Interview with Rusty Trimble

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in San Diego, California in the Clairemont Area. San Diego is a very vibrant area with almost constant good weather, the scenery is exquisite, just the type of area that would encourage a writer. I believe my schools (Whitter Elementary, Marston Junior High, and Clairemont High School) also helped as I had teachers that encouraged creative writing.
When did you first start writing?
I remember in the 5th grade I tried to write my own sword and sorcery book. It was sometime after reading Piers Anthony's Xanth series and I wanted to write something similar. In Xanth, every citizen has a power, in my story all members of the royal family had some kind of power and the young prince had a power that continued to grow and he had difficulties controlling. He went on a journey to find a famed "wise man" to help him control his powers, but of course the wise man was evil and turned him into an evil and powerful "Mage Knight". The story was (I think) not bad for a 10 year old and I had aspirations for a trilogy, but I realized that my writing was not up to snuff and shelved it. I never got back to it (I got 45 pages in). Someday I hope to return to this story and a young adult adventure. My second I wrote in the ninth grade. It was called "30 Tales of Terror" which was 30 one page stories, many of them inspired by The Twilight Zone, a few of them kind of "alternate endings" of their stories. I turned it into to my teacher Mrs. Owens and she thought it was a bit dark for a 14 year old, but said she liked it. I left it on my desk and sadly it was stolen, but oh well.

I began writing as an adult when my son was born. I began making up stories with his bath toys and he suggested making a book, so I began writing and illustrating children's books with him as the star. 13 books later, here I am, with my first more mature book Tammany Hall in the works too.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Andrew and the Pirate Cove is my latest completed Young Adult novel. It is based on the computer game Pirate Cove which was the first computer game I ever played for the VIC-20 computer. It was a text adventure which thrust the player into a flat in 17th century London and finding a magic book and uttering the incantion YOHO thrust him/her into a remote tropical island. From there, the player seeks Long John Silver's Treasure. The game itself was programmed by Scott Adams in 1978. I played a number of his games and about a year ago decided to see what he was up to on the Internet. I found his site and like many other fans wrote him. He wrote back and the two of us became friends. One day, Andrew (my son who is now 8) asked me to write him a pirate story. I did indeed have one I had partially written, but I instead asked Scott what he thought about me turning Pirate Cove into a Young Adult adventure novel starring Andrew. He said it was a great idea and encouraged me to do it. I did so with his help and the help of a professional proofreader Stephen Wood who helped me gratis and turned my vision into reality. There are of course slight modifications as in the story the character is a 7 year old, he is seeking to get home, and the pirate who is nameless in the game is named Red Eye and they seek Blackbeard's treasure and there is an antagonist named Jack Frost who is not in the game. However, the story follows the "walkthrough" of the game, so hypothetrically someone reading the book could use it as a guide to beat the game, albeit it with a twist ending which sets up a sequel (in the planning stages).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly, it was pure necessity. I have met many published authors and they told me how difficult it is to get published. There are so many layers to pass through that it is nearly impossible to get published and then many times your work is so often revised to the point that the story has diverged so much from the story you wanted to tell. I tried to find agents and publishers and had no success. I found self-publishing almost on accident and it gave me the motivation I needed to give it a shot. I probably will never get rich or famous, but my books are out there and I can be proud of that. If you write for the love of it first, success second (all authors should), then that will be satisfactory.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, so far I've had 41 downloads of one of my books (Andrew and the Pirate Cove). I did put Tammany Hall - Part 1 as part of a serial, but after a week of being on the site, they asked me to unpublish it, despite the fact that I had it on there as a free download. Oh well, I did as they asked. As for Andrew and the Pirate Cove. I have no sales, but indie publishing is a tough market. Smashwords gave me the outlet to get it out there, marketing is up to me, so they did what I expected of them and I am grateful.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It enables me to create stories that I want to see in print and that I think others will enjoy. My son loves seeing stories about him, so that has been fun. It has given mee a great outlet and I hope someday a career, but that is not important. I think honestly everyone should write, it really is fun and once you start is hard to stop, plus it can be a great release of stress. In a way, you get to express who you are as it is reflected in your style.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am not sure I have that many fans, but if I do, well that is awesome and I am glad to have them whether it is 1, 10, 1,000, or 100,000. I hope to someday go to book signings and get to meet readers and create a fanbase, I certainly would be grateful to have them.
What are you working on next?
My current work is Tammany Hall. It is a more adult novel written under my pen name of S. J. Vickers. It is about a true crime author hired to write the biography of a dying mafia don. I have also written a few sci-fi stories for an anthology being published by Books You Can Trust who I have also signed on with to publish Andrew and the Pirate Cove. My next Young Adult novel is undecided. I have a plethora of ideas, but am uncertain which one to write and the thought has crossed my mind that all these ideas could be interwoven into one series. Andrew and the Pirate Cove could be connected to two other Andrew Young adult stories that originally were stand alone. Alternatively, Scott has given me permission to write about his other games, so I am contemplating the options as I continue working on Tammany Hall, which hopefully will be completed and ready sometime in 2014.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author of adult fiction is Nelson DeMille, he wrote The Gold Coast and The Gate House (sequel) which inspired me to write Tammany Hall. Scott Adams as the designer of the game Pirate Cove I consider an author as he has created several stories that have inspired me (check out his website at msadams.org). I also enjoyed Michael Moorcock's Elric Eternal Champion series (especially Elric and Prince Corum) and George Alec Effinger's Marid Audran trilogy (This is an author who died way too young). Jude Watson inspired me to write my young adult stories, she is well-known for a number of books, but mainly for her Star Wars books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have two children, Andrew and Tyler. Knowing that I am getting up and working hard to make sure they have all the best opportunities as my parents did for me is what keeps me motivated to work, to write, and be the best person I can. Andrew just turned 8 yesterday and Tyler is 18 months. They are the two best kids I could ask for. My wife Nickcole is also an inspiration to work, the love of a good wife is a great motivator and I am glad she is by my side. Hopefully I can be successful and provide for her even better for all she had done staying by me all these years.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend most of my time with my two kids. I write a lot in my spare time, I play softball and I admit to still enjoying playing computer games. I work as an I.S. Professional as my regular job and come home and my time belongs to my kids. After dinner I give both kids baths and they have a ton of toys in the bathtub with which I make shows for them. Some of these shows have turned into my books which can be scene at kdp.amazon.com and lulu.com as eBook and paperback purchases. I also of course spend time at the gym. I am in my forties and it is important for me to stay healthy for my kids.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I actually do not read eBooks very often as I prefer to read in the bathtub where eReaders are probably not a good idea. It is a great area to have quiet and privacy so that my mind can be absorbed in the story. I know as someone whose books are primarily on eBooks this is an odd statement, but we all read the ways best suited for us and this is how I have been best able to do it.
What is your writing process?
Well, I begin by storyboarding. I write a basic outline, character names, and then begin fleshing out the story day by day. I then of course re-read the story, proofreading it and using the second "run-through" to fix any spelling, typing, or continuity errors and sometimes add new facets to the story. This inevitably leads to a third or even fourth read and re-edit. I also try to have someone proofread my work. Generally it is expensive, but even having a friend with some writing skill can make a world of difference if you cannot afford one.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think it was a book called Cowboys which was an illustrated book on modern day cowboys and what they did. This was of course the early 70s. The artwork was well-done, drawn for children to enjoy them that told a good story even while being somewhat biographical. I still have the book. I think everybook I ever read had some impact on my writing.
How do you approach cover design?
I make my own covers. I think in my head what I want to draw and often look at Google images to find pictures to give me a general thing to sketch. I then draw it using Powerpoint and microsoft paint.
Published 2013-08-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Toler Kid - Book 1
Price: Free! Words: 2,090. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play, Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
Enjoy the first adventure of The Toler Kid, Book 1 of a short story revolving around the story of Johnny Fortune, an eight year old boy and his friend Marie Christine, and his dog Houdini as they seek a lost golden treasure mask. A fun, educational, family friendly story.