Interview with R.D. Sexton

How do you approach cover design?
For me, cover design should give some sense of the book's overall theme. When I first view a book cover, I expect that it should reveal something about the story that follows.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Number one is the Holy Bible by God. For me, it is a "how-to" guide for life.
Number two would be The Stand by Stephen King. Best character development and story development I have read.
Number three is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Best explanations for why we do what we do.
Number four has got to be Marine Corps Leadership by Gunnery Sergeant Perry Hurtt. Outstanding application of Marine Corps lessons for business, work and life.
Number five is Lethal People by John Locke. Fast read page turner with excellent characters.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure, I read mysteries and thrillers. I try to sample 50% top authors and 50% new authors. So far, the new authors are winning me over.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My choice for reading e-books is the Kindle. Just the plain old Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Reader referrals and social media.
Describe your desk
Cluttered. Stuffed-full. four-stack inbox on the right (When I retired as a tax consultant, I swore I wouldn't own an inbox); Dell Laptop computer in the middle; Leaded glass lamp-shaded lamp in back (wife told me she would kill me if I broke it); Epson Perfection flatbed scanner on the left; Dixie coffee cup teetering precariously on the desk's edge; Passport, 1 TB portable hard drive wedged between scanner and computer (if I lose it, my life is over); current year federal income tax documents wedged between lamp and scanner hoping they might soon end up on a tax return (When will Congress finally simplify this system?); and my daily writing journal/idea notebook to the right of my computer with summary of Smashword's requirements.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Born and raised in Texas. The Gulf-Coast area has always been home except for my six-year hitch in the U.S. Marine Corps. Like most people, my perspective on life, history, government, standards of personal behavior and so on have been influenced by where I grew up. Texas is unique among the states because if began as a nation. That short period of its history helped mold the mindset of every native Texan born thereafter; I fit the mold. Rugged individualism permeates the character of most Texans. This unique Texas perspective bears influence on those of us who write.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried the old "traditional" process of agent - publisher an found that road expensive, time-consuming, and fraught with hardship. My research indicates that "Indie" publication is the future for would-be writers. Upcoming authors, such as John Locke, have demonstrated that success is within the grasp of any writer willing to follow the process through to the end.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords' wealth of free guides fast-tracked my path to an organized plan from drafting my novels to marketing them on the web. Nowhere else have I found more detailed answers to questions about writing and publishing. Smashwords provides would-be writers with the equivalent of a college-level course on writing and publishing. Mark Coker's books: Secrets to EBook Publishing, Publishing Success, Smashwords Book Marketing Guide and Smashwords Style Guide are priceless writing resources. Mark Coker is a genius.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy of writing is trying to figure out what my characters are going to do next. For many writers who laboriously outline plot in advance, according to Stephen King, "those words may be blasphemous." King distrusts plot because our lives are largely plotless and plotting and the spontaneity of real creation are not compatible. He believes plot is the writer's last resort and the dullard's first choice. King may be harsh, but I agree with King when he says, "If I don't know what my characters are going to do next, I expect my readers will anxiously wait for what the characters show me."
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans mean everything. Good feedback gives an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction - job well done. Negative feedback is even more valuable. It provides a free education on what you might do better to improve reader satisfaction. Without fans, a writer's public success will not exist.
What are you working on next?
My current project is a fictionalized historical based trilogy.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors include: Stephen King, John Locke (the one still alive), Charles Duhigg, Russell Blake, James Scott Bell, Thomas Paine, Edger Allen Poe, Mark Twain and Rose Wilder Lane.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I am reading; mowing grass or cutting down dead trees; playing with my two dogs; or taking my wife shopping. I'm the guy standing quietly in the ladies lingerie department holding a large purse in one hand and two dresses in the other while praying my brother Marines don't see me.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I first discovered eBooks on Amazon shortly after my wife bought me a Kindle for Christmas. Now I find a wealth of eBooks on Smashwords and Bookbub.
What is your writing process?
My writing process begins with news stories that grab my attention, particularly those involving highly charged political or religious issues. I jot down ideas from a story, mull it over for months, then a main character pops into my head along with the potential adversary. Then I start the story and watch what the main character does with the situation.
Published 2014-11-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Oath Keeper Trilogy - Book Three - The Assumption
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 156,880. Language: American English. Published: June 11, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA
As Commandant of the Order of the Knights of the Way, Aedan O’Neall has immense power and responsibility. His job is to protect the Constitution of the United States for a nation who will never know of his existence. While George Washington created the Order, he could not conceive how his nation would change or the Order would e challenged.
The Oath Keeper Trilogy - Book Two - The Grooming
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 166,680. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Aedan O’Neal, already a knight, finds civilian employment with a front organization of the Order of the Knights of the Way. As he grows and matures, he faces personal and professional challenges that test his resolve and his sanity. Tragedy threatens his future.
The Oath Keeper Trilogy - Book One - The Knighting
Price: Free! Words: 121,840. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
When a young Irish immigrant named Aedan O’Neall joins the United States Marine Corps, he has no idea they will train him as a covert messenger and ask him to assassinate a prominent Army general and his aide. His life is about to change forever.
SAC Time
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 68,080. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
California teacher Marjorie Crossman loves her job until Satanists murder her husband. When a rapist drives her over the edge, twin sister Claudia Thompson convinces her to move to Texas. Houston private investigator Gordon Macbeth's new suicide case brings him into contact with new teacher Angela Howard. Their relationship complicates his dysfunctional life.
A Little Rebellion - April 15th Surprise
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 100,460. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service takes an interest in Lucas Stone’s CPA tax clients leading to one suicide. When hate consumes him, Stone and friends develop a plan to assault the main IRS processing center and nation-wide storage facilities. The assault draws the attention of a Russian mole while the government may label Stone and friends as terrorists.