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Writing has always gotten me in trouble. Still does.
I have been a fan of science and speculative fiction since I found it in the young people's section of the library. In grade school, I devoured works by Heinlein, Norton, Asimov, and Huxley among others. By the time I had finished high school, I had read every science fiction book in the town's library.
When I was in high school I wrote short stories instead of paying attention in math class. This did not help my math grade and would have serious consequences a few years later.
In college, I could be counted on for the divergent opinion. This was after my failed math forced a complete redirection of my life plan. A disastrous Freshman year at Brandeis University, forced a reevaluation of reading materials. Switching majors to theater brought exposure to Shaw, Strindberg, Ibsen, Stoppard, Pinter, Shakespeare and a host of young would-be playwrights. As a technical theater major, I found that the quantity of material to which I was exposed often surpassed the quality. Too busy to do any writing of his own, I devoted his time to supporting the efforts of others.
The Vietnam War brought a tour of duty in South Carolina and the opportunity to begin graduate work at the University of South Carolina. While in the Air Force, my anti-war sentiments did not become an issue, because I kept them secret. I did no writing except for my graduate school classes which I took while still in service. Even here, I was ever the contrarian, unwilling or unable to go where the others went. Fortunately, as a design major, my writing was of less concern than my draftsmanship. The war ended and with less than a month to go on my MA, and no job opportunities in sight, I left school lacking only my thesis and took a paying job at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus World in Haines City Florida Master's degrees in theater were not worth much in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
Some of my experiences in the short time I was there provided background for "Stagehands Walk", "Our Last Summer Musical" and my current work in progress currently titled "Second Tango".
Fortunately, through a series of unlikely coincidences, Bob landed a job as technical director of the then brand new Tupperware Convention Center. At the time, it was the only full time convention center in Central Florida. Bob would stay there for twenty years earning an MBA along the way although his work schedule left little time for either reading or writing except for articles in technical journals.
Bob's sudden departure from Tupperware provided the time to return to reading and writing. "Stagehands Walk" started in this period with gracious help from the writers in the CompuServe Writers Forum. The email tag and the web site name "Stagewalker" derive from this book. I returned to devouring speculative fiction reading authors like David Weber, John Ringo, Anne McCaffrey, CJ Cherryh, Kim Harrison, Tom Clancy, and Clive Cussler.
I started writing the science fiction "Warrior" series which is currently available for free on my website. After I edit it yet one more time, it will be available on Smashwords. I originally tried to go the traditonal publishing route with the "Warrior" series but the few publishers willing to read it called it too character driven. Well, yeah, an eight volume series does need to be character driven. The reviewer on Goodreads chided me for not finishing the story after eight volumes so I wrote another that tied up all the loose stories.
A short stint at Disney Event Productions introduced me to the power of "Pixie Dust" although it would be six more years before I would figure out how to turn it into a novel, the "Fairies" series. The "Fairies series is being revised for a 2014 re-issue.
Bob left Disney for Paradise Show and Design where he returned to his roots in live event technical support. He took a short detour to open the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida before returning to Paradise where he currently works. "Don't give up your day job."
While I was at Silver Spurs, working on my first rodeo among other things, a regional magazine published one of my short stories. The "Gatorbait" story was based on a young rodeo rider and her flying horse. Unfortunately, I gave away the copyright and no longer have access to the work. Lesson learned. Based on the success of the magazine, they were starting a book division focusing on local authors and local themes. I wrote "Heron Baby Island" specifically for them. "Heron Baby Island" was problematical from the start. The original publisher abandoned the project and it languished with its current publisher for a year before being released. It is being edited and will feature new photographs and is tentatively scheduled for release in September 2013.
I am active on LinkedIn author fora, and those Amazon fora from which authors have not been banished. (Did I say that?)
I look forward to chatting with you.
Books by Robert H. Cherny from shortest to longest except the Stu Green Series which is in chronological order:
A Father's Ghost: 30k words; The geeky young owner of a small electronics store has his life turned upside down when he visits a woman in his apartment building to borrow food for a stray cat he has just adopted. The woman's sister embroils him in a plan to catch a serial rapist putting everyone she knows in danger. "A Father's Ghost" was written in three frenetic months while I was on reduced work hours due to a business slow down. It is a young adult thriller.
Swamp Witch: 33k words: A young woman is rescued from a murder attempt by her father in which the father dies in an alligator attack intended for her. Forming a bond with the mysterious woman who rescued her, the two gather a powerful team with magical abilities and go after a gun runner. When I originally wrote this, it was 15k words. I presented it to my critique group who told me I had not finished the story. You can probably figure out where I stopped the first time.
Seeds of Anger: 39k words plus photographs; A renegade botanist hunted by eco-terrorists takes a brilliant high school junior to be his protégé in the process of buying a large plot of land for his experiments. The boy and his friends assist the botanist and when the botonist's past indiscretions catch up with him the boy must decide whether to continue the work or walk away. "Seeds of Anger" is photo illustrated at the chapter heads and section breaks.
Our Last Summer Musical: 70k words; An amateur community theater summer music provides the vehicle that brings three teens closer to being adults and forces their parents to reveal and own up to their darkest secrets. Released on Smashwords in March 2013.
The Adventures of Doogie Stone: 76k words; The youngest son of a medieval war lord must negotiate a peace treaty on behalf of his father and find a wife in the process. He and his friends are tested in combat and in romance. This the second book picked up by Club Lighthouse. It is an alternate history coming of age story about the third son of a powerful warlord in what we now call "New England" as it might have been if the Vikings and Irish explorers had not stopped at Greenland, and Iceland, but had arrived at Cape Cod and established sustainable colonies. The story opens after the colonies have been abandoned for two hundred years and now must face the arrival of the British. Aided by the "farmer son" and the "merchant son", the "warrior son" places his mark on history and wins the woman he loves.
Flying with Fairies: 140k words; A recent med school graduate who can fly (Superman style) and heal with magic collides in mid-air with the daughter of the queen of the fairies. She recruits (drafts) him to help rescue the fairy kingdom from a mysterious affliction that has disabled much of the fairy military. Surviving that, he returns home to the woman he might have married who still loves him. The couple returns to the land of the fairies once more to fend off an attack on a fairy ally. They return home and open a secret school for students with magical talents. The enemy has been set back but not defeated and brings the war to them. The enemy kidnaps their three year old daughter only to discover that her magical power is the greatest of all. This was my first published work by Club Lighthouse Publishing as an e-book. When I told my family I was writing a fantasy, they thought it was pretty funny. It is a fantasy, but it has a bite as all my stuff does.
Solomon Family Warriors: 500k words; Originally written as an eight book series, the entire work has been consolidated into a single publication. It follows seven generations of a space traveling warrior family as they attempt to wrest peace from the grasp of war.
Stu Greene series:
1) Heron Baby Island: 50k words plus photographs; A high school junior, Natalie, needs a date for the prom and conspires to have one of her classmates, Stu, a quiet, shy, nature photographer, fill the role. The law of unintended consequences kicks in and he takes them on a journey that will change their lives, the lives of their families and of many of their friends while improving the local community. The book is illustrated with color photographs at the chapter heads and section breaks.
2) Citrus Sanctuary: 54k words plus photographs; At the end of their freshman year in college, Natalie needs Stu to rescue Natalie's roommate's sister from an abusive boyfriend. The boyfriend and his father are tenacious and Stu's entire family becomes involved in the rescue. The book is illustrated with color photographs at the chapter heads and section breaks.
3) Murder as an Element of Competitive Business Strategy: 115k words; A successful entrepreneur who has started and sold four software companies takes over a zoo he has inherited from his murdered brother. Working as a free-lance reporter, Stu is sent to the zoo to cover what appears to be a bigger story than is obvious. Stu devotes the next year to the story of the zoo commuting between there and school. He is mentored in many of the tools and invested with the reputation he will need when he and Natalie enter the cutthroat world of politics which is their goal after graduation.
4) The Voyage of the USS Video Village: Unfinished as of this writing; Stu uses many of the tools he learned at the zoo.