Interview with Robert Oliver

When did you first start writing?
I have been writing since elementary school, and one my first award during that time. It has always been a source of enjoyment for me, and something I do now more out of fun than monetary gain.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a very active outdoor enthusiast. I love to hike and camp, and spend whatever time I can in the Florida wilderness (yes, there is such a thing). I equally love to cook, host small parties and enjoy the growing culinary scene in our historic downtown. Reading is also very prominent in my life, and I spend a great deal of time digesting either the classics or new indie works.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Smashwords is a great place to find new works. I also have an extensive list of indie friends who are always passing books around.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not off hand, but I do recall writing a sequel to Jurassic Park (yes, I was a total Jurassic Park junkie when the movie debuted). I remember I would hasten through my exams in class so I could spend the additional time writing in a book I carried with me. All of my earliest works were hand-written!
What is your writing process?
I am organized and approach the process logically. I research first, then construct an outline, then write. Once the outline is completed, I truly believe the story is finished; all that is needed then is the writing. The outline is key to my success. I do, however, always leave room for creative liberty. Some of my best plot twists have been 'off the cuff' writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first classic novel I ever read was H.G. Well's War of the Worlds. It introduced me to the world of classical literature, and I was hooked. The Cask of Amontillado by Poe was what introduced me to his writings, and he has been a major stylistic impression in my writings ever since.
How do you approach cover design?
I work with a very talented marketing agent and old friend. I give him the work and let him study it. Then, we discuss the ideas I have and I see what he came up with as far as creative design and inspiration. We collaborate on it until it is something that I feel expresses both his vision for the story and my vision for the cover.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I am a huge Alexandre Dumas fan, and I love both the Count of Monte Cristo and the complete Three Musketeers Series. They are just such fantastic adventures. I am especially a Edgar A. Poe fan, and read his works regularly. For me, Poe is the paramount American writer, and his psychological works are fascinating. I enjoy James Fennimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans and Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. This latter book had a profound impact on me, and caused me to switch from horror to general fiction.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read anything from literature to historical works. I like to buy books in places that have meaning, like my copy of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, purchased at his home in Key West. It's fun to write little notes in them, detailing what I was doing when I purchased the book.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I am a Nook fan, and like Barnes and Noble. I do have a kindle app on my tablet and phone, but my nook is my 'go to' reading device.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook has helped to broaden my fan base. I have also developed a good following on Twitter.
Describe your desk
My desk is very clean and tidy, at the moment. It is occasionally encumbered by the necessary accompaniments to writing (books, articles, a wine glass, etc), but mostly, my turn-of-the-century antique desk is clean and free of debris. In one corner stands an antiquated hurricane lamp, a small globe, and opposite, a reproduction desk lamp from the early twentieth century.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Central Florida, though I have not used Florida as a backdrop for many of my works. In one novella, my surroundings were utilized,but I mostly place my stories along the eastern seaboard.
Published 2016-03-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Autumn Leaves
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 149,160. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Literary criticism » Drama, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Claire Bedard falls for the handsome chef Ryan James, but their love turns toxic when Ryan’s abusive past surfaces to control her. Will she be able to help him move beyond his darkness and need for control, or will it ultimately ruin her?
Gothic Angel
Price: Free! Words: 2,460. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Gothic
(5.00)
A young man is summoned to a remote location for a midnight rendezvous with his lover, but is not certain if she will come.
Mommy's Gone Crazy
Price: Free! Words: 10,730. Language: English. Published: September 4, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
A frantic midnight phone call sparks one man's quest to find his daughter before SHE does.
Bleodsian
Price: Free! Words: 29,900. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(4.00)
Desperate situations give rise to desperate means. When Richard Cacciare is diagnosed with a terminal illness, a mysterious voice only he can hear gives him an unorthodox and violent plan to restore his health.
The Witch House
Price: Free! Words: 8,870. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Gothic
(5.00)
A young hiker intrudes upon the Witch House and learns the shocking truth behind the New Salem Witch.