Interview with Maranda Cromwell

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm usually at a dog park or thinking about new things to make art about.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually word-of-mouth via friends and folks on Twitter, but sometimes I really enjoy just browsing the "Suggested For You" sections on ebook purchasing platforms or Goodreads. I like for a synopsis and cover to draw me in.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Haha, ah, yes, unfortunately. It was a terrible amalgamation of Princess Mononoke and InuYasha from Ye Olde Weeaboo days. I'm pretty sure I keep the old journal around for when I need a good laugh.
What is your writing process?
For new projects, I usually start with a wild idea of an interesting character. "Wouldn't if be cool if there was a book that starred a ______ character who did _____ for a living?" What kind of world would they live in, how can they exist? Sometimes it's a concept instead of a character. I start with what I want and then build around that.
Aside from that I am a die-hard outliner. I love outlines. Marry me, outlines.
What do you read for pleasure?
Novels. I like a story that grabs me by the shirt collar, shakes me, throws me in a car, hands me a machine gun, and says, "You know what to do."
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire. It gets the job done!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth. In this world of becoming too easily overstimulated by social media posts, I find that a person-to-person method of marketing works best. You actually listen when someone tells you something to your face.
Describe your desk
Is that paint, or blood? Probably paint. Probably.
My fingers have turned blue from all the chalk dust covering my laptop... oh well.
Also see, "Striations of the Earth's Crust."
When did you first start writing?
I've always dabbled in story crafting, but I only seriously picked it up around 2010-11 when I started my first project, BOUND TO ASHES.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It actually all started with a really obscure dream. I was a genderless character by the name of Dev, short for Devil, and my father and I lived under a large tree in its root systems. Every once in a while we'd dip into the night and harass the neighboring settlement of humans.
I "borrowed" characters from old grade school text-based role plays and reskinned them to suit this new world. The final product is nearly indistinguishable from the first draft!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly, I'm an approval junkie. I just want feedback, lots of it, all the time. I thought being an indie author, while also steering in the direction of the book marketplace, would be an appropriate format for myself. Art is a catalyst for community, and indie authors survive best in a tight-nit community.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The feeling of writing a really evocative piece of prose... nothing like it. Also when plots and stories finally mesh together.
What are you working on next?
I have so many things in progress... A couple outlines, a couple first drafts, one book in its 3rd draft, and even more raw ideas that I haven't brainstormed fully...
Who are your favorite authors?
Ursula Vernon, for her humor. Isaac Marion, for his twisted brain. Neil Gaiman, for his perfect, effortless style.
Published 2015-07-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bound to Ashes [Book 1 of The Altered Sequence]
Series: The Altered Sequence. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 94,540. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Even genetically altered supersoldiers can't kill this grudge. Because of humans, Dev and his friends went from science experiments to vermin—and today is the last straw. Alessandra, a human apocalypse survivor, will try to sway them... For everyone's future. Dev isn't sure if trusting her will save his friends or just get them all killed.