Interview with Willard Ferguson

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born during World War Two in North Carolina and had Uncles who were in the military. They were on my mother's side of the family. My dad and his brothers were lumbermen and exempt from military because of their job. Providing wood to the military. Like army brats we also moved around a lot. Great storytellers came out of this mix of military and lumber mills. My dad was very funny and my mother the straight man.
She loved and wrote poetry and would have me write if I told her I was bored.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote poetry in High School. All my early poems were lost. I decided that regardless of my English skills I wanted to write short stories. My first was a dream so real it wrote itself. I'm sure the stress of the navy at the time had a lot to do with it. Then I discovered the author Henry Miller. Somehow his view of the world related to the way I felt in the navy. I read all of his work. I vowed at that time that I would go back to school and learn to write. After the navy I drove an ambulance before the fire departments were the first response. I wrote some of my calls and still have them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Oh yes, "The Pig that wanted to be a Dragon." 2013 It is a children's book for 3 to 8 year olds. Great illustrations, in fact I want to offer them to the public. I think everyone wants to be a dragon at one time or another. They feel that people who look better or behave in a certain way have something one should pursue to get respect. Barney the pig tries to do this and learns a lesson we all can share.

The book (Poems from the other Side of the Brain) the Circleus, 2012 relates to the world of everyday events as we try to be a part of a circle or try to get out of one.

The book (6367 or 40 ways to get killed without seeing combat) 2011- is a narration of my experiences in the navy in the years 1963 to 1967. Those years changed America forever and myself as well. It has a wide appeal range and has something for everyone.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My age. I decided to write the big one as I call it after my sister died of dementia. I feared I would suffer the same fate within five years. That also made me think that I didn't have time to go though the long process of sending in my work and waiting for outcomes. I also really did not know the business and thought doing it myself would be educational. It has been.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has given me the chance to publish my other works quickly and get them to all the markets. I may not intend to make a hard copy of my poetry book for instance, but it is out there for at least that credit. I also had more options in the learning process and can even decide to republish with new titles and covers.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Call it a bucket list if you want to. I don't care if I make a dime. When I started this dream 45 years ago it was an impossible dream. Mentally it is paramount to getting out of a wheelchair and walking when it seemed impossible. It is the joy of expression from inspiration that tells me I have some talent.
What do your fans mean to you?
Well, to have someone say how much they enjoyed the books has meant a lot to me. It's respect for all the hard work it takes to write 88,000 words. One of my expressions is "In the three years it took for me to write my book I always had myself to talk to. Now that it's completed I'm lonely."
What are you working on next?
I've just published on Smashwords "The Pig that wanted to be a Dragon," a children's book. I've also written a one man show for senior comedy based on 180 Fergism's (not published) All Ferguson's have Fergism's these are all my own. I was going to publish then decided to try to do the show myself. My goal was this year and I am running late on it. I have my ambulance stories that may fill out a book of short stories.
Another work is "Neighborhood Botch." I can't discuss this one at this time.
Who are your favorite authors?
Henry Miller of course. When I was 21 and in the navy he spoke to me though his work and got me though the hardship of navy life. I would not feel that way today. You could say I grew up with Miller. Too many to list.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
In writing "6367" I was up every morning at three and would write until five. Once the family is up it is really hard to create. I would go back in the evening to read and rewrite. That way my mind was thinking about the thread I needed to continue the story line.

Getting out of bed is easy. I cannot remember the last time I got eight hours of sleep.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work as an actor or I do featured extra work in movies, TV and commercials. I enjoy golf and poker. I also consider poker a job.
How do you approach cover design?
I designed the cover for "Poems from the other Side of the Brain." It is very easy to see what the title and the cover has in common.
Published 2014-01-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Pig That Wanted To Be A Dragon
Price: Free! Words: 830. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals / Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures, Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
Seven beautiful illustrations help tell a story of a very special pig that was born with wings. His name is Barney. He lives in an enchanted land with leprechauns and fairies. His best friend Grady is a leprechaun. How Grady helps Barney become a dragon, and what Barney learns in the process is the essence of this cute little story for everyone.
Poems from the Other Side of the Brain
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,340. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Poems from the other Side of the Brain - The Circleus "It's amazing how the little things capture the mind. A child doesn't need the gift just the box, and a little time." - The Gumball " They don't want to be a burden, yet they don't want to be forgotten. They will always remember when they first looked into your eyes, and you will always remember when they closed theirs." The Parents
6367 (Or 40 Ways to Get Killed Without Seeing Combat)
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 88,390. Language: American English. Published: February 23, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Military biography
My story of (40 ways to get killed without seeing combat) really begins with the doctor who says "fit for duty." in 1963 to other encounters leading up to 1967. I wrote this book with a twist of humor to lighten the anxiety of dealing with problems that were out of my control, and when you are in the service everything is out of your control.