Q & A — Robert K. Swisher Jr.

q & a

Please welcome Robert to my blog this Friday!!

*****

rksSo, what have you written?
I have written over thirty novels of which fourteen have been published by small presses and five I have indied.  Four I threw away.  Three of my traditional novels have also been released as e books.  When I started writing in 1967 I wrote poetry and placed many with literary presses. I then wrote short stories and also placed many with small presses.  I turned to novels.  My novels range from historical fiction, contemporary, young adult, mysteries and humor.  I have also written for newspapers and several magazines.  Many of my novels have been reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and many others.  I should mention I did not go to college.
Where can you buy or see them?
The small press books are on all the book sights.  My indie novels I did through KDP and are on Amazon and other sites that stole them.  I think a new writer should go with KDP, it’s free, has the biggest market share, and a great learning process.  You can see all my books on my Author Page which links to Amazon.  Side note – I have had good luck with free days, sales after, and countdown and only spent 35 dollars for promo.
What are you working on this minute?
I have three completed novels that are being edited. One, HOPE, is the story of the residents of an old folks home that learn how to fly. Two, THE LONELY COWBOY, the story of a man’s life that he tells to his horse as he is riding around a ranch.  Three, HOW BRIDGE MCCOY LEARNED HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU, is the story of a writer that walks two steps forward and one back, cannot stand change, and when he tries to tell the lady he has fallen in love with he loves her all he can say is I, I, I, Lo, Lo, Lo, and he starts to choke.  It is a funny snide look at modern life filled with unique character.  One of my favorites is a man that walks around town wearing a billboard that states -THERE IS ONLY SIX BILLIONS YEARS LEFT FOR THE WORLD – which give or tale a billion years or so is true but it makes all the people in town paranoid.  And, I am half way through a novel titled VENT, reading the book the reader has to fill in blanks and answer questions,
When did you decide to become a writer?
After I got out of the army there was nothing else I wanted to do.  I have had more odd jobs than I can remember.  I also embrace poverty.
Where do your ideas come from?
My early novels were based on man’s interaction with the land around him.  My latest ideas come from little green men that live on the far side of the moon.  I normally have a dozen ideas swimming around in my head and when I think I can finish one off I go.
Do you work from and outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
I story board my books as I go.  I put sketch paper on the wall and draw out the novel as it progresses.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Six months to a year.  Then a year or more to keep working on them.  Some novels it has taken three or four years.  There is no norm.  I normally work on two books at a time.
If some of your books are part of a series tells us about it.
I wrote the Bob Roosevelt Mystery Series for fun and put it out on KDP.  All of my earlier work is serious.  I had an idea in my head about a funny mystery series and decided to do it.  Roosevelt is trying to find is center and a soul mate but all he ever finds is murder.  To top it off he is saddled by a not so nice guardian angel named Pea Brain that thinks Roosevelt is boring. The books, in order are titled, A BUCKET FULL OF LIES, TROUT FISHING FOR BODIES, DOUBLE BOGEY MURDER, and, FROGS DON’T CROAK IN THE WINTER.  They have received good reviews.  For new indie writers I think a series is easier to promote.  If you can get some good reviews on the first one you can get sales on the others.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers.
Don’t give up.  Write what you want.  Don’t listen to others about your ideas.  My first novel, THE LAND, was rejected 400 times before being picked up by a small press, it was then reviewed by all the big boys, optioned, and is still in print and released as an e book – it led to the publication of seven more books.
What are your thoughts on good and bad reviews.
You will get them both – don’t fret.  There is an old saying – any review is a good review – some people will read a book after reading a bad review merely to see if they agree or disagree.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writers block.
Beer always helped me…don’t worry…it will pass…try writing anything, if you don’t like it toss it, the good ideas will return, sometimes they need a vacation.
Why do you think that other well written books don’t sell?
Having been in this writing game for 45 years I have seen good books sell, bad books sell, and on and on.  I do not believe in destiny.  I think it boils down to hard work and luck.  If you keep hammering at the door your chances get better.  Write a book, promote it for awhile and then move on and write another book.  The indie game has opened up a whole new world for writers
but both traditional and indie takes promotion.  Use the free sites unless you are rich.  Keep at it, don’t quit – life all ends up the same anyway. The best to all of you – good luck with your writing.
*****
You can follow Robert on any one of these fine places on the internet!
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