Smashwords Interviews


Describe your desk
computer, note pad and a cute pen holder. Most times I bring a cup of coffee beside my mouse.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Scarlet Series just came about on a laid back day and i just thought "what would happen if disaster suddenly strikes. what would happen if everything we think is normal turns out to have untold dark secrets behind them" and that's how I started this urban paranormal story.
Published: April 16, 2024. Read Full Interview

Clint Adams

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth, to be sure. When launching a book, giving out a copy to friends can work wonders.
Describe your desk
A view of somewhere/anywhere beyond the computer screen is crucial. Breaks tedium.
Published: April 11, 2024. Read Full Interview


What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always been an author at heart, but I decided to go off independently as opposed to publishing with a company because it is easier, cheaper, and I get all rights. The freedom is exhilarating!
Published: April 4, 2024. Read Full Interview

Erica de Kok

What motivated the writing of the ebook?
For four tumultuous years, my life seemed to crumble around me. Amidst the chaos, a friend introduced me to a remarkable second-hand bookstore, where books were meticulously organized by subject. Although I had always cherished reading, my financial constraints prevented me from purchasing so many books, and my aversion to library due dates kept me from borrowing. However, this bookstore became my sanctuary, and I immersed myself in its shelves, devouring literature across diverse fields such as psychology, business management, art, history, health, and metaphysics.
During my marathon reading sessions, I often stumbled upon sentences that struck me deeply, causing me to pause and reflect on the artworks adorning my walls. Astonishing connections emerged between the written word and the visual realm, illuminating profound insights that transcended mere coincidence.
English is my second language, and after a successful 30-year career as a graphic designer, I lacked significant writing experience. Yet, I felt compelled to share the profound correlations I uncovered, recognizing the exquisite sensitivity of the artist, Idalet. Thus, I embarked on a journey to articulate these connections, initially through very brief LinkedIn posts dissecting individual artworks.
After publishing 42 posts, I realized the value of consolidating my insights into a more cohesive format. Thus, I transformed my reflections into an ebook, preserving this unique perspective for others to explore and appreciate. This ebook promises to captivate readers interested in the intersection of art, psychology, medicine, and metaphysics, offering a rich tapestry of interconnected disciplines waiting to be unraveled.
Published: March 31, 2024. Read Full Interview

Lexi Caan

What is your e-reading device of choice?
My kindle and sometimes, my phone!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting to share my filthy thoughts and fantasies with others.
Published: March 26, 2024. Read Full Interview

Alex Frishberg

Tell us about yourself
I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 9, 1963. Like many other Jewish families at the time, we left the Soviet Union in 1974 because of rabid antisemitism. For example, only 1.5% of medical school students could be Jewish (3% for engineers). The hazing in the military was notorious, especially for Jews. To put it simply: if you were Jewish, you were a second-class citizen. We travelled through Vienna and Rome, and after five months on the road, we landed in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1975. We didn’t know anything about St. Louis, except that Mark Twain came from there (not exactly true, because he came from Hannibal, Missouri). Still, this lovely Midwestern town became our new home.

In a few years, my parents passed all the exams to qualify to practice medicine in the U.S. (they were both psychiatrists). It was an extraordinary accomplishment, especially considering that they had to learn regular English and medical English (more akin to Latin). Then came internship, residency, and all the challenges that entailed for a middle-aged couple from Kyiv.
It was in St. Louis that I received a B.A. in English language and literature from University of Missouri and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law. In 1988 I moved to Washington, D.C., to work in one of the largest law firms (Hogan & Hartson, now Hogan Lovells). The experience was invaluable, but short-lived, because the Soviet Union broke up into separate countries in 1991. That’s when I quit Hogan & Hartson and moved to Kyiv to set up my own law firm in October, 1991.
Why did you exchange a lucrative career as a lawyer for uncertainty?
There were two considerations. First, I did not want to end up like many partners, who dedicated their lives to billing thousands of hours and supervising junior associates before they retired and had a heart attack (or cancer). Second, Ukraine was open for business, and I was the only foreign lawyer in the nation the size of France, ready to assist all foreign clients who were about to enter the market. All the biggest multi-national companies and foreign embassies became my clients, simply because I spoke fluent English.

Sure, I faced a few problems along the way. In fact, I had people come to kill me two times. The first time they were drug addicts (heroin), who thought I would sponsor them. They were wrong. When I complained to Sergei, they all disappeared (the cops took them away, never to be seen again). The second time was much more serious: the notorious Savlohov brigades came around. Fortunately, one of my newfound friends (who happened to be the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations) let me borrow Sasha, his bodyguard, to “speak on my behalf” for a measly $500 fee.

Sasha was part of the Alfa unit, anti-terrorist division of the SBU (formerly known as KGB). Before that, he fought in Afghanistan, and returned unscathed, without a scratch. He was a rare fighter, trained as a sniper and in hand-to-hand combat. At the time, Ukraine implemented a so-called “clean hands campaign,” which allowed armed government employees to shoot the bandits on sight without any consequences. Naturally, the racketeers avoided me like a plague after Sasha’s little conversation with them.

As life would have it, many of my clients faced the same problem with the local bandits: protection racket. Fortunately, having gone through the unpleasant experience myself, I had just the solution: Sasha. I estimated the monetary value of this legal service to be $5,000 in cash, and all the clients gladly paid the fee. Sasha got his $500, and I kept the rest. Everyone was happy, until my ex-wife asked me, “aren’t you afraid that you’re a short, pudgy Jew from America, who is sending government killers to scare the bandits?” That’s when it occurred to me what I was doing, but it was too late: by that time I was already involved in this lucrative business for more than two years, so I continued without worrying about the consequences.
Published: March 20, 2024. Read Full Interview

Winter Asra

What do you read for pleasure?
I primarily read science fiction and fantasy content, whether that be books, online stories, short stories or something else. I'm also very much into reading about various fun facts, history, current events and how things work. Though, a lot of that can get a bit overwhelming, for various reasons, so I do have to moderate myself a lot. There are times where I read a bit too much about current events or social media, and I'm sure plenty know how that goes.
When did you first start writing?
I think it's going on seven to eight years ago, so around 2017/2016(yeah, bit of a cursed year). It was mostly because I realized how difficult it was to find stories and worlds that fit to my very broad but specific tastes. I had so many ideas but nothing really matched them, so I decided I'd put those ideas down myself. And I sucked at the beginning. I was good at essays and writing projects, but that is a whole 'nother beast from fiction writing. There are times I still feel like I suck, but they're less frequent than last year, and the year before. I hear that's pretty normal for writers, and artists in general, though. That's part of why I always encourage people to work at it and start with improving the biggest, most broad issues, then work on the small ones. Many struggle with tenses, so that's often the beginning. Past, present...etc
Published: March 19, 2024. Read Full Interview

Sylvia Rhett

What are you working on next?
I'm working on the sequel to Mafia Prince. It's Andreas and Fiore's story and I am so excited.
Who are your favorite authors?
Cassandra Clare, Alessandra Hazard, Rick Riordan, Sarah J. Maas.
Published: March 9, 2024. Read Full Interview

Steve Becker

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was facing a dilemma. On one hand, if you can't get in with a publishing company that has their own marketing budget or connections, then you have no one to help you spread the word. On the other hand, I could hand over what I'd written to one of the Twelve Step programs - AA, Alanon, CoDA, NA, OA, GA, etc. There were two problems with this:

First, if I did this they might publish it as "program approved literature", but they might not, or they might make complete and drastic changes to it. I've written this book the way I wrote it for multiple reasons, but the main reason is to make it as accessible to every single person as I can. Allowing other people to own and change what I wrote could destroy the value in the effort I've made to make this material as accessible as possible. Second, once a program publishes something as "program approved literature" it is, by default, not approved literature for any of the other twelve step programs, and I believe the material in my book is applicable to all programs, so I could be severely limiting the potential benefits people could have if they find my book and write it off because it "belongs" to one program or another that they don't identify with.

For better or worse, I've decided to retain ownership of what I've written. I wrote it the way I did for multiple reasons, and I can only hope that I can share this information with as many people who need to see it as I can.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing knowledge by writing a book is a "force multiplier". It took me over a decade to learn what I've written, but can learn it in a matter of hours. Also, I only had to write it once, and now it can help a hundred, or a thousand people. I hope the things I'm sharing here can help change the world, maybe even after I'm gone.
Published: March 8, 2024. Read Full Interview

Karen Barkan

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm a natural dreamer. I was born in a boring place, that naturally fertilized my imagination. My imagination took me to magical places where everything I want is possible. I spent a lot of time day dreaming. Later in high school I wrote my first short story, and continued writing in college.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is in the creation itself. Being able to create characters, plot, a whole world - this is magic!
Published: March 6, 2024. Read Full Interview