Walking to school with some friends in the first grade, we decided to "investigate" the inner contents of an "abandoned house" (which in our neighborhood meant recently evicted). Some of the other boys found fishing rods a hardball glove and various other kid treasures. I was mesmerized by a huge book in old fashioned oxblood bindings. It turned out to be the collected works of William Shakespeare. I read and treasured that book for many years until I lost it in a house fire. I probably did not understand a lot of what I read, but from that moment on I was captivated by those magical words and aspired to the alchemy contained therein.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes...it was about a pigeon...I was 5....
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The reason I KNEW from an early age that I had to be a writer is that there are so many things stirring in my soul that I cannot express properly in conversation. It seems in "meaningful discussions" I only walk away somewhat frustrated knowing that I never quite got across what was on my mind. In writing, I may not always nail it either however I do get that warm, fuzzy feeling of having done something good for myself as well as the world around me. It's like I've been given this wonderful secret at birth and my whole live is about how to communicate that secret effectively to the rest of the world.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My biggest drawback of becoming a professional writer was, for many years, the conundrum of becoming the proverbial starving artist at the expense of giving up a lucrative career. For decades I wrote and plodded and dreamed of truing to what I know to be my true calling and reality would come crashing in with the end of month bills. I knew it would be like playing the lottery to invest the time and energy in pursuing my dream of writing then hoping against hope that a major publishing house would accept my manuscript. As I became aware of the every growing viability of independent author and the realistic possibility of success in publication AND distribution, I became more serious and determined to hammer my work into presentable shape.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Through what can only be described as highly serendipitous circumstances I was introduced to Ludo Van Leeuwen at an "interesting" crossroads on my journey. Somewhere between drifting and dreaming I was introduced to Fr Ludo as he lay tethered to a series of tubes on his bed at the local nursing home in Truth Or Consequences (T or C), NM. Fr Ludo was on his final destination while I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. My scribbling up to that point amounted to a HUGH collection of words with no life or direction of their own. After interviewing Fr Ludo over the next several months and reviewing his notes I know that his story (Our story) had to be brought to light. With the blessings of Fr Ludo and his caretakers I commenced to sort out the story within. Ludo's Wilderness has been beyond a labor of love, it has been both and inward journey and outward reflection about what it takes to be a fully realized, grown-up man.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been instrumental to the success of my first fully realized publication. I did complete my first MS and uploaded to Payhip initially then to Amazon Kindle. However, the distribution aspect still had me buffaloed even in the shadow of the Amazon giant who I understood was/is losing ground in the indie publication market. I also came to realize the critical point of making my VERY FIRST publication professional quality without a ton of front end costs. Then as I began to shift my focus from preparing a quality MS to sales and distribution, Smashwords bubbled up into my brain like a blast from the past. The Smashwords style guide as been nothing less than manna and the simple SW formula which dictates that if SW indie authors don't make money, neither does the company. Simple eh? I took one look at the SW distribution channels and in my excitement downloaded the SW style guide. Within two weeks I polished my MS to a fine shine and formatted it according to the SG guidelines. Voila! Formatted, uploaded and not doing this interview thing that SW suggests is a good thing. Thanks, SW!
What are you working on next?
I have several projects planned that I wish to get underway immediately. Again with the help of SW in creating a quality product with fantastic sales and distribution, it opens up the whole world of writing for me. I have several MS in various stages, and my first task is to prioritize these projects. I do already have a second edition to my first book planned, but that will wait and see how sales go on the first edition. Briefly, my next work is titled "The Kalama Cougar" (or something to that effect - maybe!) and is a suspense story about a rouge killer cougar with political overtones and land-grabbing bad guys. Guess you'll just have to read it when it appears on SW in the fall of next year....
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are, in the truest sense, my lifeblood. While I am not dependent upon earning a living from by writing, yet without readers, my life's work has no meaning. Writing, for me, is communicating at the deepest, most profound level. My writing is my gift and what is a gift with no one to enjoy it?
Who are your favorite authors?
Well...I'm kind of an old-schoolie guy and never read off of the NYT BS list. Off the top of my head...Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, Solzhenitsyn, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., etc...probably the contemporary author who gives me the most joy is Tom Robbins....
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing, reading, muh dogs, fishing and the Great Outdoors....
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to spend a lot of time outdoors and travel to spectacular countrysides in order to enjoy the beautiful environment. Hiking with my dogs and fly fishing adds some spice to awe inspiring scenery.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly internet searched for books that I have some for knowledge about or have interest in.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.