Established authors of olde - like Andre Norton, Heinlein and Asimov because they had a way of stirring a young lad's juices for adventure and intrigue. I also like adventure stories by Clive Cussler because he is able to include a lot of technical details while holding the persons involved under the spotlight of 'getting out of jams' in which they find themselves.
I try to write in the same way that they did - primarily due to the fact that they touched me at an early age - I was reading Asimov at age 9 and loving every adventure he got his story's heroes/heroines into.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle that I bought specifically for reading books. I write books on my laptop and read them on Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Person-to-Person. I find that setting up a table and talking with people in Starbucks can net more attention than trying to reach them online or otherwise. People like to chat with and visually meet an author. I think this is the first step in people making a decision about your writing - if they like you - then it follows they will probably also like what you've written.
Describe your desk
I have a small desk - printer at eye level on a shelf, papers on a stand and Kopiko candy wrappers on the desk. Kind of messy, but, that in no wise describes the organization I use for my writing. I have several folders that I keep my writing in - one called "Not Pub" and the other "Published". Within each folder are the book folders for books in the pipeline and those that have been published to various outsources - like Smashwords and Createspace - depending on whether the books are e-books or paperbacks.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the hills of Southern Ohio - at the feet of my Great-Grandmother - who was full-blood Cherokee. She was married to a half-breed (German/Cherokee) who we called Uncle John. Two of my stories, The Curse of Indian Gold and A Time to Care, come from her influence on me as an impressionable youth.
I grew up as the eldest of ten children. My father worked on the Norfolk&Western railroad, cut timber and raised garden crops (potatoes, beans, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, onions, etc.). He kept his 8 sons busy in the gardens and cutting timber. He was a practical man, having served in the Pacific under General MacArthur during WWII. He had little time for frivolity while our Mother seemed always to have her head in the clouds and wanted her children to be well-read. Sometimes they came into conflict over this and Dad would take away a library book that she had handed me. She would check them out for herself but all the family knew who really read them.
Living in the country provided many instances for excitement (like the time my brother, Pemm, and I found our Uncle Earl's copper kettle and took it to town and sold it for $33.95. Put my uncle out of the moonshine business for a while and he and Dad fought over the incident because he was determined to switch our behinds thoroughly for it.) We also had to use our imaginations a lot as we really didn't have a lot of store-bought toys during them days. I guess I really began my writing career nestled within the hills of Ohio.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote the first couple stanzas of A Goat for a Horse to impress a girl in high school. Finished it almost forty years later after I had retired from the Navy. My writing really kicked in when I got my first book published in 1989 - Transdem, Inc. I wrote it for my daughter but it developed into a very sassy number and still is alive and well as I'm working on two more books in the series.
My writing has really hit stride within the past couple years as I've developed my own website to publicize my writing and have published 29 paperbacks books at Amazon.com.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is one that I'm ghostwriting for a friend - David Paffrath. The book is titled: The Pliestocene Pig and centers around a professor from a mid-western university who discovers the skeleton of an ancient carnivore and then finds out there is a hidden-away valley in which the real things are actually rummaging free. He mistakenly gets some graduate students involved in the dig and a creature from the past is transported back to the university where it creates havoc and mayhem.
I'm also working on a book called: Grandma Conley's Family that is dedicated to keeping her memory alive through the presentation of anecdotes and pictures. Family members are contributing to both.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Control. Control with a capital C. I wanted something that would allow me to control the flow of my writing and don't want to be 'beholden' to an agent or publisher for what is placed before the reading public. I think my story lines and characters are well thought out and will stir the imagination of those who are ready to read them.
I'm really not in the writing process for the money - I have to tell the story. The telling is all important to me and I really haven't considered the 'what if...I get rich off this book?' If I sell a couple dozen - fine. If not - the story has been told and is out there with the millions of other stories.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has contributed to my success by making me concentrate on my writing and the proper formatting procedures that needed mastery prior to publication.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Looking on the shelf and seeing the fruits of my labors - knowing that the story lines have been told and the characters (who are more than real to me) are out there to impress other people who take the time to allow themselves to be entertained.
What do your fans mean to you?
I like the fact that some people like my writing. Some of them have become publishing clients and I've published their books on Amazon.com. One lady was impressed to the point where she allowed me to publish her doctoral thesis and is now submitting a book of poetry for publication.
What are you working on next?
I'm constantly working on a series of books that have been in my pipeline for a number of years. Recently I undertook a time continuum set of books that explore whether time travel is possible.
Who are your favorite authors?
Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, Heinlein, E.E. Doc Smith, Clive Cussler - to name just a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that there is a character who is wanting to realize her dream of meeting that hunk of a man she saw down on the beach. Her story is waiting to be told and another chapter will develop itself during the process of an hour or two.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. Watching movies. Working on database programs and spreadsheets for my wife.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.