Interview with ML Skinner

Describe your desk
My desk is an antique, wood teacher's desk that I bought in 1980 and have lugged everywhere I have moved since. What I love most about it is the many drawers and huge work surface.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am an Air Force brat so moved around my entire childhood. This has definitely influenced my writing because my world view is so different from people who can identify with a "home". I have no clue what that means so I always feel like an outsider looking in. Plus all that moving gives me lots of places to use as a back drop for a story.
When did you first start writing?
I have always written but got "serious" in middle school when a bunch of us girls would write romance novels about the old west and share them with one another. My first adult novel was an attempt at catharsis after having my heart broken and my world ripped apart. (No, I'm not saying which one.)
What's the story behind your latest book?
I grew up during the Cold War and that changes a person. I truly believed that some day the Russians would attack and we would all be blown to bits so I wanted to write about growing up then and the "cold war" at home of an unhappy marriage and its impact on a family.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried the traditional route, published short stories in magazines and had a book contract that didn't work out. I am very independent and like making my own decisions about my books, their cover design and my audience. I am very self motivated so indie publishing is a perfect fit.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When my characters just take me somewhere I didn't know we were going. I love all my characters so working with them is a real joy.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have lots of favorite authors but at the top of the list would be Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving (the only two authors I own all of their books), Ann Patchett, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver and a whole lot of indie writers I have discovered since I got an e-reader.
How do you approach cover design?
I am also a visual artist so cover design is fun. I am a photographer and shoot stock so I get an idea for a cover image then troll through the website of the company I sell stock with until I find what I am looking for. This latest book is going to require a special cover image, which I have yet to find, so I may have to shoot it myself or get help form a photographer friend.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire and love it. I am looking forward to the next generation to upgrade.
Published 2014-02-08.
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