Interview with Dante D. Long

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I can't quite remember the stories that I wrote in elementary school, but I do remember always putting extra effort into them even if more than what the teacher asked for.

My first published story is an erotica story titled, "Leave Well Enough Alone" in the anthology, Seductive Pleasures.
What is your writing process?
I often sit on my couch listening to music in various genres and really feeling the music to keep me inspired. I also meditate sometimes before I get started to clear my mind and help me focus.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story that I read, but I really got into reading after I picked up one of Donald Goines books. His sense of realism drew me in and shocked me. I strived to make my characters as real as those in his novels.
How do you approach cover design?
I am somewhat of a perfectionist, so I struggled with my cover design. I made a lot of drafts to capture my ideas as they came to me. I like to have covers that are not over the top and too busy with many images overlapping. I feel there is no need to tell the reader everything that is going to happen in the book just by looking at the cover. I prefer to drop subtle hints on the cover that are relevant later in the story. I want readers to be deep into the reading, then come across something to make them stop, look at the cover, and say "Oh, I see now."
What do you read for pleasure?
I pick up multiple genres of books for pleasure reading. I like everything from drama, mystery, horror, and sci-fi.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Honestly, I prefer holding an actual book compared to a device. I have an Android tablet in which I read my e-books on, or I use the Kindle application on my phone.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Utilizing social media websites like Twitter and Facebook has opened up many doors to readers and other authors. Nothing beats face to face interaction with fans though and word of mouth advertising.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Life Happens! My own evolution as a man and some of the factors that influenced my growth inspired some of the scenarios in my latest novel.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to share my creativity with the world but not at the expense of making somebody else rich. Having control over many aspects of what I want to do is important to me. I believe no one will support you and hustle for you as much as you can.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy comes to me when a reader reads something that I have written and talk about the characters and how they know people like them. It feels great when someone asks questions about them and want to know more of their individual stories as I see it.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the second book of the Men of 1302 series and a novel outside of the series called, The Daddy Story.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are: Walter Mosley, Donald Goines, Carl Webber, and Stephen King.
Published 2013-09-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

When Good Men Go Bad
Series: Men of 1302, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,210. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » African American fiction » General
When Good Men Go Bad is the first book in the Men of 1302 series which shows the pleasures and pains of three college roommates, forever bonded by friendship, as life takes them through their varying adversities and blesses them with their individual achievements. In this novel, follow Jasper Hooks as he leaves the sheltering college days behind and adjusts to being a professional adult.