Interview with Raymond Sardella

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was in 10th grade, I had a teacher named Mrs. Richford, and we had an assignment to write a short story, I still have it also. It was in the 80's and at that time slasher movies were very popular, you had Halloween, Friday the 13th and movies like that out, so I wrote your typical nonsensical story of a young man being chased by a serial killer, and all I had to do was stay alive until the morning and then I would be forever free of him.
I did get an A on it but she had written on it that maybe it was a little too gory.
What is your writing process?
Like most people I start with an idea, I than write the idea in synopsis form, just a few paragraphs long. From there I start outlining the story, as I am doing that when I need to insert a character I then make up a character profile for that person, who I want that person to be. From there I start to fill in the blanks. I decide what happens in each chapter during the outlining process. But keep in mind most of it will change before the first draft is done.
The reason I do it this way is in case I get stuck on a chapter, I can always o to a different one and work on that one, as long as I follow the outline for the most part they will all come together in the end.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I read was a book given to me by my parents for Christmas names "Stuart LIttle" By E.B.. White, I still have the book, to me it is irreplaceable. I had only turned ten years old the October preceding that Christmas. When I read that book I was amazed, at first because I didn't know that a mouse could do all of this, which was quickly shot down by my mother who laughed and filled me in on a little secret.... mice can't do all that stuff but someones imagination can and that this is the writers imagination at work. From there I always wondered if someone would enjoy my imagination as much as I enjoyed E.B. Whites.
How do you approach cover design?
I always have an idea on how I would like the cover to look, on my first book it literally took three months to get it done and even after hiring three different people I ended up doing it myself.
We would all love to be able to hire Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo or Luis Royo, but the reality is that most of us are working off of a very small budget, so we do the best we can with the budgets we have.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That is a very difficult question to answer, namely because it can change on certain given days. But I will say it this way and in this order:
1: Stuart Little by E.B. White; mainly because it was the first real book I read on my own, and it introduced me to my imagination, I knew I always had one, but it gave me permission to have it and to tell people it.
2: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien I started reading it a few years after Stuart Little, and I immediately fell in love with that world, so brilliant and vibrant, so unlike the mundane world I was living in at the time. As a child you always dream of being the hero and triumphing over evil, those books set the standard for all others.
3: The Xanth Novels by Piers Anthony: There are a bunch of them and each and every one of them is a complete joy to read over and over again, I realized after reading the first one, that you could infuse humor into a good fantasy story, it didn't always have to do with death and sacrifice. I tell younger people all the time to read them, but start from the beginning. He did something very unique, he built the world, and all the books revolve around that world.
4: The Wheel of TIme books by Robert Jordan; it is just amazing story telling at it's finest. The detail into the world and characters he created are incredible. I am sure he drew inspiration from the Hobbit books.
5: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin; The series is fantastic, but the books are incredible. Those who have watched the series need to read these books, there is a lot missing that can only be gotten from reading the written word.

And I am aware that I am adding a sixth book to your question, but it has to be mentioned:
The Bible; no other book has influenced man and his history as this book. And to truly be able to write a fantasy novel, you need to read this book. There isn't much I can say about it that hasn't been said, but inspiration for writing for me comes from here.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy books, I enjoy them immensely, and I tend to read a lot of self published books. I would say 90% of what I read is self-pub.
You would be amazed at the talent out there that people have never heard of.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My first one was a nook, which I still use but now I use a tablet that can carry several types of formats, since I enjoy the indie publishers so much, I wanted something that I could download any type of format with and that has fit the bill for me. And it has a bigger screen.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have really been trying to make use of social media, which does work, but to be honest it is very time consuming for me. I find it to be a labor. Because I tend to spend so much time doing that it takes away from my writing. I don't use any marketers for my books, it's just me out there. I may have to change that we shall see.
Describe your desk
I don't have one per say, my desk is the laptop on my lap in my favorite chair. But if you want to know the piece of furniture that is suppose to be my desk that I don't use.... it's a mess.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to get my story out there. not mine per say but the one in my imagination, the one I created and built and enjoyed. Maybe some one else would enjoy it, and share it with someone else. maybe even be inspired themselves to write their story down.
Published 2014-01-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.