Interview with Russell Sydney

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My early years were in London, England where people walked, bicycled and took buses as well as riding the Tube (underground). Cars were small and economical. People drove as little as possible. It all seemed very efficient.

Then there were the killer fogs that showed the dark side of burning fuel - literally. People were actually dying from having burned the stuff.

At age eleven we moved to Southern California where no one walked, only kids rode bicycles and everything else involved cars -big ones. People commuted long distances and took every opportunity to take a road trip. Road trips were really long as well. None of it seemed efficient or economical in any way.

Then there were the frequent SMOG alerts. Sunsets were brown and not red. The hills would disappear on a regular basis behind layers of brown nasty air. Car fumes would choke out any ideas of walking near traffic. None of that made any sense to a rosy cheeked English kid.

The energy efficiency and waste issues are the ones that brought my focus to the information in this book. The killer fogs and nasty brown air had a big impact but that is for future books to delve into. The concern about waste is a good place to start our journey to the EV Solution.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story is to do with the first oil war, meaning the Gulf War and all the oil events since. The events that include using our military to protect the world's oil supply. Having grown up in the aftermath of World War II with rubble and burned out buildings as part of my playground had an impact. That rubble was still there over a dozen years after the war. The English culture was still dominated by the long term effects of the war.

The wasteful use of oil just seems like a poor reason to move people toward all of the consequences that lie on the road ahead. The EV solution can help keep those consequences to a manageable level but it takes lots of people to get that to happen. Reading this and the books to come will help all of us to get that.
When did you first start writing?
That would be when I was being disciplined for bad behavior in school. I was sentenced to writing hundreds of "lines" about behaving better. After graduation from University the writing work involved grants, technical reports and a master's thesis. It was a kick to have technical reports distributed state wide in California. They even made a difference and helped to get the farmers markets going. Some of them might also have helped get the raspberry and blueberry industry going in California.

Most of that showed me what puts people to sleep. It taught me what not to do to get people engaged.

Decades of creating training and technical material helped with the style and clarity concerns. The last decade with the Sustainable Transport Newsletter provided the best support for this effort. It let me lighten up and give people a more fun and relevant reading experience.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Large scale publishers are in trouble and they are playing it safe. My work is on the cutting edge of change. It is looking at questions that people may not want to handle. It is looking at a solution that means rethinking our way of life. That is hardly a main stream or safe route to selling books. IF we can get books on these subjects to sell in large quantities, then the mainstream publishing houses will take the issues on and accelerate the progress.

Until that happens, the indie path is the main option. Fortunately the new publishing model and the power of the internet can help to get these concerned noticed. Please jump in and do what you can to help that to happen.
Describe your desk
The screen is big. The view out the window is long and green. The piles are orderly on either side. The cabinets for files and supplies reach out to the stack of books. The desk top is mostly leather with reminders of my grandfather who first bought the stout piece.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
The informational content available online has helped me to navigate the E-book world. This interview seems like it will help as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing people get the ideas involved and taking actions to support them. It is rewarding to be able to do my part to shift things in a positive direction.
What are you working on next?
There are so many parts of the energy and EV situation to bring to light. A nuts and bolts level of dealing with EVs is close to being ready, or is that a plugs and wires level?

That will step people through the practical aspects of making EVs work. Energy and EV Secrets gives a broad view that needs the support of how to make the plugs and wires work. It would include looking at the dollars involved and how to compare gas vehicles to EVs correctly. That book is currently called Energy and EV Savings and will deal with charging options as well as using solar PV to get costs into the almost free level.

One thing that needs to be handled is to get a clear idea about how EVs relate to environmental concerns. There is a surprising level of resistance coming from the environmental community about this. They are coming up with all sorts of ideas that lack scientific support. It all seems very emotional to do with a desire for perfection or purity of execution. It makes me feel very moderate, dare I say conservative in many ways!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The opportunity to contribute to a more positive future.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Dancing Tango is high on my list. Farmers Markets and Church fit in there as does finding beautiful places to enjoy the peace and serenity of nature. There is also a motorcycle in my garage that is on its way to becoming and electric drive bike.

Truth be told, I spend a lot of time doing outreach and education about electric vehicles. This includes getting electric vehicles to things like earth day events and organizing events like the National Plug in Day.
How do you approach cover design?
The designer I work with, Tom Kelley, is a big help. He turns my thoughts into images.

I start by standing ten to fifteen feet away from the best selling book display in a book store. I see what draws my eye. I move closer and see what causes me to want to reach for a book. I look at what causes me to turn a book over and then open it. I then translate all that into something that would work for my content.
Published 2013-12-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Energy and EV Secrets: How the volt, plug-in hybrids, electric cars and e-bikes can save energy and cut your gas prices
Price: $7.00 USD. Words: 67,450. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance, Nonfiction » Transportation » Automobiles
Energy and EV Secrets lays out the pressing energy concerns and shows the way to the EV Solution; pressing concerns like your bank account and how imported oil threatens national security, the economy, and good jobs. It shows that the EV Mindset can let you fight high gas prices and get past all the big obstacles to driving electric cars and plug-in vehicles of all kinds.