Interview with Robert Erickson

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work in my garden growing vegetables and try to repurpose many different things. But I spend a great deal of that time thinking about what I want to write.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes; don't ask, you won't find it. I still think about redoing it. Maybe next year.
What is your writing process?
I break a lot of standard rules. Usually, I have an image of a character and perhaps a basic plot. Then I start writing. I come back and outline later. In general, if I start writing and the words just flow, I feel like it is a good story. I do a lot of revisions and editing but the the story itself just came out naturally. If I start and then hit a wall, the story isn't ready to be told yet. I put it aside and sometimes come back to it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) The Lord of the Rings trilogy; 2) The Foundation Trilogy; 3) The Day of the Jackal; 4) Oedipus and Akhenaton; 5) The Reluctant Savior.

The first two are sweeping saga tales showing great imagination; Jackal is a mystery that just grips my attention even in the tenth reading. Oedipus and Akhenaten is a speculative history/literature critique that I just found fascinating. The Reluctant Savior is my book and honestly, I love the storyline. I continually find new elements in it even though I wrote it.
What are your protagonist and antagonist like?
I have never in my life met a super hero or super villain. I have met many fascinating people who are all quite human. My protagonists typically are on a journey of growth or rebuilding after some calamity. My antagonists are also very human but are usually consumed by greed, ego, power, or some other weakness. They frequently represent a bigger villain like the "System" or power run amok.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was bron in California but grew up in Dallas, Texas. The primary influence on my writing is that I am most comfortable basing my stories in Texas because that is what I am most familiar with. I often take the story to other places as I have traveled around most of the country and include those places that I enjoy.
When did you first start writing?
When I graduated from college, I wanted to write fiction. My early efforts are best left in the bottom of a box. For the rest of my adult life, I have always written but these were usually business related materials. When I retired, I wrote a short story and put it up on a free website. Since then, I have not stopped writing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book will be out shortly (Spring 2016) and is mildly autobiographical. It involves a man who has lost his family and his job and use now struggle to even survive. As he rebuilds his life, a neighbor woman and her daughter befriend him and he becomes a mentor to the daughter. Eventually, he and the woman admit their attraction to each other and he begins to come alive again in a new romance and relationship until the source of his previous collapse reappears and tries to destroy him again. The book will be title Blindsided. Try it out and see if you like it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The old days of being discovered are gone. If you write today, you have to be independent until you have an audience, a reputation, and can sell books. Then the publishers will graciously take you under their wing and shower you with attention. Right? (He laughs out loud).
What are you working on next?
I am trying to finish Blindsided. After than I have four more novels that still need some work. So I will be busy for the foreseeable future.
What do your fans mean to you?
At first, I wasn't sure about this and kind of envision being a silent author. I was in a couple of book festivals and discovered that I loved talking to readers about my book but also about what they liked to read. I enjoy getting honest feedback. Two readers will find different faults with anything you write and they will often contradict each other's opinion. I find that fascinating.
Published 2016-03-17.
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