Interview with Hylton Smith

What are your five favorite books, and why?
I like to read realistic science fiction, crime fiction, and mysteries in general. I also like the odd political thriller.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle and a tablet on which I can download books. I prefer a dedicated e-reader when I am not going to be interrupted.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have a few websites, and my books have been reviewed on several other sites such as, Amazon, etc. However, I published a new book on 25th Nov, and for lots of personal reasons I made it a free download. I was astonished at the number of people who have read it. It is titled - 'The Man Who Never Was' - and this experience made me think through the marketing process again. I decided to make the first volumes in all of my other books free, and the same trend has begun. It seems that by offering people a chance to take a full book for free, more of them will check out the writing style of an author. Perhaps it is obvious in hindsight. This has completely eclipsed the other promotional methods I employed.
Describe your desk
Tidy, but with several works in progress. A desk may not be an accurate reflection of the chaos of the mind.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Northeast of England, and have lived there most of my life. I have worked in other countries quite a lot, but always in the technology industry.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I retired at 52!! I had always wanted to try my hand at translating my thoughts to print but never had the time when I was a corporate slave.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It begins with a strange discovery. A coke works in a small village which was closed and demolished is to become a nature park, but a landslip reveals various objects which seem to point to events of forty years ago. As there doesn't seem to be any logical explanation, the police become involved. Gradually,the accumulating evidence confirms that the mystery is rooted in the past. A parallel story, some forty years earlier is destined to join up with the one of the present day, but that alone does not mean the entire agenda is exposed.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
An overactive imagination.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Yes it really has, and in many ways. Apart from the stricter formatting requirements - which are extremely important, and the wide distribution services, I find the technical support staff very helpful and responsive.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Exploring one's own ideas, committing them to print and baring the result for others to judge. The whole process is stimulating, and gives a sense of achievement, regardless of the success of the book. It is a recreational pursuit of immense satisfaction, and as I have recently discovered, it adds to the joy by making the books free. I even triumphed by getting Amazon to follow suit and list my latest book free, when their policy is to have a minimum price of $0.99
The campaign went so well I will repeat it for the others I have published.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am not sure I can assume I have fans, they are readers and will have their views. However, reverting to my theme of making at least a good proportion of my books free to people, I get quite a buzz when I see the downloads reach four figures. Making money has never been and never will be important - I worked to live, but now I live to write - simple.
What are you working on next?
Maybe a political thriller.
Who are your favorite authors?
Arthur C Clarke, Frederick Forsyth, Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo, Isaac Asimov.
Published 2013-12-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Stone of Eternity
Price: Free! Words: 86,800. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
On a rocky coastline in Norway, a strange discovery in the small village causes a cauldron of public protest. Subsequent analysis of the find brings into question the accepted history of the country and beyond. Further revelations hint at censorship and erodes any remaining trust between the various factions, until a leaked report shocks the world.
Price: Free! Words: 74,230. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
An unfolding incident in the city centre of Newcastle was witnessed by thousands of people. The local police were confounded by the lack of forensic evidence. However, there was concern that it might not be an isolated occurrence. The motive was obscure yet troubling. Nobody, not even the police could have predicted what would develop from from this incident.
Panspermia Deorum
Price: Free! Words: 111,310. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
(2.00 from 1 review)
A world in chaos, caught in the pincer movement of corruption and anarchy. The time for tackling the causes was long gone, squandered by those elected for that very purpose. Procrastination, being paraded as a duty of care, had pushed the planet past the point of no return, or had it? A global threat of a different kind entered the fray. It should have been a unifying straw for humanity to clutch.
The Message
Price: Free! Words: 62,290. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
Olivia Radford-Wickham is a prominent surgeon with searing career ambition. Her husband Tom, in stark contrast, is one of life's drifters, currently parading as an author. His one dedication is caring for their six year-old son. Kieron was born with neurological abnormalities, and has special needs. After a blazing row between Olivia and Tom, a phone call changes their lives forever.
The Predicament of Redwood Paddock
Price: Free! Words: 66,380. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
The Predicament of Redwood Paddock is a political satire. It is pure fiction, or is it? A little guy takes on the might of the closed ranks of government. It's a David and Goliath billing, with an ending which may be surprising, yet predictable.
The Man Who Never Was
Price: Free! Words: 83,820. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
In 1986, Derwenthaugh Coke Works closed, and demolition began. A strange discovery halts the regeneration plans. As there is no obvious explanation as to why these artefacts are there, the police become involved. The only clue which offers any progress points to events which took place many years ago. When a young police officer thinks she has seen one of the objects before, the intrigue thickens.
Fog on the Tyne
Price: Free! Words: 252,070. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural, Fiction » Erotica » Literary Erotica
Fog on the Tyne is a trilogy, covering three murder cases which were investigated by D.C.I. Jack Renton, a dysfunctional old-school detective. Resident Fear, Frankenstein and The Red Kite Killings are all set in the Northeast of England. A different serial killer is involved in each book, with their unique trade mark M.O. and purpose. The Red Kite Killings is Renton's last case.
The Red Kite Killings
Series: Fog on the Tyne. Price: Free! Words: 75,100. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Jack Renton was on a rare vacation when he was asked to return and check out a body which had been recovered from the River Tyne. He initially refused. When apprised of the victim’s mutilation, he became obsessed with an old case, from which he still suffered flashbacks. His team was concerned at such a delusional pursuit, but then a second body was discovered. Was a copycat killer responsible?
The Jupiter Paradox
Price: Free! Words: 76,370. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Following the Era of Conflict between Homo-Sapiens and the Cyborgs they created, a tentative period of cooperation emerged. The residual population was heavily skewed to the Borg template. By 2175, the radiation threat from the dissipating ozone layer had escalated to worrying levels. The Rift Incident had to be investigated.
Series: Fog on the Tyne. Price: Free! Words: 73,680. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00 from 1 review) is the sequel to Resident Fear. Two years on from arresting the serial killer involved, a new challenge faces D.C.I. Renton. The story is once again set in the Northeast of England, but this case appears to be more complicated than expected, compared with the stepwise murders of a serial killer. Several victims have apparently been simultaneously selected for a common purpose.
Resident Fear
Series: Fog on the Tyne. Price: Free! Words: 103,500. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Resident Fear is a crime thriller set in the Northeast of England in 2018, after Britain was expelled from the European Union. The body of a wealthy Industrialist is found draped at the base of the iconic sculpture - The Angel of the North. D.C.I. Jack Renton soon realises it is no ordinary homicide, it has the hallmarks of a serial killer. Civil unrest and political apathy stoke the fear.
The Ice Wars of Dominia
Series: Evilution. Price: Free! Words: 82,390. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The Ice Wars of Dominia is the final volume in the Evilution series. A century has passed since the cataclysmic events of 2045. Climatic change has accelerated, and ice covers most of the planet. All Earth inhabitants are gradually forced into a narrow band of habitable domain, known as the Temperate Zone. A clash of nomadic and indigineous cultures is inevitable, fuelled by a species in orbit.
Price: Free! Words: 244,360. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Evilution is comprised of The Sacred Protocol, Divine Extinction and The Ice Wars of Dominia. The first is an alternate history, scifi thriller. Two pivotal events in history lead to the collapse of the internet. It becomes a race against time to prevent global implications of meltdown. Divine Extinction takes the story on. The threat of extinction is back, then total war looms in book three.
The Nexus Odyssey
Price: Free! Words: 304,710. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
The Nexus Odyssey is an epic journey of human exploration. Overpopulation and its attendant problems force colonisation of another planet. Having achieved this salvation, the relations between Earth and Mars become fractious, and this leads to the development of interstellar propulsion capability, a joint strategy of humans and intelligent aliens. The problems are immense, and benefits uncertain.
Divine Extinction
Series: Evilution. Price: Free! Words: 82,840. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Divine Extinction is the second volume in the Evilution series. They thought they had engineered temporary respite from the threat to humanity. Four years was a convincing period of inactivity. The vigil was suddenly invaded by fear of a completely different danger, which hovered over the species. Contemplation of the consequences was bad enough without the emergence of an immovable deadline.
The Sacred Protocol
Series: Evilution. Price: Free! Words: 79,330. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The Sacred Protocol is the first volume in the Evilution series. It is an alternate history crime thriller. Two pivotal events in history have a very different outcome. The first is the Spanish Armada. The story swiftly moves to the collapse of the internet in 2016. A slide to dystopian culture is avoided by the new SACRED system. An increasing number of protesters against SACRED die mysteriously.
Series: The Nexus Odyssey. Price: Free! Words: 83,710. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
Renewal is the fourth volume in The Nexus Odyssey. The city vessel Phoenix is in its 43rd year of the journey from Mars to the 55 Cancri system. The three species aboard are shocked to find Nexus is nothing like the Axis remembered. Renewal chronicles the struggle between the crew and a lifeform which tries to control them, while Mars is unaware of the same threat as the surface temperature rises.
The Darwinian Extension: Completion
Series: The Nexus Odyssey. Price: Free! Words: 74,750. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
The Darwinian Extension: Completion is the third volume in The Nexus Odyssey. Over twenty years have passed since the Martian colony was founded and the planet has a thin but breathable atmosphere, and more than 50,000 citizens. The efforts to develop interstellar propulsion seem to stagnate when a breakthrough is achieved. Nuclear weapon proliferation on Earth raises the tension to flash point.
The Darwinian Extension: Transition
Series: The Nexus Odyssey. Price: Free! Words: 74,260. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
Transition is the second volume in the Nexus Odyssey series. A fragile foothold was established on Mars during the first volume. The sequel takes up the story of how humanity deals with the discovery of another life form and the schism which develops between the two planets. A second discovery on Mars throws the relationship into potential meltdown, sending a very a sobering message to Earth.
The Darwinian Extension: Initiation
Series: The Nexus Odyssey. Price: Free! Words: 74,650. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
The Darwinian Extension is the first volume in the Nexus Odyssey, and begins two and a half decades into the future. There exists a complex cocktail of human failings in addressing the planet's ability to sustain worldly trends. A new space age becomes a necessity. The unfolding events on Earth and Mars cause a political rift, which is eclipsed by a sinister discovery on the red planet.