Interview with William Gant

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I wish I had a good answer for this. Being a natural night owl, my soul inspiration for getting up each morning is the deadening sound of my alarm clock.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working the "other" job, or researching on how to make my writing better than it is. My current work role outside of this has a heavy emphasis on quality assurance, so I apply those skills into making sure I have the best product out before I go to press.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly by recommendations. I'm still not keen on paying the traditional publisher price of $9.99+, but there are a lot of e-book authors out there that match more popular authors page for page. Of course, reading the best-seller lists now, some of these e-book only writers (or e-book mostly) are now some of the most popular writers out there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Absolutely. It was supposed to be some sort of murder mystery - I think I was twelve. Didn't make it past the first couple of chapters. Still don't know who did it.
What is your writing process?
I've only recently discovered the best process for me. The "idea" is pure inspiration - but the process is purely mechanical. I look at the major themes and arcs in the story to determine of it will be a novel or something shorter, and then I plot out the chapters and scenes in a rough outline, then a second outline. This is really essential for my creative process - the creation of the story primarily takes place - for me - in the outline.

Once I'm comfortable with my outline, I write the first draft, and then go directly to a second draft. This second draft is the one I worry over and constantly reshape, edit, and improve (my first drafts are usually always crap - although I often borrow from them for draft two if there are occasional chucks of genius). Once I'm finally done, I will re-read the story about three times (mostly for copy-editing) before starting on the publishing process.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've been reading since the first grade - so first story was "Jack and Jill." However, the first story I ever read that had the most impact was Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" - required reading in college. Being raised in the highly religious South, her writing spoke volumes to me - and still does to this day. Her writing is timeless.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a few years of "amateur" graphics design experience - I've been blogging and creating 3D art in user-created MMORPG's for the last ten years.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Mostly, because it's also my favorite movie - although there are thematic and stylistic differences. This was the most believable villain I could learn to love, and the perfect villain for the time period (I doubt this could be recreated now due to improved social mobility of the last half-century).

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Can you tell I love dark suspenseful thrillers set in the South? Absolutely the funniest book I've ever read, although it's the furthest thing from a comedy you could pick up with two hands.

Interview with the Vampire. Again - dark, supernatural, noirish, and Southern (okay, southern gothic with a twist of french colonial) from an author who has the most magnificent talents of painting with QWERTY.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. The Mark Twain of our day - this man cannot write a single sentence that doesn't have me laughing so hard that I almost eviscerate.

Memnoch the Devil - Anne Rice again. This was an attempt to top her previous four Vampire Chronicles novels, and instead she painted a literary picasso. You can almost smell the oils from the portraits she paints of the antiquities, and of the Heavens. I was pretty much in my most nonspiritual phase when I read this book - and openly wept at parts of it (which is difficult for me to do while reading).
What do you read for pleasure?
Dan Savage, usually.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle - 3rd generation, I think.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is my first published work - so we're still in the process of answering that question.
Describe your desk
It's an old hard-wood desk with very slick finish on top. Got it at the Salvation Army in Galveston - and could immediately tell it was from one of the office buildings down town - circa 1950's/60's. Heavy as an elephant, and probably won't survive my next move - but it's sturdy as a rock and I'll use it till it falls apart.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small lumber mill town in East Texas in a very conservative religious community. This is the part of Texas that is more "South" than it is "Western," and often gets the nickname "West Louisiana" - which is an apt description.

Did it influence my writing? I think it is why I write.
When did you first start writing?
Twelve or thirteen.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I was taking a shower one morning trying to imagine what story I could write that wouldn't be a simple re-shuffling of 90% of the current horror/supernatural stories that are published today. Quite quickly, I thought of a guy who sees people that aren't there ... where these ghosts, or were they something else? Might he simply be hallucinating - which is what most people would think if they started seeing people that weren't there. From that - I started fleshing out the back-story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Hands down ... reading Joe Konrath's blog.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
We'll see.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I'm writing non-stop and I'm totally in the character - in their world - and I'm able to churn it out as quickly as it comes to mind. Those moments are magical and fleeting, and a minority of my writing experiences.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently writing a psychological drama/thriller about a young woman who's completely in love with a wirey, moody young guy with a lot of secrets. They're talking marriage and she wants to meet his family - which is something he does not want to happen. She presses the issue until he gives in ... and that's the story ... what happens when she meets the family he desperately wants to forget.
Published 2013-09-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Lady in the Room
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,810. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Darrell Donka had a problem; a problem that required medication. He didn't like the feeling it gave him, so he gradually withdrew ... and that's when he saw her. The beautiful curvaceous brunette across the room at the party he didn't want to be at. She smiled at him, and he felt compelled to talk to her ... and that conversation led to events that would change his life and reality forever.