Interview with Robert Schneider

Describe your desk
A statue of Ganesh, Krishna and an apsara dancer grace the right side of my desk. They are surrounded by shells I've found on the beach. On the left side of my desk is a book, Traditional Therapeutic Knowledge of the Bunong People in North-eastern Cambodi. Next to that is an ornate clock. A painting of Sopheak is above my desk. She is in regal clothes, but sits by the side of a river in the jungles of Cambodia with a tiger at her side.
What do you read for pleasure?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Haruki Murakami inspired me to write Serendipity Road. I enjoy magic realism, but also enjoy any thought provoking novel or biography.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Manhattan Beach, California. I wanted to be a writer from a young age, but was not inspired to write a full length book until I was in my fifties. As yet, Soul Surfing is unpublished, but I hope to return to it soon. My first published book is Serendipity Road.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing websites and articles for print publications in 1997. When I ran out of money in Cambodia, I started freelancing full time in 2010. The first year was tough, but I have good clients now and a steady income.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Originally, Serendipity Road was called "The Girl with Tiger's Eyes." It was meant to be a biography about my wife's remarkable life in the jungles of Cambodia. I joined a writing group and the other members of the book encouraged me to add more stories from my own life in the book. It became both a biography and a memoir stretching from when I worked as a yoga instructor at a retreat in 1970, to India in 1971 and 1972 and then to San Francisco, Australia, Bali and ultimately Cambodia, where I met Sopheak in 2006.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like to be in control of my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love writing. I look forward to my weekly assignments. Writing Serendipity Road was an opportunity for me to write a story about magic realism in real life. I look forward to writing more in the future.
What are you working on next?
I may write a shorter story about Sopheak's remarkable life and am going back to an earlier novel I wrote called Soul Surfing. It's about a man who has a near death experience and returns transformed.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Work, my Cambodian family and swimming in the warm waters of Sihanoukville.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to swim and explore places on my motorbike. Oh, and I like to dine out. I can afford to here in Cambodia.
Published 2017-06-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Soul Surfing: a Near Death Adventure
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 46,090. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Paul Avalon had it made.He was as vain as it was possible to be until his world came crashing down. He traded in his Land Rover for a fading yellow Daihatsu and headed north to a hard to reach surf spot he loved. Before he got there, his car crashed and he had a near death experience. When he returned to life, Paul was a changed man who understood the value of kindness and compassion.
A Ghost in Cambodia
Price: Free! Words: 13,390. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
A Ghost in Cambodia is based on a true ghost story. In this imaginary version, the ghost elaborates on his life as a ghost: what he sees and the observations he makes about human life. It is both a bleak and hopeful look at life on earth through a ghost's eyes.
The Girl with Tiger's Eyes
Price: Free! Words: 18,050. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies, Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies
The Girl with Tiger's Eyes is a biography of a Cambodian woman who lived alone in the jungle when she was just 8 years old. Eventually, she found her way home, but her family had moved on. They were reunited and she lived a happy life at the edge of the jungle until she moved to Sihanoukville, Cambodia to earn a living to help her family. The author met her there and learned her remarkable story.
Serendipity Road: between heaven and hell
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 97,820. Language: American English. Published: June 11, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Eastern mysticism, Nonfiction » New Age » The Paranormal
This is a story about how fate brought two people together. Separated by vast cultural and age differences, they were an unlikely pair, but destiny didn't see it that way. We'll start with the story of Sopheak's early life and dive through the honeycomb of time to track the events that led to their lives together in Cambodia.