Interview with Tim Ruggenberg

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my computer and the Adobe epub program as well as the computer version of the Kindle. I think the Adobe program is better though. I will spring for a reader one of these days. They are getting better and more attractive all the time. My wife says, "Boo." She prefers paper in her hand, and I like that too. My books will all be published in paper, but they are more expensive, and ebooks are so reasonable. The future is here.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Well, I just started in this publishing game, and the answers to that question will, hopefully, be available soon. But I will say that the marketing part is probably just as important as the writing.
Describe your desk
Well, I have a couple. The one I am using right now is the kitchen table, and the one I have in my studio is full of paint, brushes, paper, and all the little goodies needed for watercolors.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I had a great "growing up" in Pendleton, a small town in Eastern Oregon. (Pendleton is featured in "Finding Amy") I could explore to my heart's content. Walk through wheat fields, shoot grasshoppers with my BB gun, scare up pheasants along the creek, sell papers downtown, (a nickle each, with a 2 1/2 cent commission),
watch the ducks and geese migrate in the Fall, grow great watermelons, and lots more. It was fun, and perfect for me,

The influence on me as a writer is difficult to understand or explain, except that I did learn to observe.
When did you first start writing?
Probably about eight years ago. I wrote a nonfiction philosophy/theology book that people seemed to like, but it went nowhere with sales. Not exactly a good start for me. But it was fun to write, and it got me going.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I created a character that I liked a lot in Amy Allen, and I gave her some of the problems that we all have, but I gave her the additional burden of being wealthy. I have always been interested in the influences of wealth and power on the human psyche, and I get to explore those questions through Amy. By making her a teenaged girl with certain unusual powers, I added a fun dynamic that gave me room to roam.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I just wanted to see if I could write a good story that people might like. Simple as that.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, that remains to be seen. But I do like the whole experience of publishing through Smashswords. The process is well thought out, and very friendly to the writer. And the features (like this interview) are special, and appreciated.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating an interesting character, giving the character some difficult and unusual problems, and resolving them. I sometimes don't know the answers myself, and I have to work them out. That is a challenge, but satisfying when I get it done.
What do your fans mean to you?
Every human has a need to be appreciated. If I get some readers who appreciate what I have written, then I am very satisfied.
What are you working on next?
The third part of Amy's venture. She will age a year or so, and she will face more grow-up problems, and maybe even meet a guy!
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh my. I love to read. I like thrillers mostly. I also read biographies, history, theology, philosophy. I love a good story. When I look at the titles I have read they tend to be best sellers, so I am in the popular vein rather than the literary one.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Oh, I have no problem getting up. My first thought is coffee. I love coffee. And my days are full. I don't sit around bored. Besides my normal family things, (wife, kids, grand kids, etc.) which I love, I also paint, cook, bake, and garden. I love my fruit trees and veggies.
What is your writing process?
Well, I don't do an outline. I like to be surprised by the characters and I don't want to be limited. I start with a general premise that will carry through the book, and then just develop the characters.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read "The Secret Garden" when I was in the third grade. It was my first "grown-up" novel. I remember liking it, but it was probably a little much for my age. But I read very little fiction as I was growing up. I was busy with school, scouts, exploring, and being a boy. Reading fiction did not become an important part of my life until college. Steinbeck was the rage, and I read all of his books.
How do you approach cover design?
I am not good at that. Even though I am a painter, design work for covers is outside of my experience. And I don't know photoshop. So, I hire it out.
What do you read for pleasure?
"Les Misérables" is my all time favorite. "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Exodus" are also fond memories.
Published 2014-03-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.