Lucy Turns Pages: Read, Write, Publish, Promote

Lucy Turns Pages: Author Interview: R. G. Roberts

Author Interview: R. G. Roberts

1. Please introduce yourself (who are you, what genre/s do you write in, what books do you have out)

R.G. Roberts. I write military sci-fi/thrillers, epic fantasy, and alternate history. In ebook/paperback, I have the following published:

Military SF:
Before the Storm (novella)
Cardinal Virtues (releases 23 Feb)

Alternate History:
Against the Wind (novelette)

On Kindle Vella:
Night Rider (epic fantasy)
War of the Submarine (military SF)
Caesar’s Command (alternate history)

2. What are your favourite books?

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
David Weber’s Honor Harrington Series
Collen McCullough’s Master of Rome series
The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan

3. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Sometime around the age of ten. Maybe earlier. I remember very happily choosing “write a story” over “draw a picture” in Kindergarten many times.

4. What is your favourite part of the writing process? What is your least favourite and how do you get through it?

My favorite part is when all the random plot strings start coming together. I’m a bit of a pantser (I call myself a plantser, because I do a little, but not a lot, of planning), so I don’t know how all the plot threads will weave together until they do. I throw them out there and make it work as the story unfolds. Usually, around midway through the story, magic starts to happen, and it’s the best feeling.

My least favorite part is probably around chapters 6-15 or so of a first book in a series. Beginnings are easy—I can usually knock those out pretty fast. But then I run into the place where I have to show enough of the world for it to make sense but not too much to bore the reader, and I’m still building things and characters, and I can’t afford to go too fast.

5. What is your writing routine?

I wish I had one! Right now, my real life job is super busy, so I write where I can, when I can—including in breaks at work, late at night, and while watching TV. I try to write at least a chapter a week, though. It helps that I am a pretty fast writer, so worst comes to worst, I can buckle down and punch one out in a few hours over the weekend.

6. How do you balance writing (and everything else to do with it) with the rest of your life?

I try to carve out a few evenings a week for writing, but it doesn’t always work. My wife is wonderfully supportive.

7. What inspires you? How do you beat writers block?

I find inspiration in all kinds of weird places—from music to movies to reading and sometimes just from feelings. I get a lot of great ideas in the shower. As for writers block, the only way I’ve ever found to beat it is just to keep writing. If I’ve hit a wall, I frequently swap to handwriting voice typing; sometimes that gets the creative juices going. Other times, I switch to a different project. Anything to make the muse happy.

8. How do you keep consistent/write a lot?

Practice, practice, practice. The more you write, the faster you get at it, so the less time you need. This is particularly important to me, because I’m a manager in my day job, and that takes up a lot of time and mental energy.

9. Does anyone read or edit your work before publication? If so, how did you find them?

My wife is the best beta ever. I actually met her through writing. She’s my sanity check and the person who knows my complicated universes as well as I do. I also use ProWritingAid before publishing to KindleVella. Everything gets pro-edited before anything goes to ebook/paperback, too, though I’m still in search of the “perfect” editor for my multi-genre self. I’m trying out my second one now.

10. Can we have a sneaky look at your future plans?

War of the Submarine is going to be a large series—I think 8-10 books, maybe more.

Night Rider will also be big, but don’t ask me to put a number on it. I honestly have no idea. I just know that there’s another huge plotline after this one.

I have another epic fantasy universe waiting in the wings for either NR or WOS to be done. Souls is a mashup of Arthurian mythology and Beauty and the Beast, and I can’t wait to play in it.

11. Finally, what advice would you give to other writers (inspiring, those publishing and those published)?

Research the market and decide what you want out of it. I wanted to be trade published for years because I was convinced that was the only way to go. But the market is changing, and I’m okay with changing with it. Would I love to be trade published? Sure. But being a professional indie publisher is very much a possibility these days. It’s a ton of work, but you can put out books every bit as professional as trade published works. There’s nothing wrong with trade publishing, of course—it all depends on what you want! Whatever path you’ve decided to follow, grab it with both hands and don’t quit writing.


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