Smashwords Interviews

Thomas Baker

John Peck (Author) & Thomas Baker (Editor): What are your five favorite books, and why?
John Peck: One of my favorite reads is a book by a soldier, Captain Colin Powell. He arrived in Saigon on Christmas Day, 1962. In his autobiography, "My American Journey," he talks about his experiences as a senior tactical adviser to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam. That ARVN unit executed counterinsurgency operations against Vietnamese communists in the highly contested A Shau Valley near the Laotian border. Captain Powell would advise three successive Vietnamese commanders, in the field. What he learned in Vietnam would later shape his philosophy about warfighting, leadership and more importantly, achieving overwhelming tactical superiority in the air before committing ground troops to battle. General Powell's philosophy saved many lives when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
What do you read for pleasure?
Thomas Baker: I have lived in Chile for two decades now. For pleasure, I turn to memoirs similar to my "I Live In Chile" or even the classics. Right now I'm reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby," for example. It's a book that has been turned into a movie on two separate occasions, and I'm certain another director will have a go at it again in the future. Fitzgerald was at the top of his craft when he wrote this book, and it will prove irresistible because of his mastery of symbolism.
Published: June 3, 2023. Read Full Interview

Adrian Tuscano

Who are your favorite authors?
John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Anne Rice, F. Scott Fitzgerald
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. East of Eden
John Steinbeck

2. Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. White Oleander
Janet Fitch

4. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

5. Fried Green Tomatoes
Fannie Flagg
Published: June 3, 2023. Read Full Interview

Kathryn Judson

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in eastern Oregon (or Eastern Oregon, as we usually wrote it), right on the Idaho border, in what is called the Treasure Valley, down the interstate from Boise, Idaho. It's a semi-arid country, dependent on irrigation. It was fairly late getting settled, with not much until after the reservoirs were built. The area has quite a few families of Japanese ancestry, some of whom were put in internment camps during WWII. There are also many people who came from Mexico. When I was a child, most of those were migrant workers, but by the time I graduated from high school, we had a large Hispanic population who had settled there.

Some of my books are set more or less in the area I grew up. And some are my attempt to address the racism that some of my friends experienced, for being Japanese or Hispanic.

We moved a couple of times when I was a child, but most of my growing up years were lived on a small farm just outside of town. I had a pony and then a horse. Almost Hopeless Horse had some beginnings with a horse I owned, who just loved to get involved with what people were doing, and sometimes got in the way.
When did you first start writing?
Grade school.

After college, I became a newspaper reporter and columnist, thanks to my college advisor, who lined up the job for me. I hadn't thought to do anything of the sort. I spent about ten years doing that, and for all I know I'd still be doing that, except I got married and my job as a reporter meant I wasn't getting enough time with my husband to suit either one of us.

The newspaper job was both a blessing and a problem when I decided to try to write fiction. It was a blessing because it had exposed me to so many perspectives and people and situations that I hadn't known about, and also because it just got me used to writing whether I felt like it or not. On the downside, if you want a laugh, at first, I could not bring myself to write things within quotation marks that weren't actual quotes. Seriously. I tried to write fiction with no dialog in it, because it was ingrained in me to be very, very precise about anything that was put inside quotation marks. (Some of the other reporters, alas, weren't as careful about quoting people, but I probably fell off the horse in the other direction. Oh, well. I thought people deserved to be represented fairly, and that's one way that manifested itself.)

I started writing books after I was married, when my husband, who had been a fan of my newspaper columns, suggested that I write books.
Published: May 31, 2023. Read Full Interview

Omar Daniels

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I would have settled for either Traditional or Indie status in the beginning. However, after learning about self-publishing and publishing overall, I've realized that being an Indie author is a better match for me.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy crime novels and noir most of all and sci-fi with military aspects. Any mixture of these elements, or if they stand alone usually makes for the kinds of stories I like to read.
Published: May 29, 2023. Read Full Interview

Emma Peterson

What is your writing process?
Toiling fervently for hours to discover that I've only written maybe 300 words. But I'm usually pretty damn proud of those 300 words, at least.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first, but I I grew up reading Stephen King and developed a deep fondness for so many things because of him. Particularly a well-timed wham line, one that is so unexpected that you can almost hear the record scratch in your head as everything you read up to that point is about to get turned on its head.
Published: May 29, 2023. Read Full Interview

Mark Phillips

What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote College Athletic Recruiting Reference because I was tired of seeing talented high school athletes not competing at the next level. I remember when my son completed in high school track & field, I saw a lot of talented athletes not having a plan or knowing where to start. The athletic recruiting process can be unnecessarily complicated & I want to be a resource for athletes & parents on this journey.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I am very grateful to Smashwords, they provide me (a small time recruiting advisor) with access to many websites & potential clients.
Published: May 27, 2023. Read Full Interview

Philip Remus

Who are your favorite authors?
Jean Genet, Stephen King, Homer, Aeschines, Thomas Mann, Thomas Haris, Julius Caesar, Plato,
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing. What can I say, I'm addicted to it. Creative writing is hugely important to me. I usually write for between 12 and 16 hours a day. After I finish a book, I take a few days off, then back to the PC as soon as I'm temporally reenergized to write my next novel.
Published: May 23, 2023. Read Full Interview

Boroughs Publishing Group

How long has Boroughs Publishing Group been in business?
We opened our virtual doors in December 2011.
How do you approach cover design?
Our authors fill out an Author Questionnaire with descriptions of their main characters, as well as other elements they wish to see on the cover. We work closely with them to achieve a cover that best represents their story.
Published: May 22, 2023. Read Full Interview

Lorraine L. Hayden

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up along the FDR Drive in Lower Manhattan. (NYC) and my bedroom window looked directly across the East River. So as a kid, I would often sit, look out my window at night and imagine all sorts of monsters coming out from the river along with an alien spacecraft and things of that sort zooming through the high-rise buildings. I have always had a very vivid imagination. So much so that it made me an avid daydreamer. One does not often equate a busy city life with inspiring- influencing writing creativity, but for me, it did.
What was the first speculative fiction book you ever read?
It was War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells. I was about in the 4th or 5th grade.
Published: May 22, 2023. Read Full Interview

Yuki Carlsson

What motivated you to become an indie author?
The classical publication path comes with endless mailing to agents and publishers, excellent books never published, low earnings, and (unless you get a deal with one of the big publishing houses) having to do the marketing yourself anyhow. From what I learned, this would have been a path with less independence, less success, and more frustration. Hence, I took it into my own hands and deep-dived into the universe of book publishing. In the end, this knowledge helps me serve my readers better, and I can still outsource some tasks to gain more time for writing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is an excellent platform with the goal of helping indie authors. Not only do they distribute my book to all ebook retailers, saving me time, they also provide helpful material through which I learned what to pay attention to.
Published: May 21, 2023. Read Full Interview