Key scenes come to my mind by inspiration. I work backwards to construct justification before the fact, then forward to determine consequences.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Silmarillion. My grandfather had passed on from cancer and it gave me great solace during that time.
How do you approach cover design?
I can't hand-draw worth squat, so I draw on my engineering drafting skills instead. I had a vision for my cover which I found easy to implement using available open-source tools like GIMP.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Silmarillion, because the adventures distracted me from my grandather's passing from liver cancer. Narnia Chronicles, which I read in college and that helped me understand Christianity better. C. S. Lewis's Cosmic Trilogy, because I was very impressed by the way he could weave faith into science fiction and make it believeable. Macroscope by Piers Anthony, as it had been introduced to me by my first girlfriend and from there served as a gateway to the rest of his work. Elfquest, because it was the first serious graphic novel series I ever read, and it was a LOT of fun to read.
What do you read for pleasure?
Kris Longknife. Best humor I've ever seen in military S/F ever.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Usually my PC, because I have no other choice.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Describe your desk
The entire house. My bedroom is the quietest place, so I sit on the bed and compose there. The dining room is an office for both my wife and myself, and I use my computer there. The area is dominated by my wife's things, but that's okay because the computer is dominated by Ubuntu Linux.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Jersey. I was born to an upper-middle-class Jewish family where both my parents and in fact the rest of my environment was extremely dysfunctional. It took decades of therapy to get over it. Creative writing forms part of my therapy occasionally.
When did you first start writing?
Junior year of high school creative writing class.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It came together by accident.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted my books to be seen.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I don't know yet. I'm just taking my first steps with it. I have high hopes, though.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sometimes it's like solving puzzles, and sometimes it's the sheer pleasure of escape.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't have any yet, but I'd love to have some, maybe when people decide I'm all grown up as a writer and they think I'm worth being their fan.
What are you working on next?
I don't do this for a living so I can't say I'm working. I am trying to figure out in my mind what my sequel should be like.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tolkien, Lewis, Piers Anthony, Wendi Pini, David Brin, and maybe ten or twenty others whose names escape me.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My primary occupation is homemaker. Writing is one of my hobbies. So is silversmithing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The one I've just uploaded to Smashwords.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.