Interview with Robert Woo

How do you approach cover design?
I try and choose the cover that was best suited to the title, i.e. in my personal experience as an FBI Agent, always striving to do my utmost to serve the public good, and always with honorable intent.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I enjoyed reading books written by such authors as John Lecarre, viz. Tinker, Soldier, Sailor, Spy; Conversations with God, By Neale Donald Walsch; War & Peace, by Dostoyevsky; Catcher in The Rye, by J.D. Salinger; and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The reason I enjoyed reading these books, is because of my personal philosophy and dedication to the human condition, and my wish that people everywhere can live in equality, peace and contentment.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading, the weekly message written by our church pastor, contained in the Sunday bulletin. His words often touch upon themes which I feel deeply about, i.e. spirituality, reflection, commitment, and Faith.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like browsing through the selections which are offered on the website, smashwords.com
Why did you write your book?
I began writing my book, after I discovered that my former employer (FBI), had kept a secret dossier on my father, apparently for years, even before I was hired, which then led to my eventual hiring, and personal journey of discovery. Then, after I left this Agency, I began to understand why I was hired by them, in the first place, which had nothing to do with my background, education, skills, or experience.
Describe your desk
My desk, or my workplace, whether at home or at work, consists of a computer, reference material, and a telephone, which is where I wrote for many years the manuscript which eventually became my published book.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the northeast section of Washington, D.C. with my parents and two brothers, and my upbringing by a Catholic mother and Buddhist father, respectively, would influence and shape me and my personal convictions deeply as I grew to manhood.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing when I was in Catholic elementary school, taught by the sisters of St. Joseph, and absolutely loved the English classics.
What's the story behind your latest book?
As I indicated previously, I was inspired to write this book, by my firsthand experiences as an ethnic minority within one of the most powerful agencies in the U.S. Government, and how I became aware of just how this abusive this bureaucracy would become against me and (with impunity), cause me to lose everything I had worked to buildup over a 31 year government career. Thankfully, they misjudged my tenacity, character, and resilience.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Once I found this opportunity, I wanted to share my story with the general public, and to sound a warning about unchecked abuse of power and its consequences.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Absolutely, even though I haven't sold many "E" books, I have still managed to get my message out to the general reading public.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing for me has been has been a purely cathartic experience, and although it seems that I may have offended some people mentioned in my book, I never intended to do anything but to share my truthful experiences, and shed light on what goes on behind the scenes of a powerful government agency, which at times does its job, but there are times when the public's safety and concerns are not protected, most notably "911".
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm not really sure that I have any fans, judging by the paucity of book sales, however, nonetheless, I appreciate those who have taken a look at my story.
What are you working on next?
I am currently not working on anything specific, but have an idea for a book solely about my father's life and times, who for me while growing up, was a figure larger than life, someone whom I had great respect and admiration for, as well as my mom. His story alone, would make a great screen play, as his experiences are exceptional, in terms of what he accomplished in life, as concerned his origins and interest in China.
Who are your favorite authors?
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To put in an honest days work, interact with people, always with the goal of helping someone.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy spending time with my wife (of 43 years) and my family, my son, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly on the Smashwords website.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a short story about my experiences as a boy, growing up in Washington, DC (never published).
What is your writing process?
When an idea enters into my awareness, I jot it down immediately and begin to write about it, with some semblance of organization, and do this almost daily, whether while at work, where I am required to write, or at home, during leisure time. I then organize my collective thoughts with a theme or underlying story line, such as in my book.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The "Greatest Story Ever Told", about the life and times of Jesus Christ, as depicted in such movies as "Jesus of Nazareth" or "The Passion of the Christ". I was deeply affected by the message that He preached during his short time on this earth, and profoundly influenced the course of history.
What do you aspire for in writing?
As I said before, my goal is to relate my earthly human experience, and hopefully to also tell a good story, that people will be interested in reading.
Published 2013-12-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.