Interview with Manuel Erickson

When did you first start writing?
I started writing in my late teens and have written on-and-off since then.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is "Million Dollar Winner," on Smashwords. The story behind it is simple: I wanted to publish, so I decided to compile my best short stories and poems into a single volume.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I used to poo-poo self-publishing, but when I heard of Smashwords from an acquaintance, I looked into it and decided that this type of self-publishing might work.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Hmm. I'm too new and so haven't had what I would consider "success." I've sold only a few copies of my book, so now I'm trying to market it better. I've started with making the book free for a limited time.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy of writing is two-fold: finishing a story (or poem) and then seeing it published.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without readers (fans), there can be no authorship. I follow closely how my book is doing here on Smashwords and, if I see no sales or downloads in the last few days, I wonder if my book is too far back in the listings or if there is something I can do to make it more visible. I'm talking about marketing which I'm really poor at. Those who have bought or downloaded "Million Dollar Winner" are each worth a million dollars to me. I mean that! In other words, fans are precious.
What are you working on next?
I'm thinking of compiling another book, but it might be stories only or poetry only. One of my friends, a published author who has had a career in the foreign service, told me that poetry is my strength. So maybe it will be a poetry book.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have many "favorite authors," including Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov, Anthony Lawrence, Richard Bach, Ben Bova, Orson Scott Card, Tim Flannery, Ernest K. Gann, Chalmers Johnson, among many others. There is no one favorite.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Oh, I play the piano and compose music. When the day is fine and I feel good, I fly my small airplane.
What is your writing process?
I need to be inspired, somehow, to write. Whether the writing will be in prose or poetry depends on how I'm feeling. I do not have a time to write, as so many writers have; for me, the adage, "writers write," does not work. Writing is a form of creativity which cannot be forced.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure, usually I read science-fiction or books about flying. Sometimes, I'll read a book about politics or how the political system has affected a writer. The last-mentioned would, of course, most likely be autobiographical.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my computer to read e-books.
Published 2013-08-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.