Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interview with Authors on the Rise

Recently some questions were posed to me by Dee Dee M Scott at her author interview blog.

Dee Dee: When did you write your first book, and how long did it take you to complete?

Roy: My first attempt at a novel was undertaken when I was in high school. I abandoned it after a few chapters but showed enough commitment to convince myself that I had full novels in me some day. This was later proven when I completed Patches of Grey. The first draft took me a couple of years to finish as it was written while I was first a full time college student and then a full time working stiff. I continue to be a student of life with a 9-5 gig. Patches then went through a substantial amount of revising over the course of a year as the literary agent who represented me submitted it and obtained feedback from various publishers. After parting ways with my agent and having grown weary of the pursuit of publication, I put my novel aside for awhile and returned my focus to something I enjoy far more than the query and submission process – writing. Much changed in the world of publishing as I worked on novel # 2. Self publishing rapidly grew as a viable alternative to the traditional route, as did the number of success stories that resulted from it, and what had once been something I held my nose up at transformed into an acceptable option. I knew I would eventually get back into the hunt for an agent and publisher once my second novel was done, but in the meantime rather than letting Patches of Grey collect dust as a manuscript in a drawer, I decided to put things in motion towards the day when people beyond a select few would have the opportunity to read it. Last year I reached the end of my journey, at last holding a printed copy of my first novel in hand. Since then I’ve learned that it wasn’t really the end of a journey, but the beginning.

Dee Dee: Several of your short stories have been published in anthologies. Please tell us about them?

Roy: I’ve written somewhere between 50 and 100 short stories over the past couple decades. They have been published by a wide variety of print and online publications. As you noted, several of them have appeared in anthologies. It is often the case when I find out about an anthology seeking submissions that there is a theme to it. I like to write on a wide variety of topics and in a range of styles. Therefore no matter what the theme is, a story or two of mine frequently fits the bill. The Game: Short Stories About the Life sought gritty, urban stories and they accepted two tales of mine that can be described as such. Prose to Read Aloud is an anthology put together specifically for students who enter competitions. As the title indicates, the stories chosen would potentially be read aloud at such competitions rather than silently to yourself, so I evaluated my body of work with this in mind and submitted a piece that fit the criteria. Most recently one of my short stories appeared in Ménage à 20 which is an anthology of “tales with a hook”, as in a surprise ending. I had plenty of pieces to choose from since one of my earliest short story writing influences was the master of the twist ending – O. Henry. On occasion I will write a new story specifically for an anthology. An example is the one I wrote for Proverbs for the People. Each story in it was to be inspired by an African proverb, so first I selected a proverb and then I wrote a tale with it in mind.

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