Interview with Joel G. Gomes

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing it come to life. I get lazy sometimes, I find reason after reason to postpone, but once I'm writing it's very hard to stop. Especially when I start asking questions. Once I do that it will be hard to stop until I have all the answers or something pretty close to it.

Another thing I enjoy deeply when I write is the journey. Most of my stories start with a simple thought that turns into a plot that turns into the beginning of a story. Once I have that beginning, I'm often able to visualize the end. Other times, I just go straight to the end, with no beginning, no story, no plot, nothing - just that final scene, that final image. And I think to myself:
'This is interesting? How do I get there?'
'Start writing,' says another voice.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried main-publishing once or twice. After I carefully researched what they usually publish and what were the rules of submission (they're very picky on those), I send out two manuscripts - one for a suspense novel with hints of fantastic and the other for a book of humorous traveling Chronicles. (They're both on my profile. The first is "Um Cappuccino Vermelho", the second is "Pátria Atravessada".) I didn't get a positive response for either one of them, but that's not what bothered me. What bothered me was the amount of time they took to respond. I later understood and admitted that those two books were far from perfect (despite what I believed when I sent them), but having to wait so long for an answer was the worst.

I heard about vanity publishing and decided to check it out. I soon discovered that they all loved my book, even that one made entirely of shopping lists. Wow! It almost sounded too good to be true. Oh! Wait a second! I have to pay to get publish? And to get the text revised? And edited? And I have to pay to get book-presentations organized and to have my book on the shelves, not just on the deposit? On second thought, I'm not that vain. Plus, I'm not dumb either.

It's not that I don't have the money to spent, but I prefer to spend it in my own terms and take charge of everything, from selling to shipping to marketing. It takes a lot of work, but it has been worth it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I was on the bus, on my way home, and we were stopped at a red light. I looked out the window and saw a white wall. Suddenly I began to imagine what if an image appeared on that wall? Out of nowhere, just like that. And what if I was the only one who could see it?

The idea-machine began to function and I started by imagining a character (very roughly sketched) and a setting (that wall was small, I needed something bigger, wider) and, most importantly, a significance. Why would that the character be the only one capable of seeing that image? And what relation could it have to him?

Even while I was still on the bus, I grabbed a pen and my note-pad and started scribbling. When I got home, I turned on my laptop and started typing. A few hours later I had a draft of the first chapter and plenty of questions to resolve, which is how I like to start a story.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Mostly for just being there and helping my book get known all over the world. Before I began put my books here I only had readers in Portugal (where I live) and Brazil. I now have readers in Spain, Netherlands, United States, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, France, Mexico, Cape Verde and, if my friend at NASA did as I asked, my book just went out of our solar system.
What do your fans mean to you?
They're all nice people and I like them all. What else could I say? If it weren't for them I would have almost no reason to write, other than the fact that I actually like doing it. I like hearing from fans, whether they like or not my stories. Sometimes I find it more rewarding to hear from fans who didn't like my stories, because they are able to tell WHAT was wrong (in their opinion, of course), while those who did like cannot specify what they enjoyed the most.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
On week-days it's not an inspiration, it's an obligation to get to work on time. On the weekends, it's breakfast.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Essentially reading or watching TV series. Good ones.
I do other things, of course. I'm not that lazy. I don't have a car or a driver's license, so I walk a lot.
How do you approach cover design?
Of all the books I wrote and published, only two of them had professional cover design. I simply told what I wanted, as detailed as possible and let them do their work. So far, I haven't been disappointed. Far from it.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I browse through Smashwords and Goodreads and other websites. I hear from friends, I read reviews. The how is endless.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Science-fiction and fantasy, with lots of action. I was ten years old and an avid reader of comics, so there's no surprise that most of my ideas on that story were... not really mine. Actually, there's an interesting story behind that story because it turned out to be the main reason why I decided that writing would be an essential part of my life.

One of my teachers asked the class to write a story during the weekend, at least two pages long. All my colleagues complained and I swear I saw a hint of a smile on her lips. She thought no one would be able to complete that assignment, especially with only two days to write it.

On Monday, I presented a story with eighteen pages and a "To be continued" at the end. I thought I had won that one, but then she made me read the whole thing out loud, which is not something I enjoy doing. Anyway, after that one, I wrote two sequels and they're all still in my drawer as a reminder.
What are you working on next?
At the moment I'm working on short-stories, while I gather ideas and stamina to finish a third novel. One third of it is already written and I know how it ends. I just need the time to write the rest.
What is your writing process?
It depends. Sometimes I let the ideas grow in my mind then, once I sit down, it's only a matter of writing it down. This usually applies to short stories and chronicles. For other projects, such as novels, feature scripts and TV proposals I find it necessary to do a preliminary research on the themes I'll be exploring, developing characters to the maximum extent and creating a general layout of the entire story. After I have that done, I begin to write it. Once the first draft is completed, I let some time pass before doing a rewriting.

I write on a notepad with a pen. I only write directly on the computer on very rare occasions. I like it better this way.
Published 2013-09-14.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Aceitação
Series: O Mal Humano - Temporada 0, Book 4. Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 12,500. Language: Portuguese. Published: November 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
Após a morte do seu parceiro de equipa, o inspector Hélder Rocha resolve tomar conta do seu último caso e apurar porque é que não foi dado como encerrado. Antes que tenha tempo de começar, é obrigado a viajar até Évora, onde um caso pendente há quase vinte anos acaba de ter novos desenvolvimentos.
Contenção
Series: O Mal Humano - Temporada 0, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 14,940. Language: Portuguese. Published: September 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
A agente Catarina Beja, da Brigada de Crimes Macabros, viaja até à sua aldeia natal para investigar a morte do pai de uma amiga de infância. À medida que a investigação avança, Catarina é forçada a relembrar os eventos que a levaram a fugir daquele lugar e depara-se com uma realidade oculta no seio da comunidade. Uma tradição misteriosa que parece de alguma forma ligada ao seu passado…
Apreensão
Series: O Mal Humano - Temporada 0, Book 2. Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 13,550. Language: Portuguese. Published: June 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
Dois agentes da Polícia de Investigação Nacional, Fernando e Dinis, são chamados para fazer parte de uma equipa inter-agencial para apurar o envolvimento de um político em ascensão numa possível rede de tráfico humano. Quando o caso é arquivado e a equipa desfeita, Fernando percebe que Dinis não está disposto a abandonar o caso. Conseguirá ele impedir o amigo de cometer um erro irremediável?
A Primeira Miçssão
Price: Free! Words: 7,140. Language: Portuguese. Published: April 14, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Renato passou os primeiros anos da sua vida a ser treinado para uma missão. Infelizmente, só quando chega o dia de realizar a tal missão, é que ele se apercebe que há muita coisa que não lhe foi dita; em particular o seguinte: o que é suposto ele fazer? Disposto a completar o seu objectivo, assim que descobrir qual é, Renato irá percorrer as ruas da cid—Ahhhhh! Sabem que mais, esqueçam o resumo e
A Arca
Series: O Mal Humano - Temporada 0, Book 0. Price: Free! Words: 7,160. Language: Portuguese. Published: April 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
PERDA Inconformado com a morte dos pais, tudo o que Rui Alves quer é estar com eles uma última vez. OPORTUNIDADE Valter Braz tem o que Rui procura: um meio de estabelecer encontros entre vivos e mortos. AMBIÇÃO Mas há regras que têm de ser seguidas por ambas as partes. Caso contrário…
Selecção
Series: O Mal Humano - Temporada 0, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 17,280. Language: Portuguese. Published: April 12, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
O que era para ser uma simples investigação a um duplo homicídio, para o inspector André Lopes, depressa se torna uma viagem aos mistérios do seu próprio passado
À Hóme!
Price: Free! Words: 5,770. Language: Portuguese. Published: April 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Perseguido por um bando de meliantes, um andróide viaja de um futuro desolador para a Alfama de princípios do século XXI e descobre um mundo que lhe é completamente bizarro.
O Atraso
Series: A Intersecção, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 4,930. Language: Portuguese. Published: January 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Após mais um dia de atraso, Santos recebe um ultimato do seu patrão. No dia seguinte, está decidido a fazer o que for preciso para chegar a horas ao trabalho. Infelizmente, por muita determinação que tenha, é o mesmo que nada quando a cidade é invadida por uma frota alienígena. Extra da edição física de "A Imagem". Os eventos aqui descritos são paralelos a "Um Cappuccino Vermelho".
A Imagem
Series: A Intersecção, Book 2. Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 136,680. Language: Portuguese. Published: November 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
O passado de Lucas esconde um terrível segredo. Para mantê-lo assim, Lucas é obrigado a ser cúmplice de vários crimes, trocando a sua segurança pelas vidas de outros. O pesadelo parece não ter fim à vista, porém tudo muda no dia em que é confrontado com uma imagem que o convence a enfrentar de vez o seu medo. (Sequela de "Um Cappuccino Vermelho".)
A Sopa
Price: Free! Words: 4,030. Language: Portuguese. Published: April 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A alteração à norma pode ser o fim ou um novo começo. Quando mais não somos do que aquilo que fazemos, o que é que nos resta?
Um Cappuccino Vermelho
Series: A Intersecção, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 51,390. Language: Portuguese. Published: October 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(5.00 from 1 review)
Dois escritores em mundos diferentes. Duas histórias que se tornam realidades. Onde fica a barreira?