Interview with Eric Landreneau

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My Bladder. And/or my 20lb cat standing thereupon. (PS; I like to use snotty words like "thereupon" is a self-mocking fashion. It amuses me to play the part of a high-fallutin' "I'm a wrrrrriter" kind of writer.)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Cooking mostly healthy food, eating that, then counter-acting all the fiber with pub burgers, beer and coffee. Quality time with my wife and cats and other beings. Consuming good film. ("Good" is a funny, personal, flexible term in regards to film. At the time of this writing, I have just recently turned off "Listen Up Philip" [undoubtedly considered "good" by many] after 10 minutes, but I also recently watched all of "Knights of Badassdom" [admittedly bad, and loved all the more for it by me].) <--I'm pretty sure that combination of parentheses, brackets and period are all wrong.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm so cheap. I get what's available through my library, and sometimes browse the cheap offerings at Amazon. (So I have a kindle. We can't all be as cool as you.) I mostly use my kindle to read draft short stories I'm reviewing from Critters.org
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I'd rather not.
What is your writing process?
Lots and lots and lots of thinking. At any given moment, chances are I'm only giving the real world about half of my attention. After thinking, writing. I don't need quiet. I don't need a special chair or a lucky hat. I don't need to block off special writing time. I write in the lunch room, at a noisy cafe or bar, on my couch while my lady watches Gilmore Girls. There's something about being anonymous and unbothered in a noisy, chattery place that works well for me. Constraint also works wonders. I get a lot more done on a 1-hour lunch break, crammed in-between bites of leftovers, than I do on a whole day off with no-one to bother me.
How do you approach cover design?
I only just did this for the first time, and it was soooo bloody fun. Install GIMP. Play with GIMP. Lean it. Start getting ideas for what's possible. Then I work out a plan for a cover within my artistic capabilities. Sketch some stuff, scan it in, polish in GIMP, doodle, shift and tweak all the bits around. Install FontForge, design a font to suit my needs, use that with some effects for the title.

As for my broader "approach," well, I love animation and comics, so I think I'll probably mostly stick to hand-drawn, symbolic scenes, simple, good contrast, with details polished in GIMP to make it look nice. I like big blocks of black, with highlights. I won't say that I shy away from things being too busy, but I will try to keep it simple and high-contrast enough that it'll be a catching image even as an itty-bitty thumbnail.
What do you read for pleasure?
A big fat slew of sci-fi and fantasy, plus odds and ends my wife foists onto me to read - which is good, I think. If I only EVER read geek stuff, watched geek movies, I imagine I'd make for a pretty terrible spec-fic author. The occasional bit of intelligent contemporary or historical fiction provides me with good examples of how to write real people with real problems.

Specifics?
Eric S. Nylund, GRRM, Christopher Moore, Pratchett (RIP), Johonen Vasquez, Wayne Barlowe, Chris Rowley's Bazil Broketail series is a forever favorite, short story anthologies. "Ready Player One" was awesome. Who wrote that again? Oh, yeah, and so far anything by Nick Cole - "Soda Pop Soldier" was ace, and the Wasteland series was heroically unrelenting. Up next (from my wife) is "The Next Bad Man" by Miranda July.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. Not the fire or anything, just a pure, stand-alone, simple kindle good for nothing but displaying b+w text.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
None, yet. I'm just trying to blab my head off as loudly as I can on my blog, mirrored out to FB and Twitter.
Describe your desk
My desk is a thing that sits in my room collecting junkmail. I have a laptop with a decent battery. I write where I am, preferably someplace noisy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Th old-fashioned way - submitting to big industry slushpiles, waiting a year for a rejection, churning out short stries in the hope of getting picked up by a respected publication and maybe, hopefully catching the eye of an agent or publisher... that sounds like crap. I write shorts, and will continue to submit them to online and hardcopy publications. Maybe one day I'll get something in Asimov's. Probably not. Whatever. Here's the thing - the slushpile game is 99.99% likely to result in failure - no publication, and no money earned. Holding out for that dream is like being the short fat kid saying he doesn't need to study because he's the next Jordan. It's just stupid. Compare to self-publishing - probably no money earned, but I'm published. If one person buys my book for kindle, I get a few cents, which is more than I'm ever likely to make jumpin' on the slushpile. BLAM! Clear winner. My book's out there, and the world's readers - not a few industry slush-rakers - get to decide if it's worth reading. If I shed all pipe-dreams of making money off writing, and just do it for fun, then I write better, have more fun, and GET SOMEWHERE!
Published 2015-04-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Beneath White Clouds
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 89,490. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Martin had never done a brave thing in his life... Until the day he fell below the clouds, and the world refused to hear what he found.
Break! A Tale of Cursed Blood
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 221,930. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Skugg has a curse in his blood. And it's his own damn fault. Stupid bear. With time against him, demons without and demons within, Skugg flees his mountain home and cuts a path of mayhem across the Empire of Tangonia, facing mercenaries, monsters, strange machines and his own most-hated inner turmoil. He has one impossible goal in his heart – to find the source of his curse, and BREAK it!