Welcome to Stan Morris
Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m Stan Morris. I was born in Linwood, California, and was raised in Norwalk and Concord, California. In 1972, I moved to New Mexico. I met a girl at college in 1975, set out to score, succeeded, and have been married to her since 1977. We lived in Texas for five years and then moved to Maui. We have two grown boys, both gainfully employed, thank goodness. My wife had the career and I had the job, so I worked at a variety of those before developing a computer business in the late 1980’s. Now I’m retired and living on a farm. I garden, watch sports, listen to music, read, and write. I like science fiction (Heinlein, Asimov, Weber, Flint), romance (Krentz, Roberts, Morisi, Chesney), mystery (JD Robb, MC Beaton), historical fiction (Lindsey, Stewart), and history books (Shelby Foote, David McCullough, William J. Bernstein.)
Can you tell us a little about your anthology story? I get wild ideas from time to time, and this was one of them. When I read about the anthology, I had just finished writing The Qrim Chieftain. I don’t usually write fantasies, but I have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire, so that may have been the inspiration. You have to understand that at my age, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, so it’s difficult to remember what inspired what.
Why did you decide to become involved with this project? After finishing my book Surviving the Fog-Kathy’s Recollections in February and editing it for three months, I was tired. Still, I like to write, so I’ve been concentrating on short stories that I write just for fun and in genres other than science fiction. When I saw the post about a possible anthology, it seemed like a perfect fit.
Do you think Smashwords is a good site on which to self-publish? Is so why? Did you have any problems? Smashwords was one of the first sites at which I published. This was before Amazon created Kindle Digital Publishing. It was easier to publish at Smashwords in the early days. It’s gotten harder. Still, if you read the styleguide, you can do it, and I would encourage every writer to do so. It is very good practice. The important points to remember are, keep your font size below 18 point, always use title and headings in Word, and make sure you’ve checked ‘no trailing space between paragraphs.’ Doing these will solve almost all problems you have with the meatgrinder.
Do you also publish elsewhere? Nowadays I publish my ‘for sale’ books at Smashwords and KDP. I publish my ‘free’ books all over the net, at any place that will take them.
How long have you been writing and what made you choose the genre in which you write?
I wrote my first two books in 1965. Mercifully (except in my wife’s opinion) they have been lost to posterity. I write mostly in the YA/NA science fiction genre, but all of my books are also romances. Science fiction allows me to use my imagination in ways that other genres don’t. The problem I have with fantasy is the lack of rules. Mysteries are too hard for me. Straight romances are hard to do in YA without ignoring the reality of teenagers and sex. Historical fictions are hard to do without traveling to the places you are writing about.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences?
I am a product of the 1960’s. I grew up in a conservative religious household, and even though I am not religious, those influences remain. I discovered conservative atheism in high school, and that continues to be a strong influence. The Vietnam War continues to be a major influence, but the greatest influence is the Civil Rights movement. The struggle against conservative and liberal racism continues to haunt me. The alarming drift toward a Nanny State abetted by both Democrats and Republicans worries me. I have been inspired by George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert A. Heinlein, Susan B. Anthony, John Locke, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx.
Can you name both a positive experience from your writing and a negative one?
Writing forces me to research different subjects, and that has been a very positive experience. I’ve been forced to learn so many things (but not all of them positive.) The most negative experiences are reviews from young women who object to the relationships in Surviving the Fog between teenagers and adults. I understand their concern, but it suggests a lack of knowledge about the history of relationships. Until the early 1960’s relationships between young teens and adults were common, and it worries me that young women don’t know that. I believe that the rights of women still hang by a historical thread, and not to be aware of that is dangerous for women.
With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well?
I’ve never published in print. Everything I see happening in the world of printed media suggests that it is not necessary. The recent sale of The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos reinforces that opinion.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot?
The most important experience is an in-depth look at that particular world. There is no comparison between the books of JRR Tolkien and the movies. It is very rare that a movie captures the true spirit of a great book.
What advice would you give new writers?
First, purchase a copy of Self Editing for Fiction Writers or something similar. Doing so will put you two steps ahead of those who don’t. Second, start more than one project. You cannot be in the mood to write the same thing every day, but you should try writing almost every day. Having more than one project going will give you more reasons to do so. Finally, don’t try to put in much description while writing your material, but when you are finished, wait a couple of weeks then go back, read the book or story and imagine the surroundings. What do the characters look like? What are they wearing? If they are outside, what is the weather like? Are there plants around, trees? What kind? If the scene is inside, what kind of building are they in? What colors are the walls, the carpets, and what is hanging on the walls?
Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy?
I have a variety of tastes. I always have several books going, and that is even truer now that I have an ereader. I’ve recently finished two scifi anthologies edited by David Weber of Honor Harrington fame, a paranormal romance by Jayne Ann Krentz, a futuristic romance by Nora Roberts, a non-fiction book about the early evolution of humans, and I’m working on a book about the building of Hoover Dam.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself?
Although when my children were very young, I told them that I was a leprechaun, the real truth is that I am an interplanetary, interdimensional, time traveler. The problem is that my memory has gotten so bad, that I forget which dimensions I am allowed to reveal that fact and in which dimensions revealing that fact will get me in a lot of trouble. So, I’ve written the numbers of the forbidden dimensions on my arm in invisible ink. Since in this dimension I can mention… wait… Obviously I’m just kidding about what I just said. Ignore that.
Where can your books be found?
Book Buy Links
Surviving the Fog http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-the-Fog-ebook/dp/B001V9KG4E
Surviving the Fog: Kathy’s recollections http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/314034?ref=ALB123
For more of Stan’s books please see the links below.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/stan-morris
My website: https://sites.google.com/site/stanandrene/home
Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2884264.Stan_Morris