Interview with Keon Croucher

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Generally I kind of start by looking at genre. Is it a genre that interests me? If the answer is yes, than I'll snap it up pretty quick. If not, than I generally need a little convincing. So I'll read the reviews and short description, see if I can find a hook for myself.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, and thankfully, its never really seen the light of day. It wasn't that great, no continuity, no sanity, every character was a 'Mary Sue' kind of hero. I remember it fondly, but only for showing me how NOT to write a hero.
What is your writing process?
That's a tough question. I guess it starts, for me at least, with a....'voice' in my head. Kind of. You see, I don't even know the story I'm going to write whilst I write it. It sounds insane, but its true. I have not a clue. I go into it as blind as everyone else. The characters are telling me the story as I go. It sounds crazy, but that's honestly how it happens, and I think the writing style I have shows that for better and worse. I know for a fact that my first drafts need some heavy editing, and they will hopefully be getting that down the line
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not quite, but the first true 'high' fantasy story I ever read was Homeland by R.A Salvatore. That whole series, but that first book particularly, set me off on a path of writing, mostly as a hobby, but with the back dream of becoming an author. I have come past that, realizing that Salvatore, for all my love of Drizzt as a character, made one of the BIGGEST Mary Sue characters in history, but the styling and format and story telling aspect of Salvatore, along with others like Greenwood and Goodkind, has stuck with me. I aspire towards that, although I cannot believe I ever will be that.
How do you approach cover design?
Right now I haven't. I am using, with proper credit, images I've found on the internet. I do hope eventually to be able to get someone to make a real cover. Honestly, if I could ever afford it, I'd pay for that and artwork for all my five main characters. I'd love it. I have the images in my head, but no visual artistic talent in computer or by hand. I have the descriptions but no ability to make them reality and that is a tough thing.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Tough question, but the first would have to be....Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. The writing style, the way he introduces everything, the personality, the feel, everything was just perfect. Not to mention my all time favorite quote "Wizard's First Rule. People are Stupid." Because the sad reality is that there is far more truth in that statement than many would like to admit.

Number two would be the Song of Ice and Fire, but the whole series. I cannot pick just one. George R.R. Martin is another of my idols of the written word. I despise him at every turn for all the pain he's inflicted upon characters I came to love. But that is the mark of a good author. I came to love them, to care about them enough that their deaths felt....personal. Felt close to my heart. That is true and tried writer's craftsmanship.

David Gemmell's novel Waylander the Slayer. This is only because I've always had a thing for the anti-hero

David Gemmell's novel Ravenheart. Because Jaim Grymauch reminds me in a way of my cousin Scott. I lost him about five and a half years ago now

Finally, R.A. Salvatore's book, Homeland, for opening me up to the world of fantasy and magic. Forever, that novel will remain on my top five.
What do you read for pleasure?
High Adventure and Fantasy, a little romance, not much. Some comedy and a lot of dark fiction and fantasy. I will admit I have a slight fascination with violence. But also with sex, so I generally cover all the adult bases to a point. Hence why Sword of Truth and A Song of Ice and Fire are my favorite book series of all time. Seriously, if you haven't, go read them.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Laptop, I can't afford much else
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook, but I've never really tried anything else. I never thought of actually writing and getting people to read it until my ex (whom is one of the 'regrettable losses' I mentioned on my profile. Losing her....I don't even have words) suggested it to me. Apparently she thinks people will like it. I mean I guess there is nothing to do but try it right?
Describe your desk
Right now? My lap and a laptop on a mattress. I'm a Roofer's Laborer, poor as dirt, and moved to find work. Need winter to end, and maybe, just maybe I can get back on my feet. If I could give anyone advice it would be DO NOT JUMP RIGHT INTO COLLEGE! That shit is a trap and you will regret it. And be 20000$ in the hole for it. Take a year, work and get some money together, and do your research! Insure you know what you are getting into is actually where you want to go with life!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town, and I think that influenced my view on 'friendships' being basically the same thing as family. I portray such things in my writing. However overall, I think my hard experiences in the drug abuse world had a larger influence. I will admit, I am a recovered addict. Seven years and counting. But in the two years I was a user, I saw the twisted side of humanity. A small preview, if you will, of what mankind can truly do. I will admit, it frightened me, but more than that, it fascinated me. Dangerously so. It still does in some ways. Hence a large part of my darker influences for writing.
When did you first start writing?
seven or eight years ago. Its a little hazy.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My absolute latest one that I am working on? A legendary, mythical, mysterious power so great that even the most magical of beings question its existence. Finally I have names of our heroes, as they've finally deemed fit to reveal this to me. Dameon Scath, a cocky, loudmouthed street rat, and his orphaned comrade, Allie, a jaguar cub. Cormac Ironhand, a true warrior, sturdy, sound, loyal and hardy. Ariel Saphira, a songstress and weaver of tune and tale. Kiara Demonte, a skilled young con artist, Bardon Hent, a tinker of strange and new technology, and Alexis Stormborn, a young woman of confidence, and grace, although with a fairly aggressive temperment. These six friends are tied together in Haramir, a port city that sits atop swamps and marshes, and is surrounded by the same. In the southwestern climes of Valerick, the territory of Kang-Chorath. Haramir is her capital, and these young friends, woven together by a single presence. A woman, seemingly a simple tavern owner named Roxy Uisce. Unknownst to them, she is far far more... This one is under the working title of AWAKENING LADY UISCE

As to the finished one. Well that's easy. SHIFTED is about what would happen if myself and four of my closest friends and family were 'pulled' into my world by some cosmic force. The adventures, the stories. It is so much more than that, but at it's heart, the story of Riora'dac Skyfang, Roxy Tamlen, Leliana Stone-Singer, Alexcek Ironfist, and Latharian Kel'vain is naught more than a 'magical' flight of fancy. The story of five friends getting to live a life other than the boring one they each had on earth as Keon Croucher, Katie King, Melissa Croucher, Theodore Bricker, and Benjamin Bricker. About what we'd get into in a world of magic and mischief.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like fantasy and like to write. Seemed pretty simple really.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Not sure yet, just started using it
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Putting to words the amazing stories I hear told in my head. These characters, for some reason they want me to be their mouthpiece. Who am I to tell them no?
What do your fans mean to you?
Not sure I have any. But if so, they mean the world to me, because they think what I am writing is worth reading, and for that I thank them all
What are you working on next?
Three things. Editing SHIFTED is due to begin soon (although only by me, I need peer editors, so if anyone wants too, feel free. I can't offer any sort of compensation, but I promise infinite gratitude and thanks!). Also MAGE-SLAYER, the second part of this series. Finally, the beginning of AWAKENING LADY UISCE, for my newest idea.
Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Goodkind and George R. R. Martin. Beyond that, David Gemmell and R.A. Salvatore.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Probably my stubbornness. When I'm on a roof again, my love for my career choice now. My writing, and most importantly, the friends and family whom inspire the tales. Even Katie, my ex. I still love her, and would like to think we are still good friends if naught else. Without them all, however, I doubt I'd find it worth the bloody effort.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Roofing, or right now since its winter, job hunting. Also playing Pathfinder, or League of Legends, or watching NHL, or playing Street Hockey. I have a few other things I'll do, but those are the big ones.
Published 2015-01-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Shifted
You set the price! Words: 253,380. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(1.00)
Five friends get the chance of a lifetime as magic comes to real life. Led by Keon, the most insane of the bunch, he, his love Katie, and his close friends Melissa, Ted and Ben all dive into an adventure that takes them from their mundane lives on Earth to a mystical and magical place. Tariek. There they get to answer an ultimate thirst that they all share. A thirst for adventure.