Interview with Glenn L Erickson

What do you read for pleasure?
Recently, it is mostly anything to do with Star Wars. Much is good and some ... forgettable. I love the Foundation series and any honest Science-Fiction or Speculative fiction. So much Science-fiction today is too much like Fantasy to appeal to me anymore. And so dark! I look at the covers and shudder, wondering what darkness reside within.
I also love certain biographies. I've read biographies about Lincoln that have given me a better perspective of the man himself. Theodore Roosevelt was a complex, selfish man that turned on his closest friends to gain political advantage.
I have read many books that I classify as very good to excellent because the author uses words to paint word-pictures that I see in my mind as a movie. I really do not see the words as my eyes allow the brain to 'see' what the author 'saw' when they were writing the story. That goes for any genre I've ever read.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ooo, that's a toughie. I've literally read a thousand books in my lifetime. Sometimes I would read a paperback novel by my favorite authors every other day. (no significant social-life back then...) So let me answer by author:

1. Anything by Anne Mcaffrey. I loved her Dragonriders of Pern series. She writes stories that I can visualize without too much trouble.
2. Robert Ludlum. I can't put one of his books down once I start it.
3. James Clavell. I fell in love with the Japanese culture reading Shogun. I've read many of his other novels with great pleasure.
4. Robert A Heinlein: I've read everything he's ever published I think.
5. Jack L Chalker: He has exposed me to a wider vision of what is possible to write about that any other writer.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Ipad with Kindle. Iphone in a pinch.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word-of-Mouth. I announce that I have completed a story and my friends and family are the first to buy one and then tell their friends. I also try to use attractive covers for the books to attract the attention of people browsing through the available stories.
Describe your desk
Right now, it is either a dark wood L-shaped desk at my office, or a solid-core door with metal legs at home. Though they are crowded with stuff. though there is a semblance of order...if you look closely. I use indirect lighting to keep the room dark except where I want the light. Solo piano music plays softly in the background. It is comfortable. Familiar.
When did you first start writing?
I was working with a client on-site while we were trying to start-up a system we had collaborated on. There were long intervals of nothing to do while he fiddled with mechanical issues, so I started my first novel to fill-in the time. It was based on a speculation I had had shortly before and it had captured my imagination. It wasn't until I showed drafts to friends, who urged me to continue, that I realized that I might actually be able to write well enough to sell some stories.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I actually have two going and alternate between them as I can see a story-line that works for either one of them. Both have to with artificial sentience. One is about a captured alien ship with a computer system sophisticated enough to show initiative. The main character encourages it into full self-awareness and the rest of the story is their adventures together.
The other is about a beautiful female android that is the first of the series that, due to a malfunction in her central processor as she is being activated, allows her to become self-aware. She doesn't know that she is an android until she is finger-printed while being questioned about her story of waking up in a laboratory, naked, under a sheet. She assumed that she had been kidnapped and drugged. A retinal scan then confirmed that she was artificial and she doesn't take it well.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I can't afford to work with the traditional publishing houses and I'm not good enough to be retained by them. I strive to become a better writer so maybe, someday, I will attract the attention of the traditional media. In the meantime, I'm having the time of my life writing stories and offering them to anyone bold enough to see if my stories can capture their imagination. It costs me almost nothing and I get to see the pleasure my stories bring to others: a few hours of blissful immersion in times and places they had never dreamed could exist.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Mainly by offering a venue where we both benefit: If my stories attract readership, we both make money. If they don't, then their investment is minimal. So far, we are both winning!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to create word-pictures that accurately describe the scenes and characters as I see them. The reader can see the same pictures I have imagined, and even flesh them out a bit by unconsciously extrapolating further based upon their own life-experience. That gives them a memory unique to them but still recognizable to other as coming from the same source. If I can allow them an "escape" from their reality for a few hours, then I am content.
What do your fans mean to you?
Having fans is a humbling experience. I have a responsibility to continue to give them value for their time and money. It motivates me to strive for better mastery in writing. I also realize that I have touched other's lives and that I may have just altered their perceptions of what is possible!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I love what I do. I own my own business in Technology and get to determine much of how my day goes. I am appreciated (most of the time) and get paid to be the hero to my clients.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I either build my business or in the new non-profit I recently started. I read when I can justify the time. I write in spurts.
What is your writing process?
I start with an idea and dream about it until I have a solid grasp of the story-line. I then start out at the beginning and watch as the story takes strange twists and turns. I re-read the story after a hiatus and edit out the stupid parts (When I recognize them) and read in awe at passages that I couldn't possibly have written as they are way too good for my humble efforts. (I honestly think that someone sometimes reads my stories and edits them when I am sleeping. Their contributions to the stories are really good!)
As the story progresses, I sometimes realize that I've introduced gaps or redundancies and brutally edit them out. I am sometimes amazed at the plot-turns that the story-line encourages. Most of the time, these detours make the story better, and sometimes they get clipped. It is like planting a tree and them pruning it as it grows.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to capture the essence of the story-line in one picture.
Published 2018-05-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Earth Shrugged
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 121,250. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Humanity has been nearly wiped out by the aftereffects of the Eruption of the Yellowstone Super-Volcano. Watch as a young man from a tiny village sets out to see what the world outside his village has to offer.
Earth is Quarantined!
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 99,010. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Earth has long wondered if aliens really exist. Well, the first time we send a huge generation ship out to the stars, it is detained by aliens that seem to have our best interests at heart. Or do they?
Starting a Business
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 21,850. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Development / business development
This book is for those people that have always wanted to start their own business, or had one that failed and want to try again. This guide is for all ages, both genders and most businesses. Be prepared to learn what it takes to avoid the mishaps of others and navigat your way to owning a successful business.
Escape to the Stars!
Price: Free! Words: 32,160. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
Our Sun is becoming increasingly unstable. Already, Mercury and Venus have been hit with CMEs (Coronal-Mass Ejections) and had their orbits affected. A small one is heading towards Earth: Will we avoid the fate of Mercury and Venus? North Africa is devastated by the impact. Mankind is spurred to find a way for humanity to escape. Will we make it in time?
The Lottery-Winners' Handbook
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,690. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success
This book started from a discussion with a friend about the lottery. He was wishing that he could win it so he'd never have to have a job or work for a living. I was startled and concerned, so I used my experiences from life and the lives of people I've known to create this Handbook.
The Time-Hostage
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 106,440. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Ben is sent back in time to 1957. He has NO idea how or why. He has no way to get back. As he faces the reality of his situation, he has to decide how to live in (to him) the past. Does he use his knowledge of the future to change things? Does he try to take advantage to enrich himself? Or does he decide to keep a low-profile? The U.S. Government has other ideas...
Practical Integrity
Price: Free! Words: 2,750. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / General
(5.00 from 1 review)
If you have ever been affected by meeting someone with good integrity and wondered how and why they were that way, or, you want to learn how to have integrity, perhaps I can help...
The Founding of Planet Haven
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 166,950. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Secretive aliens are recruiting humans to leave Earth to colonize other Earth-like planets. Follow one groups' adventure as they band together to leave Earth forever and settle on a new world