7 Questions With Author Brent Robins
Brent Robins is an avid world traveler who has globe-trotted through over forty countries, across six continents. He has a passionate interest in foreign cultures, history and satirical humor.
He began his journey as a study abroad student during his third year of college (University of Michigan) at the University of York, in England. He travelled widely through Europe during the academic year. He then taught English in Japan for a few months and in South Korea for two years. He learned Spanish in Peru and has taken many shorter trips all over the world.
His undergraduate degree is in history and philosophy, and he has a master’s degree (University of Texas) in public policy. He is a fan of The Daily Show, Monty Python, and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
Brent currently lives in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He grew up in Bowling Green, Ohio and attended high school in Toledo.
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What’s your own definition of an author / indie author?
Indie is short for independent; that is the key characteristic. An indie author has total control over the story, cover, narrator for an audiobook, marketing strategy, prices, etc. It’s similar to being self-employed rather than working for someone.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’d say 75% plotter, 25% pantser. I always have a broad outline for the book. However, as I start writing, I let my instincts take me to different places. I don’t start without a plan though; I need some kind of foundation to begin a project.
What’s your definition of the first draft?
I would say that it is putting your thoughts out on paper. You’re not worried about using the perfect vocabulary words or whether you’re telling too much rather than showing.
You’re not worried about if you’re being too repetitive with regard to vocabulary or ideas. The first draft is all about transferring your thoughts in your head to words on the page. These other steps mentioned above come later.
What are some of the myths around self-publishing / traditional publishing?
One myth is that self-published books are necessarily inferior in quality to traditional ones. Self-published authors have access to all of the same tools to polish their work; they just have to fund it themselves.
Traditional publishers sometimes are very reluctant to take a chance on something new or different; therefore, if you are writing something along these lines, you may have to choose the self-publishing route.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
I should have gone through more rounds of editing and proofreading before I started querying agents. I also should have tried using beta readers. I still might not have found an agent, but it would have increased my chances.
How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
Right now, it’s just a hobby. I do some kind of work on my book one or two days a week (whether it’s writing, marketing, etc.) I don’t have a spouse or kids, so it’s not hard for me to juggle the two. I have a huge amount of freedom in my schedule outside of work.
What should readers expect from your next novel?
That depends a lot on how well my first novel does. I have an idea for a science fiction novel, and I’ve begun working on it. However, if my current novel does well, then a sequel is a possibility. My first editorial reviewer indicated an interest in a sequel.
Find Brent here:
Are you in the Writing Industry?
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And if you’re a fan of Paranormal Romance, check out Lost in Amber:
“A new Interplanetary Alliance ambassador on an earthbound mission.
A handful of genetically altered humans to be rescued.
Meeting her changed everything.“