Interview with Duncan Ralston

What are you working on next?
Working on several short stories, novellas, and rewriting 1st and 2nd drafts of novels. I keep pretty busy.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King. Clive Barker. Harlan Ellison. Richard Matheson. John Fowles. Bret Easton Ellis. Patrick Suskind. Irvine Welsh. Shirley Jackson. George Cockcroft (The Dice Man).
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was either a blatant rip-off of Stephen King's "Battleground" or "Survivor Type." The first story I didn't steal was called "Subject D," about a psychiatrist writing a book on paranoid schizophrenia who's suffering countertransference with his latest subject--granted, it was hardly an underutilized premise. And something called "In Articulo Mortis," about the last moments of a murdered woman (all I remember about this one was I drew a close-up eyeball with a knife-wielding hand reflected on it, which was probably better than the story itself).
What is your writing process?
I try to plow through whatever I'm working on, because I used to leave too many novels, scripts, and short stories unfinished. That inner critic is helpful, but not while I'm writing. I get together with him after the work is done for a drink or two and he tells me the unvarnished truth, as he sees it. He's usually right.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly horror. But I read the classics, of course, and things I've been recommended, and whatever piques my interest as I sift through various websites.
If a book/story doesn't grab me on page one with a good hook or an interesting writing style, I move on.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I own a Kindle. It's the only thing I've ever been able to read that doesn't make me motion sick while I'm on transit. I read paperbacks and hardcovers at home, typically. Now that I've got two modes of delivery, I'm always reading two books at a time.
Describe your desk
Messy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Indie publishing, while the market may be slightly over-saturated, gives the author complete creative control and the ability to potentially reach a wider audience, by offering lower prices and the convenience of downloading. E-readers really have cleaned the "vanity press" stink off the indie publishing market.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Letting the story get away from me. Writing is no fun if I know every step on the way to the end. Sometimes it doesn't work, and I have to delete dozens of pages. When it does, it's a special thing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Getting my characters out of trouble.
Or into it.
Published 2014-09-16.
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