Interview with Archibald Baal

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm an engineer for a humorless international corporation. I also walk dogs.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. It was in grammar school, in the Young Author's competition. I won with "The Magic Key", a crayon-illustrated masterpiece that in some ways I have yet to surpass in terms of sheer erotic heat.
What is your writing process?
I can characterize it only as "bizarre". I generally write the climactic or final scene first, then the initial scenes. I identify the key plot scenes and write those (not necessarily in chronological order) then spend the bulk of the remaining time writing connective scenes to ensure the story is paced properly.

So I get the fun stuff out of the way first, and leave the annoying/painful parts for last. Which is not something I'd advise in general (I'm an "eat the food you dislike first so you can enjoy the rest of your meal" guy), but it works to keep me interested.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
There was a book by Mae and Ira Freeman called "You Will Go to the Moon". It was written in 1959, at the very beginning of the space age, but it was scientifically very literate and ahead of its time-- in fact, it describes the situation where I suspect we would be today had we not gotten sidetracked near the end of the last century. It inspired me to read more about astronomy, and that led me to physics and chemistry and mathematics, which still fascinate me today. And to look at the stars with awe and a sense of ownership. THAT'S our legacy, up there. Not this beautiful and charming but ultimately doomed cradle.
What do you read for pleasure?
There are a handful of science fiction writers that still do it for me. Mainly hard ones; I have little patience for "everything goes" space opera where the laws of physics are violated routinely. I adhere to old school of Heinlein-esque SF, where you ask the reader to suspend disbelief on one or at most a very small handful of items and focus on the societal and personal impact. If it's just fantasy with the elves deleted and replaced with aliens as window dressing, to me it's no good.

I used to read a lot of fantasy, too, but sometime around college my interest waned. When done really well, as with Martin's Song of Ice and Fire or Lois Bujold's Chalion series I can still enjoy it.

Mostly these days I attempt to stave off senility by reading physics books and practicing calculus so I can help my kids with it when they have trouble.
How do you approach cover design?
With much trepidation. I'm not a great artist; I have only recently started to pursue pencil drawings. I adore the works of Jack Vettriano and Konstantin Razumov, and their work informs most of my visual ideal. I crib directly from Vettriano all the time; though I respect him too much to cut-and-paste his paintings onto my covers (even ignoring the illegality of such a thing), I certainly hand-copy his poses and then suit them to my own work. Given the fact that Jack himself grabbed the poses for his most famous work, Dance Me to the End of Time, from an artist's manual, it seems entirely fitting.

That out of the way, GIMP is my friend. It is an amazing tool (with a lot of quirks). Lately I am using a Surface Pro with a stylus I can use to draw directly on screen, which, while not completely without its challenges, is still quite a time saver.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Feedback. Any, of course, but the best is from people who really GET it-- people who see the tidbits I hide in the stories or even see things I thought I'd eliminated in the editing process.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm moving some stories which only exist in email conversations as snippets into publishable form. I have a substantial backlog of stories to convert, and I figure about midway through that process I'll start writing fresh again.
Who are your favorite authors?
Christopher Moore for sheer humor genius, Lois Bujold for character and plot, Gregory McDonald for dialogue, Daniel Keys Moran for long, over-arching poly-universe plotlines, George R. R. Martin for cleverness in hiding things in plain sight, and Robert Heinlein, just because.
Describe your desk
Cluttered, but that's my engineering desk.

For writing, my desk is often a bizarre contortion I work my knees into on the couch, or a tray I put on the mattress so my laptop doesn't overheat.

Yes, I have heard of ergonomics. We've never gotten along.
Published 2015-09-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Tribade Stocking Mesmerism
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,680. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica, Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
Paula wants to heighten her arousal by matching her husband's fetish for stockings, but she's a little worried the website she's chosen to hypnotize her to achieve this might make her do something weird. She begs her best friend Irina to monitor the process, but Irina gets more than she bargained for as she is slowly seduced by Paula's new, sensuous behaviors and by the hosiery adorning her legs.
Lesbian Garter Hypnosis
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 4,560. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
A visit to the bar with an entrancing stranger leads Denise into a night of girl-girl rapture with a lovely pair of stockings.
Fine Stems and the Couch Dancer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,300. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
In which I seduce my longtime crush Pam after subjecting her to a strip club.
Seidh, Od, and Other Hnossir
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,870. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Ada's holiday in Iceland is rudely interrupted by the erotic power of an ancient Norse totem and the goddess who will do anything to get hold of it.
Got the Look
Series: Senneful Things. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,310. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Menage/Multiple Partners
Senne feels a deep, erotic need to be hypnotized. Who can she trust to drive her to the depths of trance and the heights of ecstasy? A Senneful Things tale.
Read the F*cking Manual
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 8,040. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor
(5.00 from 1 review)
Frank is a grad student in linguistics and computer science. Tasked with deciphering a recently-unearthed text he makes a startling discovery: women are only challenging to get along with because men have lost the manual.
Sapphic Nylon Enthrallment
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,990. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
There's something about ClassyLady Special Blend fully-fashioned stockings that is irresistible to women. Once you've tried them, you never go back to regular stockings. (Or, more often than not, to heterosexuality.)
Just Joan
Series: Senneful Things. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 6,710. Language: English. Published: September 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » General
Allan's wife is behaving differently now, and it seems that his lover Senne is the cause. Who is Joan, and is she just a plaything for Senne's desires, or something more? A Senneful Things tale.