Interview with Paul Kirk

What motivated you to become an indie author?
A solid story appeals to me. The beauty of words and how they shape the world continues to amaze me. Pretty much any story if it is well done and on just about any subject. I love psychology and pursued this dream. And for the past 27 years, my occupation has required me to write concise, descriptive and detailed reports on individuals. To achieve this, I need to know their "story" and be able to describe and create a solid impression for the reader. I enjoy this part of my work. For the novel, Devastation Point, I began imagining what it would be like 5 years after a worldwide plague wiped out civilization. The Post-apocalyptic books I began reading were not enough for me. I felt like I could try and tell such a story. Only without zombies or the super-heavy mindset of survival, or religious cults forming, and maybe with more a locked-in human element.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
An excellent website. The Smashwords Style Guide was simply a great tool to address the daunting task of writing a first novel that people might read some day. The knowledge base of materials and expertise was very helpful. The effort of Smashwords to remain professional and focused on the indie author is impressive. Coker started a cool thing with Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The pure pleasure found when one word is changed during a sentence rewrite and the result is a dramatic improvement that captures what you were trying to say in the first place. Creating a powerful image that stays with me and seeking to convey that image to others via words.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am humbled by how thirsty I am already when a reader speaks to me about my book. Until I wrote and published Devastation Point, I had no idea the power a fan or reader had on the author. Having a fan validate that they liked the book is an incredible feeling.
What are you working on next?
Well, I am currently finalizing a book called Pizza Bones. This is separate from the Devastation Point series. I will need feedback from the readers of Devastation Point as to where they want me to go for the next book, if so warranted. I could go retro or forward from the book ending. Each appeals to me.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have too many favorites and read quite a lot. I would need to further refine into subsections or genre. Fiction or Non-fiction? Classics? Sci-Fi? Etc. Since my book was in the Post-Apocalyptic subset, I will say that Stephen King, W. Forstchen, Cormac McCarthy, D. Brin, Blake Crouch, John O'Brien, P. Bacigalupi, M. Atwood. F. Herbert., P.D. James, and so many others I could name were a joy to read. If I had to take the works of two fiction authors with me on a deserted Island for the rest of my life? Well, perhaps Steinbeck and Twain would suffice.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife. My kids, My work. My book. Good food. Coffee. Wondering what the day will bring. Realizing that life really is short.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Full time work as an occupational and vocational rehabilitation consultant. Working in my large vegetable garden. Running and working out every other day. Spending time with my family and friends as much as possible. Going to our vacation home in the mountains. Reading one or two novels a week. Researching something for fun.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Extensive exploration of retail book websites. Visits to brick and mortar book stores. Library visits with my kids. Internet exploration of authors. Word of mouth.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Nothing stands out.
What is your writing process?
No outline. I know, shame on me. But I enjoy the sheer fun of establishing a general idea or goal that takes shape out of nothing. Creating an image or scene that may become part of the book. I love it. I had no firm idea where Devastation Point would really begin or end. I had no idea where it would take me. The characters took on a life of their own and they went to places I had no plans to take them. Said things I never knew they would say. New ideas crept in like: "What if the H5N1 virus rendered all surviving males sterile like a bad case of the mumps? What if one man was not impacted?" Then, there is the constant return to a chapter to rewrite, rewrite and rewrite. There is the discovery of a new key factor that needs built into the book and how to achieve this. I guess the tinkering is the process.
Published 2014-10-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Pizza Bones -Emergence Of A Killer (Book One)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 91,480. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Brian Hawk grows up too fast in the blue-collar steel town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Surprisingly resilient, he withstands numerous traumatic events in the formative years of his life. Alert and analytical, young Brian responds as a jagged path of emotional and intellectual survival unfolds when a seventeen-year-old becomes suddenly bent on his destruction.
Devastation Point -5 Years Post Viral Apocalypse
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 254,310. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When the hyper-aggressive H5N1 plague spread, the world collapsed. Billions around the world died in a few months' time and technology and infrastructure disintegrated. Among the survivors, a rare gene in the human DNA emerged as resistant to the onslaught. Devastation Point takes an in-depth look at some of the key survivors and their response to a world altered by the pandemic destruction.