Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ronnell Porter Interview

Kipp Poe Speicher VS. Ronnell Porter

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

When I have an idea (drum snare). I’m such a procrastinator that my writing gets done when I finally force myself to sit and write.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

Computer. I can’t stand writing longhand, and before I got a laptop I used a Brother Typewriter.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

I should say books, but that isn’t entirely the case. I used to play a video game series growing up called Final Fantasy, and each title is always a long, epic storytelling masterpiece with an ending that left you amazed, accomplished, and emotionally raw. The storytellers at Square Enix (then Square Soft) just that that kind of skill. And in the old days, all of the dialogue had to be read, which gave rise to my love for dialogue.

I wanted to write stories that drew the reader in and got them just as involved with emotionally developed characters. I wanted to write storylines no one had read before, long and classic tales that left impressions on those that read them.

4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?

When I wrote my first draft of The Pocket Watch I had no idea what a word count was, I simply wrote out a story. It ended up being 286,000 words, and I had planned on this being a series. When I did a little research, I learned that all of the fat had to be trimmed, whether I was going the traditional route, or self-publishing, simply because it wasn’t going to be cheap to publish all of that in one book. So, ten revisions later it has a final word count of 145,000 words. So as far as goals go, I now say “Let’s not do that again!”

Now I just try and stay within a certain range of words, depending on what genre/readership I’m going for. For example, my children’s book has a word count goal of 30,000 words. But the sequel to The Pocket Watch that comes out next month, entitled The White Knight, has a goal of about 130,000 – 150,000. I ended up only needing 110,000 words to tell Lucius’ tale.

So my goals usually revolve around word count, yes.

5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?

I made my own in the beginning, and I was always trying to go for something abstract and artsy (because that’s what pulls my eye, but I’ve learned that doesn’t quite work in the book world). And then I met a Czech artist named Alena Kubikova who does fantastic work in fantasy. And she was gracious enough to make a fantastic cover. When I gave her a description of the book, and of heroine Imogen, she just understood Imogen’s struggle, and she really brought that out in the cover on the first try. I was amazed. She’s just agreed to make the second cover, and although I haven’t seen it yet I’m anxious to see what wonderful depiction she brings to Lucius’ book.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

The feeling I had/have when reading a wonderful book. I want to give that same feeling to others. The feeling when you feel for the characters, and the plot makes you worry about what will happen to them. In a dissociative era, when more and more people are beginning to grow colder to their fellow citizens, sometimes that story can remind them of how brilliant it felt to care, and to be generous.

7: Do you own an eBook reading devise?

Only my Laptop, on which I have Kindle PC and can read PDF’s, .mobi, etc. But I’ve never bought a handheld device strictly to be used for eBooks, no.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

My favorite author to this day is still S.E. Hinton because The Outsiders was one of the most amazing reads I’d ever picked up in my middle school library. And she has good taste in product placement (Pepsi f.t.w.). At the moment I’m reading The Millenium Trilogy, and I just started The Girl Who Played With Fire, patiently anticipating the finale title The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. Amazing books right from the get-go!

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I have yet to see a good one. Most of them deter me from that particular title because they are so poorly done. I literally have to walk myself through logic and explain that it wasn’t the author’s fault that their PR is so cheap, and that the book is actually probably really great!

I just think book trailers are a bad idea for now until someone finally makes THE ONE that starts a trend and everyone else follows example.

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

Like I said earlier, I finished the second book in The Trinity Saga: The White Knight, and I can’t wait to release it.

I’m almost done with my first crack at a children’s book about a girl named Spirit who grew up in a ‘Naturalist Commune’ in Port Aransas, TX, with her hippie mother while her father worked on fishing rigs. Her father moves them to Japan for more work in fishing and Spirit absolutely despises everything about her new life; their apartment, their school, their strange, erratic neighbors, etc. Spirit is basically trying to be the worst brat she can possibly be so that she can have her way and they can go back home.

But one night a boy crawls into her window without warning and gives her a strange gift; a ripe and golden peach. He warns spirit never to eat it, no matter what she does. It isn’t long until she notices the peach growing bigger, and bigger with each passing day. But Spirit can’t always watch over a boring old peach, and when her mother discovers this grand peach of hers, she makes a pie for Spirit’s father’s homecoming. That’s when things go terribly wrong.

After an angry vengeful witch takes her parents, and turns the cowardly neighbor boy Koichi into a fat, plump raccoon, Spirit embarks on a journey through the realm of ghosts and deities to rescue them with the help of a lamp with bad attitude, a water sprite that cannot produce water, and the lazy Koichi. I’m particularly proud of this title because it’s a fun adventure dipped in children’s fantasy and rolled in Japanese folklore.

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