Interview with Z Halferty

What is your goal as an author?
To inspire. It is as simple as that. I can only hope to inspire other to take the initiative to fulfill their dreams.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My daughter. If it wasn't for her, I would have no reason to get out of bed. She is my world and I work very hard to ensure she has what she needs and I try my hardest to make sure she is happy and has a better childhood than I did.
The hardest part of writing is the "hook." How do you find your "hooks?"
The beginning sentence IS the most difficult part of any writing assignment; I do agree. But, it doesn't have to be as hard as many make it.

When I am trying to find that "hook," I think of various things that catch my attention. I, then, discard those thoughts...yes, discard those thoughts...and begin anew. I think of things that would normally disturb, inspire confusion, or otherwise startle an individual. Once I have those in mind, I think of a way to compress the entire thought into a singular phrase, sentence, or paragraph.

For example, the opening line to Book 1 of A Saunter With Death starts with "It has been three days since the news broke." This singular sentence instills wonder in the mind and encourages the reader to discover what the sentence is implying. When the reader continues to the second line, "I did not hesitate as I grabbed my equipment and barricaded the door with the couch," the reader is instantly "confused" and begins to wonder what is happening. By the third sentence, they begin realize that it must be serious and are still at a loss as to what is happening.
Even after they finish the first paragraph, they are forced to continue in order to try and answer the question(s) that have arisen from the first sentence. I now have them intrigued if they are still reading. I continue to avoid answering their question(s) through a few more paragraphs and instead "feed" them answers to questions they have yet to ask. Finally, by the fourth paragraph or so, I establish what the first sentence implies and begin to offer answers to the questions the reader may have already acquired.
How do you approach cover design?
I start by considering the message I want to portray. Once I find my message, I begin to focus on what best represents it and begin searching for ideas to start my design with. Once I have a basis for my design, I develop a "method of attraction." My favorite method to use is a "confusion technique." With the confusion technique, I aim to peak the curiosity of the individual, making them want to take a closer look at my book.
Once, I have found the basis and the method, I begin with the design layout process. I sketch out rough layouts and choose the best one for the message. I find the best ones to be those that create a sense of mystery.
When I have a layout, I begin the development process. I take photo, alter, adjust and modify each layer in the cover until I am happy with the results. I, then, format it to the dimensions required and continue with the adjustments until I reach a final product that is appealing to the eye.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Z for Zachariah by Robert O'Brien. This is an amazing tale that portrays the difficulty people have with making a decision that goes against their nature.

The Transall Sagas by Gary Paulsen. This is one of the most interesting stories I have ever read. It gives a new perspective on how the world can seem so different with little changed.

The Watchers by Dean Koontz. I love this title for the broad variety of personalities involved and the "scare tactics" that the author employed.

The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier. I admire the psychological twists placed throughout the story line.

It by Stephen King. I adore the fabrications of King's mind and further more find It to be an amazing portrayal of King's ability to bend the reader's mind around an outlandish concept.
What do you read for pleasure?
I prefer the genre of horror, thriller, suspense, psychological, and various others. Basically, anything that peaks my interest.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I do not own an e-reader as I prefer the print version. Because I have only experienced the Kindle, NOOK, and iPad, I would choose between the Kindle or NOOK.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth. I have found the most effective method of advertisement to be word of mouth. Telling friends and family about the book, posting on social networks, or making your ebook free for a short period has proving to be quite effective.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Growing up, I did not have a definite place to call home; my family moved several times a year. Despite this, I do not believe that it has influenced my writing in any way.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing as a child. I believe that I was approximately 7 years of age when I had my first book published (not for profit).
What's the story behind your latest book?
It was an accident. I know that seems odd, but it is the truth. I had started the first "Log Entry" as a parody of a "Captain's Log" to post online. After I finished it, my wife requested that I reword it to make it seem more serious. I did as she asked and posted it. Within a few hours I had a fanatical response from my friends and continued the series of "Log Entries." As I finished the third one, I decided that I would continue the story, which resulted in my first novel. After several requests, I edited it and began the publishing process.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I just love art in all its forms. I love to write, I love to draw, etc. It just came naturally, to me. I can write an entire novel in my mind in a day; unfortunately, I often forget it and even if I tried to write it down or type it out, I lose it before I can record it.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me outside of family and friends. Without my fans, my work would go to waste. Literally, I would throw it in the trash. Because of my fans, I will continue to write and publish the books in my series. I can only hope that my work inspires my fans to make their own path and motivate them to expand their horizons.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Actually, I only write in my free time. When I'm not working, at school, doing homework, marketing, et cetera, I try to write as much as I can.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I don't read ebooks because I prefer print. However, I have looked for a few ebooks in the past, intended to give it a try. When I searched for ebooks, I generally go to the e-readers' retailers' sites and search their libraries.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do not.
What is your writing process?
I lay out a series of events that I want to occur in the story. I, then, connect those events in whichever order the story allows as I write. I just let it flow freely and do not concern myself with mechanical aspects until I have completed the story. Once I have gotten the story from my mind to paper (or computer), I begin the organization process; adjusting the parts of the story for sake of flow. When this is done, I start editing. After all that is done, I proof it several times over and then apply the finishing touches.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I do not.
Describe your desk
An absolute, completely organized, mess. I know where everything is but, things tend to get piled up due to my busy schedule.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is the sensation of accomplishment when people "hunger" for more of my stories. It gives the feeling of knowing that you did something right.
What are you working on next?
The second book in the A Saunter With Death series.
Who are your favorite authors?
Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Robert O'Brien, Robert Cormier, S.M. Sterling, Alvin Schwartz, Shane Moore, William Shakespeare, and many, many more.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I find this to be one of the most difficult things an author has to accomplish when writing.

My answer is a simple one...I think of the character's personality and think of a few words that describe it and/or the character. I, then, translate the selected words into various languages that would seem to fit the character. Once I find a translated word that I like, I alter and adjust it for my style.

For example, the name of the character in my first book is Kmoeneithe. His name is pronounced "Mon-ith." That particular name is derived from words from seven different languages. I simply took parts of each word and placed them together to form a singular word that represented an entire phrase. If his name were expanded and the missing components added, and all the words were translated to a single language, his name would state "small strong weak one." At first glance, it seems it is a contradiction, however, if one were to think into it, from a philosophical point of view, one would understand that it simply means we are strong in certain areas, weak in others, and small compared to the greater of things.
Published 2014-05-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Memoirs From The Toy Box
Price: $1.99 $1.50 USD. (25% off until Dec. 31!) Words: 51,130. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Erotica » General
Romance’s face is not always one of a lovely conversation over a candle lit dinner, box of chocolates, a bouquet of roses, a walk on a moonlit beach, and a night of passionate love making. Memoirs from The Toy Box portrays some of the many faces of romance with passionate scenes of BDSM and erotics plays of fantasy that many desire but few get to experience. No matter the fantasy, it can always be
A Collection From A Wicked Mind: The Anthology of a Psychopath
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,160. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror, Fiction » Anthologies » General
From the mind of a psychopath, brought to you as a representation of the dark and evil side of the world, along with the light and loving side, this collection of poems and short works will twist the mind and bring to light, the evil capabilities of people.
A Saunter With Death Book 2: The Chronicles of Steven
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 55,820. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
With a camera in hand, Steven records most of what happens while he endures some of the most demanding situations of his lifetime. His antics and his alcoholism lead him into danger nearly everyday. Traveling with his pet deer, Food, and his friend, Bex, Steven seems to find himself having humorous and yet near death experiences. How long will he survive?
A Saunter With Death Book 1: Kmoeneithe's Saga
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 59,170. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Plagued by misfortunes throughout his journey, Kmoeneithe records his descent into insanity as he struggles to survive the hell that has become his new home. With little help from his short-known friend, he must endure some of the most challenging obstacles of his life. Will he survive this new world? Or become another statistic among those that have already fallen?