Robert Collins has had three
science fiction novels published: Monitor,
Lisa’s Way, and Expert Assistance. He’s had two fantasy novels published, Cassia and The Opposite of Absolute, as well as several short story
collections. He’s also had a coming of age novel published called True Friends. He’s sold stories and
articles to periodicals such as Marion
Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine; Tales
of the Talisman; Sorcerous Signals;
Wild West; and Model Railroader. He’s also published two biographies and several other
nonfiction books about Kansas history.
Hey! I'm not the only multi-genre person after all. LOL. Welcome to the blog, Robert. Congratulations on all the writing success.
Where do you live, and how has your
environment affected your writing?
I live near Wichita, Kansas. I
suppose Kansas runs through my work, and not just my nonfiction. The home
planet of Lisa Herbert (Lisa’s Way
looks like this part of Kansas. Part of Monitor
is set in a fictional version of Wichita. The people around the state that I
know and like have a spirit of community, and that infuses some of my main
characters. Some events in the histories I’ve written have become plots for my
How many books have you written in all, Robert?
I have 14 SF/F books out, either
novels or collections. I’ve had 14 nonfiction books published. I’ve sold about
90 short stories, and about 120 nonfiction articles.
Give a short synop of your most
recently published book.
My latest book is another
collection: The Frigate Victory
Collection, Volume 2: Pirates & Diplomats
. Here’s what it’s about:
Major Anita Duncan learns too
late of the assassination of the President of Extra-Solar Alliance. She has to
turn to Captain Jason Ayers of the Terran Federal Republic for help. Duncan and
Ayers forge an alliance of humans and aliens to deal with the threat posed by
the coup in the ESA.
will this struggle mean for the future of the galaxy? Can Duncan, Ayers, and
their new friends bring freedom and justice to the ESA?
This collection contains 9 new
Frigate Victory science fiction short stories.
What advice can you give new
Write every day, even if it’s only
a page or two. Come up with plenty of ideas, so getting blocked on one project
doesn’t keep you from writing. Be open to advice, but don’t be so open that you
let others dictate your style. Don’t give up! You only fail to be a writer if
you stop writing.
We all know how important promoting
our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
As far as promotion in the real
world, I do book events. I do book talks and signings for my nonfiction. I do
science fiction conventions to promote my fiction.
As to online, I don’t do too much.
I’ll post in a handful of forums when I have something new out. I might post
links on some Facebook promotion pages. I’ll post at my blog and at my Tumblr
page. That’s about it.
It can be very easy to think you
have to post everywhere and tell everyone about your book. When you do that,
however, you end up looking like you have nothing to say except “Buy my book.”
You really aren’t selling yourself or your book.
That’s especially true if you only
have one book out. If you do reach any readers, and they like your book,
they’ll want to read more of your work. But if all you have is just that one
book, you have no follow-up sale. Maybe they’ll remember you when your next
book comes out, but maybe not.
I think the best thing any author
can do to promote their work is to keep writing and publishing. Have as much to
choose from as you feel comfortable writing. Don’t worry about length or genre;
write what you like and get it out. That might not be working for me right now,
but it feels like the right way for me.
Can you tell us your future writing
Through the rest of this year and
next, I plan to do events to promote my nonfiction book Kansas County Seat Conflicts
. At that point I intend to put my
nonfiction writing on indefinite hold.
As far as fiction goes, I always
have something I’m working on. I’ve been writing more Lisa Herbert and Blue
Pistol novels. Right now I’m adding material to another Victory short story. I
try to have plenty of projects to work on, but I tend not to make too many
Where can folks learn more about
your books and events?
I have a blog, One Kansas Author
(http://robertlcollins.blogspot.com/) and a Facebook author page
I’m also on Goodreads
(http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2948221.Robert_Collins) and Wattpad
Are your books available in print
and ebook formats?
Yes! The easiest ways to find where
my works are on sale is to go to my blog (http://robertlcollins.blogspot.com/).
I do have an Amazon Author Page
Thanks for taking the time to come over, Robert. Continued success.
You can also find me at Smashwords
It was my pleasure, Susan. Thanks again for inviting me.