1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
There really isn't a special time slot in which I work the best, though I'd have to say the morning hours are probably the worst. I usually need some time to get going, so I preferably spend that time doing something else. The most inspiring moments come during the afternoon and before I go to sleep, when the body's wiring down but the mind's still active. But in general, I do my writing in the afternoon and the evening. And then it's open ended: only fatigue and my ability to consume coffee are the limit.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
When I began writing full stories in earnest I did it on the computer, but I soon realized that it was more intuitive to brainstorm and to create chapter and plot outlines with pen and paper. Doing so also gives you the opportunity to go back to what you've written before. Sometimes the first version is the best, and I find it's important to have something at hand that recalls the creative process that's gone into writing something particular. I still keep a pen and a notebook close to my bed. The only time when I don't have access to something to write with and on is ironically during my day job. Luckily I can remember most of the ideas I get during those hours without having to constantly mutter them into my beard.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
History and contemporary events for some, personal experience and interests for others. Though, to be honest, all of these tend to overlap at some point. Aside from that, I feel I receive more and better inspiration from the written word than I do from visual media, even though this inspiration is more in the way of putting me into the right mood for writing and thinking rather than in the form of concrete ideas.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
Setting concrete goals as a means to motivate yourself can work, but it won't always get you where you want to go. I'm usually one of those who believe you've got to beat your muse with a stick if that's the only way to get her to work, but there are limits to that approach. Though all in all, writing something is still always preferable to writing nothing. In general, if you've got the whole day available for nothing but writing: set yourself a goal and stick to it. For everything else, force yourself to write that on extra line, but know your limits.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I am self-published, using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace platforms for the ebook and paperback editions of my novels. Since I'm lucky not to mess up while drawing stick figures I've employed an illustrator for the cover of my novel. The easiest way to find one was to scour places like DeviantArt.com and simply send out queries to artists whose style I found appealing. I ended up working with a very talented Portuguese artist by the name of Jorge Jacinto and plan to use his services for the covers of other novels in the future.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
It wasn't something that had always been the first thing on my mind. I didn't wake up one day after I had finished high school and told myself 'Now I'll become a writer'. But I had been an avid reader for most of my life, and I liked writing. I started writing stories in my native German around the age of eighteen, but they never got anywhere. I got on the internet in 2000, and from that point on my focus changed. I participated in text-based RPGs for several years as the primary outlet for my creativity. Some of these had two dozen participants, ran for eighteen months and amounted to more than 3 million written words. It was only when I believed I had reached a high enough level of proficiency in English that I started writing stories again. Those were fanfictions – Star Gate, The Wheel of Time, Mass Effect – and only when I had brought a hundred thousand words narrative to its conclusion I felt I was ready to move on.
I enjoy writing, I like telling stories, and I think I have some interesting stories to tell. But to say being a writer is a career choice: it's too soon for me to be affirmative there. Wolf Hunt has been out for less than a month, and it's a niche genre piece. Right now it's out there primarily because the idea of having published something makes me happy. He future will show whether the choice I made is a financially viable one.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
I don't own an ebook reading device at the moment and don't have any plans to purchase one in the future. I do part of my writing on a netbook, which is about as mobile as it'll get for me. Those ebooks that I own I read on it, either in PDF format (which I do personally find preferable) or using some of the readily available format emulators.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
George R.R. Martin, David Weber, Andrzej Sapkowski are the ones I can immediately think of, but looking at my book shelf and the folder on my netbook there just are too many to name. Right now I'm reading Ray Moseley's “Between Hitler and Mussolini” about the life of the Italian foreign minister Count Ciano.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
They are an interesting visual marketing concept, and there's at least one instance where the trailer clinched it for me to buy a novel. However, most authors I've talked to about the use of book trailers seem to agree that their usefulness regarding sales is limited. They hardly increase exposure; maybe that would change if there was some kind of hub that hosted nothing but book trailers. Regardless of any usefulness, they are a fun concept. Maybe I'll make one have one made for one of my future projects.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
“Wolf Hunt” wasn't the first title the novel had. In fact, if I remember correctly, I went through two others before settling on “Wolf Hunt”, and that largely occurred once I had come to the conclusion that the story was big enough to warrant sequels. Thus I needed a name that a) factored in some kind of imagery I would be able to continue during the sequels and b) hinted at the content. As such, “The Burning Ages” will use animal imagery in its titles. As for “Wolf Hunt”, the solution to that particular riddle is comparably simple: the novel deals with the attempt to assassinate Hitler, and Hitler's most consistently used code name was “Wolf”.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
While I'm in the plot outlining phase for the sequel to Wolf Hunt, I've begun writing a scifi/crime thriller set in the second half of the 21st century. However, the more I work on it the more I realize that I should rather be writing its prequels! It's very different from the more epic Wolf Hunt; it's far more character-centered since it's all told just from one person's perspective, a perky young woman working for an FBI section called “Special Homicide”. I'll post some details about it on my web page soon.
My homepage: www.spbreit.com
Amazon (Paperback): http://tinyurl.com/5s4l6vz
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056QJGN0/?tag=kindleboards-20 (July Discount: only $3.99 US!)