Here is an author interview I did for my publisher, Smashwords.
Interview with Marshall Armstrong
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in small town Minnesota. Some small industry and a lot of farming. When I write, It comes from my experiances growing up. My childhood helped form my religious and political opinions and I write from that prospective as well.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote a play for a class project in high school and a friend and I wrote and drew our own cartoon strip which was never published anywhere. Until about two years ago I really didn’t write anything except the occasional poem. I have been writing steadily for two years now.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
“This is not your Grandmothers Poetry Book” is a collection of poems and stories from my blog, “The Window.” They cover every subject you can imagine. The title is meant to show people that poetry doesn’t have to be dry old love sonnets. It can be exciting and breathtaking. Poems can tell a story or inform. They can accomplish any goal that story telling can, just in a different way.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Poetry can be a hard sell. For that reason I felt that self publishing would get my work “out there” for people to see and make up their minds about.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords distributes my book to many different booksellers besides selling it on their own website, which makes it available to a broad range of people. It was easy to publish with Smashwords. The indie author does everything: writing, editing, proofreading and formatting. I have total control over every aspect of my book, and I get a lot more money for each copy than I would through a traditional publishing house.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head and writing helps me not only get them out of my head but helps me formulate what I want to say in a good way. You have time to think about your ideas when you write and this gives you the ability to say things the way you want. Writing is the joy. Having someone read what I wrote is the bonus.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full time, I am married with children and grand children and we also have Sophie, our Husky/Malemute mix. So I have very little time to write.
What is your writing process?
I hear something on the radio or some one says something that sparks an idea, and I roll it around in my head awhile. Most of the time I have my poems written in my head before I ever sit down at the keyboard. Then it’s just a matter of editing until I get it right. However, there have been times when I sat down in front of my laptop totally devoid of any idea what so ever and something just springs up out of nothing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I remember liking was, “Treasure Island,” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I loved the sailing ships and pirates and the exotic locations like the open sea and the island. The adventure of it all really set my imagination running wild. I still love that kind of book.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read everything! Biographies, poetry, science fiction, regular fiction, history, you name it. I am interested in everything. I have read many books on religion because i am very interested in that also.
What are you working on next?
I have a few short stories. Some for children and some for adults. I’m thinking of a story book for each, and I’m still writing poetry.