in addition to a lot of lawn area. Besides that, there are Church services Sunday morning and night, a Men's church group that meets every other Saturday, a coffee group on Tuesday morning, plus a large family and many friends to keep up with. Oh yes, Gold's gym at least every other day and Luminosity to keep my mind sharp. Believe me, I have no time to be bored.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
So far most of them have either been recommended by friends or, because I have had a Kindle for three or four years, by being informed of new releases by Amazon. Since I'm about to become a Smashworder (if there is such a thing), and since I've found Firefox has a really neat epub reader, I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of looking right here on Smashwords.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Well, yeah, I do. It came about when I got caught chewing gum in my junior English class. The teacher punished me by requiring me to write an essay of a specified length which I no longer remember. After some thought, I came up with "Confessions of a Chicle Fiend". She liked it so well she had it published in the local paper, The Cottonwood (Idaho) Chronicle. Thanks for asking; I'd forgotten I've been a published author since high school days.
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