Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cliff Ball Interview

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

I would have to say that my most productive time of day to write is between 10 am and 3 pm. I don’t know why that is, but, it seems like that is when I’m at my most disciplined and focused.

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

I usually start out with pen and paper, because I find it easier to sit with a spiral notebook on my couch just writing out by hand whatever idea I have. When I feel the story is established enough, I go on the computer to finish the project.  This goes for novels, essays, research papers, pretty much anything I write.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

  I’m pretty much inspired by the fact that as an Indie author, I can write what I want, when I want, and I have no deadlines.

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

 I don’t really set a goal of word count when I sit down to write. Most of the time, I write for as long as I have that idea fresh in my mind for that day, and then I quit. Sometimes, that’s an hour, and other times, its three or four hours.

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

 Self published author. With my first two novels, I took whatever cover iUniverse and gave me, they gave me 4 templates to pick from. With The Usurper, I created my own cover with a combination of Gimp and, since I was publishing that through Createspace. I took a picture of a fire from when I went camping earlier this year, then downloaded a US flag and a pair of eyes, and that’s that cover. I recently re-did Out of Time and downloaded a public domain picture from NASA, then just added the title and author name. Eventually, I plan on buying something like Book Cover Pro to come up with better covers.

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

 It’s kind of something that I’ve always wanted to be involved in since I was in elementary school, but,  as of right now, I’d say it was more of a hobby than a career.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

 Not currently, but, I’d really like to have a Kindle.

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

 Some of my favorite authors are Harry Turtledove, Eric Flint, S.M. Stirling, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, for example. I’m currently trying to read Color Me Grey by JC Phelps and Draculas by Konrath and his co-horts, when I don’t have to read college textbooks, since I’m pursuing a 2nd BA.

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

 I have two book trailers. One was done for me to advertise Out of Time and Don’t Mess With Earth, while I created my own with The Usurper. I think there are some pretty cool book trailers out there, like the Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, for instance. But, I don’t think they improve sales all that much, at least not for me, and it’s probably just another gimmick someone came up with, and then convinced everyone it was a good idea.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

 The Usurper is about the USSR wanting to take down the US from within no matter what, so, their inside man “usurps” the Constitution, Congress, and the States when he finally gets into power. So, the title “The Usurper” seemed to make sense to me, even though it was probably the third idea I had for the title, but, once I settled on it, it seemed to be a good title.

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

 I’m working on another two science fiction novels. One is an almost total re-write of Don’t Mess With Earth, after a lot of feedback I had that it had too much exposition, and some complained about my version of history at the beginning. So, I re-wrote the beginning, added a lot more dialogue, and the sequel I had planned for it, is now part of the novel, which is making it a full length 80K novel now, instead of around 50K. It’ll be re-titled, since it’s practically a different novel now. The other novel is an alternate history novel that begins with the 1976 Presidential Election, where the new President declares the US will have a moon base by 1979 and a Mars Base by 1989. The Russians decide to one-up the Americans, so they build an interstellar starship. What happens beyond that, well, I’m still working on it.

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