Name Robert Collins
Where are you from: the Wichita, Kansas area
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Not much to say, except that I write science fiction and fantasy. I used to write Kansas history as well, but that work is on the long-term back-burner.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ll be slowing down my release schedule a bit, but I am putting new works in my “Defender” series this year. Every 5 stories in the series will be out as a print volume. I’m moving to put out every 10 stories as an ebook collection.
Otherwise, I have some science fiction novellas that will be coming out after putting back their releases for some time. I also plan to publish my second steampunk mystery story later this year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I took an interest in writing in junior high. It wasn’t until a few years after I graduated from high school that I started writing original stories and not fan fiction.
As to why, I was caught by a book, “Isaac Asimov on Science Fiction,” an essay collection. Some of the essays were on writing, and something in those essays struck a chord with me. I think now it resonated because I was an imaginative child. Writing was a way for me to take that imagination and do something positive and creative with it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got interested in writing. I considered myself a pro when I started writing my own short stories and submitting them to publishers.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Now that I think about it, I have a few “first books.” The first novel I wrote would, after a number of revisions, become “Lisa’s Way,” my second published novel. My first published novel was “Expert Assistance,” but that idea came later. My first published book was a travel booklet.
I have lots of ideas for books. In fact, I plan to pause my current schedule sometime this spring to work on more ideas; I think one could become the first full-length novel I’ve written in some time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Sparse. One of Mark Twain’s opinions on writing still resonates with me: “Eschew surplusage.”
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I used to have to do some research travel for my Kansas history works, mainly to the state historical society in Topeka. Now I only travel to do the odd science fiction convention, to try to sell my books to readers.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
One thing I realized several years ago was that, if I waited for inspiration to strike, I wouldn’t write much for days, even weeks. I also realized that if I tried to write all day, not only would I burn myself out, but I wasn’t allowing for acceptable interruptions (like research or promotional events.
In 2001 I set myself a schedule. Write 4 pages a day, six days a week. Research and promotion were okay, but needed to be noted. Errands were okay, but had to be noted as “0.” The schedule has evolved over the years. It’s now write 4 pages per writing session; two sessions a day, Monday through Friday (morning and afternoon), and one morning session on Saturdays.
I’ve found that the schedule helps my productivity. I have goals that are reasonable. I get into the habit of writing, which helps get projects completed. I don’t burn myself out, and I usually feel ready to write when it’s time for a session to start.
The other advice I give is it helps to have more than one project to work on at a time. Having multiple story ideas has helped me. When I’ve felt blocked on one story, I’ve had others I could shift my attention to. It’s something else I do to make certain I finish what I start.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy the stories I’m telling.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
None, except maybe reading. I have gotten interested in the tiny house movement, but I need to sell lots of books before I could move into a tiny house.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
None / Blue / Almost any genre, though soundtracks do help me write
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
One Kansas Author: http://robertlcollins.blogspot.com
Authors Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Robert-L-Collins/e/B002SZCUI0/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0