Interview with RJ Williams

When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in 1993. It happened due to a profound life change. I dove head-first into writing about anything and everything. I started writing several genres at once as so much began pouring out of me.

Poetry, I began expressing my feelings through both formal and informal styles of poetry, working toward what style worked best for my voice. After a few years, and, upon self-publishing my first full length poetry book in 1996 (MIDNIGHT MATINEE) I knew that narrative poems, dramatic poems and free verse were the style and forms I would write poetry in. I did in fact win a POETRY AWARD rather early on, maybe in the second year of writing poetry but I also stopped submitting to contests and awards shortly there after, deciding to really just focus all my energy on my writing and art as, submitting to contests and the cost to do it became too time-consuming, too taxing financially and too distracting of my being able to focus on my writing and art completely. I have, since those early days, stuck to self-publishing in order to keep all rights and always retain full control of my work.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
What motivated me to become an "indie author" was/is, CONTROL.

I choose self-publishing to have complete control over my work. I can load my eBooks on various sites of my choosing. In this day and age I have the liberty "to choose" what outlet I wish to publish on. And within those outlets, often, you can even choose your royalty rate. Truth be told, the digital age has been a blessing as far as I'm concerned when it comes to self-publishers and writers of poetry in particular. I know this because I was able to experience the publishing world when manuscripts could only be submitted via "snail mail" after many hours on a literal type writer. I am grateful for the digital side available now and especially to all of you that have taken time to read my writing or buy my artwork, thank you.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I like Smashwords; Smashwords was my first choice to publish my first poetry eBook (WARPED FACES). It was among the most user-friendly online publishing outlets that I researched. Smashwords also already had a huge community of authors and readers, it was already established. It is so user-friendly that, in that sense, it is my favorite though I do have eBooks published on another site. Smashwords really allowed me to feel comfortable enough to even try my first eBook after many years of my making hard copy poetry CHAPBOOKS. Thank You Smashwords.
How do you approach cover design?
I am a visual artist, along with writing, it's what I do. I have been in the ART field for many years and had decided, early on, to create my own book covers. All of my hard copy poetry chapbooks had my own artwork on the cover and, in some cases, my art inside the book as well.

My first eBook (WARPED FACES) I feel is a recent good example of my approach to cover design. It is my pencil artwork in background that was run through photoshop to give it the multiple face effect. And it is related to and loosely based on one of the poems within the book but, also, I feel appropriately lends itself representing the book as a whole very well.

With my other eBook (WEIGHT of a CLOUD), I gathered up a handful of poems that had within them the imagery or mention of cloud(s) and it so happened that I had recently created the artwork that inspired the books title and became the cover for the book without my knowing it would be at the time I created that particular artwork. I feel it definitely fits the content and, too, is a strong example of my ART and how I enjoy joining the two (art and writing) as often as possible.
Published 2016-07-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

ALL WORLDS are ONE
Price: $1.75 USD. Words: 5,930. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry
poetry eBook by El Paso visual artist & writer RJ Williams
TIGERS on TOAST
Price: Free! Words: 1,110. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry
short poetry eBook by artist/writer RJ Williams. Tigers on Toast (a poetic enjambment including enjambment). A long free verse poem.
MADE for MAN
Price: Free! Words: 1,220. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry
eBook by RJ Williams, poems devoted to the beauty of woman.
PINS in SCABS
Price: Free! Words: 1,130. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Sex and Relationships  » Sex and culture
Poetry eBook PINS in SCABS is narrative and free verse poems by writer/artist RJ Williams; mostly poems about love and breakups, cover art by EL PASO ARTIST RJ Williams.
Weight of a Cloud
You set the price! Words: 740. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists
(4.00)
Weight of a Cloud is a small collection of 12 poems, mostly free verse and narrative poems. The eBOOK hints at a theme of clouds, it is often introspective and touches on universal subject matter. Modern poetry.
WARPED FACES
You set the price! Words: 750. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » Aesthetics
POETRY by RJ Williams, about life, love, outer space, inner space, mostly free verse and narrative poems; many micro poems; 20 poems