Interview with G. B. Couper

What is your writing process?
I've made it a point to sit at my desk every morning after I rise at 6:00 am as though I am going to a job. I meditate for about a half hour and make a pot of coffee and I close the door to my office to sit at my desk. Most of the time I already know what I want to put on the page by the time I am at the desk but, when I don't know what I have to say, I put a sheet of paper on the roll of my old Remington Noiseless manual typewriter and pound out gibberish. I make sure that I use the first four hours of the day at my desk so that the rest of the day is free. Reading the near finished draft to someone else is most crucial and/or into a recorder to play it back.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't recall the first story I'd ever read but the first ones with the most impact were from the Upton Sinclair, Lenny Bruce, series. I was in the fourth grade at the time and I found one in the school library and I had been looking for a war adventure to pass time.These not only opened up a taste for historical fiction but awakened my young mind to a world view I did not have from where I grew up.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to find something of my own artwork that teases potential readers to check my books out.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
#1. The Odyssey for the heroic journey #2. The Marshlands and Prometheus Misbound by Andre Gide for its address to the mediocrity of suffering. #3 Moby Dick as a story well told combined with profound mystical observations. #4. The Last Go Around by Ken Kesey tells a tale told around a campfire. Having told a plethora of lies around campfires, I found it endearing. #5.Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness because it goes up a river into doubt and despair revealing the violence and oppression of colonialism.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I haven't tried anything beyond word of mouth and not getting very far with it. I just don't have the time or money. I am open to suggestions.
Describe your desk
Cluttered with post-its, key-board for desk-top, my Remington manual typewriter, land-line phone, papers and bills, it is a mess.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Eastern Washington in the fertile Spokane Valley before suburban sprawl wiped out the small farms and orchards of a by-gone era. Our family vacations were spent in Northern Idaho's Priest Lake Reeder Bay campground. Autumns further bonded my relationship with my father on hunting trips north of Spokane in the hills above the Pend Oreille River. I can't say that these directly influenced me to write about but they do influence my outlook on life that I am so desperately compelled to reflect on the pages of my books..
When did you first start writing?
I have kept journals since my teens. These were for spontaneous reflection and i never considered them to be anything more than that until a few years ago when I decided to write my experience of the late sixties in the form of the novel: A Time Ago and Then. This was published on Smashwords three years ago. I caught the bug then.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote The Book of Job Revisited because I wanted to put the theme of coping with disaster in terms of the common man. Job is the Biblical story of a wealthy man losing everything as the result of a wager between God and Satan. The capriciousness of it caused me to think of how much worse a lesser person's fate would be if met by ill fortune. Max, being a man of less stature and riches than Job, had his life smashed by a similar bet waged by a lesser angel and an imp from hell. Max wasn't a rich man before he suffered a brain injury during an accident while riding a bicycle. From there he wandered for a decade through the landscape of the mid-eighties and early nineties coping with depression, alcoholism, anger, frustration, an insane sojourn in the jungles of Nicaragua with the Contras, and menial jobs until a failed love affair awakened him to the possibility that life was worth the effort.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I couldn't get an agent to even look at my manuscripts. After one particular rejection I published my first novel on Smashwords.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
So far I haven't utilized it as fully as I could if I had more time.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love sitting down at my desk every day and pouring out what I am thinking on the empty page. My characters are composites inspired by people I know but become real people in a fictional form. Acquainted with the good and the bad in them, I get to explore every possibility. Though I start out with a theme, I never really know where my characters will take me. I also enjoy researching backgrounds of events and places they go to or come from.
What do your fans mean to you?
I only have one fan I know of; my Bonnie. She reads what I have written and I write to please her.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a historical novel and screenplay about a Basque Maquis, Alesandro during Franco's regime from Spain and Southern France before and after the Spanish civil war and in the fifties after WWII. The theme touches on the way the Anarchist movement evolved into less noble aspiration and tactics of the Basque separatist movement. I am also working on the Sequel to The Book of Job Revisited, Adrienne.
Who are your favorite authors?
I will limit my favorites to a handful and the classics; the ones whose works I keep on my shelves: Homer, Virgil, Dante and Milton. More contemporary authors range from Dickens, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, ,John Fante, Charles Bukowski, Edgar Burroughs, Ken Kesey,Jack Kerouac, From across the pond; Andre Gide, Herman Hesse, Albert Camus. If I had to pick three from these they would be; Homer's Odyssey, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, and Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My typewriter.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Hendries Beach
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I mostly go to bookstores for hard copy but, when use my kindle I usually find out about them by word of mouth of from researching historical events.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A Time Ago and Then.
What do you read for pleasure?
Chogyam Trungpa's lectures.
Are we done yet?
I hope so.
Published 2014-07-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Adrienne: The Chaos of Desire
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 99,590. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
Adrienne: The Chaos of Desire: is a historical novel of the era from 1934 to 1999. In Book I: A Basque, a Maquis, and the journalist Marcel, come together during the Asturias miners’ strike of 1934. Book II: Marcel’s daughter, Adrienne, molested by her brother and at war with herself, nearly squanders this heritage through self destructive addictions until Max re-enters her life.
The Book of Job Revisited
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 53,250. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA
The Book of Job Revisited was inspired by two themes: restoring faith in love through doubt and from Shakespeare's, The Tempest, Max McGee is alienated from his daughter and any control over her after a nasty divorce. Though Max is no Job or Prospero, he lost everything he valued when he suffered a fractured skull and concussion. Not salacious, it deals with alcoholism, sex and drug addiction.
Morningstar East: A Memoir
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,760. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Biography, Nonfiction » History » Modern / 20th Century
A nonfiction description of the author's sojourn in Arroyo Hondo at the height of the"Hippy" invasion and free land movement in the area around Taos New Mexico @1969-70.
A Time Ago And Then
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 98,600. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Max, a USN submariner, is laid up in a hospital with a broken back in the late sixties: there, he begins spiritual journey that takes him through LSD,the Altamont Speedway fiasco, to the communes of New Mexico, Jamaica and drug dealing in Miami. Ending up in Santa Barbara his misadventures touch on the violence, cults and religions of the era as he struggles to find peace within himself.