Interview with R. L. Gemmill

What do you read for pleasure?
I love reading series, particularly sci-fi/fantasy series. The Lord of the Rings, Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, The Wheel of Time, The Hunger Games, the Divergent Series and of course, Harry Potter, are some of my favorites.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire, but sometimes I like to read on my MacBook Pro.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Author Platform Rocket will get you where you want to be in the writing market, as long as your books are really good.
Describe your desk
A 2' x 5' board on top of two old file cabinets. A multi plug at one end, pencil/pen holders at the other, tape dispenser, stapler, and a wide pulpit-like box I use so I can write standing up. I hate sitting for hours and it's great to shift to a good long stand when I'm writing. Did I mention my Fellowship of the Ring poster right in front of me?
When did you first start writing?
I started writing at the age of 12 when I wrote my first book: 43 pages, handwritten and terrible. My mother read it and said, "That's nice, dear." My dad read the first page and threw it on the table. "That'll never sell." He was right. For some reason I decided to rewrite it, which is the basis of all good writing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I taught high school for 32 years and had never considered being an indie author. When my students found out I had a book, they told me right off to publish it myself. I argued with them about vanity presses and such, but they guided me to web pages that explained the differences. After I read Joanna Penn's, How to Market a Book, I realized being an indie author was the ONLY way to go.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are everything. I'm pretty hard on myself when it comes to how well I think I've written something, and when the fans tell me they love it, I am ALL fired up. I just want to make the next book even better for them!
What are you working on next?
Currently I'm writing Book 4 in The Demon Conspiracy Series. It's titled, The Street Wizard. I hope to publish it sometime in October this year.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Steinbeck, Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, R.A. Salvatore. Lately, I've become a bit of a Lee Child fan.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing I'm going to either write 10 pages of brand new material or rewrite a complete chapter. It depends on where I am in the writing process. I do that every day and finish a rough draft in about 6-8 weeks. It's about the same for the rewrite.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work out a lot, 3-6 times a week. Travel is on the horizon.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I hate to admit it, but I find a few of them from pop-ups on various websites. Also, I will check out books that friends have recommended, or books that have really cool covers and blurbs.
What is your writing process?
First, I make an outline. Not a stupid Roman numeral outline, I just list all the scenes in short paragraph form in no particular order. Then I order the scenes, then I connect them and print up a complete outline. After that, I rough draft the scenes in order, trying for that magic 10 pages a day mark I've set for myself. When I've finished the rough, I write the 2nd draft in linear order, doing a chapter a day. Then I go for the quality check, which I do out of order on purpose. I make sure every chapter begins and ends with a hook. And I make sure the dialogue for each character is unique, and when I proof read I try to find better ways to describe things. Then it's proofreading chapters over and over, usually out of order. Did I mention I always read every single sentence out loud during the rewrite? Then it's time for others to read it, my beta readers, starting with my wife.
How do you approach cover design?
I choose a scene from my book that seems really cool and draw some stick figures to kind of show it. I hire a professional artist, Laima Klavina (amunalaima.com) who does spectacular work. She will read the book first and get a better idea what the picture looks like. With book 2, The Doomsday Shroud, she came up with the idea to show the giant worm on the cover. I hadn't even thought of it. Not being an artist, I'm very open for suggestions with cover art.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Lord of the Rings-- Because I stay lost in the adventure every time I read it.

Catch-22-- It's the most frustrating, humorous and desperate book I've ever read. You just want to scream to make the madness go away.

The Grapes of Wrath-- For me it's the best descriptive piece I've ever read. It's also the most depressing.

Dandelion Wine-- Most people only think of weird stuff when they hear Bradbury's name, but this book is truly beautiful. I wanted to grow up all over again, but in his town.

The Prisoner of Azkazan-- They're all great, but I enjoyed this Harry Potter book the best.
Published 2016-08-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Devil's Bite
Series: The Demon Conspiracy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 175,480. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Jon Bishop is about to become the soup-of-the-day. Shackled, caged and guarded, he must find a way out of the caves very soon, or die. The bad news? No human has ever escaped from the demon world. The good news? There is no good news. READ WITH CAUTION!
The Doomsday Shroud
Series: The Demon Conspiracy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 110,450. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Trouble continues for Kelly and Travis Bishop. Their older brother runs away to New York City, the nation embraces Majik Juice, and the American Security Administration makes house calls at two in the morning. The good news? An assassin thinks he can save humanity from injustice. The bad news? Demons have discovered the perfect lure to get Kelly back into Pandora’s Cave. READ WITH CAUTION!
The Demon Conspiracy
Series: The Demon Conspiracy. Price: Free! Words: 116,130. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Orphaned siblings witness a conspiracy between big business and the demon nation that promises to rid the earth of humans. When they try to expose the plan to a disbelieving world, they becomes targets of a demon death squad. READ WITH CAUTION!