Interview with R.B. Bailey Jr

Tell us about yourself…
Well, my name is Robert B.Bailey Jr, but I write under the name, R.B.Bailey Jr. I’m from Jasper, Alabama…but moved to Japan in 2001
What have you been doing in Japan all these years?
Glad you asked! I’ve been teaching English to the children here for the past 10 years. We have a lot of fun, and learn some stuff along the way.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything...and without them, well...
What got you into writing?
I think the opportunity to tell a good story, and to create something that people can enjoy and pass down for generations to come.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Sue Monk Kidd, Eric Carle...to name a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Responsibilities as a parent, teacher and writer. Can't do any of those jobs from the bedroom.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Time with my family, working or doing the social media stuff...
What inspires your stories?
It could be an everyday situation or maybe something that I see…and wonder what it would be like if it had a different outcome. Inspiration can come from many things. All I do is watch the characters in my head, and write down what I see.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was "Promises Kept", back in late 2001, early 2002...and it was god awful. I was unemployed at the time, so I took up writing to pass the time. I wrote it out in a notebook, read it, loved it and packed it away. Years later, found it and read over it again, and that's where the god awful comes in. Having written several stories by this time, I did some serious editing and published it as "Promises Kept (2012 Edit).
What is your writing process?
Write everything out in longhand, in a notebook. Squirrel it away for a period, and work on other stuff. Then take out the notebook and type up the story, editing as I go. I've heard of several authors who follow the same method, or close to it. Time away from the story will underscore errors that will astound you, sometimes.
What is your editing process?
I want the reader to feel as though they are in the story, with the characters. A front row seat, if you will. I make sure all my tenses, match. Make sure the storyline is coherent and the characters stay true to themselves throughout the story unless there is some drastic event that can cause them to change. Even if that happens, I want the reader to see it coming, implementing backstory, if I have to. Most important to me is to make the story plausible...like it could really happen.
How do you approach cover design?
That's a hard one...and sadly, on a few books, I've had to choose the best of what was offered. Children's books have been ok because you can use an illustration from the story, itself. But with my fiction, I've had to use what was offered, because it was free.
What is your writing routine?
Mornings before work is my best time. I try to get in at least 45 mins to an hour…but it depends on where I'm at that day, and other factors.
Let’s talk about your book, “The New Neighbor”… what is it, and how did it come about?
When I first started teaching in Japan, I would get tons of questions from my students about America…you would be surprised! Many of the children and their parents expressed how they hoped to visit America someday. So, one day, I sat down and wrote out “The New Neighbor”. Later on, Miss Kim Roberts drew the beautiful illustrations, and I had it published.
The main character, Ryo, moves to America with his family, because of his dad’s job. While in America, Ryo learns little by little about American culture, in comparison to his own back in Japan. It will be a real eye-opener for most readers in Japan or America, I hope.
Who is the book intended for?
For anyone, of course. I wrote the book as a reader for ESL students, anywhere from ages 6 and up. I wanted to give the children here a vicarious experience of moving to America. But even if that is not their dream, they can still enjoy the book.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social networking...getting the word out!
Where are your books available?
On Amazon websites around the world, and numerous online bookstores…including Barnes & Noble.com. Just type in “R.B.Bailey Jr” on any search engine, and some book results will appear, I promise!
Its that easy?
Yes, but I have noticed that online retailers other than Amazon, tend to use "R.Bailey", "R.B.Bailey" or "R.Bailey Jr...rather my intended pen-name, "R.B.Bailey Jr ", so I have to watch out for that, and others should as well.
How do you feel about piracy and bootlegging?
Outright stealing. Some writers like to look at it as free publicity, but if a pirate takes your work, copy/paste onto another document, change the title and add their name...you just got robbed. Another issue I have is with misrepresentation by an online retailer. I found "The New Neighbor" being described by an online retailer in France, as being a doctor who murders his family!!
Are you serious?
Very serious, and I furious, because if people see that..they will get a totally wrong impression of the book. To me, that amounts to slander, negative publicity and potential loss of sales.
What did you do about it?
I contacted the website several times in english and french...but have yet to hear a reply. I'm seriously considering legal action.
Do you belong to any writing groups or organizations? What do you offer as a member?
I belong to a few on Facebook, and offer my opinion, when asked. I don't like advising people on how to write...I feel narcissistic. I'd rather just pass along my style, method or way.
Do you have any other works available, besides “The New Neighbor”?
I have several fiction titles available, “The Old School”, “That’s What Daddies Are Always For” (which I illustrated myself) “Marble The Kitten And The Red Ball” (illustrated by Ayah Kakinuma) and “Alpine” (illustrated by Risa Nango), all available on the same websites as “The New Neighbor”. But, be warned…some content in “The Old School” and “Promises Kept” are pretty strong. The second book in the New Neighbor series, "The New Neighbor – Ryo's New School" was just published this month.
Are you working on any new projects?
I wrote a very short piece titled "Priority Seating" the other day, but my biggest right now is "George"..and that may not be the final title when it's finished.
Published 2016-12-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Old School (Full Version)
Price: Free! Words: 11,500. Language: English. Published: December 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
When summer arrives, brothers John and Sam plan their dream clubhouse in the woods behind their family farm. Set in the deep south, these brothers will have anything but a routine summer...when they uncover an old secret.