Check out Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.
Q: It’s finally time to edit ... but have you ever discovered that in your first edit, the story changes drastically? A character is eliminated? Or the genre stretched into something you hadn't originally intended?
Oh yeah. That happens. In my novel, Deadly Games! a comment by the antagonist to the protagonist made it clear that he was responsible for something that I had considered a minor plot point beforehand. That comment made it necessary to go back and make adjustments on the next draft. It also made a throwaway character much more important to the overall story.
Q: Bobby, every time I read the name of your book I think of the Santana song. Tell me it was playing while you were writing or the universe will explode.
It was. There's a scene in Evil Ways that takes place in a bar where the house band is playing classic rock tunes. One of the characters in the novel is a singer who gets called up on stage to play with the band. The three songs they played were the next three songs that came on the radio. One of those was Evil Ways and I thought to myself that it would make a good title so I used it as a placeholder title until I could come up with something better, but I never could come up with a title I liked better so it stuck.
My current in process work is “Barefoot Bones” for Fight Card Books. In it, the title character, a young boy named James “Bones” Mason meets “Old Man Winters,” an older gentleman who teaches him how to protect himself when the local bullies come after him, as they so often do. Set in 1941 through 1951, we see how this relationship sticks with Bones even when he’s drafted to Korea.
Q: Have you ever worked for Marvel?
Nope. I pitched a few things their way over the years, but they have not been interested in my work. I would like to work for Marvel. They have a wonderful cast of characters that I think I would enjoy writing.
|Time Travel, you say?|
WOW. I have absolutely no idea. Maybe, revisit my first visit to San Diego, Los Angeles, or New York. Those were fun experiences.
Q: Why weren’t you at San Diego Comic Con this year?
Money. I love conventions, but they are expensive. There’s travel, hotel, food, drink, parking, cab fare, etc. And that’s before you’ve bought a single thing. Most conventions run three days. San Diego Comic Con runs five days. Living in Georgia, that adds airfare. It’s just more than I could afford to spend and since I wouldn’t have a table out there I wouldn’t be able make any money to help recoup that cost. I’m planning to get out there next year. There is a lot of networking I can do as an author out there.
My three favorite Star Trek movies are Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and Star Trek: First Contact. As for favorite Star Trek TV series, that’s easily Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Hands down, my favorite of the Treks.
Q: I love cover art for Frontier. Who is the artist?
The cover art for Frontier is by the insanely talented Jeff Austin. The interior art is by me and Jeff. He makes my meager scratches look good.
Good question. Sure, healthy competition is a good thing, but I do not see other authors as the enemy. I want other authors to be successful. I want to be successful. I try to help out other authors, as I would hope they would me if the opportunity arises. Let’s all be successful together, I say.
Q: Are you a perpetual learner? Do you love to take writing classes and workshops to improve your craft? ... Or are you the kind of person who likes to learn new and different things? Things that might help you with your stories? Things like cooking or skydiving or belly dancing?
Q: What did you do this weekend?
Worked. I really didn't get out except for a quick run to the post office on Saturday. Beyond that I spent the weekend in front of the keyboard writing. It looks like my week is going to be much the same. Not a complaint. Thankfully, I love what I do. I also posted
Either The River Wild and The Devil Wears Prada.
Q: Do any of your characters die in your novel? If so, how?
Oh yeah. I do not shy away from killing off a character if the story calls for it. Someone once pointed out to me that someone dies in every story I write. I went back and checked and they were right. Since then I’ve managed to tell a few stories where no one dies. My thrillers like Evil Ways and Deadly Games! usually involved death in some form or fashion. It’s a fun exercise trying to come up with interesting ways to kill off characters.
Q: If you had $1000 for completely frivolous use, how would you spend it? No debts, no bills, no savings. Go.
My comic, book, and DVD collection would become pretty awesome.
Q: What is your favorite Time Travel show not called Doctor Who?
Seven Days. I wish someone would hurry up and put it out on DVD.
Q: What is your favorite espionage series on television? Series, mini-series, whatever -- anything that uses the basics of spycraft and intelligence gathering.
Q: Are you a desk eater? I mean, do you eat your meals while writing, leave crumbs in the keyboard and risk soda spills, all in the effort to keep the muse alive and buzzing? Or do you take a real break and eat your meals at a table like normal people?
It depends. I usually eat lunch at my desk, but I step away from the desk for my evening meal.
Q: Not really a question, but a Facebook author game.
From page 7 of my upcoming Fight Card Books release, "Barefoot Bones" that I sent to my editor yesterday:
Old Man Winters-- most people, including me at that point, didn’t know his first name so they called him old man, but only behind his back or from a safe distance-- was easily over six feet tall despite the slight hunch in his back. His muscles bulged against the sun-faded too small shirt he wore. He couldn’t even button it up all the way. He was a black man-- the only one I’d ever met by that time-- with white hair curled up so tight it didn’t sway in a breeze. He walked with a limp and always carried a walking stick he had carved out of the knottiest piece of old pine you’d ever seen. His left eye was chalky white, his vision all but gone from an incident that had left him with a scar over that same eye, although that didn’t seem to slow him down any as far as I could tell. What was really scary about Old Man Winters was his voice, a deep husky growl that could instill fear in even the bravest bully. I bet he didn’t have to worry about guys like Bobby Jackson pushing him around. No, sir. Old Man Winters never had to worry about being bullied about.
And that’ll do it for this round, I think. Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer? Post them here as a comment or send them along to email@example.com and I’ll answer them in a future installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff...
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