Interview with Ray Jay Perreault

What motivated you to become an indie author?
There are a couple of answers to this. First, I enjoy science fiction because it makes me think. I enjoyed reading the great Sci-Fi authors then when i got to the ending I went wow; that surprised me. I also enjoy other genres, like historical fiction, biographies and non-fiction.

Being an aeronautical engineer, as well as a pilot, I've always enjoyed technology and in my engineering days I got to work on some very futuristic stuff, so it fueled my enjoyment of the 'what if's'.

Besides all of this, my wife has been asking me for years to write because she enjoyed my stories. Now in retirement I have no excuses; so here I am.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I like the fundamental concept of Smashwords. The site and author support encourage authors. There is no agenda, there is no "let's make money for the mother corporation", it is about books and making them available to readers. They provide many tools for the reader and author that allows a connection in meaningful and productive ways. The reader can find what interests them, and the author can interact and present their products in positive ways for the reader to make the choices.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Instead of the quote, "I see dead people," I see stories. My mind is always wondering about the other guy in the story. I think there are tons of stories that mainstream authors miss. I've read numerous stories about evil computers, but no one has written about how or why the computer became evil. My other story is about a naive alien population that bites off more than they can chew. Instead of giant wars with amazing weapons this is about a simple race that uses low tech weaponry but they grow and develop in order to survive.
What do your fans mean to you?
Hey, I am a fan too! And that's the way I look at it. I want to be entertained so I write to accomplish that. If I can entertain some readers along the way, then great.
Who are your favorite authors?
I hope I don't offend anyone, but I'm terrible at remembering an author's name. I remember the stories and aside from the major names in most genres I don't spend a lot of time on who wrote it. Sacrilegious; perhaps. I read a varied selection of books, everything from biographies to historical novels and even books on mathematics, music and medicine.

I rarely read all of the books that an author has written; again blasphemy! Most of the commercial authors get stuck in a particular format and just crank the books out. I will usually read a couple from an author, but I get bored reading about the same super hero beating millions of aliens with bigger amazing weapons. Perhaps that's why I read so many types of books and I think you'll find that my books may be in series form, but I'm not going to carry the story too far to milk out more sales. I'll just jump to entirely different story line.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Retirement, my lovely wife of 40 years, two amazing daughters and an equally amazing grandson. Aside from that I live a boring life. I was able to retire early from a very stressful job, and now I trying something that interests me; telling stories.

I also have a stubborn streak and I love to learn new things, so here I am becoming a Sci-Fi author. Wow.
What is your writing process?
My process depends on the story. Some of my stories start in the middle of the night and 90% of it just seems to 'just be there'. Others need a lot more work and I have to pull out detail by detail. For these I start with an outline and let it 'cook for while', and go back to it every time I think of something relevant. Over time the story grows. The ones that just come to me, usually don't get the outline treatment. I just start writing and see where it takes me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the first story, but I do remember reading the science fiction classics from Clark and Asimov. When I read those I'm able to imagine worlds beyond mine. I love the stories that lead you along then wham at the end, something new comes in and changes the entire perspective.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to do them myself. I have experience with some of the graphics tools, so I'm comfortable trying it. I usually think about the story then spend time on the various sites where you can get images. When I've found a bunch I like, I download them and start playing with the cover; changing the font, size, position etc.. When I've got a couple of good ones put together I ask my wife and other's around me. They have good insight and it helps me narrow the selection down. Then I'll take the last one or two covers and post them on my blog and get feedback. Sometimes they love it, sometimes I have to make a couple of minor tweaks and sometimes I have to start all over.
What do you read for pleasure?
It depends on my mood. I'm somewhat of an eclectic reader. Sometime it's science fiction, historical fiction, biographical, historical or something that just looks fun.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I enjoy the Kindle for some reading, but I enjoy a paper book too. Recently I've been buying all Kindle, just because I'm running out of space for the paperbacks.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in southern New Hampshire and I learned from my parents: love, loyalty, honor, and sacrifice. Those attributes will be in each of my books.
When did you first start writing?
I've always been a story teller and I've always enjoyed looking at technology and stretching it into the future. I started writing early this year after my wife had been suggesting it since I retired in 2008. Now that I have written 2 novellas and a book, I want to write every day. I have a long list of subjects that I want to go through. Too bad I have to spend so much time proofing and marketing, but the bad comes with the good.
Published 2014-08-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Virus-72 Hours to Live
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 98,890. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
President Arnold Patterson must deal with the death of his family from a fast moving and very suspicious virus that decimates Earth. The government and military are collapsing and the president must move the government to Camp David then ultimately to an aircraft carrier where they try to keep the world around them functioning. The astronauts in space are trapped and must find a way to survive.