Interview with S.J. Drew

What's the story behind your latest book?
This is third in the "Nevermore and the Ravens" series, which is about an all-female progressive rock band that suffers through supernatural misadventures while on the road (I may possibly be inspired by old Hanna-Barbera cartoons...). Like the other two books in the series, I have thirteen short stories, thirteen sets of lyrics, and a connecting thread of an interview. The stories are not in chronological order, although the books are. Some stories are serious, but most are more light-hearted.
How did you settle on the format for your series?
Because I was stuck writing my series of epic fantasy novels. The first one is also published by Smashwords, and I intended and still do intend to write a sequel, but I just couldn't get it to come out right. So I decided to try something different, and picked up these song fragments my friends had come up with one night (there may have been adult beverages involved) and decided to write the stories to go with them. That's why Nevermore and the Ravens is a collection of short stories. And since I had some songs already, I figured why not write a song to accompany every single story? I know, without music the songs are just poetry, but then I hit upon the idea of using the interview to describe the music. I may possibly have made my writing life much harder than it needed to be.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I could get crayon to paper and make a word (my handwriting has not improved much since then). One of my parents taught literature, so the house was always full of books, and that parent encouraged reading. Once I had reading down writing was the next step. Writing well, however, took a lot longer to learn.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is knowing that someone enjoyed what I wrote. If I just wanted to write stories for myself, I wouldn't be trying to publish them. I want to share my stories. I want people to enjoy them. So that's what I'm aiming for, and when I succeed, well, that's a pretty awesome feeling.
Describe your desk
Messy. I try to be organized, I really try so hard, but the mess gets away from me. I have random thumb drives, some papers, a pencil, a coffee mug, a drow, an old keyboard I don't think even works any more, and some paper weights (which are not holding down papers).
What is your writing process?
Hahahahaha!! Writing "process." I suppose writing is technically a process, but it's not precise or rigid, which is what "process" connotes to me. I write in fits and starts as inspiration strikes me. Or I write in frustration as I try to muscle through a difficult paragraph. I do try to set aside time for writing, although I often get distracted. This leads to further frustration. Writing is much more art than science.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Currently, LEGO Marvel Superheroes. I'm such a nerd.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly? Publishing through a traditional publisher is nigh impossible for someone who isn't already a Big Name. A friend of mine is in a writing group with Big Names and she said to one of them once, "Teach me how to get published." And the Big Name replied, "I can't teach luck." So I'm hoping my books will become popular through the indie market and maybe one day I can become a Big Name.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
For a long time I eschewed an e-reading device. I was loyal to paper, and paper only. After all, paper had been good to me, if a bit heavy at times. But finally I got tired of lugging around heavy anthologies and trying to find bookmarks and got a Simple Nook. I actually had to go through a third party to get the Simple Nook. And I love it now.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mystery novels and science fiction. I'm drawn to genres that I don't think I could write very well. Mysteries and science fiction are quite difficult. Maybe one day if I read enough of them I'll figure out how to write them. I am what I read.
Do you really think you can become a Big Name?
I wouldn't be trying if I didn't hold out some small hope that there was even the slimmest chance of success. Smashwords has a lot of affliates. With a lot of hard work, and probably no small amount of luck, I think I can make it after all (cue hat flying into the air with a freeze frame).
Published 2014-10-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Saturday Night Séance
Series: Nevermore and the Ravens. Price: Free! Words: 70,720. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Meet Nevermore and the Ravens, a progressive concept rock band! They've just released their third hit album, "Saturday Night Séance." Read more about the band's supernaturally-themed misadventures that were the inspiration for their album in this novel-length collection of short stories.
Paranormal is Relative
Series: Nevermore and the Ravens, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 89,180. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Meet Nevermore and the Ravens, a progressive concept rock band! They've just released their second hit album, "Paranormal is Relative." Read more about the band's supernaturally-themed misadventures that were the inspiration for their album in this novel-length collection of short stories.
Necromancy for the Greater Good
Series: Nevermore and the Ravens, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 75,550. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Meet Nevermore and the Ravens, an all-girl progressive concept rock band! They've just released their major first album, "Necromancy for the Greater Good." Read about the band's supernaturally-themed misadventures that were the inspiration for their album in this novel-length collection of short stories.
Squandered Blessings
Price: Free! Words: 6,570. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
(5.00 from 1 review)
A short story about selfish parents and the consequences as told through their son's eyes.
A Song of Snow and Ashes
Price: Free! Words: 164,790. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
This is the story of two ordinary humans living ordinary lives half a world apart, until they day they were chosen by the Gods to fight a battle for the fate of their world. One Avatar fights for the Light and one Avatar fights for the Darkness, and both learn wielding the power of a god is not what they thought it would be.