5/25/15

Clabe Polk Day 1

Interview with Clabe Polk

When did you first start writing?
Actually, I started writing in college. I wrote short stories and
poetry but none of that was ever submitted for publication.
During my career, I wrote literally thousands of all kind of
documents, including two books, a textbook and a field
handbook and many training courses. The most interesting
thing I ever wrote then was the text to a educational comic
book that was used nationally in the first National
Environmental Crime Prevention Week. It was fun to invent
comic characters for a good cause. However, even though I
have been a life long reader, I didn't start writing fiction in earnest until a couple of years
ago...long after I'd retired from environmental protection and my daughters were safely in
college.

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always loved to read. I've always wanted to write. Particularly, I've always wanted to write
books that I would want to read!

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is called "Schism" and is part of the Detective Mike Eiser Series. It is available
for preorder and will be released June 1st. Schism explores what happens when the leader of a
criminal youth gang tries strong armed tactics to recruit a popular teenager in a small Georgia
town, in the midst of several other criminal activities. The action revolves around a survivor
single mother hard pressed to protect her sons who are growing up and are being subjected to
criminal influences. The town isn't used to this level of criminal action, and tough decisions have
to be made. Eventually, the teenager's friends and the Sheriff's Office have to bring the situation
to a head and resolve it.

"Schism" is my first full length novel. My other books I term "short fiction" because they are a
combination of short stories and short novelettes. They comprise the beginnings of three series,
The Detective Mike Eiser Series, The Adventures of Harry Morgan Series and the Mark of the
Beast Series.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I've seen and done a lot of different things in my life. Authors need life experiences in order to
have enough depth to write convincingly and to have the imagination to go into different
directions than many others could go. Besides actual life experience, I love to read and I have
used my imagination in every way I could conceive. To me, nothing in the world happens unless
it is someone's thought first...thought gives rise to action which gives rise to creation. Writing to
me is communicating that creative visualization,that thought, in a form where it can be imagined
by others as well...essentially, as a means to share the creativity of our imaginations. Writing is
the joy of creative visualization expressed.

What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I know that's easy to say, but creative people rely on their fans to support them and
to buy their products, but more importantly, fans are the major source of encouragement to keep
on writing. You reach a point where you feel like if you stop what you're doing that you are
going to let everyone down, and that's not a good feeling. But, I'm just getting started so that's
not an issue for me. So, the more fans the better! I appreciate every one of them.

What are you working on next?

Well, my second Detective Mike Eiser novel is being written now. It's called "Angelica". It's
about a woman with north Georgia roots who migrated to Las Vegas and married a mobster.
After her husband was killed in a car accident, she returned to Georgia and established a life,
Now, its eleven years later and her former life is back to haunt her in the form of a hit man...and
she needs a little help from her friends.
Later...well, we'll see. Perhaps a Harry Morgan Series novel.

Who are your favorite authors?
Seriously? They're too numerous to count! My favorite authors range in breadth from Edgar
Allen Poe to Mark Twain, to John LeCarre, to Robert Ludlum to David Balducci and John
Grisham, and more recently to George Wier, Scott William Carter, Michael Grumley and Lee
Child and many other mystery and action writers. From there to science fiction with classics by
Andre Norton, Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Robert Silverburg and more recently, any
number of modern science fiction writers. I read a lot, and I look for quality story lines.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

Living...I'm happily married and have a wonderful family! I thank God every day that I have the
ability to get out of bed to write or to do any of the one thousand and one things I need to do
every day. I'm a naturally self-motivated person who has little problem focusing on the task at
hand...sometimes to the detriment of other tasks.

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Most of my time gets spent writing, reviewing, promoting, reading, working around the house,
spending time with my family and going to college tennis matches.

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually search for a genre and then browse through the books listed for a story line that looks
interesting. Occaisonally, when I find an interesting series, I'll stick with it until I finish it.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, I don't. I know it was back in high school or early college and all of that writing has been
lost now. My current writing actually began as an attempt at screenwriting a couple of years ago.
Our family has a rather unique story and I wrote a draft feature length screen play for the first
part of our story, with the intention of writing the a second script to go with it. Then, I put them
on the shelf for a while and started writing short stories and novelettes. Now, I've moved to
novels.

What is your writing process?
Process? I have an idea. I visualize how that idea might play out in real life trying to be as
realistic as possible. I don't have any super-hero characters, and no extraordinary help from
sources like James Bond's famous friend 'Q'. So, I try to make my scenarios believable. I
visualize those scenarios play by play and type them down as they occur in my mind, editing and
spell-checking as I go. Finally, I give the text a final spell checking, then a careful line by line
reading watching for sentence structure, spacing, correct punctuation, and incorrect words, etc.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, I'm afraid I don't. I learned to read quite early in elementary school and I have little memory
of those times. However, I do remember the excitement of being able to go to the school library
and check out books to read at a very young age. I remember being fascinated with undersea
adventures that divers. I kept the love of SCUBA diving and snorkeling from those early books
long into adulthood.

How do you approach cover design?
So far, I design my own covers. I try to think of a theme that dramatically summarizes the story
or some part of the story while establishing a mood or an emotion. When I have an idea in mind,
I begin to look for art that can fulfill that idea. Then, I go to work to bring it alive as a cover.

What do you read for pleasure?
Surprise! I read mystery action adventure or science fiction for pleasure. I have been a lifelong
lover of both genre, and I have been known to read fifty to sixty books a year. I don't do that
anymore, because now I use that time to write and do other things.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have two Kindles, an older Kindle keyboard I don't use much anymore and a Kindle Fire 8.9
that I use to death!

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Truthfully, I'm still looking for effective book marketing techniques. Right now, I'm trying a
little bit of everything.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a place called Lutz, Florida, just on the north side of Tampa. It was country back
then, we had a farm, most of my relatives had farms or were country people. I grew up and
graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Marine Zoology and an active
interest in natural science, especially toxicology, which is how I wound up completing a
successful thirty-seven year career in environmental protection, including both civil and criminal
enforcement and chemical emergency response. I was also an active SCUBA diver, hunter,
fisherman, boater, sailor and gun enthusiast all of which influence my writing.

Describe your desk
Cluttered. Really, there's a method to my madness and I know where everything is...at least that's
the story I tell my wife, and I'm sticking to it!

Why did you become a writer?
Throughout my career I had to write literally millions of words of non-fiction. I wondered what
it would be like to write fiction; to be able to use your imagination and communicate its contents
to a reader in a way that he would be interested...even enthralled. As they say, nothing ventured,
nothing gained...But I sincerely hope my readers like the venture!

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