Sunday, July 4, 2010

D.A. Boulter Interview

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

3 a.m.  Three in the morning is the best time of the day.  The streets are deserted, there is no noise of traffic and you can be alone in the midst of thousands.  I'm a night creature, though not a 'creature of the night' . . . well, I do hate bright sunlight and am not particularly partial to garlic, so the jury is out on that last bit.

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

I do all my work on computer now.  My hand just can't keep up with my thoughts.  Also, I have trouble reading my own handwriting at times and my readers have been known to wonder what kind of a weapon a 'cpihveutr' is.  I tell them I write science-fiction and a cpihveutr was developed by a race from Alpha Centauri.  "But your story doesn't even mention Alpha Centauri," they say.  They've obviously never heard of illegal arms dealers.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

All over the place.  Pictures, scenery, emotions, songs.  I owe a novel (Ghost Fleet--hopefully to be published this autumn on Kindle) to a song by 'The Irish Rovers', called 'The Day the Tall Ships Came'.  The song was about the day the Tall Ships (old sailing ships, for those who don't know) came to New York.  I had a sudden 'what if' thought.  And 'what if' thoughts often turn out to be the staple of Science Fiction fare.  'What if a fleet of ships from the past came to aid us in a war?'  ['The past' being relative, of course, as we don't have a fleet of spaceships in our past--yet.] 58 days later I finished the first draft--and listened to that song about 500 times.

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

No.  I'm of an anti-authoritarian type of mind.  If I set a goal, there's something in me that says, 'You aren't the boss of me' and will do everything it can to prove it.  Setting a goal is very, very counter-productive for me.

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

Self-published on Kindle.  Cover art?  Ouch.  I don't want to answer that question.  Can't make me.  I'm not an artist, don't know any artists and couldn't afford to pay them if I did.  For the two books I've put up, I've used public domain photos [NASA has some great ones] of space.

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

I think I'm driven by the same thing that drove most writers (should they care to think about it).  I've been dissatisfied with some books, wanting them to go in slightly different directions or to end differently.  The only way to make those stories end as I want them to is to write them myself--or to blackmail another writer.  Unfortunately, I have no dirt on any other writers, so I'm forced to do it myself.  Also I like telling stories, creating.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

No, I don't.  I have downloaded 'Kindle For PC' and can thus read ebooks, but I don't have a dedicated device for reading.  My cell-phone allows me to make phone calls and little else--it's about 6 or so years old.  I'm not big on keeping current.  Change happens so fast these days and I'm not as young as I once was.  I'm thrilled that others are embracing this new tech--it gives me a market, among other things--but by the time I get into something, it's usually a fashion that has almost passed.

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

I like Steve Miller and Sharon Lee—they've done some interesting stuff.  I still have a soft spot for Hammond Innis and Alistair McLean.  I also like Elizabeth Moon among many others.

What am I reading now?  Unfortunately, I'm reading some dreck by this guy named D.A. Boulter--a novel called Pelgraff.  Getting a novel ready to publish ain't the fun and games it might seem.  I just read it through again, getting a feel for it (as I haven't looked at it in a year or so).  Then I read it through looking for continuity errors--having someone with brown hair in chapter 3 and turning up a blond in chapter 7--and I'm reading it again, out loud this time, looking for spelling errors, punctuation errors, over use (using the same word several times in close proximity), and any other little errors I may pick up.  Reading aloud is great for this.  You're forced to read every word.  Then, after I've found every single last error, I'll send it off to my proofer, after which I'll correct all the errors she finds.  Next, I'll format it for Kindle and probably read it again to do a last check, making sure that my corrections haven't resulted in new errors, as I make sure it looks good.  By the time I've read Pelgraff 4 or 5 times within a couple of weeks, I'll hate it.  I just finished doing the same with 'Courtesan' and at the end I asked my proofer, "Is this any good, at all?"  She assures me it is, but I have my doubts even though I did like it before my reading binge.

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

I've only just heard of book trailers.  I've never actually seen any and I don't have plans to do any.  I'll have to check them out.

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

Besides proofing 'Pelgraff', I'm writing a fantasy novel with the working title "In the Company of Cowards'.  It's about a young man who, running from a fight he cannot win, is rescued by an ex-soldier who has been branded for cowardice on the field of battle.  Our young man, feeling that he, himself, is a coward, decides to take training from the ex-soldier and discovers that this ex-soldier is one of many with a like brand.  When danger appears (in the form of an invading army), the only thing standing between the city and sack is this 'company of cowards'.  I'm exploring the fine line between self-sacrifice and suicide, and where cowardice is disguised by bravery and bravery by cowardice. 

In the middle of writing the book, an acquaintance of mine actually committed suicide, which threw me off my writing of this book for almost a year.  I'm just getting back into it and hope to finish my first draft soon.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and please, support your indie author.  They've worked hard to bring you their stories.  Remember that you can download samples of Kindle Books and other ebooks.  If you don't like the author's writing, if his or her story doesn't interest, you've no obligation to buy, but it's a great way to expand your reading choices with little risk to your hard-earned money.

Take care of yourselves and

Live the Joy.


ebooks by D.A. Boulter:
'Pilton's Moon/Vengeance Is Mine

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