Interview with R E Swirsky

What are you working on next?
I am actually surprised about my next book. It's still a mystery thriller, but it's a horror story that takes place in a small town in British Columbia. A bit different that my usual content but it will have the same fast pace that my readers enjoy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When not writing I can often be found with a paint brush in hand, mountain bike between my legs or hiking shoes on my feet. Live life, experience life, enjoy life.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am a writer and an artist. If the sun is up, I yearn to be outdoors enjoying and experiencing the fresh air, mountains, rivers, bike paths, and hiking trails. There is so much to see and experience in this world and much of it is right in everyone's own back yard. I find myself absorbing and storing tidbits from every day that I later regurgitate as words in stories and colours on canvas. I have many stories to reveal and artworks to release. Both can be found on my website reswirsky.com.
Who are your favorite authors?
The early works of Stephen King are still my favourites and I often find myself pulling one the classics from the shelf for a reread. H P Lovecraft, Koontz, John Grisham rank high and of course Michael Crichton.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
One of things I steer away from in books I select are the epic novels than run into the many hundreds of pages. I like to read, but I tend to read in short spurts. Being able to finish a book in just a few days is important to me. I find with the epics I may put the book down and come back to it a few weeks later to find I've forgotten or lost part of the characters history and background. I find myself not finishing these books even though they may be brillaintly written. Maybe it's just my short attention span, but I like a story that moves fast, with action right from the beginning preferably.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Good question! I have a Kobo, but I also have the Kindle for PC. I truly like both equally. Kobo is great for travelling. I can take an entire library with me and just select whatever my mood desires. At home I tend to use the Kindle for PC, but I am an avid camper and hiker, and the PC just doesn't do so good out in the bush.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm a writer first and not a strong marketing person so I'm not the kind of person that tweets every day to promote a book, or is out seeking book signing opportunities at every corner or banging on publisher's doors. I write because I like to write and someday maybe I will start sending out submissions to publisher's for a book deal. In the meantime Smashwords has been my first source for distribution and it has been very good to me, reaching out to many booksellers including Barnes & Noble, Sony, I-tunes, etc. Wonderful system. I also use the Amazon network and Kobo. I often use simple exposure to get my name and books out there by offering one for free from time to time. I found this was the simplest way for me to reach as many readers as possible with no publisher or agent behind me. To date nearly 300,000 copies of my books have been downloaded through the various online websites around the entire world, many of which are free downloads. The free offering gives the reader a taste of my writing which is often followed up with a purchase of one of my other works. I think this process has worked very well for me so far.
Describe your desk
Strange question. My answer may be even stranger, as I don't even have a desk at home where I write. I guess I am in the modern age where my desk is actually a "desk top". I work, write, save, scan, etc everything onto my laptop and work from there.
How do you approach cover design?
I wanted something different and unique that would stand out against other books, but at the same time, was consistant from cover to cover. The images on the covers were either taken by myself, as I love photography, and then modified and assembled using Photo Shop. I tried to capture a feeling in the cover shot that echoes the undertone of the book.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a very small town of about 7,000 people in the Mountains of British Columbia. The forest was our playground. We could walk up and down the streets and know the names of nearly every person that lived in every house for a three block radius. That kind of culture is lost in the big cities where we become just mere acquaintances. My stories could take place anywhere, but I prefer the edge of nature to be the backdrop instead of the concrete jungle.
My newest book, The Order, takes place in many locations across Canada, from Canmore to Okotoks, Victoria to Val David, Ottawa to Oyen, with much of the story taking place near Canmore Alberta on Heart Mountain.
Rural living is where my heart is at, and I can't keep it from stealing its way into my books.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Feedback. There is something about reading a readers review that is self-satisfying. When a reader writes a review and they capture the story the way it was intended.
Published 2016-07-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Outside Forces
Price: Free! Words: 125,010. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
(3.00)
A secret vigilante organization, named the Order, has been formed to correct the errors of an imperfect justice system. Garrod Shaw, accused of killing his three children, has beaten his murder charge on a technicality. A Russian Diplomat kills a young woman and faces no penalty after claiming diplomatic immunity. For the protection of all citizens it is time to remove the two once and for all.
Bumstead's Well
Series: Bumstead's well, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 84,670. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.67)
It was a simple dare between friends. Spend 24 hours alone at the bottom of an abandoned well. What could possibly go wrong? But the 24 hours soon pass and Vincent's friends fail to return for him. With little food or water, he is doomed.
Wish Me from the Water
Price: Free! Words: 100,750. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction
(3.50)
A young boy commits suicide. The town folk believe it was another result of bullying but two brothers discover the truth and decide to take matters into their own hands. (Warning: This novel contains material some may find disturbing).
In the Midst of a Predator - A Very Short Story
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 4,230. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
(3.00)
The fall fair had returned as it does every year. Young timid Bobby is off to the fair alone, unaware that he is about to find himself friended by the familiar face of an adult neighbour that lives just a few doors away. A few games and rides later, Bobby is led down between the parked trailers to the backside of the fairgrounds, unaware that his new friend has other intentions for Bobb
Extreme Malice
Price: Free! Words: 55,380. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
(3.60)
She was found with a guitar string still wrapped tightly around her soft neck. Eighteen year old Josh Anderson, the college boy from next door, is charged with her murder. It was his guitar string around her neck. His footprints are found inside her house. Her earring found under his bed. Donna Gardner's husband Jack was hundreds of miles away on business. Was it the perfect Murder?
The Bluffington Four
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 122,170. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » General
An intriguing tale follows Francine Esterro as she is suddenly confronted with events from her past. It was decades ago that she and three other art students stumbled cross a device in an attic sending them all fatefully back in time. The memories are painful as she is forced to relive the tragedies that occurred as they struggled to find their way home. Her only true love was lost in tragedy.