Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up all over the place: five different states and two foreign countries. It has made my writing cosmopolitan, and I like to set my books in exotic foreign countries. THE SPIDER CATCHERS is set in Morocco, and my current work in progress, DEAD IN DUBAI, is set in Dubai. In many ways, my life has also made me a loner, and my heroine, Lee Carruthers, is also a loner. "I work alone," she always says.
When did you first start writing?
I've always read anything I could get my hands on, but I didn't begin to write fiction until I was in my early twenties. After I earned my PhD, I wrote nonfiction, but, since I retired, I have gone back to writing fiction.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The publishing industry is undergoing a period of rapid change. The old large publishers are increasingly being challenged by small presses and indies. None of the publishers has much of a budget for promotion anymore, especially for a new author. Most new authors have to do their own promotion. I decided that if I was going to have to do the heavy lifting, I might as well publish myself too, so I created my own imprint, Artemis Hunter Press, and published THE SPIDER CATCHERS. I will publish DEAD IN DUBAI too.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is my first Smashwords publication. I hope that with its large number of distribution channels, I will be able to get my work before a wide audience.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is to be able to get inside somebody else's skin and go to far places. Lee Carruthers is my fantasy, and I enjoy her company. She's been to Morocco, she's in Dubai now, and I think she will go to Vietnam next. Or maybe Istanbul.
What are you working on next?
I'm in the middle of revising DEAD IN DUBAI in which Lee goes to Dubai to find out why a former colleague was murdered and thrown into the Arabian Gulf to come ashore on a beach carrying a false passport. She finds herself entangled with the CIA, the Russian mafia, and two arms merchants.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. Oh, and cooking and doing the laundry, household stuff like that. Then I read some more.
Have you won any awards?
The Spider Catchers was named Thriller of the Month on e-thriller.com for September 20014. http://www.e-thriller.com/?page_id=910 "Rating: Authentic and action-packed "[R]eally fine entertainment and launch of a new series."
What do you read for pleasure?
Thrillers, mysteries, and a wide variety of history. I read as much Vietnamese history as I can find in English. I am currently reading a book about Vietnamese Buddhism in the medieval period. Keith Taylor's History of the Vietnamese People was superb. I enjoyed John Norwich's 3 volume history of Byzantium, although I admit I read other things in between the volumes. I had to recover from the bloodshed. I like Chinese history. I love reading cookbooks.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I belong to a number of writing lists where my colleagues promote their books. I get two daily emails listing free or inexpensive books. Facebook friends promote their books. I'm on the lists of favorite authors who notify me when a new book is coming out. I rarely search for ebooks unless I'm doing research, but sometimes I get hungry for a specific author, and then I search Amazon. I'll be searching Smashwords now too. My Kindle is full right now, because I'm reading only nonfiction until I get the current draft of DEAD IN DUBAI revised.
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