Interview with Gloria Piper

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm in Northern California and attended a country school for my first six years. The country is in my blood, in my thoughts, in my soul. Nature is my jewel. And part of nature is the spiritual. Toss some nature and the spiritual into a book, a movie, a painting, and I'm connected. My love of nature and feel for the spiritual spills into my writing because that's what I love to read.
When did you first start writing?
At first I spun stories to entertain my siblings. Then I wrote drawer stuffers, nothing worth showing, nothing serious. As a young adult, I wrote silly stories. They served more as teaching exercises. If it was all frivolous, why did I bother to write it? Passion. And an urge for a shy person to express herself. Eventually, when maturity drove the fluff out, I felt that I could pen something worth reading. However, I didn't get serious about my writing until illness forced me to narrow my focus--from biology and art to writing. And I discovered that writing can include my other interests. Here is where I belong.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I just completed a corrected edition of Train to Nowhere, the futuristic science fiction novel. The earlier edition is riddled with typos, and I wasn't satisfied with the cover.

The story began as a novella. What if overpopulation was solved by putting its overflow on trains? What if one of these individuals wanted off? How would he escape?

Readers, including DelRey, liked the story for its imagination, but some told me it wasn't finished. So I added more story and deepened it. I ran it through critiques in Novel Pro, a serious writers' group. Then I entered it in a novel contest at Authorstand and was delighted to win the Editor's Choice award.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I got tired of long waits when submitting to agents and editors. Encouraging rejections are still rejections. And when I see how publishers push the task of promotion onto the author, I feel no desire to take part.

I like the ability to publish when I choose and without gross expense. I like taking my time to promote. Will I be a hit author? Probably not. Nevertheless I like to put out a good product. If my fan base grows, I will be delighted.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's given me know-how. It allows me exposure for little cost.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Polishing my writing. Designing the cover. Publishing the product. Providing reading pleasure.
What are you working on next?
Mostly immediately, I'm working on a fantasy that involves stolen magic.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The bird chorus, the dawning, walking the dog, greeting my hubby, working on my writing, creative ideas, chores, etc...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Walking in nature, enjoying hubby, playing piano, biking, cooking, working in yard, volunteer medical driving.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I don't search. My sister is constantly giving me books to read. I also review books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think it was a sheep and wolf story when I was in elementary school. On the other hand, I made up a story song about my cat, which was only for my cat. That's the only one that sticks in my mind.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I read was Dick and Jane. I think Dick stood on his head and fell into a pile of leaves. It went something like this: "Look. Look and see. Oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh". Quite a gripping tale, but it was my introduction to the written word. I took the book home and read it through in about a day.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover should suggest something about the story. The cover should be grabby and simple.
Mostly I look at the photographs I've taken and go from there. If nothing fits, I try to create something by playing with a paint program.
Describe your desk
Published 2013-09-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Grounded, a Dragon's Tale
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 88,700. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
Crippled in a horrible accident, young Rumplewing must leave her dragon clan and seek death. When she discovers that outworlders are harvesting her planet's inhabitants, she vows to save her species from extinction. But first she must save herself.
Water Pearl
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 130,100. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
Skye didn’t mean to steal the magical pearl from the wood sprite, his only friend. Perhaps his mixed blood made him do it. Above all else, Skye wants to return it, but it’s the only thing that protects him from the soul-sipping king he is forced to entertain. And the king is getting bored.
Emperor's Hostages
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 120,720. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(3.67 from 3 reviews)
Wren, a shape shifter with flawed magic, must become hostage of an emperor before he can find freedom for himself and his captive king. However his struggle embroils a nation in conflict, and he must save a little girl's life or die.
That Other Kind
Price: Free! Words: 11,740. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » General
The questions begin when Seagren first notices her difference. "Are these overpowering hulks really my parents?" Later when she flees those who would surgically alter her, to destroy her craving for the sea, she wonders, "Why do they call me dangerous?"
Long Pig
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 20,810. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Horror, Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Sister Angelina ranked with the lowest in her commune, despite being the priest's wife. After all, the position of priestess was already filled by a woman of great power. Angelina never questioned this. She never questioned the thrall in which her husband held her. She had no questions at all, until the brothers brought in a child whose spirit was too bright and who asked too many questions.
Train to Nowhere
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 97,190. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(4.45 from 11 reviews)
A train--the Orphan world--glides across mountains. Destination? Nowhere. The illegally-born must live inside, for Admin wills it. But young Garland, Orphan musician, seeks a different destination. Freedom. To find it, he struggles against Admin's mind control. His only escape may lie with a mysterious woman who is led by a strange spirit to which he must connect. If he can figure out how.
Finnegan's Quest
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 67,160. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.80 from 5 reviews)
Finnegan, a young fox, seeks a guru. He encounters guides and misguides who warn: Don’t cross the bear, the terror of the woods, and shun the crow with the evil foot. Not listening, Finnegan barges into adventures, ridiculous and dangerous. This story parodies social, political, and commercial manipulation while taking the reader on the archetypal search for one's purpose in life.
Where the Sky Ends
Price: Free! Words: 2,960. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Every dragon, at least on our planet, has a personal groombug--a globular little critter that earns its keep by grooming its host dragon and providing companionship. I called my groombug Tweekie. Together, Tweekie and I tried our best to teach a crippled sister dragon to fly--until we ran out of sky.