Interview with Jestin Lightner

Published 2013-08-22.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Grew up in 954, Ft. Lauderdale area, for what seemed like forever. Always had role playing groups or bands to do my thing with and that has obviously inspired much of my stuff.
When did you first start writing?
In the sixth grade I read Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King and so I set out to write a short story for english class about werewolves that I entitled "Terror To All". I only got an A- because the language in it was not suitable for a school project. It was pretty OK for my age though as the teachers passed it around and all gave me a their own review of it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest is just a little vampire RPG I put together for my sunday gaming group. I wanted to mix together vampires and the apocalypse and that is how that came about.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was reading a lot of garbage and thought that I could do better.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
They gave me an avenue to get my shit out there that simply wasn't available without going to a new york publishing house or some such nonsense. The Shadowbelt has done like 5,000 copies, is more than a couple years old, and I still get a couple of downloads a day without any advertising at all! Not all of my releases do that well but that is a good example of what smashwords can do for a young writer.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to say, "Fuck this, I'm finally done with this thing.". And of course I can't forget the interesting music videos that my work has inspired. Having a short film centered around your work is always a real a trip when it is done right.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are dangerous people.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a couple of response songs for the music releases my promotion company, Donut Incident, is involved in this year. Karnivool's new record is great and the new Eyes Set is shaping up to be their biggest to date. Just being a part of that, even in the smallest of ways, is a neat experience. Lex and I agreed to start writing about each other and though I am behind on my writing on that project, I have got a couple of songs for her now that I would call keepers.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King. Met him when I saw his fifties cover band play a book show in miami back in the 90's. He signed my copy of the Stand and actually spelled my name right! I was amazed to say the least. Also always been a big fan of anything and everything Dragonlance and Planescape. I have read alot of Forgotten Realms as well as a ton of RPG supplements. Monte Cook is cool. Ed Greenwood. Salvatore. Jim Morrison.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I just try to get up before the sun goes down.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Listening to, promoting, playing, and producing music.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Smashwords. Where else?
What is your writing process?
I just wait to get inspired and then go for it. The best advice I can give anyone on the writing process is to read Stephen King's book "On Writing". Just skip ahead through the first 75 pages and get right to the good stuff.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
IDK: I guess it was Dr. Seuss or something similar. Impact? Well, I learned how to read and then graduated to Judy Bloom.
How do you approach cover design?
I was fortunate to get a good cover for The Shadowbelt done for free by a family friend who does special effects for mainstream movies out in LA. He wouldn't do another one for free so I just rip images off the net and put them together basically.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Battle For The Red Gates Pt. 3 EXCERPT
Series: Battle For The Red Gates, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 3,820. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Blood Robin attempts to redeem her soul and Jorgren has an interesting out of body experience.
The illiterates guide to writing ebooks
Price: Free! Words: 2,470. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2011 . Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Publishing business
(4.71 from 7 reviews)
SAVE YOuR MONEY and download this eBook instead.
Divided Wings
Series: Battle For The Red Gates, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 15,770. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2010 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
The second part of the indie hit "The Shadowbelt", the first novel of "The Battle For The Red Gates" series, is nothing more than an epic fantasy love story of infernal proportions. Guaranteed not to disapoint, this book has something for everyone who craves something fresh and new out of this old, over done genre.
The Shadowbelt
Series: Battle For The Red Gates, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 57,240. Language: English. Published: March 23, 2010 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(4.56 from 18 reviews)
Sick of reading mediocre classic fantasy books? Looking for a remedy? When a psychic and a priest cross paths a paradox is bound to occur somewhere along the line.