Born and raised in a very Italian, Catholic family in New Jersey, Rob Ballister left home for the Naval Academy at age 17. Since then he has survived cancer, a Naval Career, and his mother in law’s cooking. Armed with his sense of humor, he still serves in the Navy, and also speaks at cancer survivor and cancer support events. GOD DOES HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR is his first book, and won the 2007 Gold Medal for Humor from the Military Writers’ Society of America.
Rob, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions so that folks can learn more about you.
What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
My wife and I send lots of books to cancer patients as well as troops deployed overseas. When we hear that one of those books made someone smile who really needed it, it makes all the effort worth it. The two single best “feel good” moments were when a buddy send me a note from Kuwait saying he found my book in the medical tent, where it was making the sick and injured troops laugh, and when the wife of a cancer patient told me that she took my book with her to the hospital with her now deceased husband every time they went. Making a difference makes a difference.
You bet! That's awesome!
Tell us about your book. Is it available in print and e-book formats?
GOD DOES HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR is a collection of short writings inspired by the events of life. From dating disasters to surviving cancer to learning the truth about Santa Claus, the stories take potshots at the author, the establishment, and most of my relatives. The book is available in hardcover, softcover, e-book, and kindle formats. It can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iUniverse websites.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
Being raised in an Italian family in New Jersey provided no end of material. Add to that surviving cancer and traveling the world with the Navy, and you have plenty of influence into the foibles of life.
Any current projects?
Two, actually. First, I’m working on a sequel to the first, tentatively entitled YOUR FEET ARE VISIBLE FROM SPACE, AND OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T TELL YOUR PREGNANT WIFE. The first book handled everything up until I met my wife. The second book covers our time together as well as the birth of our daughter.
Second is a more serious work for those recently diagnosed with cancer. No title yet. The idea is to profile people that were diagnosed with cancer as young adults (I was 22) and then went on to live normal lives. This will hopefully give those newly diagnosed a glimpse at the other side and give them something to shoot for.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
Recently launched http://www.robballister.com/. Everything is there.