Interview with Todd Hunter

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Generally it is the need to go to the bathroom.

But once that is done, I don't go back to bed because each day brings me closer to...something. It might be a great novel, or a new job or even an amazing day with friends. I always feel like I'm working towards something, so no matter how boring or ordinary the day promises to be, I know it is worth being in it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote was with a friend back in year two of primary school. We had both recently read "The Hobbit" and we were as captivated by it as you might expect. As a tribute, we collaborated on a re-telling/parody story that involved the dwarves and hobbits having much the same adventure, only this time with video games.

Like many things I produced when I was younger, I wish I still had a copy.
What is your writing process?
To date, I have tried to keep things simple. My process follows these basic steps:

* Start with an idea. For example, God gets bored and has a lot of crazy adventures on Earth.
* Plan out the characters. Who is in it? What is there background? I don't tend to worry too much about their personalities, that comes out in the writing.
* Decide roughly how long the work will be. Then break that up into chapters with a line or two of what I think may happen. This is used more as a guide than a plan, I don't want to hold the characters back.
* Start writing, see what happens, enjoy the process.
* Organically, think about where the novel is heading and how it can be elevated or made better. Finish it off.
* Read what I've done, see if I can identify any major themes that need to be brought out.
* Edit, edit edit.
* Read, feedback, edit, release!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
When I'm reading electronically, it is typically on my ipad. Whilst I don't like having the threat of notifications or other distractions, it is just too darn useful to splurge on another dedicated device.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Age. More specifically, that point in life when you start to wonder where you are going, what you should be doing and what will be left when you are gone.

My writing might be terrible, it might only ever be read by a handful of people. This is fine. What is important is that there will always be a piece of me out there, if only on the internet, that somebody may one day find.

This comforts me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is creating a set of characters and discovering what happens to them. It is often surprising and sometimes painful. But the thrill keeps me coming back for more each time.
What are you working on next?
I always have three or four projects bubbling away in the back of my mind before the inspiration to produce them strikes. At the moment I'm tossing up between a horror story, a comedy action piece and a coming of age novel.

Three very different options and three very different moods required.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King:

Ironically, I've never really read any of his fiction books. I'm not a horror fan so I've avoided those and the other genres that he has dipped his toes into sit on my shelf waiting for a rainy day.
Because of this, you would think it would be difficult to draw any inspiration. However besides his huge success (which would be nice) I have carefully read his semi-instructional book "on writing".

Besides highly recommending it as a good read, it also informed me that I approach writing in pretty much the same way that he does. I write from an idea, rather than a plot and then see where the characters take me. It isn't the only way to do things and to date I wouldn't say this has exactly worked out for me. But knowing that it could work is really important. It helps me hope that when I lock myself away to write, I'm going down a path that can lead to something great (even if there is only a 0.00001% chance of that).

J K Rowling:

I don't think of her as a great writer, perhaps not even a good one in a technical sense. But what she I draw from the Harry Potter books is that you can worry all day about grammar, or deep characters or coherent plot devices. All those things are certainly nice. However none of them is as important as being creative and just telling a ripping good story. I get more out of running through those books then slogging through any number of more complicated fantasy novels. I get what I get out of them through sheer enjoyment and that should never be discounted.

I hope too that my work can be enjoyed even if it doesn't come close to matching up against the literary gods. A great story is just that, great and I want to keep striving to find one inside me to tell.

Stephen Donaldson:

Taking the opposite approach is old Stephen Donaldson. Nowhere near as famous as the previous two, I know him best as the author of the Thomas Covenant series of books.
In a direct contrast to something like Harry Potter these books are long, complicated and filled with boring or unlikeable characters. There are long stretches of time when nothing of importance happens for chapter after chapter. The plot gets lost amidst a confused message and I never quite wrapped my head around the unnecessarily obtuse language.

I really didn't enjoy reading his books at all. But yet? I still love them and often want to read them again. Why? God knows really, but somehow it just works for me. The inspiration then is that no matter how hard it is to dig into a novel that I write, I'm hoping somebody will be able to take the effort to get in there. Even if they don't? They might somehow still enjoy the journey anyway.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
It varies. My background is in software development, so creating video games is another passion of mine. If only I had the art skills!

Beyond that, I enjoy keeping myself fit and spending time with friends and family. It isn't an unusual existence, but that is often what I draw inspiration from.
What do you read for pleasure?
I will generally only read fantasy or science fiction novels, especially if they are a part of a series. Ironically these are just the types of books that I haven't attempted to write yet. Perhaps this is because I'm used to reading works of such a high quality, but more because I think my "voice" just doesn't suit the genre.

But I persist. One day...maybe.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Quite simply, because it has made people read my novels. Whilst I have also published on services like Amazon, Smashwords purchases beats them out 10:1.

Why? No idea, but whatever they are doing seems to work!
Published 2013-08-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Being Hamish
You set the price! Words: 60,940. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
Hamish Jones had a problem. His problem was that being Hamish just wasn't getting the job done. What he needed was a grand plan, one simple idea that would turn his life around, get him the girl and let him achieve his dreams. When one day he found that idea, it was one that would take him and his friends on a grand adventure to face the truths not only about the world but the universe above.