Interview with A L Wright

How do you approach cover design?
It's different every time. I have to decide whether or not I want a person or face on the cover, or if I can get the message/theme across without it. My book Agent Colt was originally planned with 3 of the characters on the front, and I loved it. But it was too dark in color and in feel, and just didn't fit the theme of the book. So I nixed the characters and went for a locality and genre based look instead. Since this book will have a sequel, the theme will be easy to match, yet easy to keep individual for the next book. This is pretty important to me since branding is a way to build recognition with your readers.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Hmmm 5 favorite books. Well, my favorite author is Katherine Kerr. Her Deverry series is an old friend of mine, and I roll through those books once a year or so. Her amazing style and ability to plan a main story with several sub-stories weaving in and out without losing any pacing... it's hard to match.
I am also a huge fan of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray, and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Pere.
Also Diana Gabaldon is a huge inspiration for me as a writer.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love reading Indie Published and small press published books. I've found so many amazing authors and stories this way, and try to leave reviews to tell them how much I loved reading their work. I devour fantasy and paranormal books, and will dig into other fiction books if the story is strong, like historical or even western.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I own a Kindle, a Fire Tablet and a laptop tablet... but still do 95% of my reading on my Android phone. I read at work on breaks, I read at the dinner table, couch, bed... the phone is the easiest thing to tote around and I am too impatient to wait for devices to sync my place in a book.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I find email works best. If someone is serious about finding new books, they will sign up to have interesting books sent directly to them. Social Media isn't bad, but it just moves too fast for any one post to stick around long enough for more than a few people to glance at it. And spam posting is annoying and gets you unfollowed. But I am still experimenting with social media to find a balance.
Describe your desk
I am currently at my kitchen counter. I was on the couch, and then the dining room table. I've even been known to type in bed. Wherever inspiration strikes, I grab my laptop and type.
When it comes to plotting, I do have a desk with a whiteboard and easel next to it. The whiteboard is generally covered in reminders, plot loops, editing lookouts, and drawings. The easel has large pads of paper for more definite timeline planning.
But my desk is a horrible mess of papers right now since I haven't been using it for plotting recently.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've been pretty lucky to work in places where sexual orientation has never been an issue. But I grew up in a tiny town where anyone who was gay or bi or lesbian was completely shunned and disregarded. Being gay was "silly" and all in a person's head. Normal people weren't like that. I've moved away from that tiny town and have done a lot of soul searching since then. I've met amazing people of all walks of life, and some of the most amazing people I've known have been gay/bi/lesbian. Down to earth, beautiful people. But there is still a stigma, an underlying unrest, towards LGBTQ people. A lot of these people are still afraid to let others know who and what they are. My book is one small light, peeking under the door of that closet, hoping to coax people out and help society understand. We need to normalize being gay.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Being a glutton for self punishment, pretty much. I have this need, this drive, to do everything myself. Eventually I will submit something to some publishers. But until then I will keep it all under my own control.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Still fairly new to Smashwords. I now have two books on here, and one is perma-free. This one seems to get about 10 times the downloads it was getting anywhere else. I love to just share my work with others, so this is very exciting for me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My characters coming to life. When their personality is forged and their actions shine through, and when they take over. Next thing you know they are practically writing their own chapters and surprising you with the things they say and do. When your own characters make you laugh or cry... that is the joy of writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I want to share my stories with everyone! But I do have a small and extremely loyal fanbase, who reach out every time they read a book to tell me exactly how much they loved it. I've even had one fan offer to help get my books placed into their local bookstore, and another who asked their local library to carry them. It's moments like that, that really make what you do worthwhile.
What are you working on next?
I know what I should be working on, since I have a trilogy to finish and a series to continue... but I am working on a standalone paranormal/shifter novel based on a dream I had. Whether it is actually the next to get published or not, remains to be seen.
Published 2016-09-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Marigold
Price: Free! Words: 4,780. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
A soldier who has been imprisoned for several years, is finally released and taken to safety. He swears he knows the woman who saved him, firmly believes she has lived in his subconscious the entire time he was locked away. Coming face to face with the woman of his dreams, he not only has to adjust to life outside his cell, but to the idea that his dream could now be a reality.