Interview with Robert Donaldson

When did you first start writing?
The first thing I ever wrote was a poem for a contest entry. I was ten years old and in 5th grade. The poem was entitled, "The Moon is Made of Green Cheese" Al I remember about it is the title. It was kind of corny but I won second place.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is entitled, "Land of Eternally Tranquil Light." It is a memoir that explores my experiences growing up as a black male child in West Tennessee during the 1950s and 1960s. This period saw the gradual dissolution of the "Jim Crow Laws" that segregated white and black socially, economically, and psychologically. This was a time when my self-worth was at its lowest. I came to doubt my own value as a human being.

Later, I was introduced to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism and began view my life within the context of eternity. I learned that any suffering that I experience in this lifetime is the result of negative causes that I made in the past. Viewing life from this perspective enabled me to accept that every hurt, anger, and frustration that happens t me is my responsibility. My karma caused that to happen.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have submitted short stories, novels and poems to print magazines and publishers since 1980. It was very expensive even then to mail a manuscript with return envelope and postage. At that time, a 250 page novel cost about $25 in shipping, each way. With the advent of word processors, e-mail and the internet, I saw that I could increase my production exponentially. The possibility of churning out novel after novel or article after article, excited me--thrilled me. I started to write more. I often have three of four projects going at the same time so that if I get "stuck" or "lost," I can just switch over to work on something else. Writing is my life. It's what I do. I can't "not" write something every day. Now that I self-publish, there is no limit to what I can produce, be it novel, short stories or non-fiction books. I enjoy and truly appreciate the freedom to make my own decisions about publishing my own works.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Yes. definitely.Smashwords helps build my confidence. I have the basics of grammar and composition covered. I paid attention as much as I could in school. I also learned a lot about writing by reading a lot of fiction and nonfiction. Smashwords gave me the chance to prove myself and to improve my writing, formatting, and proofreading skills. For this, I will be forever grateful.
What do your fans mean to you?
My readers are what drives me to continue writing. I have something to say, and what I have to say can help to improve the lives of others. Without readers and fans, I would not have an audience.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a nonfiction book about starting a cleaning service business. Its working title is, "Start a Janitorial or Cleaning Service Business." Most people are dependent upon a company for a job. I feel that the average person has the intelligence and determination to start and run their own business. Having you own business makes you the boss. It also makes you responsible for the decisions that determine the success or failure of your company. Most people have what it takes to be successful in a cleaning service business. They just need guidance and encouragement. That's the intent of this upcoming book. I enjoy my independence as a writer and I want others to enjoy the benefits of starting and successfully running their own cleaning business.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors include John Steinbeck, James Michener and Jesse Hill Ford. I chose these as but a few of my favorites because they explore the "human condition." These authors effectively made me think more about humanity as a whole and about how terribly we sometimes treat each other, often for financial gain which often grows into outright greed.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The wonders of life are what inspire me to get up each day. There is so much to see and do each day. There is so much variety in nature and in humanity that I am forever amazed at how it all comes together to make for a world filled with interesting and amazing life.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I'm usually read a novel or short story. I enjoy reading for enjoyment and pleasure. Reading is like traveling, only cheaper. I also like to read about writing techniques and, of course, I often review grammar and composition.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I discover most of the ebooks that I read from the Smashwords website. Not only am I a contributor, but I am also an avid reader of books published by others on Smashwords. There is such a wide variety of fiction genres and nonfiction ebooks, both free and for sale, that I never run out of things to read. I have also discovered some interesting jewels in fiction and some very talented up-and-coming authors just starting their writing careers, right here at Smashwords.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I wrote a short story entitled, "The Brave and the Bold" for my tenth grade English class. The theme basically addressed the issue of when bravery ends and recklessness begins. Young people often feel that they have to always prove themselves. As a result, they often place themselves and others in positions that could have deadly consequences.
Published 2014-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How to Grow Celeriac in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 820. Language: American English. Published: August 4, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
(4.00 from 1 review)
Celeriac is also known as turnip-rooted celery or celery root. This vegetable is a close relative of parsley. Celeriac tastes much like celery, but with a stronger flavor.
Growing Knockout Roses in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 810. Language: American English. Published: August 3, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Knockout roses are available in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, red and pink.
A Beginner's Guide to Growing Roses
Price: Free! Words: 730. Language: American English. Published: August 2, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
The wide range of colors make rose gardening quite appealing, even to the novice.
Growing Easy Elegance Roses in Your Garden and in Containers
Price: Free! Words: 650. Language: American English. Published: July 31, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
The Easy Elegance can also be grown in containers. Just choose a pot large enough to accommodate the root without restricting development of root and plant. Place the potted rose on a sunny patio or on a sunny windowsill.
Tips for Growing Horseradish in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 810. Language: American English. Published: July 30, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
(5.00 from 1 review)
Horseradish is easy to grow. This plant is a perennial which means that once it is planted, it will survive winter weather and produce new growth in the spring of each year.
How to Grow Sorrel in Your Garden or in Pots
Price: Free! Words: 700. Language: American English. Published: July 27, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
. Sorrel is a perennial that will start new growth in early spring.
Tips for Growing Fennel in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 620. Language: American English. Published: July 23, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Fennel is a hardy perennial that is native to the Mediterranean region, but it has become a favorite gardening crop around the world.
How to Grow Anise in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 600. Language: American English. Published: July 23, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Anise is related to parsley, dill and caraway. This plant was introduced to the U.S. during the 18th Century.
Tips for Growing Radicchio in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 780. Language: American English. Published: July 22, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Radicchio has a nutty, spicy and bitter taste that is much smoother when roasted or grilled. The bright red and white leaves of this plant are often used to add color to salads.
Tips for Growing Dill in Your Garden and in Containers
Price: Free! Words: 730. Language: American English. Published: July 22, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Cooks have found many uses for dill in the kitchen. The freshly chopped leaves can improve the flavor of soups, salads, stews and stuffing.
Tips for Growing Rhubarb in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 540. Language: American English. Published: July 22, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Rhubarb is native to Asia and Eastern Europe. This vegetable was cultivated in China about 2700 B.C. The first rhubarb appeared in the US in 1893 in Seattle, Washington.
How to Grow Oats in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 860. Language: American English. Published: July 21, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Oats can be used in many recipes in the kitchen including cookies, muffins and breads. They can be processed and eaten cooked as a breakfast cereal.
How to Grow Sage in Your Garden and in Containers
Price: Free! Words: 680. Language: American English. Published: July 21, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Sage is high in Vitamins A and C. This plant is often used as a treatment for stings from jellyfish and for spider bites.
The Benefits of Using Mulch in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 630. Language: American English. Published: July 21, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Mulch is simply a layer of material that is spread on top of the soil around the base of you plants, shrubs or trees.
How to Grow Lima Beans in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 620. Language: Afrikaans. Published: July 19, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Lima beans are an excellent source of iron, protein and Vitamins A, C and K. They are also high in potassium and calcium. Lima beans are low in calories and high in dietary fiber.
Testing the Soil in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 830. Language: American English. Published: July 19, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
A thorough soil analysis will help you make the right choices when it comes time to amending your garden soil.
Growing Celery in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 570. Language: American English. Published: July 18, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
(4.00 from 1 review)
Celery is low in calories and high in dietary fiber. It also contains high amounts of Vitamins A. C and K. Celery also contains potassium, calcium, manganese and magnesium.
Growing Chives in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 440. Language: American English. Published: July 18, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Chives are used in many dishes to add flavor. Some common uses for chives are to flavor baked potatoes, soups, casseroles, dips and salads.
Learn to Grow Cantaloupe in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 610. Language: American English. Published: July 18, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Cantaloupes are high in many vitamins and minerals. The have large amounts of Vitamins A, B, C and K.
Growing Swiss Chard in the Garden
Price: Free! Words: 520. Language: American English. Published: July 18, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Swiss chard has an earthy, mild flavor and it is an interesting and delicious alternative to such leafy vegetables as lettuce and spinach.
Learn to Grow Rutabagas in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 530. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Rutabagas are low in calories and high in fiber. They contain Vitamins A, B, C, E and K. This food crop contains many minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron.
Learn to Grow Tomatillos in the Garden
Price: Free! Words: 670. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
There are two major varieties of tomatillos : "Toma Verde" and "purple." The Toma Verde variety is the most common variety grown. It has large golf ball-sized fruit with a tart flavor.
Learn to Grow Jerusalem Artichokes in Your Garden
Price: Free! Words: 670. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Jerusalem artichokes are tubers that have a sweet flavor when cooked. This vegetable is often used as a substitute for potatoes.
Gardening for Kids
Price: Free! Words: 570. Language: American English. Published: July 17, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Green living, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Green living
(5.00 from 1 review)
Introduce your kids to gardening with this short ebook filled with simple garden projects for kids of all ages.
Start a Janitorial Services Business
Price: Free! Words: 830. Language: American English. Published: January 23, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Home-based businesses
Open a Janitorial Services Business and clean real estate and insurance offices, stores, banks and just about any other businesses that need to be cleaned.
Buddhism for Today
Price: Free! Words: 7,970. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion that, historically, is said to have been founded by Shakyamuni Buddha in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains sometime around 600 B.C. Some historians believed that Shakyamuni lived as far back as 1,000 B.C.
Land of Eternally Tranquil Light-DIGITAL EDITION
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 74,480. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
America's legacy of racism and discrimination is a centuries old reflection of the beliefs of its citizenry. That race hatred and discrimination exist even in this, the 21st century is rooted in the lessons taught by many of today's religions.
Commonly Used Herbs and Spices for Cooking
Price: Free! Words: 710. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
There are hundreds of seasonings used for cooking by modern cooks. The preference depends on the type of food and the region where they are used. Many think of salt as the most popular spice, but salt is not a spice, it is a mineral.
How to Beat the Unemployment Blues
Price: Free! Words: 1,180. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Motivation and inspiration
(5.00 from 1 review)
Unemployment is not a permanent state of existence. View it as only temporary. Unemployment can be a springboard to financial independence with your own business.
Herb Gardening for Beginners
Price: Free! Words: 3,970. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Learn to grow and enjoy the many rich and varied flavors of herbs. Herbs are an essential ingredient in many recipes. Most professional chefs use herbs to accentuate the flavor of many beef, pork, lamb, fish and many other dishes.
The Essential Gardening Guide
Price: Free! Words: 5,360. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Gardening is a pastime enjoyed by millions around the world. Grow vegetables in your garden so that your family can enjoy the benefits of fresh nutritious home-grown food.
Simple Gardening Guide
Price: Free! Words: 4,400. Language: American English. Published: October 13, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Gardening can be a simple and fun experience for the whole family. Learn to grow delicious vegetables outdoors in your garden or in containers. Fresh vegetables taste better than the store bought kind. An additional benefit of growing your own is that you can eliminate the hazardous chemical fertilizers and pesticides used by commercial growers.