Interview with Douglas Jeffreys

What motivated you to become an indie author?
The 'Rule of Idiots'. I don’t remember the film but I clearly recall Roger Ebert referring to “The Rule of Idiots”, i.e. if it wasn’t for the idiots, you wouldn’t have a story. I saw this rule used time and again in books, television and movies and it would drive me crazy! It’s pure laziness on the part of the writer. Either that or all the screen writers and hack authors actually are that stupid (or they think we are)!
More times than I can recall, I would put down the book or leave the theater thinking, “Even I could write a better story than that.” I found myself critiquing the science and logic of every manner of story whether it was the big screen, the small screen or the printed page. Perhaps this is why I still enjoy the old pulps. As they dealt mainly with magic and the super-natural, which is by its’ very definition, beyond the laws of nature. Thus you have quite a bit more leeway in plot devices.
Being a great fan of all things (zombie and/or apocalyptic) it pains me somewhat to point out that the godfather of zombie movies himself, the legendary George A. Romero, is guilty of relying heavily on the rule of idiots. I found Tom Savini’s re-make of “Night of the Living Dead” to be a vast improvement over the original. Although to give Mr. Romero his due I believe he was more concerned with the underlying political/social message of his stories as opposed to the science. It was my hatred for the near epidemic use of the “Rule of Idiots” that spurred me to write. I’ve always felt that rather than use idiots to move the plot along or provide a challenge for the protagonist simply provide a smarter/faster/stronger monster/enemy/antagonist.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords not only provided the venue but also offered many helpful tips for writing, formatting and marketing a successful book.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Challenging myself to create something unique.
What are you working on next?
A contemporary action/adventure tale as well as a supernatural story that may become a series.
Who are your favorite authors?
Like all parts of life, that has changed over the years. I've always been a voracious reader beginning with Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Norman, etc. I still love the “Sword & Sorcery” genre but my tastes began to mature and I began to explore such authors as J. R. R. Tolkien, Eric Van Lustbader, Tom Clancy, Michael Crighton, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and other authors that put actual science into their science fiction and/or techno-thrillers. More recently I've become a fan of Larry Correia, Jonathan Maberry, Richard Kadrey, Tom Kratman & Phil Elmore.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Depends on the season. Weather permitting I'm riding a motorcycle or at the gun range. Other times I'm reading, cooking, gaming with my friends or watching movies.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Often recommended by friends or through various ebook sites such as Smashwords, Bookbub, Amazon, etc.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Hmm, I'm going to skip the obvious "children's books". One of the first 'real' books I recall reading that really made me want more was the Brains Benton mystery; The Case of the Stolen Dummy.
How do you approach cover design?
I look for a design that is not only compelling but will, at a glance, set the stage for the story.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a first generation Kindle Keyboard, which I love.
Describe your desk
A tremendous mess of which only I can make sense.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In a small town in western Pennsylvania. That made me a little old-fashioned and gives me a blue-collar view of the world which, I believe, shows in my writing.
When did you first start writing?
Seriously? Around 2009. That's when I began work on "The Darkest Hour".
Published 2014-03-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Darkest Hour
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 35,070. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
When a terrorist organization engineers a new virus that turns people into monsters, Duke, Who leads a comfortably mundane life , loses everything to the monsters. Now he finds a woman who brings up feelings he so carefully buried. Can he protect the woman that has kindled long lost passion and protect the emerging civilization without becoming a worse monster than the ones he hunts?