Interview from Edward C. Patterson – Author of 15 published books, including The Jade Owl and No Irish Need Apply:
1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Since I have a full-time job, I slot my writing time between 6 pm and midnight. The key is not so much the time, but the frequency, which is daily and at least five times per week. Although much time is spent writing mentally (in the car, in bed, in the shower), there is that point daily when one must glue ones ass to the seat and apply ones fingers to the keyboard.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I detest outlines and over planning. Generally, books derived from outlines and extreme details (to the point where every back-story and character arc is predestined) are indubitably flawed works. Research, I do, although most of my novels come from my experience level, in either life or education, so I generally do not need to go too far a field for the research, and in that, I will jot down a note or two. I primarily use the computer, however, I have a scratch sheet, one per novel with some notes to keep me honest — character names (especially Chinese ones), places names (especially Chinese ones) and doodle maps (especially . . . well you get my drift). By developing a novel organically, you allow the elements that make a story to form. You also permit your characters to come alive and then share the writing task. Although I sometimes need to chastise a character and they have held union meetings to protest something I’ve forced on them, generally a first draft is born from a harmony of my imagination and the characters extendion of that imagination, thus engaging the reader.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
Every day and every moment that I encounter inspires me. Few things do not inspire me to write. As for story ideas, they come to me without my searching for them. To contrive a plot (I don’t believe in plots, except the one I’ll wind up in), is nothing more than pretending to be an author. If it doesn’t come to you, how can you nurture it until it becomes something to offer a reader?
4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Absolutely. Not every session involves writing. Some sessions involve authoring, which usually doesn’t produce words, but mental images and a cornucopia of ideas. However, in the writing session, my goal is 4,000 words, but my happiness is 2,000 words . . . that work. I never have Writer’s Block, because I always stop mid-flow and begin afresh in the next session in the middle of a thought.
5: Being a self-published author how do you come up with your cover art?
I design my own covers and they’re organic to the work. I have a certain look and feel within my brand, which is painterly. However, since I am not Michelangelo or The Google Photo Angel, my covers are what they are. I design before the fact — before the book is finished. In this way, something tangible exists beyond the word, before the words gel. Sometimes the covers help finish the work.
6: What drives you to chose the career of being a writer?
Well, I wouldn’t call it a career. I had one of those — a Marketing Director at a Fortune 500 company. To me a career is something interesting to earn your living. I now earn my living in a greatly reduced corporate capacity. Writing, on the other hand, is my vocation. It’s what I do and have been doing since I was thirteen, and that’s fifty years ago. The only difference now is in the professional aspects of it. Now I publish what I author and thereby share it with readers. Now that’s novel, isn’t it? However, I also have the responsibility to serve up the best possible product within my abilities (shades of the markeing director). I have a passion and to share that passion is a joy. To know that someone else is reading and enjoying my books (or rolling them in dog food) is a mighty pleasure. I guess the notion that something beyond my final heartbeat will linger drives me forward to the end.
7: Do you own an e-book reading devise?
Yes. I am in the first wave of Kindle owners, and was one of the first authors to publish on the Kindle (November 2007). I started with a K1 and graduated to a Kindle DX. In fact, I received the DX a few days before I attended a conference where I was to read from one of my books, and, to my knowledge, I am the first American author to perform a book reading from a Kindle DX. Amazon’s tech staff even provided support. I have 6,000 books contained in 1,250 items on my Kindle. I need to install an outlet in that aforementioned plot as I intend to read for eternity.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
Dickens, Austen, W.S. Gilbert, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien and Melville. (The list goes on, but these have taught me my craft). I have just started reading The Ark by Boyd Morrison, an Indie author, who went the self-published route. Simon and Schuster picked him up. He represents the ultimate hope for the 15,000 plus Indie authors out there.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I like them. I wish I had more. I do have one for my novel No Irish Need Apply, which Gregory B. Banks of BDDesignsonline.com created for me.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I am currently working on the fourth installment of The Jade Owl series, a big tome entitled The People’s Treasure. I have also started revisions on a novel called The Road to Grafenwöhr, a gothic mash-up of Jane Austen and Stephen King. Later in the year, I will move forward with the third book in the Southern Swallow series (Book 3 of 5) entitled Swan Cloud. I have been working on this series for 37 years, since my college days as a Sinologist (that’s not a Doctor of Sinus Headaches, but a specialist in Chinese History and Culture). I currently have ten works in progress for release in 2010-2013. It takes a few years for anything worthwhile to gel.
Amazon Central Author Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMI6X8
Dancaster Creaive http://www.dancaster.com
The Indie Spotlight http://www.theindiespotlight.com/
Operation eBook Drop http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,13352.0.html