For this month's interview, we have the pleasure of meeting published author, Robert Enders. Robert and I met on one of the many Facebook writing pages after I posted that I was looking for published writers to interview. Like so many other authors, he finds time to balance writing with a full time day job. We both worked in private security, so I found his idea on writing a story about security guards interesting.
So on to the interview!
Short Bio: I have worked in private security since before 9/11. I have put out fires and sent bad people to jail. But more importantly, I have prevented fires from starting and deterred people from illegal activity. When private security is done right, nothing exciting happens. When exciting things do happen, my employer won't allow me to talk about them. Sometimes I write opinion pieces for thelibertyconservative.com , a political website.
Published works: A Long Way From Tipperary (novel), Over the River And Back Through Time (short story included in Novopulp Anthology II).
Current Project: I'm working on a novel about security guards. It's NOT autobiographical. It's meant to be funny. I keep hearing "Write what you know" and private security is what I know.
When did you begin writing?
I've given storytelling various levels of effort since elementary school. I wrote my first story intended for publication in 2005.
Did you receive any special training or attend a school?
I attended public school. I have a BA in political science from Indiana University.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
During quiet days and nights at work when nothing is happening, I imagine bad things happening to my characters.
Do you use any special resources when writing? (other books, computer programs, etc)
I use Scrivener and Write or Die on my computer.
What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?
Remember that fiction is entertainment. Give the reader a reason to read your story instead of watching Netflix.
What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?
Staying focused on one story until it's finished. I have a lot of ideas, but I can only follow through on a few of them.
Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)
I did query agents to represent my novel, but none of them took me up on it. Agents tend to look for something that they can find a publisher for. Often that happens to be anything similar to recent bestsellers and movies. I am open to working with an agent in the future though.
Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?
I did work with an editor. She had me print it out and put it in a 3 ring binder. I also put my novel on my Nook, and read it as if it were a e-book. The story will look different on paper or on a tablet than on a computer monitor, so you'll catch mistakes that you didn't catch when you were writing.
How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).
I self-published it through Kindle Direct Press.
Do you handle your own marketing?
Yes. I wish I didn't have to. I would rather be writing books than selling them.
What is your best marketing tip?
Make sure you have a product that people might want first, then use any opportunity to talk about it. Don't let it be the only thing you talk about, or you can expect to be unfriended on Facebook.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep your expectations modest. Don't treat this as a way to get rich quick. You can write whatever you want to write. But if you are looking to get paid, you are going to have to do a lot of research and work very hard. And even after all that, you might make only $50 on a story that you spent months on. It's not a waste of time if you enjoy doing it, but don't expect it to pay all the bills either. Also, try not to be a jerk because you never know who you will need help from in the future.
Hopefully everyone found this interview as informative as I did. I would like to thank Robert Enders for taking the time to take this interview. Your knowledge, experience and participation was very much appreciated.
Until Next time.