Interview with Pete Kemme

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a lengthy 120,000 word history book. I tried this crazy fiction approach by having two fictional characters get into a discussion about world history from 10,000 BC until the present. The one character was a high school psychology teacher who was teaching history for the first time and was trying to prepare last minute before the school season. His best friend, a cop, stopped over to hang out since their families were both away for the weekend.

The teacher at first declined due to his time line, but then asked if his buddy would hang out while he went through the history. As the book continued, the cop became more and more engrossed into the content.

It was a horrible, horrible book. Test readers either wanted more in depth history, or no history. It was like the story of the two friends was constantly interrupted by history lessons, or that the history was not detailed enough and ruined it for anybody who was had any interest in history.

My attempt at making history easy turned into a literary mess. However, I kept all the research material and actually used a great deal of it for The Nordic Historian.
What is your writing process?
It varies from book to book. For example, I had a serious plot chart developed for Witness Tampering in order to keep the plot organized. In contrast, I literally typed The Nordic Historian up from start to finish with almost no notes aside from character descriptions.
How do you approach cover design?
I have the extra benefit of being an oil painter. I can simply scroll through my painting images and pick one. It almost feels like cheating!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love the first Sherlock Homes book, The Hounds of Baskerville. It is a classic mystery. Number two would be Frankenstein. I think I was just surprised at how different the actual novel was from the concept I had growing up. Number three is a non-fiction book, The Joy Filled Life. This book literally changed my life in such a positive way. The Shack is another book I could add for the same reason. My fifth book seems to change, but for now I would say Primal Leadership is there. It is so relevant to my "day job" and I learned a great deal on emotional intelligence. A great read for anybody in business.
What do you read for pleasure?
I typically read non fiction, ranging from history to self help. Lately, I have been reading Gavin de Becker's books.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I don't sell very many books, so apparently I haven't figured this part out yet. Feel free to contact me with any tips.
Describe your desk
My desk is a laptop anywhere. Preferably near a window so I can see outside. I have a busy life with a full career and family, so writing for me comes whenever I can snag a minute. When I was a detective with Grand Rapids Police, I would type in the courtroom, where I often waited. It was a great way to utilize downtime. Lunch hours were another great time to fit in some writing time.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up and live in West Michigan. Put this together with the travels of my family and you will clearly see the landscapes in my books. Grand Rapids is in both my Smashwords' books, along with Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and St. Thomas.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing short stories in high school, but that incredible mess of a history book was my first attempt at a novel. I believe I completed it in 2009.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Nordic Historian was a way for me to use all the research I had acquired on world history and make it fun. All of the historical facts in the book are accurate (some debatable I suppose, but most of it without controversy). I took the development of our world history and added the fun world of sorcerer tribes into it.

This book was a great way to use my knowledge and love for history and to make it into something others can learn from without even knowing they are learning history. Just take out the magic of course!
Published 2014-02-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Nordic Historian: Battle of the Celts
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 63,930. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
Throughout history, power struggles between secret, sorcerer tribes have controlled the rise and fall of world civilizations. Warrior sorcerers, aided by Manipulators, Spanare, and Betrayers, infiltrate society and dictate the fate of nations and empires.
Witness Tampering
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 92,250. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
A mystery fiction novel full of action and suspense. The book is set in Grand Rapids, Michigan.