Interview with Ronald N. Goulden, MBA, PMP

What is your writing process?
I generally have an ultimate 'end-game' in mind. However, I tend to let the characters write the books for me. As I write, it is as much an adventure for me as the author as it is for the characters and the readers. I've found that by using this process, I develop links and 'smoking guns' for stories I haven't even thought of yet. Since many of my stories have connections of one sort or another, this makes writing much easier for me.
How do you determine your pricing?
I started reading when paperback books sold for 25 to 35 cents. While I put a lot of work into my stories, I don't believe in over-pricing them. I keep my fiction prices low, usually 99 cents. I want people to buy them, read them, and get others to buy and read them. Times are hard and money is tight; I would rather sell a lot of 99 cent stories than a few five (or more) dollar books.
How many books have you written?
I've written probably three dozen books. But so far have only published half of them. I did a quick word count and to date, I have published over 1.2 million words.
How do you approach cover design?
For the cover, I try to provide a design that embodies the underlying theme of the book without relying on extensive artistic abilities (which I severely lack). Ideally, for my novels, I would like to have Frazetta-esque covers, but I haven't found an artist willing to do that work at a reasonable price. So, I compromise and try to work up an intriguing cover sans the exciting artwork.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Pick any five Edgar Rice Burroughs books, I've read them all. I like his descriptive style of writing and the fact that he creates entire cultures, languages, and histories for most of his series. I also like the fact that many of the separate series (Mars, Pellucidar, Venus, Tarzan, Moon, etc.) all have subtle threads that connect them.
What do you read for pleasure?
Semi-classics such as 'Atlas Shrugged' and more factual or thought-provoking non-fiction. Being a technology worker, I also read computer textbooks.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer the Nook. It does all that I want it to do. I'm sure the other devices perform equally well. I mean, let's face it, the purpose of the reader device is to present the words for your reading pleasure. I could care less if it lets me surf the Internet or make phone calls. I have a laptop and phone for those functions.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I participate in forums and comment sections for news stories. But much on my marketing is word of mouth.
Describe your desk
My lap is my desk.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I spent my early years in California, but I spent two years in Noel, Missouri, where I feel I grew up. I went to High School in Arkansas City, Kansas. I think exploring the forests of Missouri had the greatest impact on my interest in writing, and I wrote a few short stories when I was fourteen. When I was sixteen, I had a massive dislocation of my shoulder and my arm was immobilized for months, the only thing I could was 'peck' on a cheap typewriter. I wrote my first novel during this time.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing as a teenager in High School as the result of an injury. I was always an 'outsider' and of course, lived through typical teen-aged angst. I had crushes, but was too shy to approach the girls I liked, so I spent much of my time alone. When I survived Viet Nam, I started writing in earnest.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This is a tricky question since I typically work on two or three books at one time. The one I am working on today is the fourth book in the Mabus Chronicles and I currently plan that to be the series finale. However, as I mentioned elsewhere, My characters tend to write the stories rather than me, so the Mabus Chronicles may not end with this book.

Additionally, I am working on two books that provide the back-stories for some of the characters within the Mabus Chronicles.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I got tired of rejections from the brick & Mortar publishers and realized that in the near future, printed books would lose popularity. I like the idea that I do not have to purchase a large number of copies of my books to get published. The electronic delivery solves that problem. I feel I've invested a lot of work in writing my stories, why should I have to invest hundreds of dollars to get them published? Going Indie gives me options that traditional publishing cannot.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords provides me outlets I could not otherwise reach. Most of my sales come through Smashwords channels. I like that they continually negotiate for new channels, increasing my return on investment.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are important to me, not only financially, but because they get to enjoy the thrills that my characters provide me as they develop the storylines. I feel like the fans join me on that journey through different worlds.
What are you working on next?
Like I said, I work on multiple projects simultaneously. That way, if i hit a 'writer's block' with one story, I simply move to a different story and work on that; usually, the second or third story will provide some insight that moves me around the 'block'.

I am currently working on three stories and one non-fiction.

"Fall of the Immortals" - is what I plan to the the finale for the Mabus chronicles and features an all female cast.
"Three moons, One Island' - is the backstory for the Cave-couple, David and Ann, in the third book of the Mabus Chronicles ("A Time of Uncertainty")
"Asylla" - Obviously is the backstory of the Galactic Space Princess who has appeared in all of the Mabus books, with an increasing presence in each subsequent book.

Finally, I am adding to my "Learn Excel" series by working on "Learn Excel: WBS, EVM, and Pert"
Who are your favorite authors?
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first real story I ever read was "Pellucidar" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I wasn't much of a reader at the time, but my mother bought this for me and I read it in one sitting and immediately re-read it. It introduced me to a world and style of writing that was infinitely more exciting than what I had ever seen before. I've read all of his books and even some copycats. While I read voraciously and other authors, I always go back to Burroughs.
Published 2016-01-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

PMO Evaluations
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,450. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Project management, Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Information technology
The wise Project Management leaders will partner with the businesses and take great efforts to ensure the business is being adequately served. In a time when analysts claim that the failure rate for PMOs is above fifty percent, we see executives hiring PMO leads from other companies, in many cases only to subsequently add their own failed PMO efforts to the statistical cemetery
Continuity of Government
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,210. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Government, Essay » Political
Continuity of Government (CoG), is just that, the act of providing the governments of the world with the ability to continue to function in the event of an emergency. That is a lofty and noble-sounding description. At first blush, it makes sense. After all, in the event of a tremendous crisis, the governments of the world must be able to continue to function and rally resources.
Series: Witch Hunter. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 58,210. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
This is the seminal adventure that defines the back stories for Jack Mitchell, John Garmon, and their associates. This is where the Witch Hunter series begins.
Tales of the Witch Hunter
Series: Witch Hunter. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 38,250. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
Here are four tales taken directly from the PSI Research Associates files. At the request of his investigators, Jack Mitchell embarks on a series of PSI Research investigations that takes him coast to coast and deep into the Southwest. On these travels, he encounters ghosts, wizards, monsters, aliens, and inter-dimensional beings, some of which are bent upon the destruction of the human race.
A Time Of Uncertainty
Series: Mabus Chronicles, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 90,980. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Adventure » Action
In worlds being torn apart by the merging process initiated by Mabus, groups of disjointed adventurers struggle to find loved ones and stop Mabus’ insane plans for the subjugation of all life on the planets.
Agile and Quality by Design
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,670. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Project management
Agile is not new. Many years ago, project leaders began working closely with the user community and engaged them throughout the entire project process. This ensured that the users were involved in determining what they wanted and how it would be presented. Quality by Design is an ideal complement to the Agile methodology.
Series: Mabus Chronicles, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 136,230. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » Action
What happens when an insane President declares war on the American people? When political and judicial leadership becomes complacent and the media becomes pawns of the powerful, then there are no controls on a man who would be a dictator. This is the epic second book of the Mabus Chronicles.
Project Management for a Functional World
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,810. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Education, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Project management
To have value, a book must address a specific need of the reader. With this in mind, I have written this book, not with the aim of making anyone a Project Management Professional (PMP(r)), but to help apply some common Project Management concepts. Hopefully, this book will enable other emerging project managers to 'side-step' some of the common pitfalls
Learn Excel: Executive Summary & Scope
Series: Build-a-Tool, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 36,770. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Education, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Project management
This is the second book in the “Build-A-Tool’ series of books for learning Microsoft® Excel while creating fully functional Project Management tools (which, with a little ingenuity, can be applied to other fields of study). The process of this book will start with blank worksheets and develop them into sophisticated Project Management tools called the ‘Executive Summary” and Scope” documents.
Learn Excel with the Quality Scorecard
Series: Build-a-Tool, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,030. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Education, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Project management
There are a lot of books about learning Microsoft(r) Excel. This is yet another such book... though one with a bit of a twist. The process of this book will start with a blank worksheet and develop it into a sophisticated Project Management tool called the 'Quality Scorecard'.
Survival II
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 35,470. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Personal & Practical Guides
The concepts and ideas contained within are intended for Society Ending Events (SEE) or The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). However, many of the concepts can apply equally to more mundane emergencies. Many readers asked for more advice and more solutions. I have attempted to provide that without straying too far from the original concept of the Survival book.
Apocalypse Theorem
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,640. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2013. Categories: Essay » Political, Fiction » Historical » General
There is an Internet ‘conspiracy’ legend that a high-ranking member of the Administration developed as her Master’s thesis a plan that called for a ninety-three percent reduction in human population, and that it was incumbent upon the world Governments to execute this population reduction by any means at their disposal.
The American Constitution
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,760. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Essay » Political
This may well be the most important 85 pages you will ever read. The book is written on the simple premise that the men who wrote this document (along with the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights, which together are the definitive founding documents of our country and the Rule of Law in America) were highly intelligent men who had lived under the yoke of King George's tyranny.
Ignore the Rattlesnake
Price: Free! Words: 7,480. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Careers / job hunting
With the current level of unemployment, competition for any given job can be intense. If a hiring manager has hundreds of resumes and candidates to consider, how do you make yourself stand out? This booklet provides some common (and some not so common) sense advice to the job seeker.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,880. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2011. Categories: Essay » Sociology
Some grand-fatherly advise on surviving catastrophic events. NOTE: All of the content of this book plus more is included in "SURVIVAL II". This version remains available for historical purposes.
Night of Screams
Series: Mabus Chronicles, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 60,260. Language: English. Published: October 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
When an unqualified imposter assumes control of the American government, chaos and rebellion follow.
In Defiance of Death
Series: Witch Hunter, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 128,340. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Jack Mitchell and Jim Lyon team up to battle a brace of witches bent on the destruction of our world and the sacrifice of Jack’s daughter.
Witch Hunter
Series: Witch Hunter. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 124,960. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Jack Mitchell uses his wits and guns to battle Satanic forces bent on the destruction of our world.
The Butcher & The Flame
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 100,510. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Detective Jim Lyon uses his computer and his guns in a battle of wits with a vicious serial killer.
A Question of Honor
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 98,840. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
A young farm boy learns about life and war in Viet Nam as his world is forever transformed by the politics and harsh realities of that distant war.