Interview with R.K. Ward

Describe your desk
I have a desk?
I'm terrible about working at a desk, so I don't have a traditional desk.
I have a bookshelf and a small table where all of my books, research materials, office supplies, etc. sit. But you'll never see me sitting at the table like a desk.
I sit on the couch, or at the dining table, or in a comfy chair...
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Ooo... that varies.
Suggestions from friends and fellow writers. Odd things I see online. The good ole "if you liked this, then you'll probably like..." suggestions.
And every now and then I go on a huge kick of surfing Amazon's free and sale ebooks. It's a great way to try out a writer's works and see if you like their voice. Chances are, if I enjoyed the free or cheap book, I'll go back and buy more of their work.
Who are your favorite authors?
While I love a lot of authors, and could easily list dozens among my favorites, there is one whose books I go back to time and again. I will always have a soft spot in the deepest, darkest reaches of my heart for Stephen King. It was his style that truly captured my imagination, and his comments on writing that first encouraged me to go beyond short stories and the tortured poetry of youth.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to cook and entertain. We're fairly active in our community, and frequently have dinner guests. Food is definitely one of my biggest passions.
What is your writing process?
I used to say I was a strict by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer.
To some degree, I still am. My stories start with a "what if" moment. That may be the beginning of the book, or it may be the big conflict, or anything in between. They all start with a scenario, a question. What would happen if...
From there, I start writing. Sometimes I create a rough outline of ideas, but it's very rough. I don't create a list of every scene, or even every chapter - just major moments, or important plot points, maybe some character notes.
I write from beginning to end. I don't write different scenes and then stitch them all together, or skip ahead and write the ending before completing everything else.
I keep a crazy amount of notes, and timelines, and research bits and pieces - it's all organized in spreadsheets. But I like to just write, to let the characters and the story unfold and develop and see where they take me.
Once I have the main idea, once I get into the world of my story, it's like the characters come alive and show me the way. Sometimes, it takes me into unexpected directions, and I'm okay with that!
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a bit of everything. I've always been a sucker for a classic horror story - nothing too gory, more about psychological horror than gore. Though a good vampire story will almost always capture my attention.
I love psychological thrillers and suspense, and a tight crime drama if it's not too heavy on police procedure. Lighter sci-fi or dystopian can be interesting, and paranormal thrillers are usually a good bet. I don't really like straight up romance, but I do love a romantic thread woven into other stories.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
After years of resisting the call of the e-reader, I finally gave in and bought a Kindle and I've never looked back.
I don't care for the tablet versions - for that, I'll pick up a computer or iPad. I like the plain e-readers, with the screens that look like pages in a book.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The "where did you grow up" question is always hard.
The short answer - all over San Diego county - doesn't tell the whole story.
We moved a lot - small towns. Then moved out to the country - the high desert, in the middle of nowhere, a few miles north of the border with Mexico. Then we moved back into town.
I had a wildly varied set of experiences growing up, from small-town life, to poor rural living, the suburbs, everything. And an equally wide array of friendships.
I don't know that it's influenced how I write, necessarily, but it certainly gave me a larger than average pool of experiences to call on.
When did you first start writing?
Before I can clearly remember.
Yep, I know that's cheating, but it's true.
I know I always made up stories and wrote them down. I know that by the time I was school age, and being given writing assignments, I had already decided I liked to write.
It wasn't really until high school that I realized I could make a career of it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When someone reads one of my books and comes to me with questions as if these were real people.
Someone who had just read "After the Harvest" came up to me at an event and asked, "What were those people?!"
She really wanted to know. The story had so captured her, so gotten into her head, that they were no longer strictly fictional characters - she wanted to know more about them.
That's the moment when I feel I've done my job as a writer. I've made fiction come alive for the reader.
Published 2015-10-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A World Rebuilt
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,010. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2016 by That Hot!. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
In a post-apocalyptic world where steampunk has become reality, Charlie Spencer should not exist. Hunted by a corrupt government, she has to learn who she can trust and who might be out to kill her.