Interview with R.E. Rowe

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to read, listen to podcasts while working out on my treadmill, and read about the latest scientific discoveries. I'm basically a geek inventor at heart. I'll see a problem and work out how to solve it. An interesting part of inventing is that it requires world building. The inventor solves the problem by imagining the world with and without the invention. I apply some of these same techniques to my novels. I'd say the world building process is my favorite part of developing a story.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm on the mailing list of a number of websites specializing in getting the word out about new ebooks. Sometimes I will do keyword searches on Amazon to search for a particular genre I'm interested in reading. Or I'll look at the top books in the book categories I'm interested in at that moment. I also use goodreads to learn about what my friends are reading.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do remember it. I was a freshman in high school. I wrote a short love story. I shared it with a few of my friends. They encouraged me to write more, but I became side-tracked with football and karate. Fiction took a back seat for a lot of years. Early on, I focused on non-fiction writing. Mainly science and technology papers and patent applications. I received my first patent when I was 20 years old for a tester device to test out circuit boards from avionics systems. US4472677. I told you I was a geek!
What is your writing process?
I'm part plotter and part panser. I used to love to start off with a concept without a plan. My writing took me all over the place. Sometimes it was super cool. Other times it was very frustrating. After writing a bunch of novels and tossing them in the recycle bin, I decided to start off with a short synopsis. That soon turned into a basic outline. Then I decided it was time to establish my cast, my plot, and setting before writing. Next, I blend all of that together into a story that I want to read. This is important since I will most likely spend months in that particular world with those characters. For example, in the Reincarnation Series, I start off with a tagger who hears voices and an ex-track star who experienced a near death experience. I defined the world and the challenges they'd face. I even detailed out the world: See Hack -or- Carmina's Notebook and Carmina's Diagrams. From that point, I let my imagination take over and write. Sometimes I adjust the outline if my characters insist. So I guess you could call me two parts plotter, one part panser.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I enjoyed Hardy Boys when I was young. Then Issac Asimov Robot series books. A little later, I read Larry Niven's Known Space books and fell in love with science fiction. After reading all of his books, I was hooked on reading. Eventually, my reading journey broadened to many different Genres. I soon found that I could enjoy any genre if the writing was good. I'd have to say that reading as much as you can is far better than any how-to class on writing. Reading the work of others, writing, and discovering one's voice is more fun than inventing!
How do you approach cover design?
There are a number of great cover designers out there I use depending on the type of cover I need. I recommend looking at covers of released books. Decide what style you like, then figure out what you want it to convey about your novel. Do some research to figure out who created it. Sometimes there will be credits given in the front matter of the book. For most of my covers, I use one particular cover designer I really like. (you can find her info in the front matter of some of my books). Other times I will use 99designs.com to run a contest for a new design. This is what I did for Carmina (book 4) in the Reincarnation series. See if you like it. You can find the cover reveal on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RickERowe?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's not a fair question. My fav keeps changing as I read awesome work from authors. So let me answer that by sharing the titles of my most recent favorites. 1) The Coldest Girl in Cold Town - I never really liked vampire stories until this book. The writing is so awesome it drained all my blood (in a good way). 2) Shiver - I never really liked werewolf stories until this one. I was immediately sucked into a world that was both romantic and exciting. 3) The 5th Wave - cool sci-fi story. More specifically, I really enjoyed the journey of the book's protagonist, Cassie Sullivan. 4) The Universe According Verses Alex Woods - who wouldn't like a story about a kid who gets hit in the head by a meteor. 5) The Rithmatist - I found the world very different and super cool.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't limit myself to one e-reading device. I use my iPhone, Kindle Fire, Kindle Voyage, iPad, and reading apps on my lap top. It just depends where I am and what I'm doing. It's a tool that allows me to read. So if I'm on the beach, it would be a Kindle Voyage. (small and easy to read in the sun) Reading at a coffee shop, it could be either the Fire or iPad.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the SF Bay Area. I'd say I started to enjoy novels in my 20's after four years in the US Air Force. I loved to go to bookstores and hang out. I also took some teaching classes and discovered UC Berkeley and the surrounding area. It felt good to be a geek. Natural. Exciting. At that time, I read mostly technical books. But occasionally, I'd read science fiction novels. I suppose you might say, the more reading I did, the more I wanted to read. These days, I probably consume a novel per week. I used to update goodreads, but now I just use goodreads to discover other new books. Reading is just as important to writing to me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I started the series off with two simple questions that have been explored over the ages. 1) Why do innocent people suffer? 2) If the afterlife is so awesome, why are we here? These simple questions sparked a ton of other questions. I started reading everything I could on the topic. I soon discovered hundreds of near death experiences and realized there was a common experience in most of them. I found professional studies on the topic of NDEs. I discovered the story I wanted to write and quickly realized it would span over a number of books. But most important to me, I wanted to write the series without focusing on any existing belief systems. After all, I was writing fiction. So, I spent time building the world using a variety of inspired ideas. An author friend of mine suggested I share the world. (Hack, Carmina's Diagrams and Carmina's Musings). I dreamed up a bunch of interesting characters and let them lose in my fictional world. Each book explores key aspects of the two main questions. For example, book 1 is all about innocence. Then book 2 takes off in a fun, fast paced paranormal thriller and doesn't look back. I promise all lingering questions will be answered in line with the fictional world. So I encourage readers to stick with it. There may be some questions that linger from book to book. But in the end those questions will be answered. It was so fun to write! Check out the book trailer to get the overall concept of the series. Maybe it will be a movie someday! hint hint
Published 2015-03-22.
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Books by This Author

Game On: Alien Space Adventure (The Adventures of Jayden Banks and the Jameson Twins Book 1)
Price: Free! Words: 77,890. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(4.00 from 1 review)
Online gamers Jayden Banks and his best friend Parker Jameson had the perfect life in the San Francisco Bay Area until a malfunctioning tablet computer and a traced computer hack catapult them into an epic outer-space adventure.
Voices
Series: The Reincarnation Series, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 68,730. Language: English. Published: February 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal
In a small town in Arkansas, two troubled teens find romance but the truth they discover might just destroy them. Book 1 of The Reincarnation Series.