Interview with N. J. Simmons

Published 2019-04-12.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Kinston, NC. I guess because of certain challenges (mostly internal, such as self-esteem, confidence, and fear), I quickly developed a creative imagination in order to cope.
When did you first start writing?
I'm sure that I was in elementary school. Sixth grade was a turning-point though; it's when I was first exposed to Poe's "The Raven."
Who are your favorite authors?
J. K., of course.
Mitch Albom.
Poe.
Maya.
Langston.
King.
...and N. J. (I had to)
What do you read for pleasure?
It's cliche, but almost anything that I can get my hands on. I've really been into self-help books lately, however.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Hmm, my iPhone!
Describe your desk
Ha! It has a few rubick's cubes, a notebook, some pens, a couple of old DVDs, breath mints, and some random buttons and CD cases.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had to seriously soul-search a few years back (and the process continues to this day). I was on a mission to identify why I'm here, and answer all of the other philosophical questions that enter the mind of an analytical introvert. Once I realized that I was actually good at writing, and that I always feel a sense of intense fulfillment when I do it, I automatically started figuring out how to make it so that I can do it for the rest of my life.

I guess I wasn't motivated to "become" an Indie...but rather, I began to understand that I've always been an Indie.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Hmm, well, that's a very weighty question. It's honestly a compilation of my life experiences, and the life experiences of many the people that I've encountered, all dramatized and squeezed into a not-so-far-fetched story that's set in the not-so-distant future. It really reveals a lot about my own thoughts, emotions, fears, triumphs, and...desires, in a sense.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Releasing my emotional, spiritual and psychological weights in a way that permanently impacts my readers.

No better feeling.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's given me a platform to release my creativity under my own terms, any time that I want, and to the entire world with one click of a button!

What more can an Indie ask for?!
What do your fans mean to you?
They're not "fans," they're supporters.

Support and genuine appreciation mean everything.

Relationships and love mean everything.

Every...thing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The thought that, "today could be the day"...

The day for what, you ask?

"...the day that something...or everything...happens."

In fact; today WILL be the day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Binge reading anything that he can get his hands on, digesting YouTube videos, watching movies (and picking out ALL of the inevitable hidden messages...ALL of them), taking random road trips, working out, spending time with friends, or listening to songs and music genres that may or may not shock you. :)
What are you working on next?
Completing my initial series.

And then...well...we'll see what's in store.

I have no doubt that the journey will be one that will be remembered for a very, very long time.

:)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yep. Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat.
I think we were all changed by that.
How do you approach cover design?
I have to have the story done first. And then I just conceptualize an image that either expresses the story graphically in some way. Or, I may have a certain feeling that I want to convey that has nothing to do with a scene from the story. In either case, my covers always tell a story in themselves. Once I have the picture of it, I usually sketch it in my notebook a few times, then pass it on to my cover designer to add their magic.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Wow, let's see...

"The Time Keeper" x Mitch Albom (his short-form writing style and super abstract verbiage really inspired me).
"The Alchemist" x Paulo Coelho (it's the perfect expression of the hero's journey, and the story is basically about me).
"The Secret" x Rhonda Byrne (opened my eyes to the truth that the life and dreams that I desire are within my own right, and power).
"Think and Grow Rich" x Napoleon Hill (similar to "The Secret," this opened my mind to possibilities, but also gave me the pragmatic methodology of how to attain it).
"The Yahweh Gene" x N. J. Simmons (I mean, come on! Of course, right?! No but seriously, I love going back to re-read my book; it still amazes me that I finished it and also that I put so many little hidden messages in it that I had forgotten all about).
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Being myself; my authentic self. Not selling. Not pushing. Not forcing.
Just being. And people always want to find out more after that.
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Books by This Author

Third Time's a Charm
Price: Free! Words: 21,570. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Coming of age
Diane Fisk has lived a life that’s had its share of bad and darkness—in fact, she’s lived three of them. For the third time, Diane finds the sorrows of the world to be too much to bear—she decides to end it all again. Perhaps, the third time’s a charm. Or maybe, one of the simple beauties of the world—a magnolia flower—will give her a reason to live…before it’s too late.
The Yahweh Gene
Price: Free! Words: 91,210. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
THE YAHWEH GENE is the first book in a series about the world as it will be in the not-so-distant future. After the planet has been ravaged by catastrophe, nineteen-year-old Emmanuel "Manny" Kohen is caught in this whirlwind of distress, limitation, and belief in an "assumed" Creator. Significant, undeniable, and personal events lead him to the thresholds of his belief, his sanity…and his life.