Interview with Bryan Davidson

What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on another Western novel. This one will be about a notorious hired killer, a murderer of the first degree who has transformed his life and is now on the straight and narrow. When a gang of outlaws invades his claim, steals his gold and kidnaps his grandson, he takes up his trusty rifle and reverts to his old ways as he sets out on their trail.
Who are your favorite authors?
Louis L'Amour, hands down. I've read just about everything he's ever written, some of it more than once. I also like Hampton Sides and Mark Bowden.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that you can't accomplish very much while you're in bed.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to spend a lot of time outdoors, and especially with my nephews and nieces. They like to help out on science experiments.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
The same way everybody else does, I guess. Just by clicking around on different things. Do it long enough and you are bound to discover something you will like.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, but I remember that I wrote a song in third grade about some bugs on a barbecue. If you have never heard it, do not worry. You are not missing out on anything special.
What is your writing process?
I'm not exactly sure how to answer this. Mostly I just get an idea and think about it for a few hours, or maybe even a few days. At the end of that time, if I am still excited at the prospect of writing about it, and if I can think about different scenarios to put in and enough interesting things that might happen throughout the story, I start writing. Usually it works out at least fairly well. Sometimes not.

If you're asking if I am a pantser or a planner, I would have to go with pantser, although I do have a vague outline in my head.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It wasn't the first story I ever read, but the book that I have read the most often is Robinson Crusoe. And there is a book called Nikki, Wild Dog of the North that I really liked as a child. Before we were old enough to read, my brothers and I would have my mother read it to us over and over.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Robinson Crusoe, Black Hawk Down, Ghost Soldiers, Unbroken, and a Vietnam war book called The Five Fingers. These are my five favorite books lately. I have a strong interest in action/adventure and war stories, and these all fit the bill. I like stories about people overcoming the odds and I have a lot of respect for our military guys and gals. In my mind, they are the true heroes, not all of these sports stars you see on television.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly outdoor related action/adventure/war stories, although I do enjoy humorous books as well. And I would much rather read something that is true, something that actually happened rather than something that was just made up. I have always found the truth more interesting, and sometimes more strange, than fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Nook.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This one is easy- I have no book marketing techniques. I am a neophyte at this, and other than telling friends and family members and mentioning my book in a few online discussion forums, I do not know how else to go about it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up and still live in Oklahoma, in the middle of cowboy country. Pickup trucks, guns and wide-open spaces are the norm. Wherever it is that you might grow up, how could it not influence your writing and the way you behave and think?
When did you first start writing?
The same time as everyone else does, I guess, in school. I remember in fifth grade that for extra credit we could read all these documentary type stories and then turn in a brief summarized report about it. I always loved to read, and I was good at these reports. I got lots of extra credit that way. But I didn't really start writing stories until four or five years ago when I began taking these online writing classes.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's too soon to tell.
What do your fans mean to you?
Well, without any readers, what is the point of writing?
How do you approach cover design?
I approach cover design in a logical manner. Whatever my story is about, I tried to find an image that conveys it. I think that a potential buyer should be able to simply look at your cover image and get a good idea about what your book is about.
Describe your desk
My desk is a countertop that runs all the way across one side of the room. Perched upon it are a computer, books, CDs, magazines, a printer, stereo, notebooks, trinkets, and all the other clutter normally associated with a home office. As you might have guessed, it is somewhat of a mess.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Reading all the horror stories about dealing with editors, publishers, and all of that type of thing and then only receiving a small percentage of the profits. I decided not to even bother with trying to find an agent or any of that other stuff, and with the sales of e-books steadily increasing, it seemed like the thing to do. I guess time will tell if I made the right decision.
What do you enjoy most out of life?
Hmmmmmm, this is a tough one. Apart from the usual spending time with family that most everyone likes to do, I enjoy watching a good explosion. And of course bigger is almost always better. Running a close second would be the exhilaration you feel when you are on a dirt bike blasting down the trail and you launch off of a jump and go sailing 70 or 80 feet through the air. And it brings even more satisfaction if you make a successful landing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest, and only book so far, kind of came along by accident. I've taken a few online writing classes and in one of those classes I got to be friends with several of the other students. When the class was over with we decided to form our own little online writing group, so we did. Once a week or so, one of us would post up a writing prompt for everyone else to write about, then we would critique each other's work and offer our suggestions for improvement. I wrote a little short story about a cowboy waking up in the darkness, hurting like hell and wondering how he got to be there. My writing buddies liked it and they wanted to know what happened next. So I wrote an extension to the story, they liked it, and wanted to know what happened next. I kept on writing, they kept on wanting to know, and before you know it I had 15 chapters written. At that point I thought, why don't I just write a book? So I did.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have discovered that the greatest pleasure in writing is getting feedback from the people that read it. It is very satisfying and nice to know that people have enjoyed what you have written.

One of the things I find most interesting about writing is the countless ways you can have your characters interact and drive the story along by their actions, their emotions, and even their conversations. It's like having an open chessboard, and the way you move your characters around from place to place can have a profound influence on what happens next. Sometimes all it takes is one word from one character spoken in anger, frustration, fright, or hurt to send the story off in a whole new direction. It's kind of fascinating to play around with different characters doing different things and see what happens.
What is your favorite place in the world?
Bora Bora. I've never been there, but it is The one place I would like to go before I croak. I have made it to Hawaii, and I loved it, but every picture I've ever seen of Bora Bora leads me to believe that it is the most beautiful spot in the world.

And of course there are lots of places in the American West that I love. Sedona probably tops the list, but there are a dozen or so other places scattered across the West that are nearly as breathtaking, at least in my mind.

Most of these places are far from home and out of my reach for the most part, but anywhere you can go out in the middle of the woods, the prairie, or the swamp and not hear any traffic or sirens or telephones ringing is a good place to be.
Published 2014-01-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Long Way to Dodge
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,570. Language: American English. Published: January 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier, Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
22-year-old Thomas Bertram wants nothing more than to get home to Mississippi. With a lot of open country to cross, two stray children to look after, Indians and outlaws on their trail, and a price on his head put there by someone from his hometown, his chances on reaching his destination aren't looking too good.