Interview with EJ Lister

What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are friends who share my enthusiasm for character-driven thrillers; who promote my books; who inspire me to continue creating entertaining stories.
What are you working on next?
I recently returned from an assignment in India, during Monsoon Season, where I came up with the title for my next Jayson L. Riley thriller: The Monsoon Murders.
Who are your favorite authors?
Clive Cussler (Clive encouraged me to continue writing after reading my first novel: Muy Caliente); Lee Child; Jeffrey Archer; John Grisham...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am passionate about living a 5 x 5 lifestyle, and I'm a Minimalist, so my days are amazing: Creating, Loving, Giving, Playing, Learning + Hydration, Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Hygiene. Creative writing pays enough to provide shelter: I enjoy sustainable abundance, so each day is an adventure for me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I invest time on business ventures, creating software solutions for industry. I travel often for business and pleasure. I walk in the park most days, read fiction and non-fiction (I love my local library). I play cribbage with my wonderful wife Sharon at our local pub.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I download eBooks from my local library. When I purchase eBooks, I use Smashwords™ and other eBook websites.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Believe it or not, it was my first novel: Muy Caliente. I wrote this book while on assignment in Venezuela after reading genre fiction for years.
What is your writing process?
I'm a right-brained, creative writer (as are most novelists) putting words on a page as quickly as they flow from my imagination. Then, after two or three thousand words, I take a break from writing and do light, left-brained editing and revising/rewriting. I do this until my first draft is complete, at which time I get serious about polishing my manuscript with both right- and left-brained inspiration and motivation.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton during a flight from Calgary, Alberta to Houston, Texas. I was hooked.
How do you approach cover design?
I hire professionals. I'm a creative writer, but in no way am I artistic.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My first favorite book is: What the Bleep do we Know? (non-fiction - I enjoy creating my own reality and this book inspires me to practice conscious observation). My second: Jack Reacher series (Reacher's character is enthralling; his head-on, selfless approach to missions makes these books to good to put down). My third: The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. This is a story that takes me to a place I will never be able to visit, but always dream about (fantasy). Fourth and fifth choice of favorite books are anything spiritual + scientific (Quantum Mechanics and Newtonian Mechanics, with religious and/or spiritual comparisons).
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a variety of books for pleasure, from genre fiction to nutrition and health to quantum physics. It depends on my mood and the time of day and place.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm not a huge e-Reader; however, when I do use a device it's typically my iPhone, using Kindle or PDF downloads.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook posts and website blogging have worked for me. I don't use paid ads anymore; they never resulted in sales or readership. I recently donated 500 copies of my paperback (Investing in Murder) to the SiWC (Surrey International Writers' Conference), which helped create readership and a 'Buzz', sending people searching for my books on line, increasing my eBook sales on Kobo and Amazon.
Describe your desk
Ha! I have a desk, but I typically write with my computer on my lap, or in a hotel room or a pub. My favorite place to write is outside on a deck, under a patio umbrella, with a cold drink and a warm breeze.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a blue-collar town in Ontario, Canada. I wasn't that interested in reading and writing when I was young; I was more interested in music and playing guitar and singing. My older sister was a voracious reader, and smart, which overshadowed my lack of grades in school. No one thought I would one day write a page-turning thriller. My mother, however, inspired me to be fearless and creative. We are both Leo personalities.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing business materials when I was in my mid-thirties. From there, I began to write short stories. I became serious about creative writing when I was 41. I'm now 62.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Eye of the Storm - A Jayson L. Riley Novel

A decrepit freighter departs West Africa with precious cargo in its dark, dank holds. Destination: Columbia. A cacao-based drug has DEA agents racing to shut down its flow into Miami. And in the mid-Atlantic, a hurricane cuts across the Tropic of Cancer like a giant circular saw: Destination: TBD. Jayson L. Riley, Director of the Eye of the Storm Disaster Relief Agency, and creator of HEWS (Hurricane Early Warning System) predicts it will hit the Cayman Islands within 84 hours. His warnings to evacuate go unheeded.

Lucy Hartman, newly appointed detective squad boss with the Queen’s Royal Cayman Police, can’t evacuate—a psychopath has escaped a mental health facility—a tourist is dead, and two others are missing. Then, just hours before the hurricane is due to hit, Lucy disappears.

Jayson must choose: find his love interest before her abductors kill her; locate and kill the one person he thought he could trust; secure the millions of dollars invested in his agency; save the lives of hundreds of innocent people. All the while, trying not to reveal a secret that could send him back to a life he’d struggled so hard to escape...
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It was more of a desire to see my work in print. Achieving paid publishing is incredibly difficult, regardless of how good a story is. With that said, however, I still strive to produce books worthy of paid publishing. Finding a literary agent and/or publisher is a challenge; however, as an indie author I can build readership, win awards, and get book reviews to help me land a future book deal.
Published 2019-10-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Investing in Murder
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,880. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
A Jayson L. Riley Novel: Investing in Murder is a page-turning mystery with well-developed characters, cleverly-woven parallel tales and a finger in the shady world of international financial dealings. The disparate angles add up to a memorable, fast-moving plot.