Interview with Rob Duder

What do you read for pleasure?
I am and always have been a veracious reader. In school when everyone dreaded reading those novels they forced on you, I delighted in it and quickly fell in love with books by Dickens (Great Expectations is still one of my all time favorites), The Chrysalids, To Kill A Mockingbird and Shakespeare. Now I read for pleasure and my go to author is Stephen King. I happen to think he is one of the most brilliant literary minds of our generation. I also read a lot of Stuart Woods (a guilty pleasure) and lately have found myself unwinding to pulp Western novels...weird right? I fly through them in a couple of hours and love every cheesy minute of them. I'm also a fan of Dean Koontz, James Patterson and indie authors too!!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is a tough question because as an indie author, it isn't easy to market your book! With each release I learn a little more about marking my material and marketing myself. The internet and social media is such a vast pool of ins and outs and new readers and fellow authors. Absolutely the most effective marketing anyone can do...let alone an indie author...is to make yourself a presence online. Tweeting is fun and easy and people actually read!! Fiverr, amazon, goodreads and of course smashwords provide a lot of help too. The answers are out there for us indie writers and it is NOT an easy haul but you can do it!
Describe your desk
I honestly rarely work at a desk. My ideal writing space is on my couch, casual, lazy, with my laptop open and 99% of the time a headset on with music going. Music inspires me so much depending on what I'm writing. I don't even have a desk in my house and maybe I will at some point but there is just something too regimented about it. My writing comes from a passionate place that is the furthest thing from regimented so thumbs down to a desk.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
We moved a lot when I was a kid. It absolutely influenced my adult writing. I grew up primarily in Grey/Bruce in Ontario Canada and Ryerson was loosely based on the area I grew up in. Its a very picturesque area that I should get out and appreciate more but often find it a little bland having been here for decades. I get more inspired when I travel. I'm not sure where I grew up influenced me as much as the people around me and where I went outside of my home base.
When did you first start writing?
I have a terrible memory but I don't ever remember not writing. I can remember Grade four-ish writing a story about a kitchen that comes to life. It won some sort of award and everyone praised me for it. I wish I still I had that story. My first novel I wrote when I was about 15 and I do still have that but I find it messy and incoherent now. I remember writing an awful lot of short stories, adventure and detectives when I was little. I wrote a lot and I think my Mom still has masses of handwritten stories in no particular order that would take years to sift through. That might be fun though!!
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Desolation" is my latest work and I do have quite a story behind it. I've always found highway rest stops both creepy, cool and completely fun. I mean, they're like the epitome of everything in one spot and yet quite often they are in the middle of nowhere. I go to Toronto, Ontario a lot and I almost always stopped at the same rest stop on the way home. Sometimes it was for a few minutes and sometimes a little longer. This is where Desolation was truly born. I started spending time looking around the stop and the people that came in and every scene in Desolation absolutely happened on that Highway 400 Rest Stop. My wife and I love to travel and go on road trips and in 2011 we drove to Atlantic City and we stopped in so many rest-stops I lost count but Desolation was further inspired by that trip. The creepiest thing about it is that the Highway 400 Rest Stop that Desolation is based in closed up just a month after I finished Desolation and now sits empty and abandoned waiting for demolition. I've taken quite a few pictures of the deserted building!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Vanity? No I kid. Well maybe partially vanity. Honestly, I was tired of writing stories that no one was seeing. I needed to know if I was good enough to be taken seriously. Sure, my Mom and wife said I was good but they have to say that!! So I did some research and found an amazing spot called createspace and smashwords and it all fell into place. Each and every book is such a challenge and exhausting and sometimes infuriating and also incredibly rewarding, exciting, invigorating and it turns out people love to read my work so I am forever an indie author.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is an easy one. Without smashwords I wouldn't have much of an ebook at all. It is so easy and they make it so straightforward, accommodating and thorough!! The e-book market is MASSIVE and helps me appeal to an entire different audience. With over 400 downloads combined on my books, that's 400 extra readers I may not have gotten without smashwords. I heart smashwords!!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy for me is when I realize I'm on to something. I get SO many ideas and most of them never pan out because I realize I have a little of a story but not the whole thing. But when I realize I have a whole bunch of ideas and they're all coming together to form a terrific story...that is sheer joy for me. I don't know where my ideas come from but I am a fan of myself (Can I say that?) I am completely entertained by the stories that come out of my head so thank you brain or whoever puts those in there. I am currently writing a drama/romance entitled "Matthew Brewster's 1989" (this is the first time I am officially announcing that title) and the last chapter I wrote I had myself in tears. That's joy right there!!
What do your fans mean to you?
I was stopped by a young girl in a store recently who was reading "Desolation" (she was far too young to be reading such a book but I digress) She asked if I was the author and I replied yes and she proceeded to blubber and gush about the book for five minutes straight. I thought I was in heaven. When someone appreciates your art, your talent, your gift that much and you're entertaining and bringing all those crazy thoughts in your head to life and making someone else appreciate them....there is no greater joy. My readers (I prefer not to call them fans cuz how pompous does that sound) are everything to me. I'm not sure I would write nearly as much without them in mind.
What are you working on next?
I sort of already let the cat out of the proverbial bag on this one but my next novel is entitled "Matthew Brewster's 1989." It is a drama/comedy/romance set in...yep you guessed it...1989. I am having SO much fun writing it. Its funny and sad and a coming of age story with a ton of mushy melodramatic romance and it is absolutely inspired by and also a spiritual successor to my first novel "Ryerson" which was a huge success. There may even be a couple of crossover moments but you'll have to wait and read. I'm also formulating a sequel to "Desolation" simply because the fans demand it!! And because I'm excited to get back into horror. I think I will also be working on some horror short stories for some literary magazines too.
Published 2014-05-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Desolation
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 88,680. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
(5.00 from 1 review)
A violent and unrelenting demon stalks a group of stranded travelers in a highway rest stop in the worst winter storm any of them have ever seen. The seemingly randomness of this group of strangers being together will unfold in the most terrifying and horrifying conclusion any of them could have ever expected. Survival will not be an option.
The Fighter
You set the price! Words: 11,510. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational
Getting the diagnosis no one ever wants to hear will have young amateur boxer, Nick Krasinski, fighting for his life at home and in the ring. **ALL THE AUTHOR'S PROCEEDS FROM THIS E-BOOK WILL BE DONATED TO THE UNITED WAY TO HELP SUPPORT OWEN SOUND FIRE VICTIMS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE**
The Entirely Strange and Miraculously True Christmas Tails of Mia and Eve
You set the price! Words: 8,360. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fairy Tales
Reviews are greatly appreciated!!! Kittens, Mia and Eve, head to Helmston with their Aunts for some Christmas shopping. While there they find some new friends that they will have to help find the meaning of Christmas and help Helmston save a ship full of Christmas passengers!
The Entirely Strange and Miraculously True Tails of Mia and Eve
You set the price! Words: 24,800. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fairy Tales, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
(3.33 from 3 reviews)
A sweet, funny and genuinely old fashion animal tale with so much heart and adventure that everyone will fall in love! A story about family, friends and courage. Please review and share!! Paperback available at amazon.com
Ryerson
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 88,870. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age
(4.00 from 1 review)
David Emerson's life is shattered when his father is stricken with a fatal stroke. He returns to the small town where he grew up and reunites with his two childhood best friends and the first girl he ever loved. Now, as he reminisces growing up in the sixties, David will have a life changing experience, face his fears, reconnect lost relationships, and find himself in the place he grew up.