Interview with TA Sullivan

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a short story ala Rod Serling (he has always been my go to author). It was called "Aten Means Sun" and it was about a girl who couldn't relate to her parents. She thought they acted oddly and she was embarrassed by them. When they are killed in a car crash, she finds out that they (and therefore she) are aliens from another planet, which is why they never seemed to fit in.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first short story, "Aten Means Sun," when I was about 8. After that, there was no holding me back. I was hooked. Writing has always been my medium of choice; I've just expanded my audience to include the world, instead of just my family and friends.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm sure the first story I ever read was one of the Dick, Jane, and Spot stories. But the story that always stuck in my mind and has influenced my interest in science, is "Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury. I'm addicted to time travel, alternate worlds, and multiverses.
How do you approach cover design?
I give my designer a book blurb, and I explain what I see in my head regarding the important aspects of the cover (what the key points are that I want to stress). He puts together some samples, either sketched out or done up digitally (which is his preferred method), and I put them up in my office so I can look at them while I'm working. I think about them, maybe expand on them, or toss them and we start over. Eventually, we reach a consensus and he then spends a couple of months creating our design.

He's really amazing, and we mesh well together. Already, he's pulling together ideas for the 3rd book in my fantasy series, and we're still probably a good year out from publication.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had gotten my first e-reader and loved it; however, very few publishers were distributing books in that format. I was relegated to reading classics, and while I love classics, I also love current authors. That made me realize that if I wanted to make my books available to other people with e-readers, then I would have to go independent. So, I did. The way things have worked out, I'm really glad I did, too.
What's the inspiration for your latest set of books?
The series of books I'm writing (The Darkwind of Danaria series -- "The Starstone," "The Globe of Souls," and "The Danarian Stones") were inspired by my love of history, my belief in past lives, and some dreams I had during some deep meditation sessions. These dreams were so vivid that they stayed with me days, even weeks, later. I wrote them down and put them in a drawer, but I couldn't get them out of my mind. Finally, I decided I had to turn them into a story. Only the story became one book, then two, and now it's become three.
What do you want most from life?
Acceptance. I want to feel as if I belong with a group, in the world, in this place, in this life. The biggest roadblock to that, though, is myself. I’m independent and prone to follow my own drummer, which makes me a puzzle to most people.
What is your favorite occupation
My favorite occupation is writing. I have always adored the written word. I taught myself to write when I was 3 because I wanted to understand what the magic was about words, and many decades later, I’m still exploring that magical realm of words.
What is happiness to you?
Happiness to me is many things. Some of those things are simple, like a soft breeze on a summer’s day or a bouncing, bundle of playful puppy or kitten. Sometimes I find happiness in watching my spouse come into a room and knowing that he’s safe and well. Other times happiness is knowing that I wrote a powerful passage that will move my readers or the knowledge that something I wrote has changed a reader’s life for the better.
What question do you ask most often?
I need to know ‘why’ about everything. I never outgrew the terrible two’s when you go around asking everyone why. I still do that. You tell me about an event, and if it isn’t clear to me why something happened, or why someone reacted the way they did, I’m going to ask…and sometimes I keep asking until I’m satisfied with the answer.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords' many channels has been a big boon. I've gotten more fans and more readers from the channels served by Smashwords than any other distribution service.
Published 2016-06-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.