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© Copyright 2018,
Gary M. Roberts.  All Rights Reserved
Author interview with Smashwords
January 13, 2019
When did you first start writing?

I remember my first book very well. I was six years old and I wrote a five-page book on, birds, with my hand-drawn illustrations. Then, to make the book more authentic, I used my motherís sewing machine to bind the pages together. She loved my ingenuity but was a little angry because it took her an hour to untangle the mess I left her sewing machine in.
My next real story didnít come until I was 18 and in the army. I wrote an article for a magazine that got published. That did it for me, I was hooked!

Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors are those who inspired me. Louis LíAmour, the great storyteller, is one of my all time favorites. I am currently rereading the Sacketts. Other favorites are Daniel Defoe, Jules Verne, Hemingway, and Twain among others. I guess you can see a pattern in that I love adventure books.

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

I remember reading a fairy tale book with my mother. It opened up a whole new world for me, the world of imagination. My mother encouraged me to read everything. She only went to the 3rd grade and being able to read was very important to her.

What is the greatest joy of writing to you?

I love to tell stories. I have a very vivid imagination that is sometimes so wild I just have to tell someone, (LOL). It also amazes me how the story will develop while Iím writing.

What is the story behind your latest book?

My latest book, The Long Dark Road, is a sequel to The Xy Syndrome. The Xy Syndrome is about 90% of the male population dying worldwide and the struggle of a small group as they fight to remain out of captivity, as they are now considered an endangered species. The Long Dark Road continues their struggle.
The idea for The Xy Syndrome actually started out as a science fiction novel, taking place in space. It began as a story of a marooned space ship where five women and one man survived the crash.

What is your writing process?

It can begin with a dream, an idea, or an event that I witness. From there my imagination takes over and a storyline develops. I start by writing the story out without consideration of format or errors. That is my creative thinking step. From there I reread the story, modify and correct it so that it reads well. Once I am satisfied with the story it goes to my editor for proofing. When I get it back, I read it again with a fresh perspective and make final changes if needed.

Describe your desk.

It is a cluttered, jumbled mess, and I wouldnít have it any other way. At any given time you will find at least two or three books, handwritten notes and a coffee cup that needs filling.

What do your fans mean to you?

Validation. They validate the fact that there are others out there who enjoy a good story and love to read. Without them, my writing would be pointless.

When you are not writing, how do you spend your time?

A lot of my time is spent imagining and building stories. Aside from that, I enjoy fishing and camping. I also enjoy working with my hands. Iím a pretty fair carpenter and I do side jobs to supplement my income since retiring from the police department.

How long were you a police officer?

Altogether, about thirty years. I worked for the Savannah Police Department from 1980 until 2000, at which time my wife and I started a business. We kept the business for about 9 years until the economy soured, and I went back to policing. I retired in February 2018.

What other jobs have you held and do they influence your writing?

My first job was changing semi truck tires when I was 15 after school and on weekends. I was also a short order cook for Waffle House for a time during high school. After high school, I went into the army, missing Vietnam by one month. Iíve been a house painter, carpenter, insurance salesman, minister, and cop. Each and every one of these contributes to my writing and to the person I am today.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

My home was as rural as it gets. The actual name of the community is Ogeechee Farms. When I was growing up most of my time was spent trampling through woods and enjoying the outdoors. Thankfully, we didnít have video games or cable tv then and entertainment mostly came from our imagination. Much of my writing comes from things I experienced.

What are you working on next?

Something a little different. I have no problem crossing genres and I am currently working on somewhat of a romance novel. It is actually inspired by my motherís childhood and early life. The title is, Ginny. It is set in the 1940s and I hope to release it the first part of 2019.

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