Robert M. Roberts, author of The Monkey Toy, is my guest today. Welcome to the blog, Robert.
It’s a privilege to be a guest on your blog, Susan. Thank you for inviting me today.
Tell us some things about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
It’s a beautiful day in the Hamptons and almost time for tea and crumpets. However, I’m not in the Hamptons, but live in a small town in the Ozark Mountains of the Midwest. We’re also out of crumpets, so I just polished off a salami sandwich and a beer. But, on a more serious note, I’m 63 years old and enjoy life with my wife and cat. I served in the United States Navy and am a Veteran of the Vietnam War. A few years ago, I retired from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and decided to write my first novel. I started it in the winter of 2000, and wrote about six chapters, but then became frustrated and laid it down. Ten years later, I picked it back up like it was the next day, and the result is my thriller, The Monkey Toy.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your writing career?
One of my main goals in writing is to keep the reader constantly engrossed in the story. It’s very rewarding when a reader tells me that my book was so interesting and fast-paced that they couldn’t put it down. A couple of weeks ago, one of my readers said, “I read it from cover to cover in one sitting, and only stopped for bathroom breaks.” This proved to me that I had accomplished my goal. This person was able to escape the reality of everyday life for a few hours. That’s what I call rewarding.
Tell us about your latest release, The Monkey Toy.
It’s a fast-paced thriller that takes place in a military setting. The book begins during the Korean War when a Navy jet collides with an unknown aircraft. The story rapidly advances to present day, when U.S. sailor, Randy Farren, finds an object from the crash on an uninhabited Korean island. Randy, and others who possess this object, begin having headaches, hallucinations, and nightmares. The story evolves into a chase around the world for the elusive object which entails murder and government conspiracies, with a touch of humor and light romance along the way.
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
It's available in paperback and Kindle format. In the U.S., you can find it in on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com, and createspace.com. It is also available on Amazon in the U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.
How do you choose your setting?
I almost always choose the settings from places I’ve actually been. I think it adds more realism and detail to the storyline. For instance, in The Monkey Toy, I travelled to most of those foreign countries when I was in the Navy, or when I worked as an international salesman for a printing press manufacturer. For the Roswell, New Mexico UFO crash segment of the book, I actually travelled to Roswell to see and learn everything I could about the incident.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
My mother and older siblings had really vivid imaginations, so I picked up a lot of things from them. I also spent a lot of time in movie theaters as a child. I guess the most influence would be growing up in my parents’ beer tavern, where I observed the daily cast of characters with all their unique personalities.
Can you tell us about current or future projects?
The Monkey Toy has already gotten some good reader reviews on amazon.com. Currently, I’m finishing the final rewrite of my next thriller, Souls of the Desert. It will be released in the next few months. I’ve completed a few pages on my third novel, also a thriller, entitled The Running Boy that will be published in the middle to latter part of 2012.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
You can find out more about me and find links to purchase my work by visiting my author website, http://robertsnovels.com , or my blog, http://robertsnovels.blogspot.com . I’m a resident of Book Town, and you can follow me on Twitter, @RobertMRoberts.
It's a pleasure to spend time with you, Robert. All the best! See you around Booktown.