Interview with Helen Ruth Cates

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Walk Across America
Paddle the Amazon
Miles from Nowhere
Maiden Voyage
Blown Away

All of my favorite books have been about travel and adventure.
What do you read for pleasure?
History books, travel books, and biographies.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Fire
Describe your desk
An old wooden desk inside a closet that I had turned into an office.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
We traveled around as kids, but I grew up in the Ozarks. I guess we didn't have a whole lot to do except for playing outside, swimming, exploring caves or reading books.
When did you first start writing?
I remember "publishing" my first book by stapling folded notebook paper together. I colored the front cover and wrote my story. I've forgotten what it was about, but I'm pretty sure it was lame.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Travel and adventure. Going on the trip of my dreams into the Middle East.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've spent many years in marketing research and I've had a general idea on how to market my own products, not to mention, I've ran online stores for several years. I also like being my own boss.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Freedom.
What do your fans mean to you?
They're the only reason why I write. I hear people say we should write for ourselves, but who really wants to write something that goes on a shelf and is never heard? I write for others, and I enjoy reading and listening to others.
What are you working on next?
Motivational books, combatting fear, and setting goals.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to name, but I do appreciate Stephen King. I don't necessarily read all of his work, but I have a high appreciation for his book, On Writing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
LIfe. I am in charge of my own happiness.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Travel, gardening, spending time with my dogs and family.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not really. I started out writing short stories and winning contests.
What is your writing process?
I'm still learning that one. I'm trying to NOT edit as I write the first draft. Huge time waster.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
That's like asking me if I remember the first meal I've ever enjoyed. Too much to remember!
How do you approach cover design?
With joy. I love to create graphics and edit photos.
Published 2014-10-29.
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