Interview with Walker C. Fields

When did you first start writing?
For the public, probably around 2007. I was poking around online, reading stories that earned the highest spots on top lists, and thought, 'I can do way better than this.' So I tried. From there came one of my most popular stories…that I can no longer read without cringing.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first that I finished was one I wrote with a friend. We were about eight years old. There was an old software program that allowed users to illustrate their own books: you could choose a background like a field or a house, add terribly pixelated characters, and then type in the blank space underneath. The program really lent itself to fantasy stories, and my friend and I wrote some long-winded tale about a princess who kept getting into trouble with trolls and dragons (we purposely wrote her as very stupid). The poor woman also was captured and forcibly wed on a regular basis, because we found that hilarious to write and illustrate. Just put a princess in a dungeon with ten or twelve babies, each getting into a different rack of armor or pot of soup or whatever else we clicked and dragged onto the page: instant comedy for a couple of 2nd graders. On the next page she'd escape on the back of a flying horse or something. That princess abandoned a lot of offspring, now that I think about it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Is it too honest to say, "Money?" Writing gay erotica is not particularly profitable, which meant that my writing time was often dedicated to other, less salacious material. Once I started publishing series I could justify taking the time to work on the next installment of The Windshield Incident, or polish MMM. "Another few hours of writing," I could say to myself, "and that's coffee money."
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's twofold: Firstly, in seeing a story unfold based on a fleeting thought I had once that one time a while ago. I love writing about the kinds of people I would hate to know in real life, who are often a Picasso-ed character of personality traits that I've encountered. Unstable, short-tempered, inarticulate, self-defeatist, unintelligent, losers with little or no self-awareness—these are my favorite characters to put in situations so bizarre that the reader finds him or herself rooting for the sad sack on the page.

The second and equal great joy of writing is the feedback. Who was it who said that all authors are narcissists? I won't argue. Even those emails which argue that I'm taking a character in the wrong direction delight me. At least I know the readers are invested. I did that with my words. I managed to create a character so compelling that the imaginary events surrounding the imaginary human being upset a real live human being enough to contact me, the creator. (Was it narcissist or megalomaniac?)

Perhaps I am being too honest. Who thinks of these questions, anyway? You're fired.
What do your fans mean to you?
What DON'T my fans mean to me? A ha ha, chortle chortle. Perhaps writers still exist because some things have yet to be properly put into words. The flattery and humbling that accompanies a fan telling you she has, "followed your work for years," for example. The frustration of feedback on a pet project that says, "This was okay, but I want more of your other story!" The elation of someone understanding exactly what I intended to communicate. "No sequel; leave us wondering."

It boils down to this: Without fans, why publish?
What are you working on next?
There are always ten or fifteen stories in the works. Immediate goals include the final installment of The Windshield Incident series, the collected and expanded stories of the My Neighbor universe, and a standalone project about an American living in Japan. I blog many of the bits and pieces of these rough drafts, sometimes abandoning one complicated story for another quick and dirty piece that practically writes itself. Blog feedback lets me know which bits are truly worth pursuing. Ergo, no matter what I mentioned in the sentences above, it all comes down to giving the people what they want.
What is your writing process?
All stories begin with a situation. How would the most awkward person I can think of react to meeting the scariest kid in town? What would be the breaking point for unrequited love? How would an intelligent adult get manipulated into a threesome he didn't want? Or sometimes: I hate X kind of story, so how do I take an X storyline and write it so that someone like me would want to read it? These questions get turned into character interactions around which I can build a story. It's incredibly haphazard.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Midwest America, with two parents of different races and nationalities, and with antagonistic siblings who grew up to become great friends. My siblings and I also went through home schooling, public school, and a fancy schmancy private school before graduating high school. I suppose that's where the basic notion of "everybody is different, and everybody thinks they're normal" took hold of me, only to be expanded when I went to college away from home, studied in France, and then worked in Japan. Little big cities in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas influence the settings of most of my stories; "The Windshield Incident" is all but set on the street of my college town, and "Chemistry" in a big Paris nightclub I visited. Another story that will show up some time in the future don't bug me about it is set in regal Kyoto City, where I spent a lot of weekends during my tenure in the prefecture.

Traveling gave me a love for seeing people put outside their element, which definitely pops up in my stories. It also makes me an ass at parties: You go ahead and talk about what you "know" about why Asian students practice and study so hard. I'll be over here swirling my snifter full of brandy, knowing better.
How do you approach cover design?
With wild abandon! Have you seen my cover art? I do it all by myself, which I think makes it clear that I have no eye for color or readability. I am not a trained artist. I'm not even an untrained artist. It's just an excuse to use drawing apps on my iPad and download fonts. It's free, though, which in turn keeps the overall cost of books low. Clearly I'm just looking out for the customer.
What do you read for pleasure?
Grimm's Fairy Tales fascinate me. Some of the characters have clear personalities, others just a stand-in for Goodness or Evil, but I'm always left wondering about the motivations of the other characters. In, "Oh, If I Could But Shiver!" our hero Dummerling, for example, is unintelligent, easily angered, and unafraid of anything. Not brave, just too stupid to be scared of hellhounds and dead bodies wrestling with him and the personification of Death. Still, a princess falls in love with Dummerling, and cares enough about the dolt she married (who makes a good ruler, somehow) that she helps him learn to shiver. Wha—? Why?

Snow White and Rose Red are two good little sisters who befriend a talking bear and help an ungrateful dwarf. They witness the bear murder the dwarf they've been helping. Sure, the dwarf was the one who turned the handsome prince into a bear in the first place. Still, they were helping the dwarf, their bear friend kills him right in front of them, and then Snow White marries the prince. Why? And did Rose Red marry the prince's brother just to stay close to her sister, or what? How old are all these characters, anyway? Tell me, you Bastards Grimm!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My blog, and having been a top author on a "free sex story portal" or three. It helps that my chosen niche is one that lends itself to free publication, which is how I give potential customers a taste of my writing. The hope is always that they will be so enraptured by my characters that they impulsively click the link to Smashwords and buy all my stories. That technique always seems to work on me, so perhaps it works for me.
Published 2015-04-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Windshield Incident, Part 4
Series: The Windshield Incident. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,800. Language: American English. Published: April 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
(5.00)
Grant got through college, found a good job, and never regretted leaving his hometown and all its occupants in the dust. Nothing could have prepared him for seeing Ryder Vance getting coffee on a lazy Saturday morning. However, Ryder would never remember Grant after all this time…would he?
The Windshield Incident, Part 3
Series: The Windshield Incident. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 7,850. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
As the date of Grant's departure approaches he finds it harder and harder to navigate his relationship with enigmatic Ryder Vance with any sense of dignity. Even more worrying: What will Ryder do when he finds out that Grant plans to leave?
The Windshield Incident, Part 2.
Series: The Windshield Incident. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 7,660. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
Grant would love to forget his encounter with local bad boy Ryder Vance. When the car that Grant accidentally damaged shows up in the Vance Autobody, Grant's dad makes a deal with Mr. Vance: free labor until the damages are paid for. With Ryder working at the shop, Grant has to work doubly hard to stop thinking about what happened on the hood of that car, and to make sure it doesn't happen again…
No Regrets
Price: Free! Words: 3,890. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
(4.50)
The night before graduation, roommates Clayton and Jimmy find a new way to say goodbye.
The Windshield Incident
Series: The Windshield Incident. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,850. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
"I kept my nose out of trouble. I didn’t smoke and didn't drink unless I was at home. I tried to make good grades. All I wanted was to get out of this hellhole unscathed, and here two months before graduation Ryder Vance was pushing me down on my knees in an empty baseball field parking lot because I hit a homer into his car."
Chemistry
Price: Free! Words: 1,460. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
(3.00)
A quick and dirty encounter between two strangers in a nightclub bathroom.
The Roommate
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,960. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
Sam has been in love with his roommate Preston since they were in college together, but Preston seems oblivious. That is, until his model boyfriend sets his wandering sights on Sam.
Lance Oliver Jordan
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,610. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
(5.00)
An erotic short story about an administrative assistant who thinks he's 100 percent heterosexual, and the manipulative boss who knows better.
MMM: Man, Man, Motherfucker
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 8,860. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
(4.50)
Philly just wanted to hang out and watch movies with Bo, the straight guy who he's had a crush on since freshman year of college. The only problem is that Jack got there first, and Jack has dirt on both of them.