|Robert W. Walker|
Robert W. Walker is the author of more than 50 books, including Titanic 2012, Shadows in the White City, and City for Ransom, as well as the Edge and Instinct series. He lives in West Virginia.
Q: You've had many books published by traditional publishers, but in recent years you've turned to Kindle. Why did you make that decision?
A: My last paperback publisher was HarperCollins and we had amicable relations but all the same problems persisted. After my City for Ransom series failed to sell at the numbers they wanted, they ended the series, but I was not finished with my characters in the series at all and wished to continue said series.
In previous times before the advent of Kindle publishing with kdp.amazon.com a dead series was seldom to never picked up by another publisher...extremely rare indeed. So I took Inspector Alastair Ransom to Kindle Original publishing and placed him on board the Titanic as I had always planned to do in the series with HC.
That title is now Titanic 2012 - Curse of RMS Titanic, which combines history, science fiction, and paranormal or supernatural elements - another thing I could not possibly get away with in traditional publishing, mixing so many genres. However, I also had 40 some odd other dead books - out of prints from various NYC publishers, so I began with them on KDP.
Just previously to my HC experience, Penguin killed two of my other series, the Instinct Series and the Edge Series, the same day! Perturbed, it was an easy choice by then to go Indie Authorship with Amazon.com/Kindle.
Q: Many of your books are part of a series. Do you prefer writing a series or stand-alone books?
A: If I may seem less than humble, let me say that I soooo enjoy my characters and the ensemble cast created in a series that I just don't enjoy leaving them. I like hanging out with my characters and hate to see them go. Like a reader who is disappointed at finishing a book and having to say good-bye to the character so loved, well....I have that problem too! Only on the flip-side of the coin as a writer.
I have eight separate series characters now and I introduce all and each of them in a collection of short stories entitled Thriller Party of 8 - The 1 That Got Away.
Q: How do you conduct the research for your historical books?
A: I am old-fashioned in that I love the library research, and most all of my historical novels like the one I finished just in time for the 150th birthday of West Virginia as a state -- Annie's War -- I like to have the history books at my fingertips. If I can purchase them, even better...as I need to mark 'em up!
I find books that are easy to read, readable. Not every historical title or document is easy reading but I must understand where it is coming from. I love to see old newspapers like Harper’s Weekly, old catalogues of the day, fair bills like the one I talked HarperCollins editors into inserting in the City for Ransom Trilogy as an addendum. If I can lay my hands on first documents, I do; if not replicas.
My Children of Salem - Love Amid the Witch Trials years and years ago, wow, I had access to the Northwestern University Library in Evanston where I got my undergraduate and graduate degrees from. They had a great deal on the episode and time period. For the Annie's War Trilogy, I read everything I could get my hands on dealing with Annie's father and Annie (John Brown).
Q: How do you use social media to help you publicize your books?
A: I utilize the links between the Amazon book page where price and cover and description reside to connect it directly to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest now. I use hashtags (#) on Twitter, and soon this device is going to come to Facebook.
I am not shy at all about posting on Facebook and Twitter more than once in a day as I see them as floating rivers and no two boatloads of folks are going by at the same time where you are on the bank holding up your attention-grabbing notices.
I blog on other people's sites, write articles for other sites, maintain a website, and I conduct a forum on KDP Forums under Voice of the Author that has become the most enormous forum in all of KDP forums - "What Mioves Kindle Books off the Shelf" with moves intentionally misspelled.
I am also active on many chat groups. It can and does become a time sink at times; I try to slip in and make remarks or likes on as many other players at play on FB and Twitter as I can in an hour and get back to the writing, but often an hour slips into two.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: The 3rd installment of my Annie's War Trilogy. Book #1 and #2 were completed this month, and I am hopeful the final book will see publication after the vetting and editing work is complete by July or mid-July at latest. I am also percolating a new serial killer title for money! I typically do one for art, one for money. The title for the serial killer stand-a-lone possible new 9th Series is The FEAR Collector. Hardly past the brainstorming session as yet.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Hmmmm....I am kind to my pets, my kids, my wife, and my mother as well as my siblings...if that helps! I do write in any and all categories and most of my titles cut across the sacred genre lines.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb