I’m so excited today! I went out on a limb (for me, anyway) and asked a few authors that I admire and ‘know’ via FB if I could interview them. I’ve had some very gracious and enthusiastic replies, so my next few blogs should be interesting! Before we get to my guest today, however, I few tidbits to share.
Thanks to many of you, ‘Daughter of Hauk’ has been voted the Best SciFi/Fantasy Book of 2012 via the Solstice Publishing poll! I also came in second to the very talented Jessica Tornese for Author of the Year! Squeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, and I finished the first, very rough, draft to the sequel of ‘Daughter of Hauk’. It’s off with my crit partners/beta readers at last. Taking a few days off to recharge, then I’ll be diving into commentary as it trickles back to me as well as some new writing.
On to the interview! Today, we have the wonderfully talented Robert Gregory Browne with us! The author of seven thrillers (“Down Among the Dead Men” made me a fan, “Trial Junkies” made me a rabid one), he’s also worked in the film industry. His two passions in life beyond writing: coffee and music! Please give him a warm welcome!
1. The all important question everyone always wants to know: What are you working on now?
I’m currently trying to finish the follow-up to TRIAL JUNKIES, book two in the series, which is called NEGLIGENCE. I’ll also be putting the finishing touches on a thriller called POE, which is a collaboration between myself and Brett Battles and the first book in a series that launches in March of this year.
2. How does writing scripts differ than novels? Does your experience in one help with the other?
Scripts are all external, meaning you are only given story information based on what you see and hear on screen. With novels the author and the reader can get inside a character’s head and know exactly what he’s thinking and feeling. This can only be implied in screenplays, so you have to be careful to set up the right visual clues to get your message across.
The experience of writing screenplays gave me a streamlined approach to plot and structure which carries over to some extent to my books. So, yes, having that experience has been very helpful.
3. A normal assumption by the general population is that all authors are set for life after their first contract. What would you tell a new writer who thinks this way?
A new writer would laugh after he got over the initial shock of realizing that selling a book does not necessarily mean you can make a living at it. I wrote at night for several years before I was successful enough to quit my day job. It’s kind of a shame, because you’d think that since authors are what keep an entire industry afloat, they’d get the lion’s share of the profit. Unfortunately, that isn’t true in the traditional publishing world. The middlemen make most of the money.
What I’d tell that writer is hang in there. If you’re lucky, it gets better.
4. Do you have a set schedule for writing each day? Or are there times where you need just one more cup of coffee?
I’m usually up by six or so, drinking coffee at my desk by seven. I spend an hour cruising the web, reading and responding to email, doing the Facebook thing. Then around eight a.m. I start writing, usually reviewing what I wrote the day before, then moving on. And yes, sometimes I sneak in a second cup before starting.
Then, of course, there are days where distractions abound and I get very little done.
5. What’s your favorite coffee, and how do you take it?
I’ve found after years of experimenting that I prefer a Jamaican Blue Mountain blend with cream and sugar. Yeah, I know, “real” coffee drinkers don’t use cream and sugar. So sue me.
6. How much research goes into your books?
That depends on the book. For the book I did a couple years ago, THE PARADISE PROPHECY, I did a boatload of research, because the story revolved around Paradise Lost and missing documents and historical events that I wanted to stay as true as possible to. For my Trial Junkies books, I rely on my experience working in the legal profession (many, many, many years ago), and attorney friends who are willing to answer my stupid questions. I do a lot of research on the fly, however. I’ll be writing, discover that I need to do a spot of research, and start hitting the web.
7. What’s something about yourself that fans don’t expect when they meet you?
I’m much more beautiful in person than I am in photographs. The camera just doesn’t capture my rock hard abs and my perfectly sculpted arms and my flawless, well-toned skin. For some reason photos make me look fat and unappealing. I just don’t get it.
8. If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?
9. At least one of your novels has become a television series. Which one, and how involved in the process of creating the show were you?
Well, it wasn’t quite a television series. What it was is a television “pilot,” which CBS produced in hopes of turning it into a series. The pilot is usually the first episode you see, and if everyone loves it, they give the go ahead to make more episodes. Unfortunately, during that particular “pilot season,” everyone loved a couple other shows more than they loved THE LINE (aka Kiss Her Goodbye), and at the last minute, CBS decided not to go to series.
It was heartbreaking, but such is life in Hollywood. As for my involvement, my only contribution was the book. Although I have to say that the screenwriter stuck very close to the storyline and even used dialogue and narrative straight from the book. He told me he considered me a silent collaborator, which was nice of him to say. They did invite me to the set to watch the filming and I have to tell you that was pretty exciting.
10. With the advent of self-publishing and indie publishers gaining traction, what marketing advice can you give a new author who has no idea how to sell their book?
I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published (and I’ve been both), selling books is such a crapshoot that nobody can really tell you how to do it. We all do the social networks, hoping that helps, but nobody knows. Even the Big Six publishers. What I DO know is that word of mouth is the best way to sell books and I was lucky enough to get a lot of that with my first indie project, TRIAL JUNKIES.
11. Is there a genre you want to write in or enjoy more than others? One you’d never write, no matter how much you were asked?
I think the only genre I’d avoid is probably science fiction. Not because I don’t enjoy reading it, but because I have a feeling I’d simply wind up rehashing better writers’ ideas and I have no desire to do that. I mean, I guess, we all do it to some extent—there’s really nothing new—but there’s something about the idea of writing science fiction that’s a bit intimidating to me.
Never say never, however. I had a bit of time travel in one book, so maybe that qualifies…
Thanks for stopping by, Robert!