Today we have Robert L. Collins, author of Expert Assistance.
What is your earliest memory of writing?
Don't really have one. I made up stories when I was young, but I didn't start thinking about "writing" until junior high school.
How does it feel being published?
Well, my first short story sale was in 1990. It felt great! Still feels good to sell a piece or get a book out.
When did you decide to be a writer?
I start writing in 8th Grade. I had seen Star Wars and got into Star Trek. I was always creative, and then I read Asimov on Science Fiction. This was the first time I became aware of writing. I thought it sounded like a good way to channel my creativity. I've been at it ever since.
Do you get writer's block? How do you combat it?
Not much, though I can be stopped when something gets strained. I've found the best way to keep from being blocked is to have more than one project to work on at one time. It's one of the reasons why I write nonfiction (mainly history) as well as science fiction & fantasy.
Where do you write? Do you write longhand, typewriter or computer?
In my "office" at home, on my iMac. I really couldn't type until I started using a computer. Until recently I wrote some things in longhand when I was on the road. Now that I have an iPad, I'm going to use that if I have to write while traveling.
Tell us about your Latest Book.
The book I'm plugging right now is the new edition of my first published novel, Expert Assistance.
Blurb: To get out of debt, spacer Jake Bonner takes on two odd jobs. The first, chauffeur pop star Evvie Martini on her tour; the second, helping Daniel and Clarissa Rosen overthrow their planet’s tyrannical ruler. Unfortunately for Jake, Evvie finds out about his second assignment and, hoping to advance her career, invites herself to the revolution. From there the absurdity grows for Jake and his band of “freedom fighters.” Expert Assistance pokes fun at revolutions, pop culture, and some of the cliches of sci-fi.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
First off, learn the basics: plot, character, description, dialogue. Write as much as you can, every day if you can manage it, and try to write at least a couple of pages at that time. Finish what you start. Begin with short stories or articles to learn and to earn some publishing experience. Above all, keep at it!