Ross Harrison is the author of three novels and two short stories. Although he doesn't stray from science fiction, he has ventured into multiple sub-genres, including space opera, thriller, noir, and steampunk. He has been writing since childhood, and occasionally likes to revisit those old stories for a good cringe and nervous laugh.
Ross lives on the UK/Eire border in Ireland, where he moved from England in 2001, hoping the rain will help his hair grow back.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Like, probably, all indie authors, I didn't intend to be one. I was in too much of a hurry to get my work out to agents, and so ended up sending out the novel before it was ready. That resulted, naturally, in rejections. In turn, that led to me considering self-publishing.
It isn't that easy a decision, as the world of self-publishing brings a different set of difficulties to traditional publishing. Not least of all a suspicion and mistrust from readers. But eventually I made the decision to follow that road.
At that point, I had left the novel to sit for quite a while, and I knew I had to go back for another thorough edit. That edit - with the added, looming thought that real people would be reading these words - turned into a full rewrite. I made huge changes and improved the book drastically. To the point, in fact, that a well-respected agent read a good portion of it online and sought me out to ask for a full read. By that time, I was less than a week from publication, so I said no, but it was encouraging.
It's quite hard work if done properly, but I sold about 400 books in the first handful of months and got a lot of very good feedback, and have never felt like I did the wrong thing. I've since published a second novel and a short story, with my contribution to a sci-fi/fantasy anthology about to be published in the next month or so.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Possibly the escapism. It's like having a job title of Daydreamer. It's one of the reasons I write science fantasy, primarily. In science fantasy, I can do whatever I want. It's my universe, with my rules, and it can be whatever it needs to be.
Another joy, perhaps on par with that, is when the story and the dialogue just flows straight out of my fingertips without me having to particularly think about it. When things progress all by themselves and all I have to do is keep up.