Interview with Daris Howard

What do you read for pleasure?
I like to read books like James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small", Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" and other such books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I usually read on my laptop computer for my reading device.
Describe your desk
It is a mess. Seriously, papers and books all over. Along the wall next to it are lots of pictures of my family.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Idaho on a dairy farm and cattle ranch. I worked all sorts of jobs including as a mechanic, a cowboy, in the lumber industry, and driving truck. I was also really into sports and was a state champion wrestler, all conference and all state in football, and a collegiate athlete. This has all colored my writing due to the many different things I have had an opportunity to do.
When did you first start writing?
I started out in first grade far behind other kids and struggled to learn to read, as Tommy Johnson does in "Super Cowboy Rides". But once I learned, I became an avid reader and was writing my first stories by the time I was in second grade.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The one I am working on now is called "Save the Last Dance for Me" and, though fictional, is based on my college experience. I was the world's worst dancer, and accidentally got into a competitive dance class by mistake. Through the help of a very wonderful young lady, I ended up becoming a ballroom champion. The flavor of that experience is in the book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book was published by a publishing company, but I ended up doing all of the marketing. In addition, they didn't put it together the way they said they would. I ended up buying my rights back and republished it the way I wanted. I love the control over the full process.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords had made it possible for me to reach a wider audience. I did publish on Kindle, but that doesn't reach other markets that I wanted to reach. I also like marketing through Smashwords because I have more options, such as coupons.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I just enjoy creating. Whether or not others like my work, and there will be some that do and some that don't, I know I need the creative process for me. It is fun to complete a project, feel I have done my best, see the final work, and be proud of the job I've done.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a college math teacher, so I do a lot of that to provide a living. On my other free time besides writing, I like to spend time with my family, garden, go camping, do Dutch oven cooking. We also have a pond that we stock with fish, and I like to go fishing. My children enjoy that as well, and can usually catch more fish than I do. (Part of the reason for that is when they were small I spent all of my time baiting the hooks for them.)
What styles of books do you write?
All of my books are clean books that I wouldn't have any trouble giving to my youngest child or grandchild. The romances are clean romances, each dealing with an experience that I in some way have dealt with. Likewise, my short story books are clean humorous or inspirational stories. My favorite series is my "Under Open Skies" series, though fictional, are based on the humor and challenges I have found in my own life.
Published 2016-04-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Life as a Cowboy (Life's Outtakes 9) - 52 Humorous/Inspirational Short Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 36,650. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Literature » Literary
52 Humorous and Inspirational Short Stories      These stories are similar to Chicken Soup for the Soul or O.Henry short stories, but shorter having been written for newspapers and magazines across the U.S. and around the world. From the humor of a young girl’s idea of what a cowboy is in Life as a Cowboy.
Crossed Wires (Life's Outtakes 8) - 52 Humorous/Inspirational Short Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 36,580. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Literary collections » American / General
52 Humorous And Inspirational Short Stories From the inspiration of a World War II soldier’s compassion in Forgiveness to the humor of numerous car problems in Crossed Wires these 52 humorous and inspirational short stories (one for each week of the year) will make you laugh, reminisce, and contemplate the relationships you cherish most.
April Fools (Comedy/Drama Play Script)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,030. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2015. Categories: Plays » American / African American, Plays » Religious & Liturgical
Three roommates play an April Fools joke on their roommate by setting her up with a nonexistent guy. But when a guy arrives who has been beaten and mugged and can't remember who he is she thinks he is the guy. Things get interesting.
(Essence of the Heart) The Royal Tutor
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 88,040. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
When Jacob, the captain of the guard, is given the assignment by the queen to tutor her tomboy daughter, he feels it is a humiliating assignment. He trains her like he does his men, hoping she will complain to her mother and get him released, but instead, she becomes a princess like no other. And when Jacob find out someone is trying to kill her, her sword fighting skills might save them both.
A Christmas Carol - Drama Script
Price: Free! Words: 16,490. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2014. Categories: Plays » American / African American, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » African
In this adaption of the story by Charles Dickens, the playwright has used his skills as a playwright, as well researching both the time period and the life of Dickens, to bring an understanding of who Scrooge was, why he was the way he was, and what Dickens was trying to share in this story.
Angels Among Us - Life's Outtakes Year 7 (52 Humorous and Inspirational Short Stories)
You set the price! Words: 36,650. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Inspirational
52 Humorous And Inspirational Short Stories!      from year 7 of Life's Outtakes, a nationally syndicated column by Daris Howard. From the humor of a what students write in Student Communications to the wonderment of a child in need of a friend in Angels Among Us, this is a fun look at family and community l
Snow White And The Seven Little Dudes (Comedy/Drama Play Script)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,750. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Drama/Comedy Play Script Anyone who is anyone in Rocklandia is part of a band. But the queen, from a foreign country, can’t sing. She dreams of a baby that will have a beautiful voice. Her baby, Susan, whom everyone calls Snow White, is born with a beautiful voice. When the queen dies and the king marries a woman from Operaland, the trouble begins.
Singing to the End of Life (Life's Outtakes Year 5) 52 Humorous and Inspirational Short Stories
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 36,050. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational
From the inspiration of a dying soldier’s wish of Singing To The End Of Life to the humor of Football Through The Eyes Of A Child, these 52 humorous and inspirational short stories (one for each week of the year) will make you laugh, reminisce, and contemplate the relationships you cherish most.
Truth And Consequences (Melodrama Play Script)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,520. Language: English. Published: May 24, 2013. Categories: Plays » American / African American
The heroine's father has died leaving an intriguing will. He left to his daughter his fortune, but no none knows where or what it is. The hero and his friends, Beaker and Charlie, have got to find it before the villain and his cohort.
Nothing But A Miracle (Life's Outtakes - Year 4) 52 Humorous and Inspirational Short Stories
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 41,920. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
52 stories, one for each week, from the popular story column "Life's Outtakes". These stories are a humorous and inspirational view of community and family life. From the inspiration of dying soldier's last wish in "Singing To The End Of Life" to the humor of "Football Through The Eyes Of A Child" these stories will keep you laughing and make you think about what is really import.
When Life Is More Than We Dreamed (Life's Outtakes - Year 3) 52 Humorous and Inspirational Short Stories
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 41,330. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
52 humorous and inspirational short stories, one for each week of the year. These stories are taken from the popular column, "Life's Outtakes". From "Life's More Than We Dreamed", a story of life turning out better then we expect, to the humor of "Halloween Costumes worn early" these stories will keep you laughing or help you think more deeply about what matters most.
The Three Gifts
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 50,920. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
Three young men are convicted of mugging little children for their Halloween candy. Instead of sentencing them to jail as is expected the judge sentences them to 100 hours babysitting at the Women's Crisis center. They were prepared for jail but they were not prepared for what lies in store for them as the children become part of their lives.
When The World Goes Crazy (Life's Outtakes Year 1) 52 Humorous and Inspirational Short Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 36,050. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
52 humorous and inspirational short stories, one for each week of the year, from the popular column "Life's Outtakes". From the inspiration of a father's love for his daughter in "Tinkertoys In The Cupboard", to the humor of a want-to-be athlete in "The Nose Warmer", these stories will keep you laughing and make you think about what is really important in life.