Interview with L J Hick

Published 2014-10-31.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I always had this idea for a book that merged fact and fiction and used certain events and people in history as focal points. When I suddenly had more time to act on this, I jumped right in. I had a very positive reaction to a very short story and decided to write the first book and get the views of a professional editor. When the manuscript came back with very positive comments, I decided to re-write, edit and publish the first book.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It has enabled me to publish the first book without the involvement of a publisher. It also has provided me with some very useful tools and guides that have been responsible for the completion of Gods and Monsters. There is also a community on here where I have joined together with other authors to produce Wyrd Worlds II. The short story, Irrevocable is my contribution. Check Wyrd Worlds II out. It's free!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think the greatest joy of writing is in making an idea, a story in your head, into something real and tangible. You have these ideas for characters and scenarios and suddenly you have brought them to life. In some respects, it is the constructing of something real from a dream.
What do your fans mean to you?
Feedback is absolutely priceless, even if you do not always agree with it. Fans can tell you what they like and what they do not like. It is a much better method of criticism or praise than a self-determining one. Perhaps, more importantly they give you the drive and impetus to write and to meet their expectations.
What are you working on next?
Well I have just completed the second book in the series, Tribes, having received the manuscript from Nigel Dean, to whom I am eternally grateful for his professional appraisement. Originally, Tribes was part of the first book, but it was just too long to realistically publish as either an eBook or a paperback. I am currently just over half way through the Children of Raphael which, is the third book in the series. The entire work is mapped out in a large A4 hardback lined book, which is full and then some.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tolkien, despite the lengthy descriptions of environment. Stephen King who was probably the first man to successfully scare me to death by text. Dean R Koontz who caused me sleepless nights with Midnight. Philip Jose Farmer for the incredible Riverworld series. Stephen R Donaldson, who kept me engaged for hours with The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and various authors of factual historical content. Special mention to Andrew Marr, who not only gives the readers the facts but also provides insights into effect and cause particular to the timeline. Last but not least is George R R Martin. Yes I am one of those desperate for the concluding books to Game of Thrones.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I don't really need inspiration to get out of bed every day. My wife starts work at Six O'clock five days a week and she does not drive. So I guess my inspiration is to escape the sharp tongue of discontent that would greet me if I did not.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play guitar. A lot. I have four electric guitars, one of which is a seven string, and two acoustics. I need a 12 string acoustic for Christmas if anyone is offering? I watch movies and read. I play computer games and also have a small business called Vinylization, which deals with vinyl records. Oh yeah, I run the wife and kids around a lot as well.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Pretty much the same as everyone else. I think it may well be a suck it and see method, unfortunately. What I mean is that I wish I used a better method of discovery but for the most part I just take a chance like everybody else. Here's hoping that people take a chance on me. (No Abba pun intended).
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was probably in fifth form at school. It was lengthy, juvenile and downright offensive. I got rid of it as quickly as I could. A complete embarrassment. Thanks for reminding me.
What is your writing process?
The story is already in my head but I do map out rough section descriptions to keep myself organised and on track. As I write, I sometimes have another idea for the plotline or character which, takes me off into another direction. The mapping helps me get back on track and tie the new ideas into the old ones.
How do you approach cover design?
My son is a Graphic Designer and works for Next. He is responsible for all the cover art and design.
What do you read for pleasure?
Now this may sound dull but I assure it is not. I am fascinated by physics and astronomy, particularly quantum physics. I spend most of my time not only reading about the subjects but also watching relevant TV documentaries and indeed, some fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
It's an Ipad. I would like to say that this is because of something technical but it's basically because I got it for nothing.
Describe your desk
Meticulously organised. There is not even a pen that is out of place. Monica Geller would worship at it. Yeah, right!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Gods and Monsters is the introduction to a secret world, if you like. The characters in it are fictitious but actual characters from history are used as well. It is inspired by the big question, what is the meaning of life? Gods is part of a series, The Last Days of Planet Earth which, satirises religion, politics and relationships. I also included different opinions on real events, both historical and present by using the different characters. While it has a serious side to it, I hope that people find it funny as well.
When is the 2nd book in the series out?
Tribes has been edited and had a few rewrites now and is currently being formatted for release, right here on Smashwords. The paperback will take a little longer to produce but I hope to release Tribes in the first week of November.
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Books by This Author

They Marvel at the Star
Price: Free! Words: 8,220. Language: British English. Published: October 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Thomas is a member of the Fyrd and is recruited into Harold Godwinson's army to confront Duke William II of Normandy. He is befriended by a blond-haired man called Kauko as they march to war. Thomas has no time for lords, kings or gods of any kind but Kauko seems to have a large amount of time for Thomas. What does Kauko have planned for Thomas?
The Last Days of Planet Earth Vol II: Tribes
Series: The Last Days of Planet Earth. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 127,530. Language: British English. Published: November 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Tribes is the second book in the series, The Last Days of Planet Earth. The arrival of old enemies pours more poison into the mix. Jason, Khan and Blake prepare for confrontation and the wolves are just plain revolting. Old and new alliances form as the threat of war looms large. Where there is no state, the ancient ones do what they have always done and form into tribes.
The Last Days Of Planet Earth Vol I: Gods and Monsters
Series: The Last Days of Planet Earth. You set the price! Words: 119,320. Language: British English. Published: November 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
When you are afraid to dream, you value your consciousness. FBI agent Jack Abrahams is afraid to dream. The recurring nightmare that haunts his sleep fills him with fear and dread. When reality starts to twist and turn, playing out a series of bizarre events, Jack is asked to investigate them. A priest, nailed to the side of a log cabin and a homicidal biker are just the beginning.