For those of you who might’ve missed it, the super-witty Richard Flores IV interviewed me last week on his website, the Flores Factor. Here’s the link to the original interview:
Richard is the author of the science fiction novels, Dissolution of Peace, Volition Agent, and Broken Trust, as well as Editor-in-Chief of Plasma Frequency. He offered me an array of totally compelling questions, but because I tend to ramble on and on and on (and on (and on)), a few of my answers were cut from the final interview. So, I’m happy to present for you here the rest of the interview.
And if you’re not following Richard on Twitter (@Richard_Flores4), you’re really missing out on some insightful and fun tweets. Check him out!
And without further blathering . . .
Richard Flores IV: When did you start writing and what made you start?
Rob E. Boley: I first started writing during high school. My sophomore year, our English teacher, Julie Johnson, gave us a homework assignment in which we had to craft metaphors for various objects, places, or concepts. The next day, she called on us randomly to read some of ours. She liked mine so much that she asked me to read most of them to the class. That’s when I really knew I had a knack for this. For many years, I mostly wrote poetry. After my daughter was born in 2005, it was like a switch was flipped somewhere in my warped little brain. Suddenly, I had stories to tell. I’ve been writing fiction ever since.
RF: Did you learn anything about yourself or your writing while working on this book?
REB: THAT RISEN SNOW went through at least three or four major revisions, so it’s fair to say I learned a whole lot about writing along the way. I’d say the two biggest lessons I learned were: 1) to start the story when the action commences, and let the backstory come later; and 2) that the protagonist’s inner conflict is every bit as important as his outer conflict.
RF: If you had to pick one trait that makes you a better writer, what would it be?
REB: Easy. That’d be my anxiousness. I tend to carry around a mild bit of anxiety every day, so I’m always seeing the worst possibility in most situations. This sucks for everyday living, but it’s great for writing, because no matter how tense a scene is, I’m always able to come up with something to make it even worse for my poor characters. And actually, fiction writing becomes somewhat therapeutic, because when I’m working on a story, my mind is occupied with terrible things happening to my characters, as opposed to awful things that could be happening to me. So, everyone wins! Except for my characters. They’re screwed.
RF: When you are not writing, what are you doing?
REB: Well, by day I work at my alma mater, Wright State University, in the fundraising department doing data analytics and research. It’s a great job and I’m fortunate to work with a fun team of people. And best of all, while my job requires creativity, it apparently uses a completely different part of my brain than my writing. On the evenings or weekends, I spend a lot of time with my daughter. We like to play card games, dice games, and board games. We wrestle. Sometimes we go exploring in nature. We’ve been watching a lot of Regular Show lately. I do a lot of the same stuff with my adult friends, but with more swearing and drinking (and less wrestling).
RF: What is your favorite quote?
REB: “If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.”—Douglas Adams. Some people are do-ers, and some are thinkers. I’m totally a do-er. I’d rather play with the cat than take it apart.
RF: What secrets would you share with aspiring authors?
REB: I think the most important thing new writers need to know is this: You write in solitude but you publish in solidarity. So, if you want to see your stories in print, you need to befriend other writers. Go to writing conferences. Don’t go to “network,” because that’s irritating, but be sociable. Make friends. These are people who can be your beta readers, write blurbs for you, open doors for you, listen to you while you vent, and celebrate your successes. In turn, you should be prepared to do all those same things for them.
Again, a big THANK YOU to Richard Flores IV for the interview! Once more, he can be found at: