Interview with John Ross

What's the story behind your latest book?
I have always been interested in the rural life still experienced in many of the out of the way areas of the UK. My wife and I visited some of these areas about 10 years ago and I just loved the warm, friendly, homely feel of these places. I started to write some short stories about life in a small English village and they were well accepted by my peers at my writing group. They encouraged me to but them into chronological order and get them published. the book 'My Patch' is the result.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The answer to this question is not that straight forward. One is always reluctant to put something out where it is open to perusal and possible criticism. The encouragement that I received from friends and relatives finally convinced me to try. The first time was a daunting experience but it does get easier.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The response and feedback from someone who has read, enjoyed and understood what one has tried to convey. I never feel that I am entirely happy with a story and always believe that it could be better so when someone says that they have enjoyed it that is my greatest joy.
What do your fans mean to you?
It is human nature to want to feel wanted and appreciated. Feedback from people that have read something that I have written is always appreciated. To me it is more important to have a meaningful conversation with one individual than the anonymous likes of many.
What are you working on next?
I spent over 31 years in the airline industry in Australia; rising through the ranks from a check in clerk to be the Airport Manager for the airline in the busiest airport in Australia. There are a multitude of stories that I could tell about my experiences during that journey. So my next task is to put some of those experiences into a series of stories.
Who are your favorite authors?
I do not have any outright favourites. I enjoy good science fiction and will read anything in this genre that does not lean to far towards science fantasy. Having lived and worked in remote areas of Outback Australia I also enjoy fiction or non fiction stories based in those areas. Stories set in the rural areas of the UK also attract me.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
In 2010 I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and not given much hope of survival beyond a few weeks. Seven rounds of chemo therapy and a none marrow transplant later I am still here. The sheer joy that I now get out of life and a new appreciation of this beautiful world in which we live is all the inspiration that I need. I now take time every day to see, not just look; to listen, not just hear and to cast aside trivial matters that in used to so stress over.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
We have over half an acre of gardens here in the beautiful Blue Mountains just west of Sydney. It is my third love after my wife and children (of course) and my writing. It is so rewarding to see the beautiful blossoms on plants and shrubs that I have planted and nurtured.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was at school and it was about a tall gum tree.
What is your writing process?
I start with the barest of outlines or ideas and it seems to flesh itself out as I proceed. I am sure that everyone approaches their writing in different ways but that appears to work for me.
How do you approach cover design?
I am happy to leave that mostly to the professionals.
Describe your desk
My wife would say that I am a bit of a tidy freak, EXCEPT when it comes to my clothes.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up mostly in the remote rural areas of Australia. My father managed large sheep properties (ranches for the Americans). I had my own horse by the time I was old enough to ride and at weekends and holidays used to help in the day to day running of the properties. The places ranged from nearly one hundred thousand acres to one of just over three thousand.
I loved every minute of it. The real, down to earth people that lived and worked in these places now form the basis of many of the characters that I use in my stories.
Published 2013-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

My Patch: The life of Reginald Smithers, a village policeman
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,750. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2013 by MoshPit Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
These short stories relate the experiences of Reginald Smithers, a policeman in the small English village of Stackfort on Humber in the first half of the 20th century. They cover his life, from his first appointment as a young constable, his promotion to sergeant through to his retirement and reveal the sometimes humorous, but always interesting, aspects of his life and the lives of his friends.
The First Man
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 122,940. Language: Australian English. Published: October 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
Two couples are chosen to travel beyond the bounds of the current colonised worlds to find signs of intelligent life. They escape a revolution on their planet. During their journey sexual tensions arise,their ship is sabotaged, they visit alien worlds and realise they can never return home. They find a planet that supports a lower form of intelligence and, maybe, this is just the beginning!