When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm fortunate in that I'm retired and can decide how my days are spent. Writing has always been a love/hate relationship, and I find that these days I'm most energized and happy when I'm writing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have varied tests in books. Like most, I look for discounted or free books, but I also invest in authors I like as well as classics I've read or should have read. On my Kindle these days are everything Mark Twain wrote-a personal hero-Gillian Flynn, Lincoln and Child, Colleen McCullough, Margaret Mitchell, Lauren Groff, and Phillip K. Dick. There are many more that have been read and stored.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Actually, I'm embarrassed to say, but writing's been a direction and love of mine since the earliest age. The first story I wrote was a riff on "The Black Stallion" when I was 12. It was all of 3 notebook pages long including my drawing of the horse. My 6th grade teacher was kind enough to put the story in the class' library and other kids could check it out. I suppose I owe her a great deal for that encouragement.
What is your writing process?
When I'm actively working on a book, I usually write 5-6 days a week for about 5-6 hours. I write reasonably fast once I know where the story's going. It takes a bit for an idea to germinate and hopefully be largely formed by the time I start. But like most, I let the story head in whatever direction it decides.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I had a bicycle accident when I was 12 that landed me in the hospital for seven days and I had a wonderful grandmother who brought me every Tarzan book Edgar Rice Burroughs ever wrote. Probably more than 20 books at the time, and I read every one. I had seen Tarzan movies at that point, but the books made an even bigger impression of me as how remarkable it was to be able to imagine a richer, broader world than the movies could ever capture.
How do you approach cover design?
I've only done one cover so far, the one for my book 'Galactic Pursuit', and I used a graphic artist from Fiverr.com. I also secured the images from Shutterstock.com. The experience was okay simply because it was a cost-effective decision, but I would prefer to be able to utilize a graphic artist locally and one which designs the cover to my expectations. Perhaps if this one does well, I'll have that option in the future.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's a difficult question as my taste and moods vary so much. If I had to narrow choices down it's really more of a question of writers that I like-Bradbury, Twain, Harper Lee, Doctorow, Marquez. Those are just the ones that are top of the mind. There are so many great books out there.
What do you read for pleasure?
The previous question probably gives a hint of it. I neglected Doyle on the previous list and have read all the Holmes stories many times. I probably pick mysteries and science fiction as often as modern fiction. What I don't read much of is non-fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The first device I had was one of the early Kindles, then I broke one and left another on an airplane, so I bought a Nook. Didn't like it nearly as much and now have a Kindle Fire. I don't do Tablets simply because I don't travel much anymore.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is one I'll have to come back to as I haven't yet started any marketing strategies.
Describe your desk
Oh, my. It's a mess. There are books and DVDs, lots of wires and a monitor, a laptop computer, pictures, speakers. Basically a mess.
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