Interview with SailAway Publishing

What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly I read classics for pleasure. Anything from Mark Twain to Machiavelli. I like to read historical works. The have been reading Churchills 6 volume set, "The History or World War II."
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Currently it is an LG Tablet.
Describe your desk
Heh! The best description is chaos. I work at a stand up desk that I built myself to suit my purposes. It not only has two desktop computers and 4 monitors, it also house my HAM radion station. It is designed so that I can set my laptop on one corner and use it as well. I know, I am a geek, but I like having the ability to be online and looking at a number of different apps at the same time. It is valuable to be to be able to have my timelines on one screen, my notes and outlines on one screen, a screen where I can instantly do research and one in which I can keep my email open full screen at all times. I typically write on my laptop.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in north west Texas just south of the panhandle of Texas. My family framed and ranched and I grew up around that kind of background. I was around people who were independent, self reliant and not afraid to stand up for their convictions.
When did you first start writing?
Let's see. Someone put a crayon in my hand when I was about 3. By age 5 I was drawing pictures to tell stories. The rest is history.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am currently working on the second book in a trilogy based on the character River Brookes. She marries a Texan who owns a large ranch in southwest Texas. Her husband is the head of a far flung empire that includes international shipping, import, export and other operations. He is also an operative for the US Government and as such is involved in clandestine operations that get them involved with terrorists, cartels and international crime.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to publish adult erotica and, in looking at the industry, indie publishing seems to be the trend.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Telling a story. Developing the characters and letting them develop naturally
Who are your favorite authors?
This is a touch question. I don't think I have one single favorite. I would have to define it by genre.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To check in the mirror and see if I am still alive.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I garden. I have a greenhouse and a soil garden. The greenhouse has a large aquaponics system in which I grow green vegetables, catfish and crayfish.
What is your writing process?
I usually start out doing a brief plot outline. This gets expanded to a chapter outline. At some point, when I feel it is time, I stop and do a full character workup for all the main characters and usually for some of the minor characters. If there are any special locations, I may even do drawings of the locations so that I can keep track of movements. I like to be consistent in both timelines and scene movements.
How do you approach cover design?
I leave that to the professionals. I have a graphics designer that I use. I give them a synopsis of the story and any ideas I have for the cover and then let them do what they do best.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Since we are just starting out on this adventure, we aren't sure yet which is going to work the best for us. Our plan is to do enough marketing in several different channels to get some good data on what seems to work and what doesn't work. As we accumulate the data we will certainly share our insights.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was the vehicle that got this whole project off the ground. We had words put together but no idea how to publish, or how to promote. Smashwords provided the support, knoweldge and help that we needed.
What do your fans mean to you?
Hey, without fans who would we sell books to? I personally don't write just because I like to put words together on a computer screen. I write because I want people to enjoy the stories I have to tell. I also want to hear their feedback. That is really the only way to get better.
What are you working on next?
We are currently working on the sequel to Rivers Crossing. The next book in the River Brookes Adventures is currently in first draft so it will be next year before it is available.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I put a lot of store in reader reviews. If someone else reads a book and finds it enjoyable, that says a lot to me about the worth of spending my time to read it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Gosh, no! I was in elementary school. I have been writing stories as long as I can remember. I wish I had saved them all but I didn't have the foresight then to understand how much that would mean now.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Well, the first story I ever read was Bill and Jane in first grade. I really don't think that is what the question is about. The first book that I was ever introduced to that really made an impression on me and drove me to want to write was "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. The whole story struck a chord with me and I still go back at times and read it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ayn Rand - "Atlas Shrugged" The first time I read this book I was intriqued with the way Ayn Rand wrote. Later, I began to go back and re-read portions as events unfolded around me. The book is eerily prophetic and sometimes it scares me when I read her descriptions of the society in her book and look at what is happening in our own society. I then think about the outcomes in her book and wonder if we are going down the same path.

Robert Heinlein - "Stranger in a Strange Land", and "Time Enough of Love." - Stranger was really a study in human nature for me. It has such a distinct take on society and culture and the way morals, religion and politics interact to make us what we are. To be honest it made me much more pragmatic about people than I was before. Time Enough is, for me, about how do we deal with growing old. Lazurus Long deals with the problems of not growing old. The problems he faces are the antithesis of what we face as we age. From it there is an insight in how we should live with growing older.

Isaac Asimove - How do I chose just one or two. If I had to chose it would be the entire Foundation series. Asimov is a visionary, a scientist and a master story teller. What's not to like?

Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, the rest of his science fiction novels, even westerns Burroughs to me is the epitome of story telling. Is it outlandish? Of course. Is some of it unbelievable? Yes, but it is so compelling and enteraining that you want to believe.
Published 2016-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.