Interview with Fred Pruitt

What are you working on next?
While I worked on Cinderella and the Devil, I was also working on Mistress Peterson, which has some overlap with Cinderella and Galatea in the Poconos, which is the story of how the Petersons got together. I'm also (kinda sorta, in the background less than diligently) writing a science fiction novel that will also be a part of a series.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read the reviews on the publisher's site. Usually it's the title wording, occasionally the blurb that catches my interest. I read a lot from Gutenberg.org, searching for writers I've liked.
Who are your favorite authors?
When I was a kid I read just about everything by Eric Frank Russell. I read all of Robert A. Heinlein's boys' books, pretty much all he wrote up until Stranger in a Strange Land; I didn't find anything after that point that I liked.I enjoy almost all of Raphael Sabatini, starting with Captain Blood. through all his best: Scaramouche, Mistress Wilding, and of course Saint Martin's Summer.
What is your writing process?
I start out with a general idea. In the case of Cinderella and the Devil, it was "what could an abused child accomplish, given the chance?" I write the story chapter by chapter, putting maybe twelve or fifteen hundred words on the screen per. Then I go back over it a few dozen times, asking myself "will that sentence read better reworded differently. Characters grow in importance or diminish as called for, growing into their personalities. I Google a lot, and Wikipedia. I end up inserting more chapters, occasionally rearranging them. Eventually I reach a point where I can't stand looking at it anymore and either publish or set it aside for three months. If I read it again after three month and it reads pretty well I publish.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first "story" I ever read that I recall was Dick and Jane. The six-year-old version of me knew damned well that real people don't talk like that. "Run, Spot,run," indeed! "Go get it, boy!" would have made more sense, even though today I understand exactly what they were doing. I try to have my characters speak colloquial English that's appropriate to the setting, so maybe that's where I got it from..
What do you read for pleasure?
Pretty much everything except the "bare shoulders on a windswept height with her paramour's hair blowing in the wind." I'd also have to qualify that was a "no sympathetic vampires or werewolves, no zombies, and no post-apocalyptic world," if only because they've been done to death. I enjoyed each of the Harry Potter novels. J.K. Rowling's descriptions are excellent and her characters are endearing. I like Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe novels and his Viking novels. Sabatini, of course, and Rider Haggard, Zane Grey, even Louis L'Amour. I get fidgety without something nearby to read.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Kentucky, moved to Pennsylvania as a small child, and joined the Army when I got out of high school. So there are lots of different places for me to set stories. I've met lots and lots of people, many of whom now live in my books. I've done, seen, heard, and felt things, many of which are described. I won't write something set in Finland, for example, because I've never been there, don't know enough about it. But I could have one of my characters eat reindeer meat in Norway because I've done it. Or he could eat chapatis in Karachi, which I haven't been to but which I've researched for the past fourteen years.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Alice is physically a young girl named Adela I knew once in Texas. Emotionally she's the "what if" of Rita Fisher, a nine-year-girl who was beaten to death in Baltimore in 1996. The drug raid and Ben's subsequent conviction are authentic, except for Alice's presence. John Robie the Cat is my cat and the Peterson dogs are my dogs. I dated Cassandra when I was in high school and Don Brennan was a Maryland, not a Pennsylvania, state policeman.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Good reader reviews. They're nectar and ambrosia for writers.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's a nonsensical question. Lots of books simply don't compare to lots of others. Can you really compare Herodotus with Citizen of the Galaxy (Heinlein)? I liked them both, for different reasons. I saw the movie Tom Jones before I read the Fielding novel. They're both funny and endearing. I enjoyed B.M.Bowers The Ranch at the Wolverine despite holes in the plot, mainly because the characters are so beautifully drawn. The Hornblower stories were all good, and the Richard Sharpe series carries on the tradition of following a fellows' career from insignificance to glory. I enjoyed Don Johanson's stories about excavating Lucy in Ethiopia and Kathleen Kenyon's book on Jericho. Wellington: The Years of the Sword reads like a novel, Carola Oman's Nelson not so much. They're all very good books and all for different reasons.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
It doesn't really matter that much. I currently most use a Samsung Galaxy notepad. I've got a notepad Verizon gave me when I signed up for phone service, and it's about as good. Bother are Android, both weigh about the same. I have a Kindle, my third or fourth, but it's limited in formats. I have a couple old Blackberry Playbooks. They're the heaviest of the lot. I still end up reading my phone sometimes.
Published 2015-09-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Nellie Moriarty
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 76,950. Language: American English. Published: April 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Heroines are supposed to be pretty, if not gorgeous. Captain Nellie Moriarty had been pretty until the explosion in Afghanistan. Minus an arm and a leg, a deep gouge disfiguring her face, she had lost her career and her husband. She was reduced to living with Mom and Dad to put her life back together. Quincy Holmes was the kind of man who could see the whole person, not just 70 or 80 percent.
Merry Go Round
Series: Poconos Life. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 92,640. Language: American English. Published: November 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Christian » Contemporary
A man scarred for life rescues a childhood acquaintance from the side of the freeway in the middle of a freezing downpour. She, he, and his daughter become close friends, as her husband and his family attempt to entice her to return to her former life. A story of friendship, conscience, and good humor, set in a small Pennsylvania town.
Dolly of Palo Pinto
Series: Poconos Life. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 93,090. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
"One day you gotta drive to DFW to pick up a new hand. She's grouchy and she's grumpy and she hollers at you. She's not like anybody else in the world. You just want to take her in your arms and tell her..." His voice trailed off. "Tell her what?" Dolly asked, interested. "Tell her... you worship the ground she walks on." A tale of a man, a woman, life, and hogs.
Karl Redhand
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 99,580. Language: American English. Published: January 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
A fast-moving tale set far in the future, of civilizations descended from earthly cultures spread among the stars. A green young officer is caught up in affairs of interstellar scope, thrown into the mud and blood of war of attrition, and forced to make a choice about where his ultimate loyalty lay.
Galataea of the Poconos
Series: Poconos Life. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 92,300. Language: American English. Published: December 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Allen Peterson was a man who had never been loved. Cazzie Wright was a girl without a father, with a mother who didn't have the time to give her the guidance she needed. Cazzie's life was going nowhere fast when she took a summer job with Mr. Peterson. When it went even further downhill Mr. Peterson was there for her, no questions asked, So she proposed: When she was old enough would he marry her?
Mistress Peterson
Series: Poconos Life. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 89,310. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Cassandra Peterson is living happily ever after in the Poconos with Allen, the man of her dreams. When Ben Keller, their cook's son, is raided by the feds and unfairly convicted in a drug conspiracy Cassandra sets out to track down Matthew Lanza, the head of the ring, in hopes of vindicating Ben.
Cinderella and the Devil
Series: Poconos Life. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 89,240. Language: American English. Published: September 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
(5.00 from 1 review)
Alicia Montoya, friendless and fatherless, runs away from home to escape a life of brutal abuse at the hands of Gary, the son of the house where her mother works as a maid. A story involving Faery Foster Parents, opera, Vikings, Richard Whittington and his Cat, life in a small town, Pedro the Shetland Pony, and the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil. Plus a bit of petty revenge for the loose ends.