Interview with Ron Stotyn

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and grew up on the Southern Alberta prairie. For the first few years my family lived beside the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks that went from Lethbridge to Calgary. Riding the train and watching out the window gave me an appreciation for the wide open space of the prairie. I think my writing has been somewhat affected by a sense of how big things can be and how to evoke such feelings in the stories. Maybe more importantly I developed a feeling for the importance of train transportation as a critical element in the economy of a nation. That helps to explain my focus on the intended destruction of the Go Train system in The Chechen's Revenge.
When did you first start writing?
My first job in broadcasting marks my first serious writing. I was a part time stringer for a radio station, doing stories on local meetings I got paid only if the story actually got used on air. But that made me a professional writer. I was about 23 years old.
What's the story behind your latest book?
As a working journalist, I needed to be very aware of the news. During the 1970s and later I became increasingly aware of how Russia was developing as an independent nation. When the USSR broke apart, the news began to focus on former soviet republics and their struggles to be independent and autonomous. Chechnya in particular was often in the news because of violent interactions with Russian Military. When I began thinking about a storyline for The Chechen's Revenge I decided weaving a story about a Chechen rebel would make a realistic tale. For me, tying fiction into real historical background makes my story more believable...or so I hope.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Having been a broadcast journalist and then an academic, my writing was always very factual in character. When a wrote a large dissertation for my doctoral studies, I began to have a feeling that I had a book or two in me. Creative writing started as a challenge, then became a fun thing to do. When I decided my first novel would be about a Chechen rebel and his terrorist plans in Canada, I finally had a theme to which I could apply my research skills and my ability to tell a story in a realistic manner.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I have found Smashwords to be a very good way to get and stay tightly organized. Their method of getting a book ready to publish is very detailed and generally very easy to follow to a successful conclusion.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I very much enjoy creating interesting characters...at least interesting to me. I like the opportunity to develop their personalities as the work through their tasks and interact with other characters. I try to use observations of everyday interactions and apply them to the characters of my story. Each has an integral part in how the story evolves and finally comes to some sort of conclusion.
What do your fans mean to you?
At this point, a couple of weeks before The Chechen's Revenge is due to be published, I don't yet have any known fans, real or imagined...well maybe some imagined. I'm hoping for good relationships with fans as they send comments on their reading of my work. As much as possible I hope to be able to interact with fans to some degree...time being a restraining factor, of course.
What are you working on next?
I have started a second novel in a series that begins with the characters of The Chechen's Revenge. Chief Investigator Sean-Guy O'Dwyer-Lariviere will again be working to try an prevent a terrorist action that will take place in Canada's prairie province of Saskatchewan. The novel is tentatively called A Prairie Vendetta.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are a lot of mystery writers along with some fantasy writers that I enjoy. To name just a few: Nelson DeMille, James Lee Burke, Steig Larsson, Haggai Carmon, Terry Goodkind, Jo Nesbo, and many more. I'm a reader and have been for most of my life. When I find a writer I enjoy I try to read all their work.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I read quite a bit, for pleasure and for research. I spend quite a bit of time researching online. I have a yard to take care off and a spouse to have leisure time with. We like to explore our state a bit from time to time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. It was probably something I had to do as an assignment for a high school course in creative writing. That was way to many years ago. I doubt very much that it was actually a readable piece of work.
What is your writing process?
I have never been able to work from outlines. That is probably due to having been a broadcast journalist were the writing process has to be as spontaneous as possible. For my novel, The Chechen's Revenge and for the second in the series I'm now working on, I find that ideas for plot points start to jell in my mind as I think about how the story needs to progress. When the ideas seem to be somewhat focused I get to my computer and write. Then it becomes a process of read what I've written and revise as I think necessary. That is repeated as I add new pieces until I get to the point where I think the story is complete. Even then I will go back to the beginning and begin to tweak the details as I try to ensure that syntax and grammar and such are not out of whack. Its hard to let go. With The Chechen's Revenge I finally got to the point where I could hand it over to an editor. After dealing with editor comments I felt I could declare it done and move on to the next story idea.
How do you approach cover design?
I am fortunate to have an oldest son who is very visual and very skilled with graphics. I just describe an image that I have and he renders it for me.
Describe your desk
I have an L-shaped desk on which and under which rest two computers with monitors, ( the CPU boxes are under), network stuff, printer, flatbed scanner, DVD/VHS machine, Reel to Reel recorder, Turntable and a variety of speakers. The remaining room (not much real estate left over) is usually piled with bills to be paid and research notes. But I know where everything is. The sound equipment is there because I like to play around with sound. As a retired academic I once taught audio production and such for a number of years. The short answer is that most observers would say its messy. They'd be close to the truth.
Published 2013-08-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Chechen's Revenge
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 120,660. Language: Canadian English. Published: September 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
The Chechen's Revenge is a terrorist threat days from creating havoc in the Go Train transportation system in the greater Toronto region of Ontario.