Interview with Todd Villeneuve

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was reading at the age of three and there were so many children's books that I can recall glimpses of, but the first time I remember being utterly transported into a fantasy world was by one of the Frank L. Baum Oz books when I was in second grade. The only way I can describe that feeling is as an out-of-body experience. To be able to be dragged into another time and place is the greatest gift. Keeping that should be every readers goal.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
All favorite books, I believe, are about reading the right book at the right time. Their ideas/stories connect with where you are as a person in that unique moment. Read a year later or earlier and the impact may not be the same. We remember the emotional impact of them as much as we remember anything else about them. We are ever changing. As such my list could change on any given day as well.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. -- Magical Realism takes me back to that childhood feeling of reading where anything is possible. His descriptive powers are second to none.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky -- No one could get further into the subjective minds of his characters while simultaneously analyzing their objective place within their culture.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien -- Again, descriptive power to tell a story, but also the creation of the greatest mythology/fantasy world of all, Middle Earth. So much of geek culture owes itself to this one man and his work.
Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac -- This may not be Kerouac's most famous or best work, but it gripped me with the main character's (his) battle against alcoholism as well as its commentary about American culture.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller -- The ironic wit and trenchant critique of the realities of war are second to none. Anyone who glorifies war should read this book. Captures the absurdity of it all better than any other anti-war work.
Who are your favorite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut is one of my all-time favorites. I've read almost everything he has ever published. His ability to see the dark side of human nature while using humor to retain his humanity is admirable.
Gabriel Garcia-Marquez descriptive and storytelling abilities are absolutely astounding.
There are far too many to mention: Dostoevsky, Kafka, Kerouac, Joyce, Margaret Atwood, Milan Kundera, Richard Wright, Shakespeare, etc.
What is your writing process?
Painstakingly slow. I tend to obsess about sentences early on and it takes me an hour or more to let go and get into a flow. Once in the flow writing is so much easier. Don't do what I do! Save the obsession for the editing, not the draft writing process. You will be more productive and it will be more enjoyable for you.
Describe your desk
Our actual desk has a computer printer smack dab in the middle, our coats draped over its wheeled-chair, and generally serves as a glorified place for me to put my wallet and keys. I generally work at the dining room table with my laptop.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always wanted to be a writer, whether of history in the academic world or of fiction. Technology has reached the point that all of the creative endeavors are unable to be controlled by A&R men, editors, curators, and the like. The individual now has the opportunity to put themselves out there and let the public decide whether what they create is worthwhile or not. That freedom is empowering. Many more people will be able to attain their dreams without having to please the gatekeepers and that alone will make the world a better, richer place.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Amazon Kindle. I still have the original version. i would say it's about time to upgrade.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords allows me to work at my pace in entering the writing field so that I can still support my family at my day job, and fulfill my dream in the meantime. It also gives me the advice so that eventually a day job might be a thing of the past. Their tools are excellent in encouraging people to move forward with minimal initial know-how of the e-publishing industry.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I tend to go by personal referrals, but also am subject to the occasional NPR segment or other media piece. There is not enough time to read everything I want, and I am a massive reader of history and philosophy which I tend to plan out ahead of time, so I like my fiction tastes these days to be more serendipitous.
What do your fans mean to you?
I will let you know when I get some. ;)
Published 2014-02-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Looking-glass Walls
Price: Free! Words: 13,730. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
An erotic fiction short story for sexual intellectuals and learned lovers. Smart smut, if you will. Centered on Alyssa's new post-breakup life, the story deals with her grief, romance, and lust in equal measure. It creates characters you can care about and empathize with, in addition to living vicariously through their steamy sexual lives. Detailed description both physical and psychological.