Interview with Rick McKeon

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There are several things I am passionate about: hiking and nature, music and mathematics to name a few. I love to look for patterns and interconnections between diverse phenomena. Writing gives me a chance to share these passions with others.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are my friends and students. I am working on several books, but most of my publishing so far has been instructional videos for banjo and guitar playing. My fans encourage me and I enjoy the interaction. I learn as much from my fans as they do from me!
What are you working on next?
My next book is called "Underlying Patterns." It is a photographic study looking for patterns in nature and speculating about the underlying forces that produce similar patterns in very different situations. Fascinating study! Here again I am hoping for a lot of feedback and interaction with my readers.
Who are your favorite authors?
Based on my interest in nature, chaos, math, neural networks, etc. you can probably guess that my favorite authors are guys like James Gleick, Ivars Peterson and William Allman.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am retired so I really don't have to get out of bed - but I do! When I first wake up I start thinking about the projects I have underway, and then I start getting excited about getting to work! So, even before I get out of bed I have a plan for the day.

Another thing that inspires me is that I still have health and strength enough to work. At 70 you start to think about these things.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love hiking, backpacking, treasure hunting, recreational mathematics, and a whole bunch of other things. So, I'm just as busy now as I was before retirement. If I not at the keyboard I am out for a hike or out with my metal detector.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm online all the time. A quick search brings more information than you could hope for. The internet is an amazing tool for research and discovery! Of course, I'm on YouTube a lot and Smashwords.
What is your writing process?
I hear about all these different methods that people use. Some people write a certain number of hours each day, etc. I'm not that disciplined. I just write when I feel like it. Recently I've been feeling like it a lot.

Another interesting point about process is that I try to capture ideas immediately. I have a little tape recorder on my night stand so if I wake up during the night with a brilliant idea (usually doesn't turn out to be so brilliant in the morning) I can capture it. If I am sitting on the back porch I'll write on a pad of paper. But none of it is real until I capture it as a Word document and back it up. I love to work at the computer because then I have it down. I may edit it, but I have captured the idea and am not going to loose it. I am a fanatic about backups because I dread the idea of trying to recreate something I have worked on so hard and am pleased with! Another factor in that regard probably is that I grew up at a time when computers weren't as reliable as today. The saying used to be, "Save early and save often."
How do you approach cover design?
Recently I have learned a lot about cover design. Now I start with an excellent graphic for the background and then add the Title, Subtitle and Author (me). When I put up one of the covers I used to use against some recent ones they look awful! How could I have been content with those boring covers? Well, live and learn.
Published 2014-08-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.