Interview with Ronald Harris

What's the story behind your latest book?
I have been writing short horror stories since I was about 12 years old. As the years went by, I honed my craft and eventually felt my work was on par with much of what I was reading for my own pleasure. My book is a collection of ten stories, each different from the other, but all with common threads of fear. Many of my own darkest fears are explored and magnified: claustrophobia, abandonment, loss, rejection, losing yourself and your moral compass and giving in to the primal and base urges within us all. I think we as humans share many of the same fears, and horror is cathartic. By facing these fears in their most extreme forms head-on, we reaffirm our own life force and vitality.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had lived out in LA for 10 years, and like many others, had attempted the screenplay route. I wrote 6 of them, and tried desperately to land an agent without success. Years later, once it was time to finally complete my first full-length work, I looked into self-publishing and eBooks a lot more closely. The old-school model of having a literary agent and a publishing house was no longer the only path to follow. Modern technology now makes it possible for so many talented writers to get their work out there without the luck or the permission of the traditional 'gatekeepers.' Publishing my book on my own was a no-brainer.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This remains to be seen, but I am highly optimistic!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I get an idea for a story, I can't stop thinking about it until it's fleshed out and written. While I am in the process of writing a story, I get new ideas about it at the most random times of day and night, and will jot them down or put them in the Notes on my phone. It's a genuine thrill to be able to take that one germ of an idea and turn it into a detailed narrative. I love the feeling of being able to convey a specific image or emotion via words.
What do your fans mean to you?
I've been writing non-fiction articles for bodybuilding magazines for 23 years now, with over 5,000 pieces published. With that, I have heard from many fans who have taken motivation, inspiration, or information from my work and used it to change their lives by changing their bodies, often moving from unhealthy lifestyles where they either neglected their bodies or else abused them with junk food, drugs, or alcohol. That has always been rewarding. Now, I hope to gain fans of my horror fiction. Not that I am expecting to change their lives, but it would be fantastic to entertain them with a good scare.
What are you working on next?
I will be writing another short story collection. I have always loved the format and the economy of the short story.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Chuck Pahlaniuk, and William Peter Blatty. Clive Barker as well.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working out and eating!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a large home set on a hill built by my grandfather in 1927. By the time I came around, it had fallen into disrepair and neglect. Neighborhood kids jokingly referred to it as a 'haunted house,' and they weren't totally off base. My bedroom had been the final stop for both my maternal and paternal great-grandparents, all four of whom spent their last few years and died there. I used to feel someone sitting down on the edge of my bed at times late at night, though of course no one was there. Growing up in an old, creepy house like mine must have had something to do with my lifelong obsession with all things related to horror, the occult, and the paranormal.
When did you first start writing?
Back in elementary school. I would fill up notebooks with drawings and handwritten short stories. Lord, how I wish I still had those!
Published 2016-02-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

EvilX10: 10 Tales of Extreme Darkness
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 84,200. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Horror » Undead
Real horror is disturbing, with images and feelings you can't shake from your head. It returns to you in the dark, when you're alone, and seizes you in its icy grip. These 10 stories are not for the faint of heart, nor are they for those who frighten easily. If you like your horror raw and unrelenting. EvilX10 is what you have been waiting for.