Interview with Matthew Sawyer

What motivated you to become an indie author?
This is where I start. Every publisher and agent I've appealed to have my books professionally published and distributed has ignored me. That's not wholly true, once awhile there comes a graceful dejection letter. And I think I always get those replies late, long after I submitted a manuscript, because someone feels guilty. I'm motivated to be read, and that's why I'm an indie author. I daydream it will lead to bigger dreams coming true.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is the best. I publish books on B&N and Amazon, too, but Smashwords has helped guide my understanding of ebooks and it has distributed my material the widest by far. If people would buy my ebooks, I hope they buy them here. Smashwords and Lulu are the only two outlets in which I guarantee my latest revisions.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
By training, my creative outlet had been through painting and drawing. Even then, my images always lacked placement, always lacked reality. Writing lends those creatures and characters life. I wrote before I left college but I'd always convey my thoughts in images. Now that is reversed. although now my text is about those scenes I visualize on canvas.I'm happy I can show my images through storytelling.
What do your fans mean to you?
Honestly, I don't think I have fans. They would be welcomed, though, and I hope they'd tell everyone I have books for sale. Those readers who do that would be veritable disciples. And I'd hallow every one.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, by default. And it is unusual, but I read HP Lovecraft before him. Connected, I like August Derleth because he was a Cthulhu mythos acolyte and a fellow Wisconsinite. Then I grew up and preferred to read Kurt Vonnegut. Tom Wolf, Ken Kesey and Joseph Heller. But when style is in question, I default to John Steinbeck. I can match myself to the man, but he is a guide. I say my writing is closer Ernest Hemingway. And I say so because no one has bothered to actually look.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A restlessness. I can't hold still - I mean I can sit and be quiet, but I grow impatient when I sit too long. And everyone sits so much longer than I ever want and nothing gets done. I get out of bed with an intention to get things finished. Without an editor or professional proof readers there is so much work. So I do those things, too.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Currently unemployed, when I'm not writing, I sleep and eat. I take care myself; shave, shower and brush my hair. I'd waste in my swivel chair acting pedantic if I didn't.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Smashwords, of course. Everyday I log in, I see books that look interesting and fun to read. Indie authors are the same as those tenants at publishing houses. Yeah, they are less polished but who am I who would not recognize rough edges and use the reading experience to make my stories shine?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I do. I can't recall the title but I remember I was twelve years old. I transcribed Star Wars and made changes so the story would be my own. I am pretty sure that tale is lost and no one is poorer for it.
What is your writing process?
I get an idea. They usually come in the shower but there have been instances in which I've glanced visions before I sleep and when I wake, and when I go outside for walks. Then I wonder if there is a story. In that exercise, I imagine story points, characters and direction. And if I make a list of eight of those elements, I feel compelled and I create an outline - a short summary and myriad foot notes. The next day, if I'm still interested. I start writing.
How do you approach cover design?
The text is the most important aspect of a cover - it must be legible. And contain as detailed an image as can be, because fantasy readers especially love illustrations. I know this. Sadly, my artwork falls short. The presentation of my books require dedication in both areas. And being one man, I find I have time and keen interest only in the story itself. I'm sure the fact is one of many examples of how I undo myself.
Published 2014-04-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.