Interview with JR Ballard

What is your writing process?
My first step is to formulate substance through letting my mind semi-unconsciously connect ideas, then I free write main points with some attempt at organizing them, and after that I examine them and play with them like a jigsaw puzzle. Then I reach the second step and write a first draft and try to identify unrelated, inaccurate, or repeated matter. My third step is to review and polish my writing after ignoring it long enough for me to be able to look at it through fresh eyes.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was Tom Sawyer. I read it to myself when I was very young – the only book read to me was the Bible – and after reading that I started spending all my free time either running around in the woods, or sitting somewhere quiet and reading classics. I finally stopped myself from my classical literature addiction when I was thirty years old because I had spent almost my entire twenty-ninth year on this planet doing nothing but reading Balzac.
How do you approach cover design?
I seek a equatable subject matter from my library, set them all out together, and try to see the overlapping logic of their cover designs.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Brothers Karamazov because it is the most polished book ever written.
Les Miserables because I find it so very interestingly epic.
The Red and the Black and The Picture of Dorian Gray because they hit a personal nerve.
And all of Nietzsche because he's like a breath of fresh air in the middle of a forest fire.
What do you read for pleasure?
I do not let myself read for pleasure very often; when I do it is Kafka, Voltaire, Marcus Aurelius, or Plato.
Describe your desk
I don't have one.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I wintered in Anchorage and spent my summers in Sacramento. I think that those two very different places helped make me aware that our core beliefs are influenced by the society that we are immersed in more that one may think... to belong to a society is to taint one's thoughts. I believe that it is necessary for a very small portion of humanity to have as un-tainted thoughts as possible so that they can perceive a society's thinking errors and bring them to everyone's attention.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting stuff out of my head is like taking off a heavy backpack; material bounces between my ears until I organize it and do with it what it is meant to be done with, e.g. shared, published, or thrown away as an investigated dead end.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm reaching people and maybe they will influence more people and then maybe I'll have made a worthwhile contribution to human evolution.
What are you working on next?
A less vague description of the changes this new era demands of us, i.e. precise directions.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Roses. A sublime vignette about a childhood pastime. I have never written anything better.
Published 2015-05-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Volume 1 - Exploitation, Social Justice, and Paradise
Price: Free! Words: 14,770. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Political science, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / General
After our 80,000 year flight from The Garden of Eden we are now descending into Paradise. So that your transition into Paradise is as painless as possible, please read these short essays before we land.