Interview with CE Wills

I read your blog a lot and it seems that it is more than an author page. Are you a writer or a blogger?
I'm both. I started the blog to promote myself as an author. In other words, to become more widely known. Then I discovered that I liked blogging. I also discovered that blogging is addicting, time consuming and takes away from writing. Whether it helps sales or not, I could not really say. I do know that if you give a review of a movie or a book and make someone mad, they may retaliate by giving you a really crummy review on a story.
I've noticed that you have short stories for sale. You also have novels for sale. Yet you charge the same price for all of them, other than the freebies. What's up with this?Write your own question here!
I price my stuff really low. Like John Locke, my intention is that the money should be an insignificant decision on whether they read my books or not. I want to become 'known' as a writer and I want folks to try my books. I feel that the potential ebook market is so huge that even at 99 cents, I can make a lot of money if my books become popular.
I have read your western series about the gunman Cedric Gant, the Notch series. It is like a serialized story in many ways. Was this your plan?
No. I love westerns and wanted to see if I could write one. Basically, I wrote the first one for fun. I enjoyed writing it so well that I wrote another. Cedric Gant became almost real to me, like all good characters. As far as the serial part goes, a month would go by and it would occur to me that "Cedric should do this," or "It would be cool if this happened." Before I knew it, I had written 9 of the stories, all in the range of 7,000 to 10,000 words. I wrapped up the story in the 9th one.
Do you feel that short stories, published independently, rather than in a bundle, are viable as ebooks?
I certainly do. Certainly more viable than in print. I also believe that my pricing of 99 cents is reasonable. I also feel that many people just like a quick read, at least from time to time. A short story cuts to the chase and eliminates the window dressing. I love Zane Grey's work better than anyone, but there are times when I don't want a three page description of the landscape. By the way, I feel that short stories will be huge in the future. I thought this before Kindle Singles and their equivalent at the other on-line stores became popular. Moreover, the older I get, the less I like to climb into really huge, though wonderful, books, like for instance the works of Tom Clancy and James Clavell. My mind just wants a diversion for the evening or weekend. I think many people feel the same way.
That leads to another question. Do you have a 'target audience'?
No. It's funny. I write to suit myself. I figure if I enjoy it, at least a percentage of other people will like it. If I begin to be politically correct or motivated in other ways, then I lose the power to be a good storyteller. Above all things, a writer should be 'readable'. In my opinion, the best books are those which you find yourself starting, then you notice that it is three in the morning and you've read half of the book. How many books have I bought for big bucks and I couldn't get through them? Tons. Sure, they were carefully edited. The spelling and punctuation were laudable, but if you can't tell a story it is useless. This is where Smashwords and others have opened the door for the storytellers to gather their listeners around the fire on a cold winter night and tell the story of people like Cedric Gant, Centaur and others.
Again, that leads to another question. Do you write for a living? Or is it a hobby or a sideline?
I work a full-time job. I am older than dirt and ready to retire in the near future. If I never made a penny from writing I'd still eat regular, and probably too much at that! I write because I am a writer and writing ebooks is the culmination of something I wanted to do from earliest childhood. When I was in the third grade I "produced" a newsletter in school. I would write stories about monsters or whatever, then fold the paper in half, like a newspaper. I would give big money for a copy of one of those now. Ha, ha.
So, what's on your agenda for the future?
I want to finish my Centaur series. I have published 3 of the books about the fierce Indian, but I haven't tied the series up and wrapped a ribbon around it. I don't want to leave readers wondering. If I depart this mortal realm suddenly, I want my readers to know how Dotel Smith's life turned out. Did Centaur find death in Mexico or did he live to retire? Did Mandy Collins have a life after college basketball? Just the stuff of imagination but they are my characters. My readers won't need a ghost writer to fill in the blanks. Matilda's Bones is the name of the final novel and it is almost finished. I started it years ago but refused to "force" it. This is the advantage of having no publisher or deadline. I have seen novels that were forced because money demanded a schedule. Writer's block can be a good thing. Let the seeds germinate until the creative process runs its course.
Published 2013-08-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.