Interview with Andre Michael Pietroschek

What are you working on next?
Besides the mandatory improving of my skill-level I focus on finishing my first poetry collection and thereafter going for joining some short-story anthologies.
Who are your favorite authors?
As naive, as some perceive it: When I wrote 'Life itself is the greatest author of all, for it has the very best and very worst stories' it was precisely what I meant. I once loved Shakespeare, or many other authors from many genres, but I just as often experienced that some years later one did progress away from it. Life will only end once, by certain Death. Until then it is the one auto-updating teacher we all can learn a real lot from.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am harshly an ex-bum and get that question. On the good side I love feeling alive and getting ready for action, there are even some of those underpaid jobs which can be fun for a while. On the bad side I have to constantly ensure that my life does not get a downturn or won't be sabotaged by people who dislike me, so the motivation here is to get up instead of acting like a kicked pet.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Even crippled I still love martial arts, but my belly evidences that I am far from peak-performance & conditioning. Meditating is still a daily routine to me, and I still waste quite some time at notebooks or laptops. More important than that is I still try to do my part in saving lives now and then. I didn't stop that as a bum, and I won't stop it, until I am convinced that it is necessary.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Truthfully? I see the pirated copies show up in a search browser, and some have a mini-description which makes me go check for the real versions at booksellers or similar websites.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My original first story was not written, but drawn with a pen. My first roleplay idea was written, but luckily never published. It was really all enthusiasm with zero competence. My first written story meant to be published was 'Banish with Laughcraft' which is btw the reason I have kept it alive against all the criticism it received.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is alike an occult ritual added the procedure of making a tasty coffee with lactose-free milk and sugar. With practice the spontaneity became easier, but the real, meaningful moments of writing (which are no guarantors for quality, I know that) still remind me of mysticism and meditation. Well, that was one of the reasons I wrote at all.

I remember saying that, besides the aspect of socializing with other authors, writing is alike a minor emotional exorcism to me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't, but I remember the really bad and overpriced works which made me try to do better.
How do you approach cover design?
So far I am still fully amateurish. I use the generic software, or ask fellow artists to get permission to use art my own skills could never produce. I learned to edit graphics, and I am quite proud on really resisting the urge to steal cover-art. I am even more perplexed by the number of artists who react with agreeing generously simply for asking permission instead of stealing their stuff.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Zen in the art of swordsmanship. Because someone not a master, but really dedicated to give his very best, succeeded in contributing what all the masters failed to consider. The ability to be satisfied within modest boundaries.

Dynamic Wing Tsun Kung Fu by (back then) Dr. Leung Ting. I remember the day, lying on the hospital bed, when sports and my beloved Muay Thai were diagnosed as ended forever, due sustained injury. Ten minutes after the doctor foretold my end as a martial artist I was pain-wrecked, but busy mimicking the crudest basics of Wing Tsun Kung Fu.

Meditation kurz (brief) & praktisch (practical) by Rainer Kakuska. Proving disturbed nutjobs like Aleister Crowley to be superfluous.

The Catechism, as especially 'us catholics' had a certain deficiency in facing our own religions failures & freak-outs.

Number 5 I keep a secret for now...
What do you read for pleasure?
I stopped reading for pleasure, when I started writing. And truthfully, By now I read online, if at all. Mostly the works I review or the works of authors I appreciated.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My old Lenovo Thinkpad T400. By now badly outdated, but until I can pay-back the bank loan it is the best I have left.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Trusting my business partners who are specialized in marketing, as I am not.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew-up in a village, formally the village of Altenhain, in the Hessian region of Germany. My prose is still pretty untempered by logic and academic structure. I guess that is due being alive and feeling happy are actually what the village kids always did so much better than the city people...
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in base school, even stories done in my private life. But I only started publishing, when I stopped roleplaying and the death of some friends forced me to consider that 'we' might not live long enough to make it.
Describe your desk
Alike a mini-tower. Upon it my ThinkPad. Below that an ashtray, a chaos full of tools and snacks.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Much alike when 'The Who' sang 'Talking about my generation...', though Mr. Johnny Cash balanced that a bit.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was never asked, nor given a choice. When I became an author I had been so clearly influenced by a lifetime in the underclass that traditional roles were out of reach.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I wrote that to M.C. before: I remember a time, when the USA were the good guys. Not when they pretended to be good guys, not when they were expected to play world-police. And neither during the twin-tower-tragedy. I think the USA lost something important, when they left their jolly good spirit behind. Going for the Green is not enough to make this a happy life for anyone.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Publishing something which inspires, comforts, or encourages me or other people.
What do your fans mean to you?
I have fans? Are you sure? I never dared to hope that it will become two. ;-)
Published 2015-10-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.