Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Bob Craton and I’m retired from a long and boring career in the corporate world. When not writing, I volunteer at a nature center and stay active with my grandsons, plus I’m a decent amateur photographer.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I started as a hobby, just to please myself. I have always had a hyper-active imagination dating back to childhood – which was a long time ago. Often I invented stories just for my own entertainment. When I finally had time (‘retired early’ is a euphemism for ‘got laid off at 57'), I decided to actually convert my stories into written words.
And what was your first story?
It’s a science fiction novel titled ‘Jesika’s Angel’ and it began as one of the ideas I had years ago. Starting was a little awkward since the stories in my head were visual – in the form of scenes from a movie – but I figured out how to transform them into text.
If you could work with any author who would it be?
Among fantasy authors, my all time favorite is J.R.R. Tolkien, but from what I know about his personal life, I suspect that his real world was in no way as exciting as Middle Earth. Anyway, I would avoid major professionals like him and stick with some indie writers that I have met.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Creating worlds and characters. I guess it’s a sense of power thing. I decide what the world is like and who the characters really are – and what they must do. Well, most of the time anyway. Sometimes they argue with me and I need to change their roles. (Don’t fictional characters talk back to everyone?)
And the least?
It isn’t the writing I don’t like but what happens afterwards. I have neither the skill nor inclination for marketing. I started by contacting agents and compiled a serious list of instantaneous rejections. I will say, however, that I’ve met some other writers who I really like during the process of establishing myself and an indie author.
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
First, please yourself. If you don’t like the stories you create, what’s the point? Once you get comfortable with writing, then you can tailor your work for the market.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m trying to piece together a YA sci-fi novel. It isn’t easy, but I like to think that my mental age is about 50 years less than my actually age (in other words, around 15). It isn’t true, of course, but I do enjoy fantasies.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
I call my novella ‘A Princess of Faë’ a fantasy/comedy. It’s satirical, pun-full, and a bit crude (but only PG-13 crude, not R rated). To find out more about is, please read the review by D.E.M. Emrys on my Goodreads page. Just so we’re clear, I did read one of his books, but we have never met in real life, he’s not a relative of mine, and I did NOT pay him money.
Thanks to Bob for sharing his thoughts with us, on Monday we invite Ronald Klueh to the hot seat.