When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Pottery, reading, meeting with friends and streaming movies, these are my favorite pursuits. I also take in performances with the local arts community to include the local symphony.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Some I've read as judge for the Dan Poynter ebook awards, others are the Free-Friday Nook book. While others are books I've come across I know I'll want to read. I also read dinosaur era books, you know, traditionally bound books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
What is your writing process?
I write as I'm able. It would be nice to be one of those writers who can get up each day and sit to write at a set time. That's not an option for me. I also work, and have other interests. The writer's group with which I meet is one of my primary efforts and very important to me as I develop as a writer. Also, I recently become interested in writing for various "monetized" sites and do so for Squidoo (squidoo.com) for the present. So, though I may not be able to work consistently on works in progress, I do continue to build the support and networking system which serves to keep me motivated to write regularly.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Earth Times Two and Tripods Trilogy are two stories I recall as my "first story." They had a great impact on me in that even to today, I consider them my favorite especially in my development as a reader. It was with these books I came to know what my preference in reading was. I couldn't put them down. Though I have always been an avid reader even before this time, these are the earliest books I can recall and with some degree of detail.
How do you approach cover design?
For covers done by me, I strive for simplicity and perhaps a certain ambiguity. For other covers I've had done by Fantasia Frog Designs (http://fantasiafrogdesigns.wordpress.com), I rely on the expertise of the designer.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I've already mentioned the two earliest faves. Dune, The Mallorean and The Belgariad, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and anything by Octavia Butler head the lineup of other faves.
What do you read for pleasure?
Whatever grabs me. Though time for pleasure reading is limited. I reserve reading time for a mixture of pleasure and writing related interests, when there is any.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The Nook HD+.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Virtual networking and promotional swag.
Describe your desk
I'd be willing to if I could find it. It's buried at the moment with a peek hole for the monitor and small space for the keyboard.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a Navy brat. So, I experienced a number of different residential locales. One was overseas. I also lived overseas for the majority of my military career. As a result of experiencing different cultures, I'm able to understand that difference doesn't mean wrongness. I also have come to appreciate the mixture of genetic ethnicity over that of ethnic homogeneity for ethnocentrism. In several works in progress I play with communities for which there is not ethnic purity but rather on a genetic level they are all of mixed ancestry.
When did you first start writing?
If I take this question to mean, writing seriously, then it was only a few years ago. My military career actually separated me from many of my friends from high school. I started to reconnect a few years ago. One of my friends turned me on to the idea of self publishing. I've been on that learning curve ever since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have several things on the back burner right now, but the one that is closest to completion is called, Adrianna. It's about a young girl who moves with her family from a community which is predominantly comprised of other members of their faith to a community which has few such members in a larger community. This story tells of her learning to understand her beliefs in terms of people who are more truly different from her.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like the independence to make the decisions. I like that I'm able to be part of a wider community of writers. And, I don't enjoy systems which are more "exclusive" in nature. I have enjoyed being on this learning curve since I first started writing seriously and look forward to where this path takes me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords (SW) was my first teacher and is my favorite storefront. I learned from how to prepare my documents for epublishing. I have learned more about the "biz" than any other arena I've played in. I look forward to and hope for a very long presence here.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Giving life and substance to the voices in my head. The opportunities for self development.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are the population at large who are not central to my stories but the backdrop. They fill in the empty spaces around the unfolding tale for each of my stories. They are the voices which respond to those residing in my head.
What are you working on next?
Besides writing "Adrianna" as Rabiyah Hamnach, I'm working on a story as Satine Steele. A tale of a woman who goes through life a misfit. Not being reared to be the traditional woman she's expected to be by mainstream society, so goes through life seeking the place she truly belongs and the one person that should walk that journey with her. The working title for this one is, "The Mountain Wilds." One of my other monikers is Montrée Whiles. Montrée is working on another collection of short stories and a couple longer pieces, one a mystery and another sci-fi.
Who are your favorite authors?
Octavia Butler is first and foremost. Next are JRR Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Gail Carriger, David Eddings, Anne Perry and Louise Penny. There are others though.
Who are you, the writer?
Let's start by clarifying that I'm a novice writer. I have written for off and on for years just for fun. That mostly because I didn't know what to do with what I wrote. I had no direction Many of these writing urges were satisfied with a newsletter I used to put out that I distributed among my Pagan and Wikkan friends. I entered a short story into a competition while I was still in the military. My earliest writings were in high school. I liked poetry. One of my poems was accepted into an anthology. After the military, I continued to sooth the "itch" with the occasional effort. I participated in an online writing contest, on Live Journal, a number of years ago. My first self-published effort is comprised of those stories mostly. A Voice from an Inner World was my training effort. I learned many of the skills needed for self-publishing when I put that together. Though I have the one book published in smashwords, I do write under multiple pen names, some of which are Montrée Whiles, Rabiyah Hamnach and Satine Steele.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.