|Author Interview Form|
|Tell us your name and where you’re from.:
||I’m Douglas Schwartz, and I live in Austin, TX (Howdy!).|
|What led to your decision to become an author?:
||I have been artistic as long as I can remember. Writing is
another form of artwork. Sometime in middle school, I knew I wanted
to write a book. A few decades later, I did it.
|Tell us about what you’re currently working on, and
what you’ve written in the past.:
|My first publication, “Checkered Scissors”, is a novel about
four people, stuck in different worlds wanting to find the Checkered
Scissors in order to make their way home. I am currently working on a
collection of short stories, some which were written while I developed
my writing voice and other, fresh stories. Each story has my absurd,
quirky fiction. Next, I plan on writing the sequel to Checkered
|What are some of your strongest points as a writer,
and what if anything are you constantly working to improve upon?:
|Dialog and abstract situations are two of my strongest
points. I strive to make improvements to characterization. I’d love
to write characters as well as JK Rowling, Stephen King, or Terry
|Are you self published, traditionally published or
both? Why did you choose to go that route?:
|I am self-published. Before releasing Checkered Scissors, I
investigated and weighed both options. Both paths seemed difficult,
required hard work, and patience. I think the main reason I chose
self publishing is more control.
|What format are your books available in? Which of
these formats do you prefer and why?:
|Checkered Scissors is available in various digital formats
and print-on-demand. I would like to work on the audio version
someday. I consume stories in all formats, which is why I like that
there is a variety of media formats, to appease any reader.
|How do you go about marketing your books?:
||This answer is tricky, because I have tried a variety of
marketing methods. Most of my efforts have been very grassroots
efforts. Word of mouth has produced a few sales. I’ve made bookmarks
to hand out and post on community bulletin boards. I’ve donated books
to libraries and book groups. Recently, I started a social experiment
called the “Migratory Book Project” in which I tag my books, hand them
to people who like to read, and ask them to pass it on when they are
done. Gotta start somewhere, right?
|Have you ever had to deal with harsh criticism in a
review, and how do you handle it?:
|Most people have enjoyed my stories, because they find them
to be incredibly imaginative and generally a fun read. Most of the
“harsher” reviews are because they don’t understand the absurdity of
my fiction. So, the way I look at this kind of feedback is that not
everyone likes Monty Python or They Might Be Giants. When criticism
comes back regarding how the book is written, I try to understand the
issue and use the criticism constructively.
|What are your favorite genres to both read and
|I write the kinds of stories that I enjoy reading. At the
end of the day, before going to sleep, I like to wind down with a
light, easy read. Most of the time, I like the YA books, because they
aren’t filled with flowery language and big words to trip over. A few
books with big, fancy words, I’ve set aside. As for a particular
genre, I prefer fantasy and sci-fi, but I’ll read most anything as
long as it’s light.
|What authors have influenced or inspired you?:
||As I said above, JK Rowling, Stephen King, and Terry
Pratchett can write characters that pop off the page. I love the
fantastical, artistic content of Neil Gaiman’s stories. Douglas Adams
has always been a favorite. His books may not be written well in the
“normal fashion”, but you can’t argue with their popularity.
|What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you’re
|Besides writing, I have a hobby of designing tabletop games
under my hobby company, Pegamoose Games. As much as I enjoy creating
game, I love playing games, too. But, I’ll set everything aside for
spending time with my family.
|What software do you use for your writing? Did you
try others before you settled on the one you’re currently using?:
|I started writing with word processors, like MS Word or
Pages. I was introduced to Scrivener a few years ago and love how
well I can organize my stories with it. Plus, publishing with it was
|What is it that you like about the software you’re
currently using that makes it the best solution for you?:
|As I said, the organization. I can compartmentalize a
complex story structure, like a novel, by putting the different
elements into their own buckets: plot outlines, character
development, scene descriptions, the chapters, and so on.
|What’s the best advice you could possibly give to
your fellow authors?:
|Talking with many other authors, they all sound like Nike
ads… Just do it! That’s good advice. But, I’d have to say, no
matter what you want to do: write a novel, draw a comic, film a
movie… Don’t let others tell you you can’t. You can. And, even if
it never amounts to much, it matters to you. You put something new
and unique into the world, and that is very special. It’s like Neil
Gaiman says, “Make art.”
|Where can people find out more about you and your
Monthly Archives: April 2014
Synopsis: Four different Earths in four different dimensions left as nothing but lifeless balls of rock and sand after their moons were destroyed, sending massive chunks of debris slamming into the planets, ripping away their atmospheres and extinguishing every last bit of life. With a near infinite number of dimensions, was it beyond the realm of possibility that these four ghost worlds were nothing more than a coincidence, or was it perhaps a coordinated attack intended to destroy whatever, or whoever inhabited those worlds?
Suspicions and theories abound, but they’ll never find the answers without investigating, and for that they’ll require some new gear, including space suits, metal detectors and ground penetrating radar. If these dead worlds truly were inhabited by the race they called the creators, then they not only need to find that out for sure, but they also need to find out who destroyed them, and why.
Also, in an effort to repair a relationship that had grown distant, Jarrod, Derek, Tina and Sarah invite Patricia to come down to the cabin with them for a little vacation so they can reconnect and get things back to the way they were back in the early days. While they’re there, they head out to explore an as of yet unexplored dimension and find a world that’s beyond even their wildest imaginations, as well as a mineral that could either be the key to producing limitless energy, or the catalyst of their own destruction.
Ghost Worlds is book 8 of the Unseen things series.
You can purchase the book right here through the official site and get it in three different formats (Epub, Kindle and PDF), or you can get it from Amazon or Smashwords. Once Smashwords sends it out for premium distribution, it’ll be available on a variety of other sites as well.
You know, I had plans for Ghost Worlds when I started writing it. I rarely make any plans for my books. Usually I just sit down and start typing and let the story flow out of me in whatever way seems natural. I realized today that one specific thing I wanted to include in Ghost Worlds…well…I kinda forgot to write it because I was too wrapped up in the other stuff I was writing. It’s nothing that affected the main story all that much, but it was going to be something that was rather shocking and that would specifically affect two of the characters. Now that I’m well into chapter 13, I realized that I no longer have time to fit in that aspect of the story in a way that would feel natural and not like something that was just thrown in, so I’ve decided to include it in the next book instead.
So what’s in this book? Well, lots of stuff. Lots of answers too, including the true name of the creator race. So you’ll finally get to know what their race is actually called, and why everyone just calls them the creators instead. It’s been mentioned in the past that the name of the race is really hard to pronounce, and when you see the name, you’ll know why. 🙂
Anyway, that’s it for now. I’m still plugging away at it, and I’ve got about three and a half chapters left to write before I get to the editing process.
Just a small update here. I’m officially half way done with book 8 of the series, Ghost Worlds. I had a bit of a dent put in my writing schedule unfortunately when I ended up with an unbelievably painful attack of gout on my right foot which absolutely destroyed my ability to get any sleep, and as such, destroyed my ability to write as well. Fortunately it’s mostly gone now and I’ve been back to writing at my normal pace.
As with all the books in the series, there are some major developments in this one, and there are some shocking events as well. I will admit that I was having a hard time getting started on this one because I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go with it, but as I’ve found with all of my writing, if I just sit down and start typing, it all just starts flowing and one thing leads to another.
Anyway, that’s it for now. The book will probably be available in a couple of weeks if I keep up with my normal writing schedule and the editing takes about the same amount of time it usually does, which is typically three or four days.
Here’s a little teaser from chapter 2 of Ghost Worlds. To put this into context, they’re having a guys night out, and after Billy’s disappointed by the rules at the strip club, they end up going to the most ridiculously seedy biker bar looking to get in a bar fight just for the fun of it.
Just as they were getting ready to go through the door, two drunken bikers came busting through it in the throes of a fist fight, followed by a third, heavily bearded biker who took about two steps through the door and then promptly bent over and started puking all over the place. They all had to jump out of the way to avoid the splash, and when the guy was done, he wiped his lips with his arm and then looked up at them with bleary eyes and chunks of some unidentifiable food hanging from his puke soaked facial hair.
“Evenin’,” he slurred to them, flashing them a somewhat toothless and bizarre looking smile before he staggered off after the two fighting bikers.
“Yes, I believe this place will do quite nicely,” Billy said as he smiled brightly at the others. Everyone laughed as they walked through the door, but as soon as they were inside, the laughter stopped completely. The place was absolutely disgusting and smelled like old booze, cigarettes and body odor. Loud classic rock music played from a beat up jukebox with broken glass in the front, and the place even came complete with a burly looking bartender with an eye patch working behind the bar.
“Holy shit,” Derek said as he looked around the room. “If we weren’t immortal, we’d probably need a couple of penicillin and tetanus shots after we get out of here.”