Interview with Ms Petra Henville

Hello Ms Petra, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. I would like to start out with your first thoughts to the folks out there that are reading this interview. What do you have to say to them?
I know that you have gotten to know me through my writing, I have put so much of myself into it. I have gotten to know you as well through your feedback (please keep it coming).
With this interview I get to show a different side of myself. I get to talk to you about what shapes my writing, how I feel about my writing and what it means to me that you take the time to read and comment on my work. Oh happy day!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I read, but I do remember the first story that had an impact on me. It was "The Egg". I think I grew up a little bit as I read it. It made me think on a deeper level.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was "Black Fire". I wrote it to take the first copy back to the pro bono lawyer who sold me down the river and made the snide remark "Hmm, since you call yourself a writer, you can chalk it up to experience and make it into a story."
I did and I took the first copy to her (while she was on a case, probably selling someone else down the river). I watched her read the part where I addressed her directly. She cried right there in the courtroom. I turned on my heels and kept it moving.
What is your writing process?
I usually start pen to paper. Sometimes I write out a simple outline with a character study or two and other times I write out a first draft that only needs a few changes to make it the final draft.
Then I go to my computer and bat it out to the best of my ability. I free flow write. I throw in everything but the kitchen sink and clean it up in my editing and revising.
One of my favorite stories went from idea to final draft in one day.
How do you approach cover design?
That's easy. I am a visual artist as well as a writer. In the visual arts I strive for perfection and for the most part I achieve it. I've helped a few people with their cover designs as well. They were happy with the results. It helps to be clear on what you want and not having a problem delegating it out if you can't do it yourself. The cover is a very important part of your book. It sparks interest and makes readers want to turn a few pages.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite book is "Night" He deserved the Pulitzer Prize for that work alone if you asked me. It was vivid and gut wrenching. I was a different person after I finished reading it.
Next I would have to say "Dwarf". It left my mouth hanging wide open after I finished reading it. lol It was worthy of the Pulitzer Prize it won.
Then there is "A Prayer For Owen Meany". It is very creative and I could visualize and identify with almost all of the scenes. Excellent work of fiction.
My fourth would have to be "Queen Of The Damned". The movie doesn't do it justice in any way shape or form. Read the book!
I hate to put it last, but "Sugar" was the bomb.
I also have to make mention of the work of Gabriel Garcia. He earned his Pulitzer with style by the mile!
What do you read for pleasure?
I like to read short stories, something I can finish on a coffee break or during lunch.
Who are your favorite authors?
Donald Goins, Ann Rice, Gabrielle Garcia, Eli Wiesel, William Wordsworth and too many more to mention.
Describe your desk
It is actually a work table that I do a lot of creative things on. It has my huge Dell Inspiron desktop computer on it, also, art supplies and office supplies.
It's what's around it you wouldn't believe if I told you. lol
When did you first start writing?
The first time I picked up a pencil and had a piece of paper in front of me!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Since I am more known for my poetry I put together a book of free verse poetry. It's a lifetimes work. The cover image is one of my watercolor paintings. Songs of the Heart and Soul means a lot to me because there is so much of myself in it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The feedback I get from my readers. Good or bad, it means the world to me that they took the time to read and comment on my work. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
What are you working on next?
I work on a lot of different things at any given time. I am writing poetry, short stories, novellas and I have a bit of a book in the works.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Word of mouth, friends in the industry, writers who's work I follow and other sources too.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about writing, fishing and/or socializing with family and friends.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My android phone.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I gave it more thought than I gave to my divorce. I went with this platform because it is the wave of the future. The industry is saying, If you think you can do a better job, go for it. I did!
This platform gives me worldwide exposure, and my work stands for itself. In addition, it's not the end all be all. I have a plan. This is just the beginning.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the world to me. I make my writing the best it can be, so that it will be an enjoyable read for them.
Which book do you wish you had written and why?
The Bible! Everyone would have one. lol
Do you have any regrets as an author?
YES! Fooling around, once, late at night, I had a bright idea to put up a GoFundMe page. I put up there that it was to help me publish my writing. I had no idea that it would go up on my Facebook page and that it would show up if you google my name.
I didn't attach any acct.s to it and had no intention of collecting any monies from it. I have over 25 years experience in marketing and sales. It was not necessary, But now I am stuck with it.
I have learned from the stupidity of my ways, trust me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is my launching pad. They have made my work more accessible to readers worldwide. It doesn't get any better than that!
What do you like about your book page here on Smashwords?
Absolutely everything! I gave my best effort to my book covers and I think they are beautiful (artistically speaking). I like that you can read my profile, or not. This interview is a nice touch. I love the long description, it gives me more room to talk about the contents of the book. I appreciate most the reviews, any feedback on my work means the world to me, it let's me know how I am doing.
What inspires you to create your stories?
Anything and everything. They can come from a thought, conversation, idea and or a dream. Some of my stories come from ideas generated from the feedback I receive.
Where do you see your career in five years?
That's easy. I see myself with one or two books on the best seller list!
Thank you for responding to our request for an interview. As a last thought, is there anything else you would like to say to your readers out there.
Yes! You are the most important person in the world to me. I give my all to provide you with material that you will enjoy. I hope I have lived up to your expectations of me. Please feel free to contact me and let me know what you liked and what you would like to read more of. I will try my best to accommodate. Peace and Blessings.
Published 2018-03-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Songs of the Heart and Soul a book of Free Verse Poetry
Price: $4.99 $2.49 USD. (50% off until Dec. 31, 2050!) Words: 6,410. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2018. Categories: Poetry » Gay & lesbian
"Songs of Heart and Soul" is a collection of free verse poetry. Herein you have the playful "Come and Play with me" the beautiful "What's it like to be a Poet". sensual "A Tiny Little Sigh" and the award winning "Devil is a Liar". I've also included wonderful comments and anecdotes.
Black Fire
Price: $5.99 $2.99 USD. (50% off until Dec. 31, 2050!) Words: 31,710. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » African American fiction » Urban life, Fiction » African American fiction » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Black Fire, the book is a collection of Ms Petra Henville's work in the lost art of the short story. She has included fan favorites such as Just Desserts, Paging Dr. Henville, Black Fire and Chanel. Also, She gives a glimpse into the life of a writer with stories that are the stories behind two of Her most popular poems.