Interview with Eric Pulsifer

When did you first start writing?
I started in the womb. Seriously! The doc found some very interesting scribbling on the wall when he did Mom's hysterectomy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I find the whole idea of waiting around for some agent or publisher to be a repugnant one. With a previous work I pitched it to 40 or 50 agents -- I lost count -- and eventually figured it out. With or without an agent or publisher, I still need a platform, I'm told. This means I'm still promoting my work. With that in mind, just exactly what does an agent or publishing house do?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's too early to tell right now, but off my metrics I'm getting a few eyeballs. That's good enough for me right now.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hard to tell. Those long writing sessions that border on violence. Developing an idea out of nothing. Creating characters. Having conversations with these characters. Being able to engage in this type of behavior and have it considered normal.

But then, there's nothing like completing something. Even if your only readers are family members who want free copies, completing a big project beats everything.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans push me. They keep me going. They encourage me. I draw from their energy.
What are you working on next?
Something that grew from a news article I read, and filtered through my dark scary brain. Very cool concept and characters that grow on you.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like Stephen King, David Baldacci and John Grisham. Steven Pressfield for the obligatory boot in the tail section. Also some of the older novelists: Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway. Also the apostle Paul, some guy named Luke and a king named David.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My bladder. Also the thought that, hey, there's plenty to do. Got characters in my head bugging me. Got ideas I jotted down in the night and I need to take care of them while I can still read the notes.

But mostly, my bladder. You watch. You reach a certain age, it'll happen to you.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm into hiking. Made a trip to part of the Appalachian Trail and I'll certainly be back. I like to pound out a few miles every day with my dog. I enjoy music, both listening to it and playing it -- I was a pro musician for many years. I also enjoy reading, like any true writer does, and reprogramming my computer when I feel manic enough to do so.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I discover them through a number of sources. Mostly it's a want list I built up over the years. Someone will recommend a book and I'll grab it. I've found some through Story Cartel.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Actually, no. It must have been a whopper, whatever it was.
What is your writing process?
Three drafts. Bang the first one out on a 1940s model Royal typewriter. You can't slap a computer. Leave room on the page for markup. But the first draft goes down violently, and I have no idea what I wrote.

Let it sit for 40 days and 40 nights. Then a read-through to see if it sucks sufficiently enough to rewrite. Carefully redo the whole thing, taking my time. This is done using Scrivener. Third draft is more line-editing and fine-tuning, done on Libre Office.

I usually write in the evenings, and often go until I'm exhausted or my meds kick in. But I write every day except Sunday, with a weekly target of 10,000 words.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No. It might have been Green Eggs and Ham, though. It made me afraid to look inside the refrigerator for years.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually take my own photos and use GIMP to do my editing. Fortunately, my years in newspaper work gave me a bit of an eye for design.
What do you read for pleasure?
Something lightweight, like Silence Of The Lambs. Or a good novel loaded with mystery, intrigue and politicians behaving badly.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Fire. I sideloaded the Nook app, and this has Overdrive and 3M Cloud Reader for library books. Plus FBReader and something for .pdf's, so I'm missing nothing.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Give it to someone who knows what he's doing.
Describe your desk
It's a standard desk with a platform placed on it. This raises my keyboard to waist level, and the monitor sits on another platform at eye level. I like to work standing up. I also have my reference materials there, about five half-full coffee cups and many food wrappers. It gets even worse when I don't deep-clean the area.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Out in the California desert. It makes a good setting for some of my work.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It started out a couple of decades ago as something else, but I never did anything with it. I liked the characters, though. So I brought them out of retirement and had them do something else.

But you know what? Like Charlie Brown and Snoopy, they didn't age a day during all that time.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Camel Club, by David Baldacci. Turning Pro, by Steven Pressfield. The Stand, by Stephen King. The Bible, written by about 40 guys. The fifth one varies, so I'm leaving that one open.
What do I plan to do, besides write?
I'm really thinking about hitting the lecture circuit. Hosting a few mastermind groups for people who have all this creativity but forgot about it. Kicking a few people in the butt and encouraging them to just start doing something. Really, B.I.C. Cartel was a springboard for these future pursuits. There's also the Appalachian Trail; it needs me to through-hike it.
Published 2015-05-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Beta Testers
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 93,300. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Futuristic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Online security hotshot Joni McLean discovers her high-tech dream job isn't such a sweet deal after all, and company flack Kevin Saganey wonders why the more independent-thinking employees keep disappearing. They team up with the hyperactive impulsive Lorraine Hartman for an apocalyptic good time. This is a true story, and it happened five years from now.
Playing Harmonica Like a Real Musician
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 18,910. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Music » Instruction and Study - Theory, Nonfiction » Music » Instruments - General
Geared toward intermediate and advanced harp players, Playing Harmonica Like a Real Musician takes you from random blowing to playing with purpose. Accomplished musician Eric Pulsifer presents some of the stuff they don't teach you. Other instrumentalists and singers can also benefit from this work.
Desert Vendetta
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 102,010. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
The Arizona/Nevada desert is a mysterious place. Secrets get uncovered all the time … like, say, bodies. When that happens, other forces try to cover the evidence. It takes a pair of misfit reporters and two casino employees to dig it right back up again. What they find puts everyone in danger.
Damage Control
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 109,760. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
A contest gone awry. A corporate executive who stops at nothing to save his company. A reporter with a chip on his shoulder. A retired homicide cop with a mission. A secretary who knows too much. Result: A wild ride into murder and chaotic attempts at damage control.
Meditations I: Thoughts, encouragement, and the occasional swift kick for any creative person
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 11,480. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Creativity
Creative? Got that inner fire and you don't know what to do about it? Stuck? Don't know where to start? Don't know what to do next? Eric Pulsifer, a writer/musician who spent years trying to evade his gifts, learned a few things the hard way about the creative process and shares his observations in a series of short, to-the-point meditations.
Hard Reboot: Recapturing That Old Mojo
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,130. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Creativity, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Motivation and inspiration
So you were outrageously talented once and forgot about it. Life happened. Time to grow up. Got to make a living. But you sure miss it. How does someone get back into it, recapture the mojo after burying it for so long?
B.I.C. Cartel* (*Butt In Chair)
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 124,320. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Literature » Literary
If you already gave up, can you really start again? Braden, Karen and Robert, three outrageously talented friends, spend a few years eating their young. Murdering their darlings. Inventing new ways to sabotage themselves. When will they get tired of it? Finally they do something about it in this story of wild adventures, battle scars, dysfunction, redemption and sheer guts.