Join me in welcoming David Reynolds to Limelight!
I am one of the few people living in Tucson, Arizona that was actually born here. Other than one semester at Northern Arizona University I have lived here all my life. The main lesson I learned at NAU was that I don’t like snow. It’s fun to visit; not fun to live in. I grew up on the far east side of town close to the base of the Rincon Mountains with the Saguaro National Park across the street. Thanks to this environment I am well versed in the creepy crawlies that call the desert southwest home – I’ve relocated rattlesnakes, been attacked by Javalina (a particularly grumpy wild pig), seen the magic of a six foot wingspan owl melt out of the trees, and been stung by bark scorpions so many times I’ve lost count. I live with mylovely wife, a demanding cat, and a crazy dog. When not at work I am usually in my workshop working on some model airplane project or motorcycle project. In order to pay for all this I teach GED classes for the Arizona Superior Court.
1. When did you first start writing? I have been playing with short stories for about 10-15 years. I first got into self publishing about 3 years ago.
2. Please tell us about the book(s) you have written—titles, genres, and storylines. My stories tend to cover a range of areas; I think the most often is Sci-Fi.
Aware is one of my more recent short stories. Aware is a short Sci fi set on an ore transport that has struck a meteor in space. Navigation Specialist Jenkins must get the ship running again along with the help of a repair robot that is becoming self-aware. The two must figure out how to work as a team in order to survive.
I wrote Aware because I wanted to explore what happens to a robot that becomes self-aware and along the way the story surprised me. I created Jenkins simply so that Repair Bot Three would have someone to interact with and I made her hate robots for the tension it created. Along the way Jenkins took on a life of her own as she also became self-aware in a way.
Also in the list –
The Interview (fiction)
Stephan Gordon is down on his luck. Despite good qualifications, his career path has hit the skids and he is worried about his future and his family. A dream job has possibly landed in his lap that promises to be around for a lifetime. But will it be worth the cost?
A Burning Problem (non-fiction essay)
A Burning Problem is a short satirical essay on education reform
Futurecaster (fiction with a touch of sci-fi)
A man learns to tell the future and tries to avoid his destiny. Will he succeed or will fate claim him?
Spirits Last Vision (Sci-fi)
The Mars rover Spirit far exceeded its expectations, running longer and discovering more than hoped. Along the way it gained many fans with it seemingly human ability to keep going in the face of failure. What if its greatest discovery is yet to be known?
The Eternal Question (fiction with a touch of sci-fi)
Why are we here? I had a chance meeting with a strange old man the other day that claimed to know. His answer makes a frightening amount of sense.
Contracts of the Father (fiction)
After being down and out with a family to support, Stephen Gordon luckily manages to land a job that ends the bad days forever. Stephen eventually learns that perhaps luck had nothing to do with getting the job and that it comes with a very high price that he may not want to pay.
This is a continuation of The Interview.
3. Are your books connected like in a series, or are they stand-alone stories? Most are stand alone stories. Contracts of the Father started as a single short that I then added five other shorts to but I sell it as one story. I have a few ideas that branch off of previously written works, but nothing has come of them yet other than some outlining and jotting down of ideas.
4. Where do you find your inspirations? Anywhere I can. Conversations with other people, themes from other books, sudden inspiration in the middle of the night, I’m angry about something… It’s all grist for the mill.
5. When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge? To recharge the bank account I teach GED classes for the county adult probation program. To recharge myself I build and fly model airplanes, play with photography, play with my motorcycles, read, and generally goof off.
6. Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? I publish independently with a label I created – Renaissance Redneck Media
7. Do you read books within the genres you write? I read everything. Short, long, deep, shallow… If it’s in front of me I’ll give it a go. I even enjoy reading car repair manuals.
8. How much time do you put towards promoting yourself and your books? Not enough, I’m sure. I try to work Facebook and Twitter a bit each evening and I am always open to others offering interviews or promotions. I have used some paid promotions with mixed results. After a few years I am beginning to see some results.
9. To help first time authors and aspiring authors, can you please tell us how you promote your work. Currently most of my promotion is on Facebook, Twitter, and word of mouth. I put a link to my website on the signature for the various internet forums I am active on and links in the signatures on my email accounts. Vistaprint makes very nice business cards for a good price that I hand out to people. My website has short sections of all my stories as well as photography and flash fiction stories. My latest effort has been building an email list to market directly to those that are already interested in me.
I have also spent time on various forums like Goodreads and if I see anybody asking for authors to interview for their blogs, I jump at the chance. Through some of the groups I discovered Book Nymph. Book Nymph has various publicity packages for sale and since I have been using them I have seen more traffic. At first I didn’t want to spend any money on publicity but I had a shift in thinking one day as I realized that I am basically running a small business. A business needs to get the word out to potential customers and that means advertising. Advertising takes money. I’m not going to take out a full page add in a national magazine, that’s beyond my budget, but I have become more open to what it takes to become a bit taller in a very crowded field.
10. Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews? Step one – spend some time convincing yourself that the person that left the negative review is a brain dead ignoramus that fails to see your genius and wouldn’t recognize good writing if it walked up to them and smacked them in the head.
Step two – Go back and look to see if they had any bit of wisdom that you can use to improve your work. There is always room for improvement.
Step three – Realize that some people really are brain dead ignoramuses that fail to see true genius and wouldn’t recognize good writing if it walked up to them and smacked them in the head.J
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