Saturday 1st March 2014
Bookish Banter is proud to present today’s Featured Author…
Robert K. Swisher Jr.
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:
My name is Robert K. Swisher Jr. During my writing career 14 of my novels have been released by traditional publishers and 5 I have indied. During this time I have held around 3,000 part time jobs. At one time to support my writing I thought about a life of crime but it is too complicated.
LOL That’s the good thing about being a writer – at least you can commit the crimes in your books and get away with it!
WHERE DO YOU CONSIDER HOME?
I was raised in the army and never had what one calls a true home. Since I got out of the army I have spent the majority of my time in New Mexico. It is a funky state with no real identity but tries to consider itself artsy. What ever artsy means I have never really figured out. But it sounds good. Seriously, I like the west, what little freedom is left in the world can still be found in a few isolated places in the west.
You look like you belong in the west my friend – I’m lovin’ your cool, laid back cowboy style!
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE IN OR DO YOU WRITE DIFFERENT GENRES?
My traditionally published novels range from historical fiction, contemporary, young adult, to poetry. Most of them were based on the theme of the vanishing west. They received reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and many others. One was optioned for several years. I indied a four book humorous mystery series – Bob Roosevelt and his snide guardian angel, and a funny golf book. So basically I have written all kinds of things.
The sign of a born writer – when you just got to write and whatever comes out, comes out…
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR LATEST WORK?
Within a month I am putting out a novel called HOPE – it’s the story of an old folks home and one of the residents, that can fly. I am in the process of editing HOW BRIDGE MCCOY LEARNED HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU – a love story about a guy that walks two steps forward and then one back, hates change, and when he tries to tell the girl he loves that he loves her all he can get out is I, I, I, Lo, Lo, Lo, and then he starts to choke like there is a meatball stuck in his throat. I hope to release it within 3 months. I am also half way through a book titled Vent – it is a reader participation book which would take me about three days to explain so hopefully you will look for it. I can tell you the reader has to have a pencil or pen when they read the book.
I guess many could relate to learning how to say I love you, I hope he gets to say it and keeps his lover. I love the sound of the interactive story as my book The Realm of the Purple Dragon has an interactive element to it also. Good luck with it and come back and let us know when it’s published so we can feature it for you.
DO YOU HAVE A BOOK TRAILER?
No….to go against the grain I think they are not worth the time…the indie game is based on reviews…but if you like them go for it.
I guess they can be fun but they take a bit of time and energy to produce.DO YOU NEED A LOT OF RESEARCH?
The only research I need for my fiction is wondering where some of the stuff I write comes from.
From the dark recesses my friend! LOL Who knows where writers get their imaginations from – I know mine’s pretty odd! 😀
WHAT IS IT THAT DRAWS YOU TO WRITING IN GENERAL?
I think writers are like moths that are drawn to burning lights…we really don’t know why we have to write we only know we have to.
Very true! 😀
DO YOU HAVE A DETAILED STRATEGY WHEN PLANNING A BOOK?
Once I start I story board the book. But, I normally have the ending figured out, and just have to fill in all the middle stuff…you know..nouns, adverbs, adjectives, things like that…O yes, and characters.
So basically you just get an idea and write it… yup! That’ll do it!
HOW DO YOU TACKLE THE EDITING PROCESS?
Gin helps a lot, a proof reader, more gin, an editor, more gin, then my wife reads it, and still there seems to be something, in which case dark beer helps. I haven’t been able to get a hang of this perfect thing yet and I hate it when some one says to me, “you know on page 247 of that 500 page book you spelled there for their…”all I want to say is, “did you understand what I said?” “If so, get over it….”
I absolutely understand – time, patience, a little help and support, some liquid fuel and knowing when to say ‘I have done enough!’ 😉
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY?
Good contracts, bad contracts…I like the indie world, your chances are all the same. It’s a tough game. Was and always will be. When I started writing in 1967 I heard the same things people are saying now – show don’t tell (sorry I have seen books become hits written both ways) word count (sorry some big books do well, some little books do well) it’s endless. Plus it all goes in a circle, mysteries are in, then out, talking ducks are in then out, zombies are in then out, write what you want and you might get lucky. Side note – romances are always in because most people are lonely.
A very philosophical answer from a seasoned writer who has seen it all and has the scars to show for it…lesson learnt!
IS YOUR BOOK A PART OF A SERIES?
Only the mysteries.
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?
I am not really the hero type but for older writers I liked Michner, Taylor Caldwell, Ray Bradbury.
I read most everything – chick lit, mysteries, westerns, science fiction, etc. I read to see how people string their words. For the modern writers I like Maria Duenas, Marquez, and Pynchon.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR SPARE TIME?
Golf. It is as futile as writing and everyone has an opinion on how it should be done.
That is very true – everyone also has their own style – and I like yours!
DO YOU HAVE ANY WRITING GROUPS THAT ENCOURAGE YOU AND DO YOU GET POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM YOUR READERS?
I have never belonged to a writing group where you go to meetings and discuss each other’s work. I belong to a lot of groups on FB but must say I normally only comment on a few things. I received a lot of feedback from my earlier novels but most of the feedback from the indie books are in the form of reviews.
Well reviews are the best kind of feedback to get I guess!
HAVE YOU ANY TIPS FOR BUDDING AUTHORS?
Follow your own head, don’t listen to too much advice..editors edit, writers write, there is a big difference. The main secret to writing is doing it. I taught a course called THE REALITIES OF WRITING – the first thing I told them was I can’t teach you how to write, only you can do that. I can teach you to write…lesson one..put your rear in the chair and start..now that you started finish it…
For all you writers out there good luck. I wish you the best.
Good advice Robert! I like that, so basically Bookish Banter wannabe writers…sit down, write and finish! 😉
LAST BUT NOT LEAST LINKS AND A REQUEST. I have always dreamed of writing a book in the islands so if one of you would buy 1,000,000 copies of the book of your choice or a combination OF ALL OF THEM I will write you from the beach and tell you that island living really is better for you..something about wearing shorts all year long and drinks with little umbrellas in them can get my creative juices flowing..
I’m with you there Robert – OK guys let’s thank Mr Swisher for his words of writing wisdom and click on his Author Central Amazon page and buy his books!
Thanks for taking the time to pop in here at the Bookish Banter Robert.
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Catch up with Robert on Goodreads