I have been writing fiction since age thirteen, but I had never really been aware of the possibility of independent publishing. I mostly wrote for fandoms, which I believe helped hone my writing ability. Recently, I was made aware of Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, and I decided that it was time to try and turn my craft into a trade. Since then, I stumbled upon Smashwords, which is looking like a more viable option for actually making a name for myself.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I am new to Smashwords, and at present, my published works are trapped in the KDP Select exclusivity deal with Amazon. Smashwords is looking like a much better alternative and I am preparing to re-release here instead of remaining exclusive. I am optimistic about the otcome.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It is wonderful to see my world and characters come to life, but what really lifts my spirits is when others can come to love them as much as I do. An old mentor of mine had a saying: "Writers write because we are so arrogant that we believe others will want to read what we have written." Take that as you will, but there is some truth to it for everyone, I believe. Fleshing out ideas and creating worlds is great, but if you don't share them with anyone, there is just something missing from the experience.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans have always been my biggest driving force. Receiving positive feedback on something i have written has always served to boost my morale and motivate me to write more. As I stated above, knowing that other people love my characters and my stories as I do is the most uplifting part of being a writer for me. It makes all the work and frustration more than worth it.
What are you working on next?
For the time being, I am focusing on marketing and redistribution of my already published works. I have ten short stories in my Eros series, which comes out to two seasons. Again, I'm currently stuck exclusively on Amazon, but I have begun setting the stage for a wider release here. Other than that, I'm trying to figure out this whole self-marketing thing. I'm a terrible salesperson and not so great at interacting with large groups of people, so it's taking a lot of my effort. I do have plans for another season of Eros - at least - but that's going to have to wait until I get myself more established. Can't write and market at the same time. Just doesn't work for me at all.
Who are your favorite authors?
I've never actually been a big reader. I enjoy books when I do sit down with them, but finding the motivation to seek them out is a different story. I just have other things going on, and because of my visual impairment, reading any long work in print is basically impossible. So, I am limited primarily to audiobooks, which are generally more expensive and - until recently - less convenient.
That said, I have made my way through a few series' and gained an appreciation for a few authors. George R. R. Martin and J. R. R. Tolkin are excellent fantasy writers, and I have a special place in my heart for J. K. Rowling, as the "Harry Potter" series - books and movies - were a huge part of my teenage/young adult life. Terry Goodkind would be on this list, but... uh... he turned out to be an arrogant, Objectivist asshole who almost directly plagerized another author's work. So, while I enjoy his series, I can't add him to this list.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Sorry, no poetry here. I get out of bed in the morning because - if I don't - I'll feel like crap, both physically and emotionally. Also, role-playing. That's kind of my favorite thing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I mentioned role-playing above, but since I do text-based literary role-play, it's just another form of writing with a slightly different purpose. Other than that, I am a casual gamer. I would be much more than casual if my vision permitted me to play most games, but alas, I am nearly blind. All in all, I do spend the vast majority of my days by the warm glow of my computer screen doing various activities, but that will change fairly soon as I will be returning to college in Fall 2015 to study music.
...Oh, yeah. I'm a singer. Guess I should mention that. Not a professional, mind you, but here's hoping that will one day change.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I can't really remember if it was my first story, but it might have been. I was six years old and in my school cafe-gym-itorium. I was with my Orientation and Mobility instructor (the lady that taught me to use a white cane, 'cause blind), and I think she wanted me to make a book about my life or my average day or... something like that. Anywho, I drew pictures and wrote simple sentences, then had the book bound later by my dad, who owned a small printing shop and had machines for simple ring binding.
I won't tell you the details of the book because I was six and it was inane things about the life of a sex-year-old. It did have cats in it, though.
What is your writing process?
1) Stare off into space for a while - whether lying in bed or sitting in my computer chair doing nothing - and daydream up a scenario. 2) Make a random list in a word processor containing details about the characters and - sometimes - the world. 3) Do some more daydreaming to figure out where to start and what to cover. 4) Go back to my word processor, change the color scheme to yellow on black, and just start writing to see what comes out. Scrap it if it's not working, and possibly start from a different point. 5) Read over it and hope I didn't miss any mistakes with my awful eyesight. 6) Decide whether or not the world would want to see what I've written. 7) Insert a cup of coffee at regular intervals.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Afraid not, but I can take an educated guess and say it was something about cats. Love me some cats.
...Why doesn't Adrian own a cat!? This must be remedied!
How do you approach cover design?
That was a huge sticking point for me when I first decided to start independent publishing. With my impairment, there is no way I could make my own covers, and I am way too broke to afford to pay anyone else to design them. Fortunately, one of my best friends had started learning 3D modeling and design at the time, and he offered to create a book cover for me using 3D characters. This turned into him designing a different cover for each story in my Eros series. He has since redesigned the older covers now that he knows more and has access to a better rendering platform.
So, basically, I just leave it to him. I give him a scene from the story, and he creates it visually. Unorthodox, maybe, but it's fun and much better than anything I could do on my own.
What do you read for pleasure?
For original works, I've mostly stuck to fantasy novels. Medieval fantasy, to be more specific. I also enjoy reading some fan fiction, but that's a crap-shoot... Much like indie publishing, I suppose.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My web browser. I've started using my smartphone - now that i actually have one - but it hasn't grown on me, yet.
Describe your desk
Hm... Let's see... Keyboard, 24" monitor, cheap USB speakers, phone, magnifying glass, glasses case, empty coffee cup, empty water bottle, empty other cup, 3-in-1 printer, dreaded utility bills, and a package for something I've long-since forgotten the identity of. Then, a drawer full of things and two shelves full of other things.
...It's all much more organized than it sounds. I do have a system.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.