Interview with Clive Frayne

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first book I ever bought with my own money. It was a pulp Sci-Fi novel called "Kelmo and the Starmen." It had a massive impact on me. This was about 1969 when the Neil Armstrong was taking that first step on the moon's surface and NASA was permanently in the news. So, a space adventure for kids really hit the spot for me. At that point, I really thought I'd be living in space when I grew up. I had read books prior to that, a lot of Enid Blyton adventures and Paddington Bear stories, but it was that first pulp Sci-Fi that really altered my life in so many ways.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm an artist and my books tend to have a strong visual element. I work very hard to make the book cover reflect the visual world of the story. I have a real revulsion towards any book cover that looks like a stock photo with the title in some "airport trash novel" font slapped over it. These days there isn't any reason for that kind of lazy thinking when it comes to covers.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a tough question. But, I guess my five favourite books would have to be:

1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - by Robert Persig
I've read that book about twenty or thirty times. It's a remarkable book which manages to mix fiction, with biography, a travelogue with a very interesting look at western analytic philosophy. It's had a massive impact on my life, thinking and also my understanding of what a novel can be.

2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - by Ken Kesey
I read the book after seeing the movie and I'm glad that I did. I loved the movie and the book added additional dimensions to the characters and the story. It's a great story about outsiders and how society tends to find them difficult or dangerous.

3. Cryptonomicon - by Neal Stephenson
This is a great science fiction novel. Not only is the writing captivating, I am totally blown away by the way he embeds real science and mathematics into the story without it feeling out of place. I always finish his novels knowing considerably more than I did when I started reading them.

4. Any good Thesaurus
I'm not a big fan of dictionaries. They try to pin words down to specific meanings. A Thesaurus has a better understanding of language because it is about the relationship between words and their usages. It's just a better way to relate to the language.

5. The Haynes Manual for any car/van I own
By choosing to write for a living I'm often hard up. That means running old cars. The Haynes Manual will get you through the days when you can't afford to pay someone else to mend it.
What do you read for pleasure?
Comics
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Nook, but when I get some spare cash I'm going to ditch it in favour of a basic Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Giving away samples of the book's opening chapters to people who I believe are my core readers.
Describe your desk
Messy at the moment, but usually it's well organised and covered in really useful tools.
When did you first start writing?
I had my first piece of poetry published when I was nine years old. I can't remember a time I didn't think of myself as a writer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The new book is the story of a group of freaks and outsiders who find themselves at the centre of a messy and potentially violent revolution.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've written about the digital revolution and working as a creative for the last fifteen years. I love being an independent simply because it allows me to have a closer relationship with my readers and to have total control over the end product.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has made e-book publishing a simple and effective process. Yes, there are other ways to do it, but nothing as easy as working with Smashwords.
Published 2017-08-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Clockwork Revolution
Price: Free! Words: 9,540. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
In a future where power and industry on an Empire are still driven by coal, sweat and steam, the aristocracy live very different lives from the men and women who keep the engines of the city turning. That is, until the evening an Artist, a Princess and a Thief meet on a rain slicked tenement roof. A meeting that will change their lives and the fate of the entire city,