Interview with JD Lowes

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In 1993 I wrote my first novel. Everyone I knew enjoyed the manucript. I had high hopes for it. I really put my heart and soul into the writing of that story. I remember putting a lot of my character traits into the anti-hero's personality. I have saved all 150 rejection slips I got while querying publishing houses and agents. "It's not what we are currently looking for, but good luck." was the general response I got. It was really a disheartening time for me. I wasn't ready to give up, but after trying to get it published for a couple of years, I tried something else, life happened, and I stopped writing for about a decade. There wasn't Smashwords or Ebooks back then, and, "vanity" press was expensive and I felt like it put me in bad company. I thought it was for desperate writers who wanted to see their words in print whether they deserved it or not. I didn't have the option of e-publishing.

I recently brushed off the cobwebs on that old manuscript "Sins of the Killer" and am currently rewriting it. I hope to see it self-published on Smashwords in late Summer of '15. Now it's a period piece, and I think it's really a fun read about the life of a professional assasin with an early '90's backdrop, before Ipads, laptops or iPhones. I wrote this thriller with the intent of making the reader feel conflicted about the main character. He's a military trained sniper, then goes on to become a government assassin. He kills with no remorse, yet lives a normal life. He has a family, loved ones and lives a relatively normal life. I make him come across to the reader as a totally nice guy. He's looked at as the hero type, yet the reader really should not like this man, becuase he's a killer, thus the ethical conflict I lay on the reader. It's a interesting story.
What is your writing process?
When I'm writing, it's all encompassing. Even when I'm not in my study, I'm thinking about the story. But once I get behind my desk, I write. As a rule, I like to get a running start by reading the previous days writing and then go on from there. I put in about six to seven hours a day at my computer, then move to the front room, taking my trusty iPad with me to make notes and research various subjects related to my story. I'm a nightowl, always have been, and I continue to ruminate about my story through the night, and look forward to the next day's work. Time flies when I'm writing. I really enjoy what I'm doing and feel like I finally found my true calling in life.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Mario Puzo's, "The Godfather." My mom taught me to read it with a library copy of that book. I think I was around six or seven years of age. I loved that book. Michael Coleone made a huge impression on me. I really loved his, "quiet cool" personna and when I finally saw the movie, I was blown away by Pacino's performance. I have such fond memories of my introduction to literature by my mom. She was so patient with me, allowing me to read it to her aloud and answering my endless questions about the story. I still have the copy of that old library book. I went back to the Multnomah County Library some years back to check on any possible fees I might have incurred. They no longer had any record of me or my mother checking it out, I was told when they went off the Dewy Decimal System, and into the digital age, all the outstanding fines were written off. That's a relief....
What do you read for pleasure?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Cussler, Stuart Wood, Sandra Brown, Micheal Connelly, Randy Wayne White, Greg Iles, James Lee Burke, Whitley Stieber, Mario Puzo, Sidney Sheldon, John Saul and Anne Rice. The basic pop fiction stuff. I love horror the most. Stuart Woods and Clive Cussler are my guilty pleasures. Stone Barrington is the man and Dirk Pitt is a bad ass I vicariously live through.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an iPad, so I do ibooks and Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm a newby, so I'm pretty happy with Smashwords so far. I'm very grateful to have their platform to get my stuff out there.
Describe your desk
I used to be a sculptor. I'm a fairly handy woodworker, so I made a very solid desk for me to work with terracotta clay on. I converted that very sturdy desk into a writing desk. I custom made it to hold my laptop in an elevated ergonomically correct position and it has various little cubby holes and shelves that I incorporated into the design. It's very cool looking if I do say so myself. It serves it's purpose very well.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up as an only child for the first seven years of my life. I never felt talked down to by my parents and my mother was my best friend. She is of Mexican/Italian decent, and had a little NQW (not quite white) kid that lived in a very white area of Oregon. She felt like an outsider most of the time, so she focused her time on me and I have always felt very fortunate about how much time she spent teaching me things. She nurtured my imagination and allowed me to be creative. She made me feel smarter than the average bear and that I could do anything in life. She taught me how to read and introduced me to another world through books and cinema. She nurtured my creative side allowing me to use my imagination. I think that's why I have such a vivid imagination to this day. Thanks mom!
When did you first start writing?
My grandmother was legally blind and she got free books on record when I was little, and when I would spend the night at her house, we would listen to her stories. I loved that. My mom used to drive me to school, and all the way to the left on the AM dial of her car was the classical music station. We would listen to the music and she would make up stories as we drove. I loved that. As I sculpted, I would listen to books on tape. I loved that too. As I would listen to the strories, I would always tell myself that I could write like that. I would not only listen to the story, but study the styles of my favorite authors. One day, between sculptures, I started writing and it sounded pretty good if I do say so myself. I mean, it sounded like a real book! My bettter half encouraged me to continue writing. To this day, through thick and thin, she has never wavered in her praise for my writing. She is my greatesst fan and I owe everything to her.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I think the scariest story I ever read was William Peter Blatty's, "The Exorcist." Another one of my mom's library books that I read before I saw the movie. It scared the shit out of me. I was a little kid and slept with a flashlight under my pillow for a few weeks after finishing it. Years later, I saw the movie and absolutely loved it. I loved how it made me feel scared. It made an impression on me and I vowed to someday write a story just as scary, if not even more terrifying that that book. So, I started the, "Seraph's Son" with that intent in mind. I was prepared to write something very scary. But as the writing went on, it became something very different indeed. Sure I suppose it has moments of terror, but overall it's a story about one man's journey into a realm of the fantastic. A guy that thought he was at a point in his life when he thought his best years were in the rear view mirror, he has accepted his fate and is prepared to live out his days in a rather mundane existance. But as our heros soon finds out, his life will be turned on it's ear by what he becomes and what he must face. It's not a scary read per se, but it's a fun ride and I think there needs to be at least one more book to finish with the character of Skyler Cole Belle.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The fact that I have a place to show my work is the biggest draw for me. I have not been fortunate enough to hook up with an agent nor a publishing house, so I went the next best route. Electronic Publishing via Smashwords. It gives me complete control and I like that. I have a say in every aspect of the publihing process, from the cover design to the editorial process. I think it's the wave of the future. Viva Smashwords!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
That's still an open question. I'm a newbie in the publishing world. The readers will decide if my stuff is worth a read. They shell out $3.99 of their hard earned money to purchase my story with the hopes of escaping into another world for a little while. I'm honored that they chose my book to do that.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love working for self. I get bored to tears with regular nine to five's. I like to be creative. I think I always have. It feeds my soul. I'm grateful for my wife's everlong support.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't really have any fans that I'm aware of, except for my one true fan that has always believed in me when others would not. My wife will always be my greatest fan. But I promise this, IF I ever do get fans of my words, I will be eternally grateful to them for taking a chance on me. They have so many options and the fact that they chose to dedicate the time to read my book is the coolest thing an author can experience. I promise that I will always write the same kind of stuff I like to read and never lose sight that reading is supposed to be fun.
What are you working on next?
Sins of the Killer. My first novel. Oringinally written back in 1993, I failed at getting it published, so now I'm gonna rewrite it, give it a polish and do the Smashwords thing. It's a fun read.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King by far is the guy I enjoy the most. I've learned the most from him about telling a tale. Guilty pleasures are Stuart Woods and Clive Cussler.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I can't wait to get in my study and do some more writing. I'm always bummed when the day is done and I shut down the ol' laptop. It never feels like I'm working when I'm writing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I've got three very cool dogs, twin female boxers and a male pitbull. I enjoy their company very much. I love animals. I enjoy watching movies and watching tv. I live in a game preserve, and enjoy taking advantage of the big lake and woods. Hiking and fishing. I love shooting sports as well. I really enjoy woodworking too. Anybody need a table? I also have a very cool motorcycle, it's fun to ride.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Honestly? Amazon got me started doing the e-book thing.
How do you approach cover design?
I think a picture is worth a thousand words. The cover is what draws a potential reader in. It's bait. I love inspecting a cover once I'm finished with the story and see how it fits in. I love that ah-ha moment when the cover clicks with the story.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Godfather books, The Sicilian, Watchers, Rage of Angels, and The Hunt for Red October. The Godfather books because I love a good tale about gangsters. The Sicilian, it was an offshoot of the Godfather. It was fun learning a little about the mafia at it's roots. Watchers, in my opinion, is Koontz's best work. My wife and I took turns reading it to each other as we fished in a secret fishing hole in back of a cemetary in Ft. Lauderdale, I have fond memories of that time. Rage of Angels. I was in the service when my wife turned me on to this page turner. Sidney Sheldon's best work ever. The Hunt for Red October, another title I read while in the service. It was excellent escapeism and pertained to what I was doing at the time, I felt that Clancy really talked the talk when he wrote that book. Very realistic.
Published 2015-02-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sins of the Killer
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 159,680. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Noble Bishop, a government trained assassin, has transitioned from his nefarious past to one of normality. While on the job as a security specialist, happenstance brings him into contact with a psychopath. Victor Kukorian is hanging on to his sanity by a thread, with psychopathic impulses boiling just below the surface. It’s just a matter of time When two killers meet, the result are explosive
Volition: An Extra-Terrestrial Incident
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 77,060. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(3.00 from 1 review)
The CIA has made contact with beings from another world. Their objective is to exchange technology for live bodies. This meeting, however, has not gone unnoticed. For an ultra-covert unit of the Air Force, all the years of preparation are about to pay off with the capture of an alien ship. Target acquisition achieved, electromagnetic pulse beam fired...
The Seraph's Son
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 120,240. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
An agnostic, Cole Belle learns his estranged father has passed away, leaving him with an unfathomable legacy he is reluctant to accept; his father was a supernatural soldier in league with St. Michael the Archangel. With his Father's legacy passed on to him, Cole is charged with exterminating Satan's most heinous manifestations.