Interview with R.M. Prioleau

When did you first start writing?
I started writing since I was a child and able to hold a pencil. I've always been a creative person, letting my imagination run wild. I didn't really get serious with my writing until around 2010.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
What motivated me to become an indie author was reading about the success of Amanda Hocking. I never realized just how easy it really was to self-publish until she explained her process about uploading ebooks for free on Amazon. I had so many stories I wanted to share with the world, and once I learned the process, my motivation to write never stopped.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has contributed to my success by providing so many distribution channels for my books where I otherwise couldn't reach by myself. I want my stories to reach everyone in the world, and Smashwords is helping me make that happen. Thank you, Smashwords!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is seeing the finished product. There's no greater feeling in the world than to feel your story in the form of paperback or ereader in your hands. It's such an awesome accomplishment and always inspires me to keep writing just for those moments.

And of course, having others enjoy your stories, is also a great feeling, and keeps me writing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance series), Brent Weeks (The Night Angel Trilogy)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
First, I browse the covers. A great cover will definitely make me stop and see what it's about. However, I've found some not-so-great covers that ended up containing great stories inside, so yes, it isn't good to judge a book by its cover, but let's face it: the cover is the first thing that we tend to see, and that's what makes the first impression.

If the cover interests me, then I check out the blurb and see if it's something that interests me.

I especially like Smashwords's search filter, so that I can narrow down the kinds of books I want to read. I'm always pretty busy, so I tend to read shorter works, and I can easily find what I'm looking for with Smashwords's search filters, and can even see the wordcounts for the stories, which is also very helpful.
What is your writing process?
I outline like crazy, planning and brainstorming. When it's time to do the actual writing process, I use the outline as a blueprint for where and how I want the story to go. Of course, most of the time the story goes a completely different route than the outline. But I think an outline is still a great tool to have during those times you get writer's block, and need some way to get back on track. I think of it as a back-up plan.

These days, I like to do the bulk of my 1st draft writing during NaNoWriMo, so I can get it out quicker. I can usually write my first draft within 15 days or so. After the first draft is written, I put it away for at least 6 months. When I revise, I like to have my mind fresh. While the novel is put away, I work on some of my backlog NaNoWriMo projects that I had put away, so I almost always have something to work on.

Revising and rewriting probably takes the longest time to do. Sometimes it can take 6 months or more just to revise everything, depending on the length of the novel. Revisions and rewrites also involve my critique group, which are also a great help during this process.

After the revisions/rewrites are done, I send the manuscript off to my editor. This process can take several weeks of more tweaking and things.

Once I'm done with the editor, I format the manuscript to paperback form and send it to Createspace. I get a proof copy and read through it again. I don't know why, but somehow you tend to catch more typos and mistakes in a physically-printed book, than reading it on the computer screen. This is where I catch most of my mistakes that the editor and proofreader might have missed.

After I've done my final round of editing and proofreading, I format the manuscript in ebook form and upload it to various channels, with Smashwords being my primary distributor, due to its large selection of available channels. I also finalize the paperback version and make that one for sale.
How do you approach cover design?
I think cover design is extremely important. I'm also a (manga/comic book) artist, and have an eye for creativity when it comes to creating a specific type of composition that would bring out the premise of my story. I do not do my own cover design (unless I was making a cover for a comic book or manga), as that is not my strength in art. I leave that to the professionals :) I highly suggest all authors invest in a professional cover artist, rather than do it themselves, unless they are professional cover artists, themselves. Otherwise, your book might end up on the Lousy Book Covers site (

There are some great cover designers out there who aren't expensive. A great place to find cheap covers is The Kboards writer's cafe (, and Fiverr (
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean a lot to me. I've met so many people who have become fans of my books and email me about how they can't wait for the next book to come out. It's really inspiring to know that there are people out there who really appreciate your hard work.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1984 - I first read this in high school, and didn't really understand the concept of it at the time, until I read it again years later, and was rather intrigued by Orwell's intake on the dystopian future of what could have been.

The Dragonlance Chronicles - This series was what got me into the fantasy genre, and inspired me to write my own fantasy story. I love all of Weis and Hickman's work.

The Night Angel Trilogy - This trilogy got me hooked on assassin stories.

The Baby-Sitters Club books - I used to read these as a kid, and I was absolutely hooked on them. I had almost all the books, including the super specials. I think these books are what really got me wanting to read heavily.

Berserk (manga) - This is a manga (Japanese comic book) series that I absolutely love. Kentaro Miura is the artist of the series, and one of my favorite artists of all time.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I owned a Nook (and still do) before the Kindle, but these days, I find myself using the Kindle more, because of the wider selection of books on Amazon, and also searching for a book I want to read is less hassle than on the Nook.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Vicarious Fate (Flash Fiction / Short Story)
Price: Free! Words: 2,420. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Games, puzzles, & brain twisters
(3.00 from 1 review)
Another failed experiment unites a master of the dark arts with an unlikely victim who holds the key to unlocking a new discovery. A story of betrayal, vengeance, and a twisting turn of events, "Vicarious Fate" chronicles events preceding R.M. Prioleau's award-winning novella, "The Necromancer’s Apprentice."
Flameseeker (The Pyromancer Trilogy, book 3)
Series: The Pyromancer Trilogy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 102,640. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
*Book 3 of The Pyromancer Trilogy* An engrossing fantasy adventure that concludes the chronicles about a young man named Kaijin Sora who embarks on an epic journey with his friends.
Present Company (Flash Fiction / Short Story)
Price: Free! Words: 1,210. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Games, puzzles, & brain twisters
(3.33 from 3 reviews)
A master of the Dark Arts searches for his prized experiment. A commoner woman with a torn past seeks a new life. The story of death’s love and life’s fate, “Present Company” chronicles events preceding R.M. Prioleau’s novella, “The Necromancer’s Apprentice.”
Enflamed (The Pyromancer Trilogy, book 2)
Series: The Pyromancer Trilogy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,810. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
*Book 2 of The Pyromancer Trilogy* An engrossing fantasy adventure that continues the chronicles about a young man named Kaijin Sora who embarks on an epic journey with his new friends.
Firebrand (The Pyromancer Trilogy, book 1)
Series: The Pyromancer Trilogy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 44,240. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
*Book 1 of The Pyromancer Trilogy* An engrossing fantasy adventure about a young man named Kaijin Sora who has a unique passion for fire.
The Necromancer's Apprentice
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,690. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Having fallen victim to a family tragedy, a young woman is saved by and apprentices under a necromancer with a hidden agenda. A gothic fantasy novella by R.M. Prioleau