Interview with R. Simon Anderson

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
England for one quarter of my life and California with some stays in the southern United States and (the former West) Germany. Yes, I was a military brat and enjoyed that experience.

The experiences I observed, garnered through hearsay and researched given where ever I lived in a certain time period, added to my immense interest in the "other side's" aircraft (yes, I am a plane nut) during the Cold War grew as I got older. Since I am a research geek, I quickly became an over-achiever and a sponge for information which had me hone my detail-oriented nature in a particular topic of curiosity. I feel my writing reflects that knack of adding colour to my “show don’t tell” aspects of describing a scene.
When did you first start writing?
In English composition class at age 10. I immersed myself by engaging my vivid imagination and putting those thoughts on paper beginning with my very first writing assignment, and my love of writing grew from there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. Ultraman vs. the Monster. That gripped both my English teacher and classmates who were suprised at the depth and length I wrote (I believe it clocked in at seven pages). My second story which I wrote was meant to be a detective genred work and serious. When I read it in front of my class, I found, to my horror, it was a comedy.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Verifying the story is as compelling as the initial notion, especially after composing it on paper and the rounds of edits the manuscript goes through.
Describe your desk
Where ever I can put my laptop and perhaps a hard copy research book, besides my laptop's mouse. My dining table or a cafe's table top. As long as I have a WiFi connection as well.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A combination of my love of aviation, fascination with the Soviet Air Forces (VVS) stationed in Germany during the Cold War mixed with just a few sentences I wrote which matriculated into three paragraphs (ironically: a three act outline) as therapy after I made the difficult decision to shelve another -and completely different novel which I began years earlier.
What do your fans mean to you?
If I strike a chord and what I write resonates with their interest added to anyone who I may inspire -which has happened along the way. If they are still interested as they read from chapter to chapter and get to the end, then it's really satisfying to produce a work.
Who are your favorite authors?
Hmmmm, I will have to get back to you on that given I put myself through a "no reading fiction" embargo during my writing of the novel I since shelved and the one I published. John Grisham, the late Tom Clancy and Stephen King are up there with the past masters (Shakespeare, Stevenson, Jules Verne, et al).
What is your writing process?
Conceiving a concept or idea for a story. Having it come to me rather than consciously forcing an idea to the fore. Seeing if it has a purpose and can be gripping, with an original conclusion. Once that happens, then I script it out a la bullet points. After that i see where there are questions and conflicts and seek to "answer" the questions. Then I begin writing using the first bullet point as the (initial) scene and go from there.
I have a list of characters and their names, profession, placement in the story, what they drive, what they look like already composed by this stage and then I merely add to the list with any other character if the need arises.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to encapsulate the gist of the story in one cover design, whether if it's abstract but can be understood or a concrete logo that conveys the idea of the work.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth, social media and inexpensive marketing swag such as bookmarks resembling the front cover on one side and a synopsis, ISBN number and price list (paperback and electronic media) on the back.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It seems to be a more streamlined way of getting my work(s) out to the eReading public over most other "self-publishing" organizations..
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Accomplishing things and enjoying life. Smelling the roses, initiating spontaneous conversations while being out and about. Being an active participant in all areas of my life instead of a spectator in it sitting on his hands.
What are you working on next?
A sci-fi suspense tale. I have a few other suspense-oriented ideas as well.
What do you read for pleasure?
Periodicals: newspapers, aviation, wine, English football publications, books on history and autobiographies. The latter is what i cheated with due to my "no reading another's work of fiction" embargo while I wrote my first novel.
Published 2014-01-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Frontiers
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 252,000. Language: English. Published: December 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Russian
Tatyana dreams of flying for her country’s air force -a career field closed to females in the USSR. Although under growing suspicion by two police agencies -including the KGB- due to unsolved homicides, her brother formulates a dangerous conspiracy to help her illegally enroll in a VVS academy. Will Tasha follow through with her brother’s plan?