Interview with Richard Bunning

What motivated you to become an indie author?
My biggest motivation to become an indie author was that I could become an indie author. Technology has freed us all to write if we so wish and to then go out and market to the world. The best is that we don't even have to leave our kitchen table, garden lounger, the bus stop, or wherever we happen to be. We are all free to publish when we want and with a few constraints, what we want.
I did try with traditional publishers, for a short while, but they found me to be trying and I found them to be indifferent and arrogant. I eventually became seriously concerned about the health of agents and publishing juniors having to murder so many "rubbish" manuscripts every tedious day. Opinionated seniors only ever seemed prepared to read the work of writers who were in their golf clubs, their own families or already in the public eye. Things are changing now, as the traditional publishers try to catch up with the new technological world, but at the time I was trying to get a deal the industry was basically closed to new writers and new ideas.
Will I, will others, continue to seek traditional deals? Yes of course, and traditional publishing will reinvent itself where necessary. Personally, I like the freedom of self- publishing. One still has to be disciplined, listening to advice and particularly to our editors, but as self-publishers we are free to write whatever we wish to, when we wish to, however we wish to, and we keep control right into our readers hands.
My view is that readers benefit. There are now more books, so more choices, than there have ever been. A percentage are good and a percentage are bad, according to whatever criteria we chose to apply. This has always been the case, and always will be.
I do what I can to help readers find indie books of a good standard, by reviewing for various organizations and according to my own volition. Obviously, my reviews are biased towards the sort of books I like, though, I do try a review across genres and between them. Even if you chose not to read my own writing I hope that you will seek out some of the authors I have reviewed on Smashwords and elsewhere.
If I have reviewed a book it will in my opinion be good. I am only arrogant enough to say that what I like is good, not that what I don't is bad. I don't like liquorice, that doesn't mean it isn't nice.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nearly all my reading is directed at my support for self-published and independent authors. My main web site is dedicated to promoting my reading discoveries, as much as it is to shouting out about myself.

My favourite author is usually the one whose book I am currently reading. A good book draws one too deep into the moment to have outside views. This may sound trite, but it is true.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
The initial discovery is often through a request for review. Sometimes I hear about books through the chatter of social media.
Another common source is through the reviews of other self-published writers in my web community. Author to author reviews can be more revealing and very often far more truthful than any others. I have long been a fan of peer reviewing, across all academic fields. That doesn't mean that I'm an "academic"- not a bit of it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes- I was so proud of my story, which was initially so popular. However, generally being such a dullard at school I was soon accused of plagiarizing from a library, and sent down. No one was ever able to find any credible evidence for this hurtful claim. I was ten or eleven at the time. This experience shattered my weak confidence in my "ability" to write for all of 40 years. I have rewritten my first short-story from memory only very recently. It will shortly appear in a book of my short fiction.
What is your writing process?
Plot, write, re-plot, write, read, spell-check, edit,, tighten lose ends, read, edit, get a proof-read, edit, edit, edit. Put out to "professional" editor, check edits and then start the process of formatting into a book.
Something like that, with probably a few more edits.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Well not the first. That was probably along the lines of "What goes quack?"
The first story that I remember as an influence was "Twas the night before Christmas"- the poem by Clement Clarke Moore. At what point I learnt to read it for myself is hard to say. As a classic left-handed, male, dyslexic, this was no doubt long after most of my contemporaries were reading.
The book had a huge impact. Father Christmas became real.
How do you approach cover design?
Usually I have an idea, and put it to a professional to work up. I have effectively "designed" all my own covers. Recently, I have had a joint venture with two other authors, producing a gift book idea. It is basically one big joke from front cover to back. I actually compiled that cover, as the "professional" creator. The book is "Understanding Women: (A Guide for Male Survival)" by Jenning, Bunning & Lebel.
Do you have all your books on the Smashwords platform?
Not yet, though I intend to. I think Smashwords is the future.
My early books, which are re-worked versions of neoclassical plays are not yet here. Nor are some of my short-stories that are currently held on temporary license in anthologies.
Authors and readers have a lot to be grateful for, in the founding of Smashwords by Mark Coker.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the East of England, in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, with periods further west in Worcestershire and Staffordshire.
Since then I have lived in New Zealand and now Switzerland.
Everywhere I've been is an influence on my writing, as is my imagination of everywhere I haven't been. If one place stands out for me it is New Zealand. My mind is often full of Kiwi landscapes when I write my speculative fiction. I only lived there for a very few years, but if anywhere is my spiritual home it is the lower North Island of NZ.
When did you first start listening and then reading books?
When the "cat sat on the mat". It got far more interesting when I discovered the magical word factory of Dr. Seuss, and particularly "The Cat in the Hat". This book was born at about the same time I was. Always there, the pictures slowly drew me into the words. My own first words hardly had standard meanings, but most certainly had a rhyme to them. For so long bogs were dogs, and pats were bats, and the Dr Seuss was Dotermoose.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That I still can.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Saints & Heathens: An International Anthology
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,510. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2017 by S & H Publishing, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
Stories of good and evil from the distant past or distant galaxies blend with tales from right around the corner. Mythology, fantasy, humor, history, and might-have-been are side-by-side in as stark a contrast as that of good and evil itself.
Fifty More Egg Timer Short Stories
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 44,910. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Fifty more short stories of between 600 and 1200 words. This is collection of work from Richard Bunning, which while leaning towards speculative fiction has diversity enough for a wide spectrum of readers.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 100,060. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Spiderworld, spidernauts, and other sentient creatures including humans, or yeng as others know them, all struggle to prosper in the Lush Star System. We are harvested across our generations from the abundant Earth. There after, mankind is set to work as slaves and farmed as meat. There is plenty of love, hate and adventure, all developing dynamically from this speculative plot. We are warned!
Short & Happy (or not)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 60,040. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2014 by S & H Publishing, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
SHORT & HAPPY (or not) is an anthology of 35 stories by 25 authors from English speaking countries around the globe and a sprinkling of ex-pats who enjoy life in non-English speaking countries as well. The stories cover just as wide a spectrum of subjects. Humor (or humour), light romance, science fiction, fantasy, memoir, satire, reflection, exotic locales … it's all here in bite-sized pieces
Fifty Egg Timer Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 42,660. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mashups, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
Fifty Egg Timer Stories is a collection of 50 shot stories of between 600 and 1000 words. The stories are by one author and are of mixed genre. Some of these stories are flippant and/or amusing whilst others touch on serious topics. The common theme, if one can be found at all, is the provision of short bursts of entertainment. I hope that all readers find some stories to their individual liking.
Another Space in Time, Returns
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 133,500. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » General
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
When the Captain of the local police persuades Rodwell to help pursue the Earth Trash Terminators his life is thrown into turmoil. Standing in for his twin brother, Rodwell is thrown into the terrorists’ world. Can he fight dirty enough to survive, even when his new family is threatened? What will happen in this parallel earth-like world? This is the standalone sequel to Another Space in Time.
Another Space in Time
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 138,040. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
The adventure in another time in space of Rodwell Richards who, when murdered on Earth, finds himself pursued on Goranas as a terrorist killer. This earth-like parallel world, to which Rodwell must quickly adapt, is just perhaps the kind of place that any of us could one day visit. Enter this speculative world of human drama, and observe the pursuit through Rodwell's eyes.