Interview with Orwell Danes

Published 2017-01-02.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I came up with The Chronicles of Maggie Zephyr because I absolutely adore dystopian action adventures. I love books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, and I feel Maggie Zephyr gives lovers of those books something a little different whilst being true to the genre.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had been writing short stories for years and hadn't even tried to get an agent or publish a book. One lazy day a couple years ago I decided to write my first novel (yes, it really was as spontaneous as that), so I started outlining a story. Next thing I know, it's written, edited, and ready to go. Of course, then I approached roadblock after roadblock from agents. Obviously, I wanted it out there, so I thought "Why not self-publish?"

So I did. The first book didn't sell too well, but I wasn't overly disappointed because I was just happy to have achieved my dream — to finish a book. Then of course my next book was finished and I decided to get a little bit more professional about the whole thing. Before I knew it, I was making a tidy living from self-publishing, and I haven't looked back since that lazy day a couple years ago.

The rest, as they say, is history.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a great medium to promote my work. It's easy to use and I get a lot of readers of my short story series', which is great.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I just love creating difficult scenes for my characters to get through. It might be fiction, but to Maggie Zephyr and the others, it's real life.
What do your fans mean to you?
Tough question. I'm sure all writers say the same thing, that the fans are what make their writing worthwhile, bla bla bla. Of course fans have an important role to play, because without fans of my work, I have no income to keep writing. But first and foremost a writer must write for themselves, and that's what I try to do. Once you start trying to please the fans, the stories can become too wishy-washy and sentimental. I will always endeavour to make sure that doesn't happen, which I think is the best way to keep my fans, fans.
What are you working on next?
I'm still currently working on Book One in The Chronicles of Maggie Zephyr. After that, Book Two.
Who are your favorite authors?
Another tough one. Suzanne Collins has done a great job with The Hunger Games, and Bella Forrest has done equally well with The Gender Game series. I'm a huge literary fiction fan too, and love Roddy Doyle, EM Forster, Oscar Wilde, and the great Charles Dickens.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Well, apart from my friends and family, it has to be reading and writing, duh.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love watching Arsenal FC, going to the theatre, and reading dystopian novels. It's important to give friends and family a good amount of your free time too.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I've got an ever-growing list of books to read. Smashwords, Amazon, and Wattpad are great, not to mention recommendations from people I know.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Weirdly enough, no, I don't. My first novel was Tropic of Cancer though.
What is your writing process?
It normally starts with a single idea — e.g. what if oxygen was no longer free? Or what if someone did a favour for someone which unknowingly caused dire consequences? — 2) then I create the setting, devise the antagonist and protagonist, think of a cool ending, then a cool beginning 3) next thing is the outline, creating a narrative and story-arc, followed by chapter outlines.

I actually wrote a book on it called Write to Earn a Living which is available for pre-order now here
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Orwell Danes: Political Blogger
Price: Free! Words: 13,050. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » Political, Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Communism & socialism
Political Blogger Orwell Danes' most successful blogs from the last two years.