Interview with Morgan Stone

When did you first start writing?
I was writing before I could read.

I rendered my first masterpiece, all over a Jaguar's white leather backseat... with indelible marker.

It was met with loud critical acclaim.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Hey, just try to get an agent or publisher! I mean, who needs that?

But, TA-DA! This is the Internet age. "Indie, vanity, whatever," we learned it all in the 90's - zero commitment - we squawk like magpies on speed in a billion-strong flock... think anyone's listening?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. I was about 5 and the thing should have made the NYT best seller list.

I was cheated!
What is your writing process?
Aside from that unpublished bestseller back when I was 5, my writing process stems from the need to document something. Logs, reports, e-mails, even a truly inspiring memo, have come from this process.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Who doesn't? And impact? sure, it had an impact; I'm a vegetarian to this day and I still can't forgive the author for killing off that Charlotte character...

This is a touchy topic, I'm choking up here, can we move on to the next question?
How do you approach cover design?
Easy: I hire someone.

Then I make them crazy, asking for changes that, from the sounds of it, you'd think undermine the designer's very worth as a human being.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I used to look at the vast lists of stuff scrolling off things like Smashwords - but that was turning me into a sociopath.

Now... I go to the publisher's, the aforementioned NYT bestseller list, the media etc. and buy what catches my interest.

But to be fair, before I got jaded, I found some gems on Smashwords.

And... On dark and stormy nights, when nobody's looking, I've been known to skulk through the database looking for free fiction greater than 50,000 words in length. Not come-on crap for planned epic fantasy series or religious spew, but something real, something the writer had to dig so deep for it hurts. I like writers who are new, paying their dues, putting it on the line, and taking risks.

Hey, sometimes, I want to be surprised.
Why is the above question not funny?
I'm not always funny. Sometimes I'm deep, meaningful and poignant... yeah, right.
What are your favorite books?
The ones that keep me up all night reading - and I'm not talking about convoluted, self indulgent, university texts by an author who happens to be giving the exam the next day. My favorite books have characters so real I yearn for them when I finish the book. Or have wit that cuts me down a notch or two. Or insights that knock my socks off. Mostly, I want my favorite book to be the one I am reading right now!
Describe your desk
I can't. There's so much crap on it, I haven't seen it in years.
Who are your favorite authors?
Who cares?

Let's see a show of hands for anyone who really wants to know what my answer might be if it doesn't include them.

You're probably still reading this because I'm touching a nerve or two, making you laugh nervously, expressing some of your own frustration and angst and NOT because you want to know my favorite color, my most touching moments, or bestest most delicious dessert.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A pathological addiction to caffeine.
What are you working on next?
Next? What am I, clairvoyant? I can tell you what I'm working on now - a gripping true life drama based on the illegal seizure of hundreds of foreign boats in Mexico. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll be the best of times, it'll be the worst of times... For the poor sods who got their boats, livelihoods, homes, capriciously seized, it certainly ain't no picnic. It's their personal stories I want to bring to light.

Actually that might have been true last week. Seeing what's getting cranked out, I'm thinking of writing a "get-rich-quick by starting your own religion" manual. I think it'll be a huge success.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I don't really like books.

They're heavy, take up a lot of space, consume trees better sacrificed for junk mail.

I like e-books, portable, light (low sodium, cholesterol free, zero calories, and approved vegan).
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
What's with the personal questions? I barely know you. At least buy me a drink.
What do you read for pleasure?
Oh man, you just don't give up on the personal questions. By the way, I drink scotch, single malt and none of the cheap stuff.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What am I, a shill for a deep discount home electronics emporium? But since you ask, I'd have to say the Sunny T2 (Terminator) eReader, available in the hottest colors, with the greatest accessories. The plutonium powered nuclear backup is premo stuff along with the super cutesy protective case. Waterproof to a depth of 500 meters makes this baby the perfect eReader for the hot-tub. Available now at Deepfry's hyper-discount-emporium on Santa Monica in West Hollywood, get yours now! And don't forget to tell em, "Morgan sent you."
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Not charging any money. I guess "marketing" implies some kind of transaction or barter process. Maybe the question should be, "What kind of publicity has been most effective..."
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I could tell you, but then I'd hafta kill you.
What was the inspiration for your Opus Magnum Stupendousness Incarnate?
Yup, I wrote that question. I was going to delete it after realizing how pathetically aggrandizing and megalomaniacal putting up shamelessly self-promoting questions like that looks.

But I left it there for educational purposes (modified ever so slightly).

I deleted the answer though. If you scratch-and-sniff the screen you might just get a residual whiff of it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I didn't come up with THAT question. Give me a little server space to puff up my own ego, and for that I'll gratefully blow sunshine... cute, really cute.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It sounds way cooler than saying I'm unemployed or just plain lazy.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Yeah, that's a smashwords question. Like anyone reading this interview really wants to know. If they did, they could read the blurb or - wait for it... here's a radical idea - they could read the story!
What do your fans mean to you?
Air circulation.
Published 2014-11-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How to Write a Synopsis that Gets Read
Price: Free! Words: 6,000. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing and books, Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
A synopsis sounds like an easy task, but is it? Your finely crafted and agonized over work lies before you in all its literary splendor. Plots and subplots intertwine, descriptions take the reader into your rich universe. How on earth can one sacrifice any of that golden prose for the sake of a sketchy outline? This hilarious, no holds barred, but straight to the point essay, shows you just how.
The Russian Factor: Two Women, One Planet, Incredible Odds
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 101,230. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests, Fiction » Adventure » Action
After years of silence, the story can finally be told! Anna Keitel's protected status and ability to travel has - at last - been established. Both women are now relatively safe from Russia and their pursuers. It makes telling this particular story possible. Writing as Jess Ducat, Morgan Stone brings you the story of their year-long, 26,000 km, struggle for survival.
Losing It: Ten Easy Steps to Losing a Fortune on the Stock Market
Price: Free! Words: 4,710. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2013. Categories: Essay » Business, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Stock market investing
Do you have money to burn? Are you over-taxed, bored or self-destructive? Looking for a way to wipe out your savings and lower your standard of living as conventionally understood by today's happening urbanite? Then this is the e-book for you!