Interview with Lisa Scullard

When did you first start writing?
I was seven years old, and being bullied at school. When I told my mum this, she said 'Why don't you write a story about having nice friends instead, or write about school the way you want it to happen?' So that was how I opened the door into my own internal world. I've pretty much stayed in there ever since.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I went through the submissions process from age 18 - I had great feedback, was asked for sequels, was strung along for a number of years - but all the while I learned that having a contract and a publisher would mean I'd have to meet certain expectations, and lose my creative spontaneity and freedom. The internet and the advent of self/indie publishing was the best thing that happened. I never know who's buying my books, just that it's fulfilling whatever a reader wants from a book at any one time, and that's very rewarding. I like the mystery of not knowing how or why people came to read any of my stuff.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been the best one-stop publishing platform to get onto such diverse sales outlets as Kobo and Nook, to mention a few. I love participating in the summer sale as well - and it's easy to generate coupons for giveaways at any other time too.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm quite a solitary person, and always have been. Writing makes me feel as though I've achieved and explored more aspects of my personality than I've had the opportunity to in real life.
What do your fans mean to you?
I've made friends online with other writers, but I don't have any fans that I know of. Not that have made themselves known to me, or formed any fan clubs in my honour :) I don't solicit readers or reviews or comments. I'm less interactive than a Magic-8 ball. Like I said, I'm happy with the mystery as to who reads my books. I couldn't tell you who my readership demographic is, or my 'target audience'. I can only hope that whoever reads my stuff is only using it for good and not evil, etc etc :)
What are you working on next?
I'm going to be writing more romance under the pen-name Lauren Boutain, as well as parody novels, and sequels to my current books. I've become quite addicted to satire and dark humour. I think it's because I find very little serious drama appealing personally, or serious love stories, or soap opera-type entertainment. I wouldn't write anything that lowered my own mood.
Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin, Douglas Adams, Tom Sharpe, Craig Shaw Gardner, Jeremy Clarkson, Greg Bear, Harry Harrison, Greg & Amiira Behrendt, Spike Milligan.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Mainly the dreams I need to untangle and write down.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a full-time author now, and occasional IT and publishing consultant, so sometimes I'm commuting, editing, rewriting, troubleshooting and formatting - everything I do is related to computing, books and screenplays, work-wise. I might do a bit of gardening, or training and practising Parkour, or walking along the beach with my camera to take sunset photographs. I enjoy a bit of occasional browsing for designer bargains, on eBay or in charity shops. I also like hula-hooping while listening to music.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I mainly read print books, but I do download friends' books to check them out. I never read reviews or book blogs, and I'm not interested in the kind of books recommended by mainstream media or magazines. If there's a book out there that the world is being told 'everyone should read' I'm the one who hasn't read it :) I go to bookshops and look in my favourite genres for new reads, such as comic fantasy, sci fi and graphic novels.
What is your writing process?
Everything to me is a writing process - I am a black box flight recorder :) I think that's why I don't make any effort at selling, networking or promoting. This is the most I've ever written about myself as a writer :) I can't market myself, because I'm too busy observing and absorbing the world. For later.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It made me want to eat watermelon. I had never seen a real watermelon at the time.
How do you approach cover design?
Slapdash and on the spur of the moment, until a friend (Brenton) offered a creative hand in his spare time. I'm artistic, but the two skills don't go together. I'd be tempted to draw my characters, and there's no better way to destroy the mental image of them, in my experience :)
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"The Stainless Steel Rat" by Harry Harrison
"Blott on the Landscape" by Tom Sharpe
"Mort" by Terry Pratchett
"Pyramids" by Terry Pratchett
"Dark Side of the Sun" by Terry Pratchett

Escapism - no other reason :)
What do you read for pleasure?
I've found there's a lot to smile about in Jeremy Clarkson's books. The first I read was "I Know You Got Soul" about classic machine design, from Concorde to Kalashnikov. And reading a man's writing is good compensation for being single all my life :) I can't read romance about predictable heroines, who all get their happy ever after before they've got anything else sussed out in life. That just depresses me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
It was a second-hand Android tablet from Toys'R'Us, which can read PDFs and Kindle app files, but then I found my Blackberry's Kindle app is better and even more portable.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Do nothing, and never talk about writing, publishing or reading, unless asked about it directly :) Actually, 'The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum' was a blog series before it was a book. When I released the book just prior to publishing the last three or four chapters, it had a rush of sales following the announcement at the end of a post that it was available. The blog only had about 50 followers at the time - I think they all must have bought it, I never asked :)
Describe your desk
I don't own a desk. Every surface is covered in books, notes, DVDs, tape measures, spoons, mugs, Barbie dolls, photographs, gym equipment and stuff like Rubik's Cubes. I can write anywhere, but mainly in front of the TV, watching comedy.
Published 2014-08-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

One Stolen Kiss
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 73,920. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor
When he walks into her Manhattan art gallery, Adrik Maksimov remembers Christie Harding from Switzerland, eleven years ago. Back then, the reckless young heir to a Russian shipping fortune, he gatecrashed a debutantes’ ball while in the country to deposit some diamonds in a Swiss bank. Finding himself inextricably distracted by Christie, the diamonds vanished, with only a kiss to remember her by.
The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 134,850. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
When keen Forensic Anthropology student Sarah Bellum has to attend an interview in her housemate's place with the enigmatic vending machine entrepreneur Crispin Dry of Dry Goods, Inc, it sets off a chain of events that will alter her weekend plans for ever... An action-packed parody adventure of love, loyalty, war, alcohol, zombies, rickshaws, and squid.
Living Hell
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 100,470. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Kim Blackshields is Jericho's blackmailer, keeping an eye on who's doing what, or to whom, never mind the reason - so long as it pays. But even in a modern-day Satanic, small-town society rife with crime, espionage and corruption, there are still those who'll try and take advantage of the weak and impressionable. Even here, some things are frowned upon...
Death & The City: Heavy Duty Edition
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 280,700. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Unlikely nightclub bouncer Lara Leatherstone - not her real name, she got it off an Internet Name Generator... And Pest Control sniper-turned-police officer Connor Reeves - also not his real name, how he came by his, is even less clear... Both are obliged to work their way through the To Do List of Hollywood Hit-Men, an epidemic of contract killers - erasing these pests with minimum fuss...