Interview with Todd Vickers

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is an intimate way to let others into my inner world and thoughts. The written word is powerful. With words we even encounter the minds of people who are dead.

I don't believe a reader is a passive receiver of objective knowledge. The words on the page blend with the understanding of a reader in a way that neither writer nor one who reads could truly predict. I think both sides of the word equation are creative and that is a beautiful part of living.
What do your fans mean to you?
Excited readers make me want to be a better writer, they make me more willing to receive criticism. Not merely for the sake of success, but to better convey important ideas that readers can grasp and use. If I fail to do that, then the effort is vain and any admiration of a reader will be misspent. I'm NOT trashing fiction. Both fiction and nonfiction can inspire creativity.
What are you working on next?
I've started my first fiction project. I hope to lay bare beliefs about the relations between lovers. I want a book that is passionate, entertaining and fiercely critical. Many beliefs are deeply flawed regardless of being taken for granted. These misguided ideas often serve people as a life compass! I'm trying my hand at fiction to deal with really controversial ideas, particularly about women and 'cuckolds.' Some beliefs are so provocative, that to address them in non-fiction invites a bias misunderstanding or disbelief. I'm taking common experiences and speaking them through both typical and eccentric characters who will conflict with each other. The reader will be a witness and will hopefully see anew the points of view of each participant before they judge.

I'm also revising some of my older work and making it better.
Who are your favorite authors?
A hard question! Let's start with the dead authors. Bertrand Russell, Peter Munz, Dora Russell-Black, Karl Popper, W W Bartley III, Pieter Geyl, Benzion Netanyahu, Robert Briffault, George Orwell, Desiderius Erasmus, Walter Lippman, Harriet Tayler, G E Moore, Christopher Hitchens, Stephan Toulman, JS Mill, Osho Rajneesh, H W L Poonja, Hafiz, Rumi, Mark Twain and last but hugely beloved by me, Kabir.

Of living writers I think Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Dan Ariely, are having the most impact on my thinking.

There are more authors I love to read but this already seems a silly display of erudition. Every one of these authors I can read and re-read and continue to gain something I missed before. The thread that runs through them all is the ability to see weakness in existing beliefs and a desire for something better.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I need to pee and then drink coffee.

More earnestly, there are a multitude of real pleasures in life, affections and beauty. I want to create and to do that I need to make a living. Who knows, maybe the next person I meet off Tinder will be wonderful. I should go meet them to find out.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I run a landscape / hauling business and build websites. I play drums (traps) and I am learning the piano. I am not monogamous so I go on dates. I enjoy travel and reading. With all that I even find time to do nothing at all, which is often time well spent.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read authors not books. A great author will often mention a writer that influences them. I find a lot of books that way. I'm fond of writers born before WWI but who lived through the revolution of relativity and two world wars. Many of those authors are in the public domain so they are online. When I read something valuable I want to know that author better. I also become interested people who were influenced by the writers who move me. I found Karl Popper and Dora Russell-Black because of Bertrand Russell, I found Peter Munz and W W Bartley because of Karl Popper. It never ends!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. I would not doubt that I was attempting to be provocative.
What is your writing process?
I write down ideas that come to mind. I have heaps of scraps and notebooks that I try to digitize when I am not busy but I never succeed. My Smart phone (Note II) has made this much easier so at least my new notes are collected. My writing is mostly provoked by some human difficulty, particularly if strife is created out of, or made worse by, imagination. This is one of the reasons sexuality if often a part of my writing. Sex is one of the topics where ideas can be seen to influence, especially when the beliefs conflict with facts.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My best guess is Horton Hears a Who by Dr Seuss. It made me understand that we can unknowingly hurt other people. Perhaps this book should be a primer of all the humanities.
Published 2014-12-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Relevance of Kabir
Price: $5.51 USD. Words: 51,750. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » Contemporary philosophy
Kabir was a bold eastern philosopher who understood how pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. The Relevance of Kabir combines the verses of four different translations. In the revolutionary spirit of Kabir, Todd Vickers elaborates on these poems using modern examples, reason, metaphor and indelicacy.