Reading is a series of human emotions. Writing is the gift of sharing these emotions.
1. Are you using a pseudonym? If you are, why did you choose to use a pseudonym and how did you come up with it?
Yes and no. I retain my surname while my first name is Robert so using Bob was an easy leap.
2. When did you first realize you want to be a writer?
I know this is a cliché but it’s true. I’ve actually been writing since I was a kid at school. Short stories mainly and a few articles relating to classic cars.
3. What do you think makes a good story?
Action and adventure. Spontaneity in a story counts a lot for me.
4. How long does it take for you to write a book?
Usually around four months.
5. What inspires you to keep writing?
I enjoy it.
6. Which of your books is the closest to your heart and why?
Accountability because I suffered at the hands of employers who made me feel betrayed. There was also no one for me to turn to for help because the system in which I worked was designed around shielding management. It was a bad time that I’ll never forget.
7. What is your favorite book by another author and why?
Wow, that’s a tough question to someone who has read so many really good books over many years.
8. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Not sure whether this might be considered a quirk but I usually come up with ideas early in the morning and force myself to fire up the computer to get the words down. It might not be a quirk because I think others do the same.
9. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Messing about in my garage with an old Triumph GT6 sports from 1973.
10. Have you experienced writer’s block? If yes, how did you overcome it?
I used to when younger. I overcame it by introducing a totally new character. Usually someone who didn’t add much to the story but proved enough of a distraction to get the ideas flowing again.
11. Does your family support your writing? If yes, how do they support your book(s)?
My wife does support me leaving me to get on with it. My kids think it’s great that I’ve an interest other than the GT6.
12. Do you have any suggestions to help new writers become better at what they do?
Patience, read work by other writers and get yourself plenty of practice. Also discipline yourself to how many words you expect to write daily. I write 1,000 a day come rain or shine. Once you’re in the habit of doing that you’ll be surprised how quickly a new book can be written.
13. At what point do you think someone should call him/herself a writer?
If you’re writing everyday because you enjoy writing then to me you’re a writer.
14. What difference do you see between a writer and an author?
An author sounds like it’s a rank up on a writer. Yet we’re all authors no matter how long a piece of work might be.
15. How do you deal with negative reviews?
They’re painful no matter what some might say. I’ve had my share, many deservedly because I did not give the time to the detail of stories. That’s a massive failing if you really want people to get involved with your characters and storyline.
16. Are you a pantser, or a plotter?
I’d like to claim that I’m a plotter but I’d be lying. All my novels reflect the way I write. By the seat of my pants because it’s the way I enjoy writing and generate spontaneity. I’ve tried plotting but find that I tend to subconsciously indicate who or why things happen when I should really be keeping it from the reader. The only way I can do that is by being a pantser.
17. What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Without doubt the ending. I like to write series and for that reason attempt to leave some of the work open ended for the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks until the next book arrives. It isn’t easy, there’s a definite formula to achieving success and I still don’t know if I’ve got it yet. Hopefully, I’ve improved to a point that allows me to successfully do what’s needed.
18. What advice would you give to a writer working on his/her first book?
It’s worth it. Don’t let others put you off. Show them you can do it. My first published novel took me 10 years and 16 re-writes before it was bought by a London publisher. I hope it doesn’t take anyone as long as that but believe in your story and keep going. You might not earn a fortune but the satisfaction you get is priceless.
19. How do you develop your plot and characters?
The overall plot is already in my head before I begin. The characters comprise a group of individuals who do not automatically fit in with the scenario. Hence there are challenges to overcome for all of them. Readers like to read about challenge because they meet it in their everyday lives. If something worked for me in the past you can bet I’ll include it in a story.
The development of characters is probably the most important aspect of writing fiction. They need to be believable and react in what we all would expect given their backgrounds. It’s very important for a main character to be understood and accepted by the reader as someone worthy of their interest.
20. When did you first call yourself a writer?
I suppose after my first novel was published. Before then I used to write articles and short stories for magazines but never really claimed to be a writer.
21. What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
After you’ve written your work and want it published you need a cover for it. I enjoy making my own covers. That’s my favorite part of publishing.
Advertising is possibly the least favorite part. Reason being is that there are a lot of scam artists out there who take your money claiming they’ll ensure your book will be seen by millions. Navigating between all the offers you get once people spot you is hard work. Getting your book seen online is hard work and takes up plenty of your valuable time. I wish I could tell people there’s an easy way to advertise cheaply, but if there is I haven’t yet found it.
22. What is your latest book? Please tell us something about it.
Crickey I’m so pleased I got asked this question. My latest book is Accountability Two – The Long Road Back. It’s about the same characters in the original Accountability with many of the questions that book left open answered and I hope, capture the interest of readers who enjoy fast paced thrillers.
23. Which part of your latest book was the hardest for you to write?
It’s almost finished but I guess the ending is proving very time consuming and in need of deep thinking.
24. What do you think is the hardest genre for you to write, and what would be the easiest one? Please tell us why.
I don’t think I could ever write erotica while I enjoy writing romance. Erotica tends to make me disbelieve in the situations I create and I usually mess it up. Gave up trying to write it a long time ago.
I enjoy science fiction especially if it has a romantic involvement going on. That’s probably my favorite genre because you can make-believe technology and the impact it has on people. For example my novel Space Village One is about a woman who escapes from an abusive marriage in 2060. Travelling to an orbiting space village where she meets her hero while the horrible husband is not far behind. How I deal with their situation and the overall scenario has to include my vision of the future.
25. Which of your characters can you most relate with and why?
I think I relate to most of the heroes in my novels as they stand for the same values I do.
26. What inspired the idea for your book?
Good question. What triggers the idea for a book? My first book came about while I was a serving police officer . I’d just finished reading Kiss the Girls by James Patterson and figured I’d like to write something that good.
27. How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
Someone interested in escapism with the sci-fi and supernatural novels. Someone interested in UK politics with the political satire novels. Someone who enjoys fast paced thrillers with crime novels.
28. How much research did you need to do for your book?
Each novel is different. I tend to research while writing the initial draft. It’s essential to be as accurate as you can about anything you write that exists. I’d like to think my readers learn from my books as well as lose themselves in the fiction.
29. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The titles of my novels often arrive at the end of writing them. They are usually plucked from a significant event or scenario that I particularly enjoyed.
30. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
31. If you could spend a day with another author, who would it be and why?
32. How do you celebrate when you finish a book?
Take time off. Spend a day not writing.
33. What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?
Doing my own editing. It is something I would not recommend because it has taken me a long time to reach a point whereby I trust myself. I mean literally years! It is also a reason my first novels published by me were not well received. Now though with my work improved I’m noticing more people turning to my work.
34. To readers who haven’t read any of your books, which book would you first recommend and why?
I’d always recommend Space Village One to anyone who hasn’t previously read any of my books because it brings so many topical issues together in a future setting that is itself relatable.
35. What message would you like to say to your readers?
Space Village One
© 2022 Shey Saints