Interview with Ardy

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly, I became an indie author because it was far simpler than trying to break into the traditional writing market. After several attempts to get published in magazines and trying to get an agent or publisher willing to take a risk on an unknown author, I found Smashwords and decided I would give it a shot. I figured that I would get my writing out there and let the readers decide. Now, with nearly nine thousand sales/downloads in countries all over the world, I am glad I made that decision. I may not get rich selling my books online and publishing free stories, but it is rewarding to know that thousands of people have enjoyed my work.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is amazing. It was my first and only choice when I decided to self publish. My books are now available all over the world and I've actually made a bit of money. I would highly recommend Smashwords to any aspiring author trying to break into this crowded market.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That is a tough question. What I love about the writing process is the experience that many authors have had when my story takes on a life of its own and I am merely along for the ride. But my greatest joy is knowing that my stories have had an impact on a reader. I've received dozens of reviews since I started publishing, mostly positive, and I can tell when reading a review when my story has affected the reader. My favorite review of all time was simply two words: "Goosebumps, everyone!" While my writing has been called "demented and twisted," and "blood-sucking scary," among other things any horror writer would be happy to hear, those two words showed me that my story had the impact I had hoped.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm not sure I have any yet, though I seem to be gaining a small following. It's great to know that people are enjoying my work and I hope that my writing does for them what some of my favorite authors' writing as done for me. My little sisters, after whom I've named two characters in the Akeldama series, represent my fans for me. If they like something, I know it's good. If they don't, I'll rethink it. They bring their ereaders to school with them and their friends all read my stories and books. Before Akeldama: The Field of Blood was even close to publication, my sister and her friends all went trick or treating as characters from the novel. That was awesome.
What are you working on next?
I am currently finishing up the sequel to my Vampire novel Akeldama: The Field of Blood and a few more short stories. It's taken longer than expected, but I hope that the final product will be worth the wait. I have a few other works in various stages of completion. Due to work and other circumstances I haven't been able to publish anything new in a while, but rest assured, the new stuff is coming.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, C. S. Lewis, Frank Peretti, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Trey Parker (who is more a writer than an author, but he still has influenced me greatly.)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work on an apple orchard, so my time is spent working and then recovering. I read a lot, play and write music, and spend time with my family.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. We had a creative writing project in fifth grade. We had to chose a picture from magazine cutouts on the wall and write a three page story about it. I picked a picture of a little girl and a large dog and was inspired not only to write my first story, but my first horror story. I still remember the first line: "It has eaten a small girl.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is hard for me. I don't have the money to hire somebody to do it well, so I do my own. Mostly I just put the title on some sort of colored background, but sometimes I use a photo or drawing.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly works by the authors I mentioned above, though I challenge myself to read at least one new author a year. I also enjoy Star Trek novels, and have a collection of nearly two hundred of them in the section of my library I like to call my "nerd shelf."
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Number One: The Stand by Stephen King. This epic was my first introduction to horror literature and to King. It was the first book I read that I wished would never end and has had the greatest influence on me.
Number Two: Desperation by Stephen King. This book showed me that while numerous attempts have been made over the years to combine horror and "Christianity", by both religious and secular authors, it could be done seamlessly and enjoyably.
Number Three: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Lewis is one of my favorite authors and I love everything I read by him, but this book which combined the fantastical world of Narnia with the biblical book of Revelation was amazing!
Number Four: The Green Mile by Stephen King (noticing a pattern?) First book to ever make me cry.
Number Five: Green Eggs and Ham. I taught myself to read using this book at age four and it has had a soft spot in my heart ever since.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I found to be a great tool for promotion and a great way to discuss books, writing, and pretty much anything with like minded people. Besides that, I use word of mouth. Others have started blogging about my work as well.
Published 2013-09-14.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Corrupted
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,120. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
A zombie tale of biblical proportion.
Grandpa Bill
Price: Free! Words: 3,340. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Can Cynthia save her beloved Grandpa Bill for the horrible happenings at the Vista Bonita Retirement Home? A quick read that will haunt you for days (at least minutes).
The Skitora
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,960. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Christian » Fantasy
We met this dragon slaying team in the story "There is No Dragon." Like the other dragon slayer story, this one deals with sin. Instead of denying that sin is there, like the villagers in "There is no Dragon," the man in "Stikora" admits it's there and wants to get rid of it. Buit since he invited it into his life in the first place...the dragon slayers need his help killing it.
There is No Dragon
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,720. Language: English. Published: July 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
A fun fantasy with a Christian theme originally published under the pen name Arthur B. Roberts. The account of the adventures of Jerad and his dragon slaying partner Zede, the feisty dwarf. The pair is famous throughout the kingdom but are surprised to come upon a village where the people insist, in spite of evidence to the contrary, that there is no dragon.
Second Chance
Series: Fairview Estates Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,520. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Robert is serving a 25 year sentence for murder but he is granted a chance to go back and change things. Even though he is doing everything he can to make sure that he never becomes the man he used to be, he is still plagued by nightmares and guilt. Will his own selfishness ruin his second chance?
Bloody Halloween: An Akeldama Story
Series: Akeldama. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,430. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
A year before the Vampire Uprising a Halloween party turns deadly. Three bodies are found, all of them with wounds to the neck and all of them mysteriously missing much of their blood. Hidden Valley police officer Hector Ruiz is baffled and terrified, but his old friend Dave Reilly has a theory. Meanwhile, a girl finds herself face to face with a Vampire that was once her best friend.
"Welcome to Hell. Would you like fries with that?"
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,570. Language: English. Published: July 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A fast food worker finds himself repeating the same hour over and over again and cannot escape. Anyone who has ever worked fast food and was afraid that their shift would never end will appreciate this story.
Right to Life?
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,600. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Futuristic, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Matthew and Kristine Smith are both staunchly pro-life, but the results of genetic testing on their unborn baby may change their minds. Could sacrificing this one child save the lives of millions of people?
Series: Fairview Estates Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,610. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Andy Simon wakes up in excruciating pain, a pain for which there is no explaination. He then hears sirens from vehicles that aren't there. Then his wife kisses him gooodbye and begs him not to die on her, though she doesn't even seem to notice her own strange words. His day only gets weirder from there. Why does the pain persist? Why does his coffee taste like blood? What is happening to him?
"Mommy, there's something under my bed."
Series: Fairview Estates Stories. Price: Free! Words: 1,870. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Angela's husband Ben mysteriously disappeared two weeks ago. Now, her six year old daughter Janie tells her mother that there is a monster under her bed and it is hungry.
Shawn Black: Vampire Hunter
Series: Akeldama. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,340. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
In this prequel to Akeldama: The Field of Blood, Rev. Kirk Black trains his fifteen year old nephew Shawn in the art of Vampire killing. The two of them then travel to Hidden Valley to assist Dave Reilly and Dimitri Milton in battle. It takes place ten years before the Vampire uprising.
Akeldama: The Field of Blood
Series: Akeldama, Book One. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 141,300. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
When Vampires start a war on humanity, bent on conquering the world, a small group of hunters and gypsies are all that stand in their way. Aided by a pastor, an old Romanian woman, a part Vampire child, and a teenage girl with strange and unexplainable power, they make their stand in a small New Mexico town. Can they stop the Vampire prophesy of Akeldama from being fulfilled?
Dawn is Coming
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 181,190. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Christian » Fantasy
Night has reigned for a thousand years, as has the evil king Morningstar. A man named Peter is chosen from obscurity to lead an underground rebellion that seeks to dethrone the imposter and bring the True King to his rightful throne and finally awaken the Dawn.
The Noble Mr. Prickles
You set the price! Words: 21,160. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Javan, a decorated general and military instructor, once swore an oath to his friend, King Orvan, that should he ever be needed he would answer the call. Now, Orvan is insane, taking advice only from his dog, and he has called Javan and his three best warriors to go on a suicidal mission to retrieve a magic orange petal from the Giant Kingdom, with only a chimpanzee named Mr. Prickles to aid them.