I read everything from murder mysteries, thrillers and science fiction to memoirs. To take a break from these, I read books on the craft of writing. My favorite books on writing craft are K.M. Weiland and James Scott Bell, and believe or not, I find reading these books a pleasure.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on both Kobo and Kindle for Mac. This is because I live in Canada, and Kobo has a great library for us Canadians.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far, it's been blogging, and Goodreads. I've also used Amazon count down deals and their Kindle Select.
Describe your desk
My desk is small. It's a bit cluttered at times, but I'm in a constant fit to keep it clear so on the only thing on it is the project I'm working on. Yes, it is a constant struggle.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Northern Alberta, in a small city called Edmonton. I met this small group of people who were reading Leonard Cohen and Margaret Atwood. Cohen is Canada's poet/writer/singer, and Atwood is this phenomenal writer who can migrate between fantasy and fiction.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing letters to friends when I was traveling in Europe and Israel, Then I started writing letters to editors of papers back in Canada, which somehow turned in Free Lance writing in my mid 30s. I dropped the notion of full time writing and didn't pick it up again until I retired in 2011.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Carson Winfield has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He's just buried his wife from the same disease. He prepares for death by giving away his fortune of five million dollars. He receives a phone call. His medical results were mixed with someone else's. He doesn't have cancer, but the doctor who gave him the original diagnosis is gone - some is his five million.
The police arrive with questions about the missing doctor and Carson's business dealings with him. Carson realizes he can't divulge the complete truth without incriminating himself in a deeper crime of helping to euthanize his wife. Carson has to find the doctor to answer questions about his wife's death and his missing money.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I loved the freedom of developing story lines, and publishing them, and then seeing what readers think. I did approach publishers, however, I found that writers still do most of the work in promotion with standard publishers. As I come from a background in sales and marketing, I thought why am I giving away everything to the traditional publishers. I've also found a great resource of editors and book designers that work for the traditional publishers.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
So, far it is hard to judge. I've only just become more involved with Smashwords for this latest book. All of my previous three books were mostly with Amazon. I will work through what Smashwords has for marketing, utilize it as much as I can, and see what happens.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love to write, to see a story unfold, and to see characters develop. A writer only produces half the story, by that I mean that a writer comes up with the idea, the scenes, and perhaps the plot, but then the muse takes over. Some people call that the "boys in the basement," but whatever you call it, there is this magical moment, when I see that the story is turning, that new and fascinating developments are happening. That is the true joy of writing!
What do your fans mean to you?
There is a true sense of accomplishment when someone says they enjoy what you wrote, or that it meant something to them, or you somehow touched them. You know at that moment that you let the true passion and muse of writing through you and onto the page.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a short Novella, that is purely science fiction. It is called the Anxiety Project. In the not to distant future, a company offers a way to wipe out bad memories for the population. It starts with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and then becomes a fad where everything to bad dates and bad marriages are erased.
Who are your favorite authors?
I"ve always been a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut. He showed us all in the mid to late 70's that we could be irreverent and challenge authority. After that it has to be Douglas Adams. I've read everything he's written, from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe to his Detective Dirk Gently series.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I love that I have projects to do. It's either to work on marketing a book I've just published or to pound out some more words on a work in progress. I also love to blog. Sometimes I go to sleep thinking about something I'm going to write, and wake up with the ideas.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. In the summer, I Kayak on the lake, ride my road bike through the orchards and vineyards and then explore the farms for produced to indulge with cooking projects that my wife and I get involved in as we both love to cook.
In the winter there are wonderful cross country ski and snow shoe trails i the mountains. My wife and I then get serious about cooking, bread making and watching movies on Netflix.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I subscribe to BookBub.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a story about a trip out to the Prairies with my parents in the early 60's. My father told us tales of his childhood in working in the grain fields. I found that story years later in a folder, reprinted on my computer and got it published in magazine in Canada called Canadian Stories.
What is your writing process?
I like to write when I've developed a story idea, and plot line and cast of characters. Then I write almost every day until it's finished. I'll sometimes take a day off, but even then I'll be reviewing notes and thinking about the next scene.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.