Interview with Ria Stone

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in suburbia in Silver Springs, Maryland.

Actually, I credit my mom for my interest in writing. She recognized early on that I loved to read and encouraged me. Getting my library card was a highlight. I read voraciously as a child. Mom would tease me and tell others to look behind the chairs or curtains to find me reading a book.

My 6th grade teacher, Mr. Marsh, encouraged the class to create a magazine. I wrote my first story for that magazine. All I remember about the story is that it was about a mysterious occurrence in the dog house in the back yard at night.

As I grew older, I found suburbia a bit dull, so I let my imagination entertain me. I wrote another story at 18, complete with outline and character biographies. It was a work in progress. Somewhere in my many moves, I lost that early novel. But, most of my stories reflect the fundamental conflicts of that first novel -- the role of women in society, what is love and what is its cost in terms of concessions, how do we change in a relationship, the role status and money play in who we marry, and is our society healthy, to ourselves and our planet?
Who are your favorite authors?
I am an avid reader. While I have read tons of books, I seem to settle on mysteries, science fiction, science and history.

I have read Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew series, LInda Barnes, Nevada Barr, Lilian J. Braun, Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Linda Fairstein, Dashiell Hammett, Jonathan Kellerman, Harry Kemelman, John D. MacDonald, Marcia Muller, Barbara Neely, Sara Paretsky, Robert B. Parker, and many more.

But, five authors stand out for me: Mary Stewart, Doris Miles Disney, Dick Francis, Janet Evanovich, and Dorothy L. Sayers

My teenage reading passion was Mary Stewart's novels like "My Brother Michael." Her heroines innocently got into trouble and had to think their way out of the problem with the help of a hero. In addition, she wove in history, geology, and poetry into her stories.

I loved the setting, characters and the surprise ending of Doris Miles Disney's "Who Rides a Tiger."

Dick Francis' economy of style appeals to me. He says so much in so few words. Janet Evanovich was the first author who made me laugh out loud at her characters and their predicaments. But, it was Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Whimsey series that spurred me to write. I loved how she structured her novels, how she wrote her sentences, each word had a role, a place, and an impact into how the story was built. I went back to college because of Ms. Sayers.

I used to consume science fiction novels by authors like: Isaac Asmiov, Douglas Adams, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Octavia E. Butler, Orson Scott Card, Jack L. Chalker, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Philip José Farmer, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Aldous Huxley, Judith Merril, Robert Silverberg, and many more. But, Spider Robinson is my favorite, especially, his works "Time Travelers Strictly Cash" and "Star Dance."
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Blame my friend, Sue Jordan.

She and I were members of a writing group. I wrote just for my own amusement but for years she attempted to persuade me to publish some of my stories. I had written several novels just for the experience, to enhance my reading enjoyment and to further my appreciation of the medium.

After being prematurely retired in 2011, I needed something constructive to do, so I decided to write a novel. The experience has been such a wonderful adventure and an education that I plan to write more novels.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Gina's Dream is my first published eBook.

The core idea formed when I was doing research on the National Agricultural Library website. Various articles discussed changing the basic life functions of crop plants to enhance their abilities to fight pests, or thrive with less water, etc. I felt that this was a fundamental mistake because the plant's entire ecosystem was not being taken into consideration.

Originally, my story described a dystopia born of these experiments, then it evolved into a science fiction/romance because I wanted to let an alien describe earth's possible futures in hopes of stimulating interest in saving our planet.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is like breathing for me. I have to write.

Writing is also therapy, entertainment, educational and spiritually uplifting.

I try to write my way out of a paper bag.

We are all presented with choices in life. In fiction, I like to write about the struggle to make the right choices and how to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Have you written anything else?
Professionally, I write or edit newsletters, press releases, user manuals, advertisements, brochures, and more.

Personally, I write essays, and a Bollywood Blog (http://bollywoodtalk.blogspot.mx/).

One of the wonderful joys of writing online is I have met so many wonderful people from around the world through my blog and now my new eBook.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I research almost everything I plan to do.

In my research, Smashwords offered the best opportunity for a new indie eBook author. Smashwords is clear about how it distributes books, and how it calculates royalties and commission. I like the transparency of Smashwords.

In addition, Mark Coker has shared freely his knowledge of how to write a great book, how to format a book, how to market a book and more.

The Smashwords website is easy to use and Smashwords' Customer Service has been great.
How do you approach cover design?
I followed Mark Coker's advice-- get a "professional cover." I choose an artist from his list. I feel fortunate that Joleene Naylor and I worked well together to create an attractive book cover.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I still feel like a novice with eBooks.

It was my move to Mexico in 2011 that forced me to rely on my electronic gadgets to find and read books online since the shipping costs for a physical book were high..

Amazon had a Kindle pc app, so I started by downloading many classic books and novels for free just to get a feel for this new medium.

I think my first eBook purchase was "Teaching English as a Foreign Language" part of the for Dummies series. I have been slow to add books. I tend to go with authors I know but I am trying to branch out by sampling new authors.

I do look at the cover but the book description, author notes, size of book, and price have more influence on my decision.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad and my laptop.
What do your fans mean to you?
Let me answer that question in a roundabout way.

I am a big fan of Shah Rukh Khan, a Bollywood movie star.

When I first saw him on screen in Asoka, his presence jumped off the screen. He is full of life. He is a good person. He is a warm, loving, caring human being.

His attitude towards making films is to entertain his fans. I would like to emulate that attitude towards my fans. I want to entertain you.
What are you working on next?
A mystery novel. It will be different from Gina's Dream.
Published 2013-11-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Budget Guest Accommodations Opportunities Marketing Report: Merida, Mexico
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 8,640. Language: American English. Published: November 1, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Marketing, Nonfiction » Travel » Budget
The Budget Guest Accommodations Opportunities Marketing Report is for current and future owners of budget guest accommodations. Because many businesses start and fail, what can a BGA owner or future owner do to help the business succeed? This report offers low-cost market analysis; suggested marketing ideas and samples; and more to help your business succeed. Take a peek, what will work for you?
Mocktails
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,520. Language: American English. Published: September 16, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Beverages - Non-Alcoholic
Mocktails are drinks that resemble popular alcoholic cocktails like a: Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Piña Colada, Tequila Sunrise, and more, except there's no alcohol in a Mocktail. Many of these recipes are a bit frugal & don't require fancy equipment or exotic ingredients. Enjoy making over 15 Mocktail recipes in this ebook, like a: Cosmopolite, Juanita, Mock Champagne and more.
Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 5,380. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Methods / Quick & Easy, Essay » Author profile
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
This collection of easy recipes is for non-cooks who feel like an alien in the kitchen. Recipes from RKFNC provide ideas for a variety of sandwiches from PB&J to Dagwood Sandwiches, and simple recipes like: Tomato Salad and Coleslaw. One basic spaghetti recipe suggests a variety of toppings. Other recipes include Two Bean Corn Chili and Skillet dishes.Try Ria Stone's Microwave Small Dish Cake!
Gina's Dream 1st edition English eBook
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 23,180. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
What would you do if you met an alien? Gina's Dream is the story of a romance caught in the web of time that will change the future of two worlds. Kit Brennan, Assistant Director of Science Exploration Through Astronomy (SETA), falls in love with Gina Hobart who claims to be an alien. Their futures hang in a delicate balance as Kit questions whether she is real or crazy. Bonus: My First Editor.