Interview with D. B. Patterson

How do you deal with writer’s block?
I usually don't experience writer's block. I usually experience the exact opposite, writer's vomit, which is where I take a simple idea and muddy it up with affected prose until the idea isn't recognizable. I catch most of these during my revision process, which is a considerably lengthy one because of all the writing vomit I spew during the creation stage.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is never calling myself a writer, or an artist, or a novelist, or an author. The labels just sound so pretentious to my ears. Referring to myself as any one of them gives me the heebie-jeebies. My creative life is so much more varied than being a writer, I assure you.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, spending time with my wife and family, watching movies, working odd jobs, writing music, relaxing -- all the things necessary to keep the blade sharp, as it were.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Creativity, Confidence, and Courage. Being creative long enough will likely lead you to a kind of confidence if you persist in one-upping yourself. That may or may not help you find your courage, which is the hardest of the three to achieve. Courage to be confident in creativity means being utterly, fearlessly honest as you express your particular vision of the world and all the pieces that make it your own.
How important is book cover design?
VERY. Just as it is in the bricks and mortar bookstore world, so is it in the eBook world -- a cover can make or break your book. The tricky part about an eBook cover is that it must be clear to read/understand as a tiny stamp-sized thumbnail. Period. Either find a graphic designer who specializes in book cover design or do it yourself by keeping things simple. 1. Pick a title for your book with as few words as possible. 2. Use a stylized image with a relatively uniform color palette that symbolizes a key quality or mood about the story you've written. 3. Pick an easy-to-read font family with multiple styles.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm still not wholly adjusted to the eBook phenom, as yet. I spend a great deal of time on the computer, so I prefer holding an actual book in my hands when I can. My wife, who is also one of my editors, is the crazy eBook reader.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read Lord of the Rings twice a year.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My wife has a wealth of marketing experience in both traditional and independent publishing. She'll be the first to tell you to bypass the getting an agent and/or submitting to the Big Houses route. Collect a solid group of supportive readers with one or two grammar Nazis to edit your work and help you hone your technical skills. With research, persistence, and patience, you can learn to market your book and yourself -- the learning curve, however, is rather steep. Hence, the PATIENCE part. But then again, if you have a hard time with either research or patience, you'll need to find someone with know-how to add to your support system. You can also try marrying a savvy marketer, as I did.
Published 2014-08-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.