Interview with Fallon Jones

When did you first start writing?
After I'd read every book I could find in my house, I was still searching for a new story. At some point my mom stopped wanting to pay for more books, so I started my own story to keep myself entertained. I was twelve at the time, and that story kept continuing until it was finished and titled "Bite Me." It was the first story I'd ever finished, and the first book I'd published.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've worked with a lot of traditionally published and self-published authors, and I've found that different publishing methods work well for different people. Being an indie author works well for me because I love the art of business--marketing, networking, and exploring are all very exciting for me. When I publish a book I know that the final product is ultimately my work, for better or worse. It's a very satisfying feeling, knowing that I don't have to sacrifice my characters or ideas to increase the book's commercial value.
Whether my books sink or swim, I know that they are exactly what I want them to be.
What is your writing process?
I'm very much a "write as you go" sort of storyteller. When I start a new book I usually have a few characters in mind and maybe an end goal for them to get to, but I tend to be very organic about the process. Everything else in my story is as much of a mystery to myself as it is to my readers. I try to let my characters guide the story by allowing them to grow and bounce off one another to drive the plot forward. I think if you have a handful of solid characters, you could just lock them all in a room together and write an entire book off of only that.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords helps get my books out to more readers than I would be able to reach otherwise. Although my books are also available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble in paperback and hardback editions, I make the majority of my sales through ebooks--it's cheaper for both readers and writers.
Smashwords is a wonderful company because it allows anyone the chance to succeed as an author--I constantly encourage new writers at conventions and book signings to give Smashwords a chance. Publishing is free, and formatting is under a hundred dollars for an entire novel!
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Ray Bradbury, and Suzanne Collins. I think the best authors are those that bring out the prettiest and ugliest aspects of people--the ones that remind us that we all have a bit of both in us. I love books with ever-developing characters like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I'm out trying to gain new experiences. I'm a reporter for my college's newspaper, which is a great way to meet new people and learn about something unusual. I also try to spend a lot of time reading, listening to music, and watching Pixar movies for inspiration.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have an awesome street team that helps me pass out flyers, bookmarks, and business cards. I love graphic design so I do all of my handouts myself with Photoshop. I also try to speak at as many events as possible because I think it's a great way to meet other writers and potential readers! Social media marketing through Twitter and Facebook is also a good less-intrusive way of getting your message across to fans.
How do you approach cover design?
Usually I start by contacting a photographer and allowing them to read an overview of my manuscript. I happen to be very lucky by knowing a few artists, and usually we can set up a good color scheme for the mood together. One of my best friends did the cover art for "The Lazarus Serum", and I couldn't be happier about the end result. If I don't have a specific idea for a cover in mind, I go to Deviant Art and search keywords that pertain to my novel to get inspired.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Wizard of Oz--It's fantastical, the characters are believable, and the storyline stays interesting throughout the entire series.
2. Fahrenheit 451--It's frighteningly accurate. It's one of the scariest book I've ever read because I can see this future happening.
3. The Picture of Dorian Gray--Supernatural, immortality, murder, revenge, suicide, love, betrayal--need I say more?
4. Mockingjay--The best book in the Hunger Games trilogy because it shows the characters with real emotional struggles.
5. Wuthering Heights--Many people believe it to be a love story, but I like it so much because it shows the thin lines between love, obsession, and psychosis.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My favorite part of writing is being able to rip myself out of the real world and live someplace else for a little while. Writing gives anyone the chance to not only travel the world, but to create an entirely new planet to live on full of monsters, companions, and the chance to be absolutely anyone.
Reality is a nice place, but as a writer and a reader I'm not expected to live there all of the time.
I also love getting to hear from readers. I strongly encourage all of my readers to send me their thoughts, whether its in person or through emails. I love sharing my fictional worlds even more than I love creating them!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My newest book "The Lazarus Serum" is a post-apocalyptic science fiction about a teenager named Claire Weston who travels to the future to save the world.

I came up with the idea when I was lying in bed sick with a fever. The idea was inspired by The Terminator, The Chronicles of Riddick, and The Wizard of Oz. It's unlike anything I've ever written before--there are vivid landscapes, blurred lines between heroes and villains, and fantastical creatures throughout the story.
Published 2013-09-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Lazarus Serum
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 68,720. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
In the ruins of a state once called California lies the dystopian city of Amaranth, where childbirth is impossible, disease is myth, and every resident relies on the Lazarus Serum to survive. The year is 2127. Darius and Claire must fight their way to Amaranth in order to save the world, battling giant glass spiders and mechanical men along the way.
The Jaws of Life
By
Series: Serpents and Saints, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 80,590. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Holly is an angel, sent back from the dead to avenge her murder - but her immortal boyfriend is already on the case. Can the cryptic couple stop Viktor from killing again? Or will Gerard fall in love with the facade Holly has become?
Bite Me.
By
Series: Serpents and Saints, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 39,560. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
When an angel and a vampire are tied together by an ancient prophecy, the caustic couple must wonder: can true love conquer all? Even death?