Interview with M.A. Kropp

Published 2016-07-20.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Usually the dog barking! Or coffee brewing! Okay, I guess those aren't really inspiring, are they? I guess it's mainly just the fact that every day is new and fresh, and no matter how bad or unproductive the day before might have been, today is always there for starting over.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ah, too many to list! Neil Gaiman, of course, because he works so often with mythologies and that is a subject I love. Katherine Kurtz, because her Deryni books got me hooked on high fantasy. Terry Brooks and his Shannara stories are also high on the list, as are his Landover novels. Robert A. Heinlein got me into science fiction at an early age- probably too early to be reading some of his stuff, but, well, too late now! Chuck Wendig, John Scalzi, and many, many others!
What do you read for pleasure?
I read what interests me. Mostly fantasy and science fiction, but I also like a good cozy mystery, and humor, and the occasional biography.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on several things. I have a space opera novel, "Two's Company," going through revisions. I am working on a murder mystery humorous fantasy set in an alternate world of elves, wizards and witches, gnomes, fairies, and other such folk. And I have an urban fantasy (also with some humor) about a demon-possessed thrift store that is due to be published soon-ish. We are working on the cover design for that one.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. Playing with and training my dog, a pit mix named Lambeau. Baking. We spend a lot of summer weekends running the judging areas at competition chili cook offs. Watching TV in the evening to wind down and relax. I also love spending time with our grandchildren whenever I can.
When did you first start writing?
I've written for myself for a long, long time. I wrote for school papers, and the like. I cut my writing teeth with fan fiction, like many. I still commit the occasional fanfic, just to satisfy my own head cannon for my favorite fannish things! I only got really serious about publishing a few years ago. Things have changed so much in the publishing world, and independent publishing opportunities like Smashwords are truly wonderful for writers like me.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not really. I'm sure it was pretty bad, though. Well, maybe not for a school age kid, but now, I am sure I would be tempted to burn it! I do remember some of the things I wrote in high school- typical teenage stuff- angsty, over-emotional, and quite bad!
What is your writing process?
Usually, I get an idea and I will write up a short description of that basic thing. It is often no more than a paragraph or two. Then it sits for a while so my unconscious brain can work on the plot for a bit. Usually because I have other things to finish before adding a new project to the pile. I am a planner. I don't do a strict outline, but I need to have a good idea of the main story and a decent handle on the characters before I can write the story itself. I have a workbook outline that I use for longer stories that helps me keep the plot, characters, and things like chapters and plot movement organized. I write a first draft (my favorite part of writing, btw) which is usually just the main story with very little detail or side plots. After that, I set it aside for a bit to get some distance before starting revisions (my least favorite part).
Describe your desk
It's a corner desk set so one arm looks out into my office room. The arm along the wall has two monitors on it. I like using two monitors when I write. I can have my writing space on one, and either the outline or research or other helpful things on the other. The non-monitor arm has my calendar pages taped to it. A full year calendar with significant dates circled, and a month calendar page with more details. There's a file holder with the files of the things I am working on. Usually whatever I am working on that day is spread on that surface, too. Pen and pencil holder. Desk light. The usual.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A lot of them are recommended by other writers, either in writing groups online, or blog posts, or tweets. I follow many of my favorite authors so I know when they have books coming out, and they will often recommend others, as well. I also get newsletters from publishers of my favorite genres.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Crossed Wires and Other Very Short Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,310. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2022. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Twenty-four very short stories, twelve fantasy and twelve sci-fi. From the future to now, from fairies to androids, from outer space to right next door, each of these short tales can be read in minutes. Explore worlds defined in small spaces, easy to pick up and read when you only have a moment to spare. Crossed Wires and Other Very Short Stories proves that sometimes, less really is more.
The Demon's in the Details
Series: The Yo-Yo Files. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,170. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Cerise has always known she was half demon. What she didn’t know is how powerful her father is. When her mother dies, she summons her father to tell him, without asking Johnny’s help. Daddy is unimpressed with the news. He just wants to be free, and free is what he gets when Cerise can’t hold him. Johnny and Cerise travel to her home to enlist the help of an old friend in trapping the demon.
Two's Company
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 80,300. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died. Deuce will need to figure out how it all connect, and she needs to do it fast, because more lives are at stake than anyone suspects.
Snake's Alive (Yo-Yo Files #2)
Series: The Yo-Yo Files, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,830. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny's living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what's happening. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.
Five and Daemon (Yo-Yo Files #1)
Series: The Yo-Yo Files, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,890. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. It's a devil of a problem, and Johnny will need every trick his trusty yo-yo can manage, along with some extra help, to rid the town of its demonic problem.
Feed My People
Price: Free! Words: 4,740. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(5.00 from 1 review)
A short dystopian story centering on the struggle to obtain and deliver food in the wake of severe climate change.
Circle Unbroken
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 68,930. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Kaili returns to her home planet after five years away to be part of a formal ceremony to install her sister as head of the family mining company. Old resentments and rivalries are causing unrest in the mines, and Kaili and her partner must use all their skills to thwart the plot or it could mean both sisters' lives.
Survival of the Fittest
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,450. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
(5.00 from 1 review)
"Survival of the Fittest" is a short novelette, set on Earth after the final environmental collapse. Scientists are genetically engineering food crops to grow in the new world. They also study the lizards that adapted naturally to the harsh conditions. Sam is the product of these experiments, and when the food crops are threatened, Sam will prove to be more than just an experiment.
Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,240. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy by M.A. Kropp is a set of short fantasy stories. Meet wizards, imps, gangster angels, and frogs in this group of varied tales of magic and mischief. Escape from the everyday into worlds of fantasy with Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy