Interview with Joseph Y. Roberts

What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. There are two partners required in this relationship and they are one.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When characters surprise me by doing or saying something unexpected as I am writing. It astonishes and delights me . Think about it, you are creating them and processing your narrative in your head. Your fictional characters acting seemingly on their own in the midst of that process should NOT be possible, yet it is. I think it is overwhelming evidence that writing is magical and miraculous.
What are you working on next?
I'm readying the next Jacob story for publication and the first draft of my novel about the Boer War in South Africa.
Who are your favorite authors?
Larry Niven, Ray Bradbury, Richard Brautigan, and the early works of George R.R. Martin.
What is your writing process?
I daydream scenes, then type furiously to get them down before they melt away.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Researching, reading, listening to music - usually progressive rock. I live a quiet life, so no skydiving, bow hunting, ot martial arts. I leave the exciting stuff to my characters.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. Back in High School I started writing SF stories set millennia in the future centered on the area where my home town used to be in that era. It was the story of Alerom, the High Priest of Tyram's conflict with a doubter seeking to overthrow the town of New Eden's social order. I recently found by old typewritten manuscripts and , while too sketchy for publication, they still showed the beginnings of my voice even if still undeveloped. It was fun.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
If we're talking the very first, I'd say it was one of Dr. Seuss' books. The impact it had? Instilled my lifelong love of reading, of course.
How do you approach cover design?
First I seek an royalty-free image that encapsulates the symbolic essence of the story. Next is a choice of appropriate and legible fonts for the title and byline. Colors will be dependent on the main image. I worked as graphic artist for twenty years.
Describe your desk
Barely controlled chaos, like most writers.
Published 2016-06-20.
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Books by This Author

Fool Me Twice
Series: The Echo Four Saga, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,590. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Historical » General
Once a man has betrayed his cause, can he be trusted? Southeastern Rhodesia, September 1978 - Jacob and Tambo are on a simple “milk run” mission: escorting a team of converted ZANLA terrorists to a suspected training camp to infiltrate as moles. But in the fluid circumstances of the Bush War, can anything be simple?
Sins of the Son
Series: The Echo Four Saga, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 10,170. Language: English. Published: July 11, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Historical » General
It is 1978 in western Rhodesia and a civil war rages. To fulfill his undercover mission, Jacob Vanderhoek must betray a farm family that trusts him. Can he accept the consequences of such an act? And is the regime he defends worth it?
In The Stillness of Grief
Series: The Echo Four Saga, Book 10. Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 6,320. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Humans are social creatures, reying on each other for a sense of self and community. Jacob Vanderhoek is no different. So what happens when a man of few friends is left with none by time and ill fortune? When a strong man stumbles into a moment of weakness? These are tales for those left behind.
Series: The Echo Four Saga, Book 9. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,120. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Johannesburg 1999. Not all battles are fought in the field between armies arrayed side to side. Some are fought inside, where no one can see, a war of the soul. Every conflict has a victor, but it must also have its vanquished. Jacob must help an old friend from long ago find his way. Does he have the resources to succeed? Can he defeat an enemy he neither sees nor understands?
Series: The Echo Four Saga, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,500. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
Zambia 1977. An undercover, cross-border mission to infiltrate a Communist insurgent training camp goes sour, Jacob and Sergeant Tannhauser are forced to run a deadly cat-and-mouse flight across the Zambian wilderness back to Rhodesia without aid or allies. Every step of the way, they are dogged by angry terrorists thirsting for their blood.
A Kind of Homecoming
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,990. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Life after a senseless tragedy can be strange. For a close Minnesota family, devastated by such a loss, things become even stranger.
Bright Light, Dark Heart: A Short Story
Series: The Echo Four Saga, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,070. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
In Rhodesia 1977, Private Jacob Vanderhoek of the Selous Scouts faces his first solo mission, guarding an isolated farming family from Communist insurgents. Lives are on the line, including his own. Will he succeed or will his career end before it really begins?