Interview with Stephen Bernhard

How do you approach cover design?
When I was contemplating what I wanted the cover to be, I came to the conclusion that I wanted something that not only reflected the gist of the book, but was also demonstrated some sort of contrast. I have always liked to see and hear contrasts. As a musician, I used this technique all the time. So, I decided to use it in this piece of visual art, as well.

With the importance and prominence of salt in the book, I had decided that I wanted to incorporate it into the cover. What I couldn't think of was how. It struck me that the notion of keeping it simple was probably the best approach. I'm not a graphics designer by any stretch, so I basically didn't have much of a choice in the simplicity of it as I was the only one working on the project. So, I decided that I would contrast some spilled salt on a dark background. This was super simple, and I thought that it actually made for a nice and elegant cover.
What do you read for pleasure?
My reading is mainly limited to articles of current events, science, and food. I must confess that I haven't read a book from cover to cover in many years.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Currently, I am using my Asus Nexus 7. I have the first model to be released, and I love it. Eventually, I may upgrade to a newer version. I like the seven inch form factor. It is the perfect compromise between screen size and ease of portability.
Describe your desk
My desk? Well, I actually work at my dining room table. Currently, one half is tech central" with my laptop, cables, hard drives, and all sorts of other gadgets. The middle of the table is the demilitarized zone. If anything from my side of the table were to cross over into that zone, my girlfriend will take drastic action to drive the invading offender back to its side of the table.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The majority of my childhood, I grew up in downstate New York. Frankly, I don't think that this had any real influence on my book writing. It wasn't until I was older that I started to write.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Probably the greatest motivation was the fact that I can create a book on my own terms. I didn't have vie for the attention of publishers, and I didn't have to concern myself with writing something that was en vogue. I could write about what I want, and how I want. Despite the fact that I would likely never make anywhere near the money that a well known author going through a publishing house would (for that matter, I haven't made a penny yet, despite having sold numerous copies on a variety of retailers), the notion that you are your own boss on the matter is quite liberating.

There are tons of downsides, too, but I won't go into them here.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy which I get from writing is knowing that someone, somewhere, is reading something which I wrote and it has helped him or her in some way. Whether it is how to do something, a critique of something, or something that is amusing and makes the reader smile, knowing that it has helped in some way is very rewarding.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to read the news, watch documentaries (and the occasional reality show or movie), play video games, and cook.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
My discovery process consists mainly of developing an interest in something and then seeing what's out there on that topic. There are only a couple of authors whose books I search for by name. Most of the time, I will find something on the topic, check out the reviews, if any, and then see if there is a sample of the book. If all goes well, I make my purchase.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The most memorable was one called "Aardvarks From Mars." I wrote this sometime in my early teens I guess. I wrote another one which was about a mouse tricking his arch-enemy into eating a jalapeno pepper. The enemy, a cat, then exploded.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The ones that I remember reading in my youth were "The Pigman," "The Red Badge of Courage," and another one whose title escapes me.The one with the greatest impact was "The Red Badge of Courage." The author, Stephen Crane, was able to really drive of the sense of dread and the horrors which come with war. It demonstrated what a good descriptive writer was like.
Published 2013-09-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Concise Beginner's Guide to Curing Foods
Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 14,190. Language: American English. Published: September 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Methods / Barbecue & Grilling, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Canning & preserving
The concise Beginner's Guide to Curing Foods isn't a cookbook. Instead, it is a concise guide to help you learn the basic principles of brining, curing, smoking, and the importance of salt in food preservation and preparation. Topics include food safety, tips and tricks, equipment and supplies to use, and more. Also included are four recipes with step-by-step directions to demonstrate your skills.