Interview with Sam J. Ockham

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my iPad with a passion unbecoming. Being a computer geek, I have always used PCs in the past, so it was a big step choosing a tablet, but I am glad to plug Apple because the iPad is a stunning piece of technology. I read everything electronically now, and have never looked back.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am only just starting out in the epublishing game, so I will let you know when i know!
Describe your desk
Ha HA! Currently my desk contains the laptop, printer, speakers, packet of mints, a stack of corned beef and pickle sandwiches (yum!), my glasses (at least I hope so ... hang on ... oh where are they?), half a packet of cigarettes and several lighters. I think I keep the greater Wellington region in lighters, everyone always pinches them. It's WRONG, I tell you, pinching a man's lighter. sigh.
When did you first start writing?
When I could hold a pen. I have been writing creative and non-fiction all my life. It is both a curse and a blessing, as I think most writers would agree.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I experienced a unique set of events from a unique perspective, I think (and hope), and wanted to make a record of them. The book is not straight non-fiction, I need to be clear on that. All names have been changed to protect the guilty, some stuff that goes on has been exaggerated or glommed together in the interests of pacing (yes, it's a word). I like the term 'gonzo,' coined by the great Hunter S. Thompson, which defines fiction with a solid historical base. And I really wanted to make it funny.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
That's a very good question. It's easier than trying to sell to a publisher, to be honest. I am no Lee Child or J.K Rowling, I don't write to order. The story is mine and the voice is mine, and I don't have to compromise in this format. I bet if you ask any author on Smashwords they would tell you that deep down ... secretly ... they wish theirs is the one that become '50 Shades of Gray,' the Justin Bieber of the online publishing set. We can all dream little dreams.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
They haven't yet, but being a geek I love the interface, know a bit about the XML stripping out the metadata, and ate up the style guide. All hail Mr Coker, I hope the sun forever shines on him for putting together such a groovy product.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That's an easy one. Audience reaction. Writing is hard. The discipline to chug through a long novel - and Fad Company is 100,000 words, which is 400 pages in the paper language, so it is not something you can dash off overnight. I can't stand editing, but I force myself to be very thorough.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'll ask them when they arrive.
Who are your favorite authors?
Here comes the list (drum roll, thank you Jeff): As mentioned, Hunter S. Thompson. also PJ O'Rourke, Bill Bryson (especially his later stuff), Stephen Fry, Henrik Ibsen (I have to put someone worthy in here), John Birmingham, Dan Abnett, Aldous Huxley, Neil Gaiman, Joseph Heller, Michael Moorcock, Paolo Bacigalupi, Umberto Eco, Ben Elton (although he can be patchy), Terry Pratchett, Kim Newman, Jasper Fforde, ... and the ones that only require one name: Tolkien, Dickens, Lovecraft, Poe, Dunsany, Sartre, Derrida.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Published 2014-05-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.