Following is an interview done for Smashwords when I published ‘The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs)’ as an ebook with Smashwords.
Interview with Kenneth J Kerr
What is your writing process?
I develop a general outline of story line, and then begin writing. I usually work in the morning and set a minimum target of writing two pages per day. The number of hours worked is flexible, but the minimum target is not. I do research as I go along, and I edit frequently.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read the Hardy Boys series as a young boy. I loved the suspense and mystery of the books.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to imagine a cover that will give an impression of the book content. I first wrote an espionage/thriller book and wanted the cover to create an image of a spy with a background showing two locations of the book. My latest novel cover was more difficult. I wanted to show the White House of something identifiable with Washington D.C. But I also wanted to show the suspense element of the book. I chose to use a cover that hopefully shows the suspense.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn books. There are too many to mention by name, but if I had to chose one, it would be Tom Clancy’s book ‘Threat Vector’. I also love John Grisham’s books. His recent one, ‘Sycamore Row’ was great.
What do you read for pleasure?
Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, John Grisham, etc. I have also begun reading independent authors who I have met during the last year through my marketing activities. There are many, many very good authors who are struggling to be recognized.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Kindle and my I-Pad.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Personal promotion has been most effective. I do book signings, newspaper and magazine articles, and talk to any group who will have me. I also spend many hours on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and my blog, kkerr19963.wordpress.com
Describe your desk
It has paper all over it. A printer on the left corner, a laptop computer (MAC), an I-Pad, my I-phone, and assorted other stuff. It is located in my office (man cave).
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in Delaware. I don’t think it had a big influence on my writing. I was lucky to travel a lot when I was working, both internationally and within the U.S. I think my travels had a great influence on my writing. Living for a year in the middle of Siberia, Russia had a huge influence on my desire to write.
When did you first start writing?
Almost two years ago, at the age of sixty nine.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to write about the dysfunction of our federal government and the gridlock in Washington. I chose to create a character who was the newly elected President, who brought a fresh attitude and leadership skills to the job. That person happened to be the first woman to serve as President of the United States. To show the complexity of the presidency, I added a scandal in her administration and an Al Qaeda plot to use dirty bombs in Washington D.C. Welcome to Washington, Madam President.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I first thought to pursue the conventional publishing route, but quickly realized an unknown author’s chance for success using that approach is very low. I learned about indie authors and decided to become one, and it has been a great, learning experience.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It is too soon to answer that question. I heard about Smashwords from other indie authors. I investigated the site and decided to give it a try. I have only been working with them for a few days, but I am very happy, so far.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I thoroughly enjoy the writing process. Creating something from ideas that come to me from unknown places is a real joy. I find the writing process is very satisfying. The marketing of my books gives me less pleasure, even though I spent a business career in marketing. Maybe when I hit the NY Times bestseller list I will feel more satisfied with my marketing activities.
What do your fans mean to you?
What are you working on next?
Possibly turning ‘The First Madam President’ into a series.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life, my wife, my daughter, and my friends, and the hope that my writing skills will continue to grow.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play golf, I play duplicate bridge, and I love spending the summers at our lake home on Lake Charlevoix, Michigan.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly through indie authors I have met on line.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was ‘Life of a Double Agent’, written and self published in early 2013.
The Independent Author Network
Kenneth J. Kerr
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