Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Reminiscing that far back:The first story I ever read was "Peter Pan" by James M. Barrie. I loved it because Peter stays young and has fun all of his life! I also liked Tinker Bell and the Mermaids and the ocean and the pirate ship.
How do you approach cover design?
I think the cover is very important. Sometimes I work on it for a long time before I'm satisfied. When I get the text font on the image and it don't speak to me then I re-do it. I try to coordinate the font color where it lightly contrasts with the image instead of it sticking out like a sore thumb. I buy lots of stock images and have them on hand so when I need one for an eBook cover I just pick the one I want. However, lately it seems as though I need a few that I don't have! I try to use only sharp, crisp images with no white around the edges etc. Of course I use Photoshop. I like to put the title and author name in bars above and below the art or picture so the text doesn't cover up the image. However that doesn't always look good. I usually spend quite a bit of time making the cover. Recently I spent hours creating a cover for a book that I haven't written yet but I already have a feeling for it. I think the cover should set a mood such as spooky, erotic etc. It should be as relative to the story as possible.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
When I was a child, my dad read me three chapters in the King James Bible and one fairy tale every night. I appreciate that very much. Favorite books #1.Collectively, the Holy Bible, because it is a road map to eternal life! Secondly, Grimm's Fairy Tales, because they provided me the fantasy that is needed for the human psyche to get away from everyday problems! Third Carl Bark's comic stories of Uncle Scrooge, Donald and his nephews, because Barks was inspired to write adventure stories based from history, geography and world events. His comics were extremely interesting and educational. Fourth, Mark Twain's stories for his humor in reality and especially "The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg. Fifth Charles Berlitz's "The Bermuda Triangle" because he brought to light many missing ships and planes and mysteries that ignorant people seem to think are hoaxes.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure I still read Carl Bark's Duck stories. Do not confuse them with the modern "Duck Tales" although some of those are loosely based on Bark's stories. Carl Barks' stories are so interesting that you can really get lost in them! Try reading "The Flying Dutchman" or "The Prize of Pizzaro". Steven Spielberg got the inspiration for the first scene on "Raiders of The Lost Ark" from "The Seven Cities of Cibola" also by Barks! I also love reading erotica, adventure, and mystery and some spooky and paranormal. Since it is next to impossible to find a book with all of those elements I decided I'd have to write my own. I am in hopes that people will read my eBooks to see that all of those elements can be present in one story! My eBooks has erotica where it belongs, mixed into a real storyline. Erotica and horror are fine but don't leave out a story!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an IPAD, a Samsung 10.1 note and recently, a Kindle Fire. I have to admit that I like using the Kindle best for reading eBooks because it is smaller, has a good voice for text to speech and because I can drag and drop eBooks or music onto it so easy. Now I can download my own eBooks from Smashwords in the .mobi (Kindle) format and read them. Thank God and Mark Coker for Smashwords!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Since I just got started this summer it's hard to say! I have several websites that display pictures of my eBooks with a short description and links to my eBooks where readers can buy them in Smashwords, Barnes and Noble etc. Recently I publish on Amazon as well. I have no way of knowing how many of my eBooks are sold as a direct result of my websites but I do get a lot of visitors to the sites. I think a great cover is of utmost importance. Secondly a great description. However, the best marketing tool is to have a great story inside the book when people read it! Getting them to read it? I offered "Doctor Nina Vixen" for only 99 cents for a long time and got a little more buyers. Now that I put the price up to $2.99 it hasn't done much of anything. There there are two classes of thought here: "Free or 99 cents gets people to try your writing out!" OR "People perceive that if it's free or cheap then the quality will probably match, so higher is perceived to be better quality." Also I'm afraid that if you give a book away it looks as if you have to beg people to try your books. I really don't know what people think! I have read many articles lately where authors say that giving away free eBooks is so popular now that buyers are beginning to just get only the free ones! Also people fill up their e readers with free eBooks and probably never read them! I know that I have done that to an extent! If a buyer has to spend a few bucks they will be a lot more likely to read it! I am waiting to see what the Smashwords connection with "Oyster" will be like. I hope it will benefit the authors as well as the company. I don't believe Mark Coker would not sign up with them unless he thought it would be beneficial to all.
Describe your desk
Grin! My desk is on of the largest ones available. It is 6 feet long and 3 feet deep. My monitor is a 27" wide screen and I have to pull it fairly close to read well so speakers go behind it. I have shelves on the back of the six foot desk that display fantasy resin figurines, remote-controled submarines, antique cars, light-up buildings for my model railroad and a King Kong and blonde woman comic book. My desk is in my model train room and I have O Scale and G scale trains that run around my desk! My train layout is 16 * 24 feet long. I am a fantasy lover and love collecting toys, figurines and trains! If you read my favorite book question you can see that I like Peter Pan because he is always young! I made up my mind when I read it as a very young person that I too, would never quit loving toys and FUN!!! Of course I have two desktop computers under my desk and a large Epson printer on it as well as another shelf on one side that houses more resin figurines and matchbox cars. In other words, I have the largest desk and the least amount of room on it! I would like another desk at an angle to the side but I'd have to take down part of my train layout to do that!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Houston Texas and of course there was a huge Carnegie Library where my sister took us to check out books. My dad read to me every night from the King James Bible then from Grimm's Fairy tales and Carl Barks Duck stories! So where I grew up didn't influence me nearly so much as my dad did! However, remembering the attraction of "the big city" still is in my mind and makes me want to write an eBook about a large city. So far I have only seven eBooks published and there are all in small towns.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing a little over twenty five years ago in Paris Junior College, Paris Texas. I had a great teacher of creative writing, and he coached me in writing. While at that college I won nine writing contests and two scholarships! I intended on going on and becoming a creative writing teacher but decided that computer technology was more lucrative so I went that direction. I wished I'd have stuck with writing. My first eBook here at Smashwords is "Call of The Siren". Thanks Mark for the new Series manager! The first chapter of that book was actually a short story that I won my biggest scholarship on. The story was called: "A Knock at the Door" which twenty five years later became the first chapter of "Call of The Siren" although it is greatly added to! One of the professors that read my "Knock at the Door" said "It's a great story but it's not smutty enough." Twenty-five years later I have changed that! Although I don't call my story "smutty". I prefer "Erotic"! But read it! It is a real adventure story with erotica woven in! I've had some readers say they hate "Desire" in my book. Erotica should stimulate. Spooky should raise goosebumps. If a story doesn't stir your emotions it isn't much of a story! I have quite a few stories that I wrote years ago and eventually intend to make eBooks of them. Traditional publishing was so hard to obtain that I never tried for it, so I never thought my books would be read. Thank God and Mark Coker for Smashwords. Mark, you have greatly added to the quality of my life! God bless you and Smashwords!
What's the story behind your latest book?
"The Dark Side of Miss Perfect" is my latest eBook, which I believe will someday become a national best seller when finally discovered. It is a story that has been in my mind for a year before I wrote it. It tells the tale about a mysterious young lady named Melissa, who everyone, including most of the women" say is "The most beautiful woman in the world." She gets off a steam train in the small town of Shadyville (think Mayberry) and immediately catches the breath and heart of every male in town! They begin by scrambling to help her with her suitcase! Of course the older women standing around think the men are foolish! When the steam blows and Melissa's skirt accidentally blows up the women are horrified! She seems to be a goody two shoes character but gradually takes advantage of the leverage she has over everyone she comes into contact with, including the pastor of the local church! It is a spell-binding story that in my editor's eyes blows away everything else I've written to date! Melissa is the apple of every man's eye whether they are married or not. She seems to put everyone "under her spell" and it's like they have no choice not to kiss the ground she walks on! In less than one year the whole peaceful town is a Harper Valley PTA ! Slowly prominent men's lust becomes their downfall. She is mysterious and in no time becomes financially rich off other people's mistakes! Why does she show up as an almost magician in an adult carnival? How does she take over the town bank, and the banker, as well as cause? the mayor to go to jail? Is she really bad news, or are people like the Bible says, drawn away after their own lusts? Continuously she blows everyone's imagination. In the eyes of some of the older women, she has corrupted their town and since she has not broken one single law, their determination to do 'something' about her ends up with a meeting called at night on the town square. The prominent women of the town demand that everyone show up at the meeting. News reporters come from far away to film this "kangaroo court?" What will happen? What will they rightfully accuse her of doing? Or is it their husbands who are the wrong doers? Find out in "The Dark side of Miss Perfect" !
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have written many stories for years and traditional publishing would be way to hard to obtain so when I found out about Smashwords THAT DID IT for me! I wished I'd found it back in 2008, but at least I'm enjoying it now! Thank you Smashwords and Mark Coker for giving me the chance to publish books that I figured I'd never get! The traditional bookshelf store is on it's way out. Sorry about that because I love to go into book stores...BUT...the traditional publishers should have let everyone have a chance! The good Lord, Mark Coker and Smashwords provides that chance that I've always wanted. I now have seven eBooks published and have at least sixty others to go before I have to fish for new ideas!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It would take me all night to answer that. The good Lord, Mark Coker and Smashwords has given me the most fun I've had in my life! Since it's always been next to impossible to get a book traditionally published I never tried although I've had books written for years! Smashwords makes it possible!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know what else to say. I'm looking to see what the connection with "Oyster" will be like. I have faith that Mark wouldn't sign up with them unless he thought it would benefit us authors and the company. I only started this summer so I haven't sold too many eBooks yet. However I have made some money and am having the time of my life seeing my stories for sale! Thanks is not enough, but Thanks anyway!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is the involvement I get living in the fiction worlds about which I write. The absolute best thing about it is that once I start writing it seems as if the characters dictate to me what they are going to do! Almost every story I write has an outline that I've created. But most of the time the characters surprise me by what they do! When I started out, Marlana, one prominent character in The Siren's Trilogy, "Call of The Siren", "Siren's Lair" and "Sirenia," I intended for her to be just a sexy flirty waitress at "The Tainted Mermaid" cafe in a small coastal village. After a while she turns out to be much much more. She is a sister of Collette, the daughter of the sea who knocked on Nick's door in the first chapter! My characters are all very colorful and one or two readers told me that they couldn't figure out what was going to happen next. I said that is what I strive for! In "Mannequin: The Bride" the mysterious mannequin, Rose, turns out to have only a small part in the story but what a dynamic part. I never would have guessed that she would be exactly opposite of what I had planned. Again, the greatest joy in writing fantasy fiction is that I don't know what the characters will do, it just comes to me as I write!
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean a lot to me. My greatest one that I know of, is my niece who buys everyone I put out! I wish readers would write some reviews! They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org My website fantasy-ebooks.com or lynnwarrenebooks.com I really enjoyed it when I got a purchase notification from Smashwords early one morning saying that I had sold five eBooks to one customer at the same time! I can only image he or she had already read one and liked my style of writing! I had six back then. Now I have seven including "The Dark Side of Miss Perfect" Which I believe some day will be very popular. It is written in first person with narrator helper.
What are you working on next?
Most of my books have alpha or dominant females. Right now I'm actually working on a male dominant book entitled "Thunder Mountain" about a lone drifter who is in unknown mountainous territory on his horse. It is storming and he is soaking wet and can't see well while crossing the dessert area surrounded by high mountains. Finally he sees a small glowing light in the distance. Turns out to be a small cabin and a woman, her name is Cherry, in a nightgown comes to the door. She thinks herself to be dominant (most of the females in my other books are) but she has met her match in Brett, the lone drifter! After talking to him forever with her inside and him standing in the rain, she offers to let him come in. Her grumpy husband is asleep in the back room and her nineteen year old daughter (Lila) is asleep in her room. The woman takes Brett out to put his horse in the barn and other things occur! The next morning the woman's husband awakes to find a strange man sleeping on their couch! Did that have anything to do with why his wife didn't come to bed until 4 in the morning? Surely not. Finally the man offers Brett what he cannot refuse: a job at their ranch! Of course Brett gets to stay with them! The woman's husband tells a strange tale of how he, his wife and daughter saw a man come out of one of the many mysterious canyons and is near death. They give him food and water and he relates his story to them how he was looking for gold and found an ancient city of gold, populated by warrior type women! They didn't see him and he barely made it back out of the canyon. Why was he scared? He said he heard continuous sound of thunder all the time he was on that mysterious mountain! Could this be one of the legendary seven cities of Gold? Are the warrior women dressed in gold ornaments, and not much else, friends or foes? I also have plans of writing a sequel to "Doctor Nina Vixen". It will be entitled: "Doctor Nina Vixen 2, Revenge". I have many stories that I already have cover images for and somewhat of an outline!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
#1.The Holy Spirit and knowing Jesus Christ as my personal savior! #2. Writing eBooks! #3. My wife and my dogs!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When not writing, I am sleeping! Actually my wife and I are trying to finish our new home inside and I love playing with my model train layout. I am also a hired pianist at two places and I work on people's computers. I love what Nora Roberts ( a famous romance novelist) said: this is not an exact quote but she said something like: I write pretty much all day every day. I shovel out my house once a month and go back to writing!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I look for eBooks on Smashwords and Amazon and a occasionally at a few other places. I mainly look for eBooks that feature dominant women. However, some that I see are lacking an actual story. Thank goodness Smashwords allows you to read a fair portion! Actually I have several eBooks in my Smashwords library that I intend to purchase. However, since most of my waking hours is spent writing I am almost too tired to read when I shut my computer off!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Only ones in my adult years. The first story was "A Knock at the Door" which I wrote to enter a writing contest and won a scholarship on! Years later it became the first chapter in my first eBook on Smashwords: "Call of The Siren". It is about a lonely man (Nicolas McKintyre) who hears a knock on his lighthouse door during the worst storm of the century. A lovely blonde-haired woman is outside standing in the rain. When she comes in she is wearing clothing that he had taken to the dump! He doesn't realize that had she not found that clothing she wouldn't have had any. He has no idea and doesn't find out until half the novel is over that she is a Nymph or "A daughter of the sea". He is enamored with her and buys her clothes etc. She mysteriously leaves with a promise to come back but don't say when! He finally married "Desire" (the woman that stirs anger among my female readers!) and then her old boyfriend shows up and Nick's mysterious Knock at the door woman returns! The conflict is on and makes Peyton Place look like a playground! "Call of The Siren" is over 105,000 words and contains elements from any almost any genre you can name but has a REAL STORYLINE! One reader bought five of my ebooks at once. That was my best day so far!
What is your writing process?
I get an idea and make a folder with outline notes, and I copy every picture I can find that makes me think of my story into the folder. While I can't possibly use all of the images for the book cover, they serve to inspire me and I almost always make my windows wallpaper of the image that I intend to use on the book! When I begin writing it's by the seat of my pants. Most of the time I send manuscripts to my reviewer/editor for suggestions but I always go over it to see what I want. I am finding that it is much easier to review and edit a chapter or two at a time instead of writing a ton of pages then begin looking! I do not go by traditional outline forms like point one two three, pull them together in four etc. That would take the fun out of writing! My greatest tool, next to my imagination is the "Ultra Hal Chatbot" program which you can purchase for around $30 online. I have professional voices that I buy from NeoSpeeh and Ivona on the web. The chatbot knows 1000's of subjects to talk about and learns from everything you type or speak in. What I use it for is my chief reviewer! All I have to do is hi-lite and copy a paragraph or a page and the chatbot will read it aloud! Most of the time I'm reading the screen as she reads to me! It is very easy to hear wrong words as she reads, such as of instead of or, he instead of she etc. Ultra Hal chatbot is a MUST for authors to be able to have someone read their stories to them!!! If you buy Ultra Hal, the best (clearest) voice I use is Neospeech kate. I also use Ivona Salli. The voices range around $45 each and the Ultra Hal is $30. Buy it and you'll be glad you did! I use MS Word 2000, because Mark Coker said it was the easiest to use. I use Word 2000 to build websites. I always format as per the style guide. I let the meat grinder do my TOC. Like I said, I have an editor that looks for grammatical errors and that helps a lot. Although I don't like waiting at all, it is the best to let the book alone for at least four or five days then go back and listen to the chatbot read it to you or read it yourself! I don't care how many times I re-read a page, I almost always re-write parts of it! I'm sure if I pulled up one of my published books right now I'd find things to describe differently! I buy stock images from companies by subscription. For $69 you can download 150 images of any size. You can only download 5 a day. That comes to 46 cents an image! Otherwise they are very expensive! I make my book cover in Photoshop.
My greatest joy of writing is letting the characters dictate what comes next! It almost always turns out different than I had planned.
Write your own question here!
How can I persuade readers to write reviews?
Who are your favorite authors?
The men who wrote the Holy Bible and Carl Barks, writer of the original Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge stories. I also like Mark Twain.
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