Conversation With Robert Fate Author of Baby Shark's BEAUMONT BLUES
Author: Robert Fate
ISBN: 13: 978-0-9776276-2-2
Today, Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Robert Fate, author of Baby Shark’s BEAUMONT BLUES.
Good day Robert and thanks once again for participating in our interview.
Robert, since we last communicated you have authored a second novel, Baby Shark’s BEAUMONT BLUES and I understand you are working on a third one. How do you get your inspiration to keep on writing? How long does it take you to write a novel?
Baby Shark, my debut crime novel, took a year and a half to finish, but I threw away most of what I had written during the first seven months or so. I attribute that false start to finding Kristin Van Dijk’s character. Once I was happy with her… or her with me, if you prefer… the writing went more quickly. Beaumont Blues was completed in just under a year, but I kept fooling with it until… well, this week I made some last minutes changes. Nothing serious, of course. The Advance Review Copy has already gone out. So, I guess the answer to your question is it takes me approximately a year to write an installment for the Baby Shark series.
Now – in reference to inspiration, I am fortunate in that I write pretty much all the time in my head. So, when I sit down in front of my iBook I just start to work. I can write if I have a ten minute opportunity or a free window for the day. There are few things I enjoy more than writing. All the inspiration I need is opportunity.
Was it easier or more difficult to write your second novel?
It is a continuing story. Beaumont happened more easily. I enjoy introducing characters and, as you know, there are a lot of bit players in my stories – so, more often than not, I end up with sections that I need to remove in order to maintain pace. Those sections will often fit into another story, so they’re not lost. To be direct – the second was easier, but the stories are very different.
You seem to have a very vivid imagination, how do you dream up your stories? Do you work from an outline or do you just start out and see where your characters will take you?
Over the years I have gone from detailed outlines to flying by the seat of my pants. At this particular time, I know the story I want to tell – you know, what happens in a general sense to get my protagonist involved – and then I visualize scenes. Usually, I will write those scenes complete with dialogue and put them aside, even though the dialogue will change as “facts” become clear to me. I guess, to be honest, I allow the characters to do most of the work. I just stick my nose in when they look as if they are losing their way. When I visualize scenes I “see” almost everything… how it feels and smells and how it sounds is always important to me, as well – the last is the dialogue. What gets said is always overwritten. And then I change it and cut, and change it and cut, until the editor drags it out of my hands.
Do you know “who dun it” when you begin?
My stories tend to be less about “who dun it” than why people act the way they do. One of the reasons I enjoy writing in first person is that Kristin and the reader learn things at the same time. I think the sense of “being there” is useful when it comes to pacing. So, if Kristin is wondering who done it, I must assume the reader is too.
What does a typical writing day look like for you, from waking to turning in at night, and how does it compare to a conventional 9 to 5 job?
It depends on what my wife has planned for me. Isn’t that true for you, too?If the day is clear of obligations, I sit down at the first opportunity and don’t get up until later. If my days are open and free, I write every moment that I can. If have other things to do I write in between. I guess you would say that my writing day is fluid – it just flows in and fills any open space. I must schedule reading or I just don’t get to it, and that ain’t good. I love to read and I have so much I must get read.
In reference to the 9 to 5 job – I have had my share of those and that is when it is so important to like the work you are doing.
Who are your favorite mystery writers? Why?
Joe Lansdale always tops my list. He just makes me happy. I read across the board – all genres. A friend of mine and I share books as we read them… there are so many good writers… let’s see – mystery writers. James Lee Burke, of course, Barbara Seranella, naturally, and there is an emerging novelist whose work I have been fortunate enough to read in advance of publication that I would have to say is now one of my favorites – JT Ellison. Watch for her.
What attracts you to the crime and mystery genre? How difficult is it to become a crime writer?
Well, Norm, a strong attraction for me is the “anything can happen” element of crime fiction. I value realism, so have nothing to worry about in reference to criminal behavior, since it is clearly understood that when it comes to the dark side of human nature all bets are off. Also, I appreciate “intelligent surprise,” and I believe that the best of crime fiction offers that.
The difficulty in becoming a crime writer would probably weigh in there with the same amount of long odds and effort that goes with any writing effort. It is passion that keeps us writing. Writing and more writing teaches us craft and allows a style to develop. And then by applying limitless imagination to story and a work focus that eliminates all but the absolute essentials in life, with luck you may get noticed. The major benefit is the meeting of so many nice readers and writers along the way.
What three books would you like to take to a desert island?
Three would never be enough, but something by Joe Lansdale. Something by Flannery O’Connor. Something by someone I’ve never read before.
Why did you set the Baby Shark series in the 1950s?
It was a progressive decision, Norm. First I wanted a story that was different. I wasn’t at all certain what that meant, except that I thought there were enough well written hard case P.I.’s – burned out detectives – rogue cops – and wandering assassins out there to go around. So, what was I to do to approach the genre from a fresh direction?
The components would need to be different, hopefully surprising. So, a female protagonist was the first consideration—young, but with the potential to be “burned out” by life, somehow scarred. Seventeen going on thirty. What were some of the worst nightmares of women in general? Gang rape. Waking up in the trunk of a moving car. Helplessness in all its forms. Kristin would need to suffer these things, survive, and overcome to be a protagonist readers could care about.
I did not want drug dealers or cell phones or computers – literally a conscious decision. So the story is set in a time frame before “drugs” and “technology.” The fifties seemed perfect because the knee-jerk is to think of that as a time of Ozzie and Harriet, instead of the edgy, transitional time it really was for women. I wanted Kristin ahead of the curve and the fifties was a perfect time for that. Women were growing wings, but they weren’t flying yet. I guess you could say that Kristin made the decision to start the Baby Shark series in 1952.
What is next for Robert Fate and is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?
Baby Shark’s Panhandle Caravan is the third novel in the Baby Shark series and my publisher is already reminding me of the deadlines. So, writing and writing is the answer to what is next.
And, I do have something to add – some good news. Baby Shark has received an Editor’s Choice 2007 nomination in the Mystery Genre category by All Books Reviews. It is an honor to be considered for this award, so I will keep my fingers crossed.
If anyone wants to email me, I have my address listed on my WEBSITE. I am always happy to hear from readers.
Thank you Norm. As usual it was a great pleasure speaking with you.
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your books.
Baby Shark’s BEAUMONT BLUES
Author: Robert FateISBN: 13: 978-0-9776276-2-2 The “wise guys” that populate Robert Fate's second novel, Baby Shark's BEAUMONT BLUES, are not exactly the kind you would want to bring home to mother’s family dinner, as the P.I. team of Kristin Van Dijk and Otis Millett soon discover.Kristin and Otis were first introduced to us in Fate's debut novel Baby Shark when their client, Henry Chin, hired them to help find the men who killed Chin's son and Kristin's father. Since then Kristin has gone...
Robert Fate Author of Baby Shark Interviewed
Author: Robert Fate ISBN: 0977627691 The following interview was conducted by: NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures. CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews To read Norm's review of Baby Shark CLICK HEREToday, Norm Goldman, Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Robert Fate, author of Baby Shark.Good day Robert and thank you for agreeing to participate in our interview.Norm:Robert, please tell our readers a little bit about...
Author: Robert FateISBN: 0977627691The following review of the advance review copy of the book was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures. CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews To read Norm's Interview with author Robert Fate CLICK HEREFrom the first chapter of Baby Shark, Robert Fate delivers all the satisfactions of the traditional crime page-turner, as he exposes to his readers the merciless activities of a gang of vicious brutes.Our plot unfolds in Henry Chin’s...
Interview With Brandon Wilson, Author of Yak Butter Blues
Title: Yak Butter BluesAuthor: Brandon Wilson:ISBN: 0977053660The following interview was conducted by:NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures &CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews To read Norm's review of Yak Butter Blues click HERE.Today Bookpleasures.com and Sketchandtravel.com are pleased to have as our guest, Brandon Wilson, author of Yak Butter Blues.
We Both Read About Dinosaurs by Sindy McKay (author): Robert Walters (illustrator)
The Following review was contributed by: Molly MartinAbout Dinosaurs is another in the We Both Read series. Writer McKay has crafted an excellent tool for parents, teachers and children alike. With the advice of dinosaur specialist and paleontologist, Dr Matthew Lamanna and talents of paleo artist, illustrator Robert Walters, McKay’s nicely crafted work is sure to please. McKay offers the reader a peek into lives of many of the hoary beasts we know as dinosaurs. Size, color, food and eating...
Yak Butter Blues
Title: Yak Butter BluesAuthor: Brandon Wilson:ISBN: 0977053660The following review was contributed by:NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures &CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews After reading author Brandon Wilson’s email requesting a review of his book Yak Butter Blues, wherein he recounts how he and his wife, Cheryl, travelled 40 days from early October to the end of November in 1992 over 1000 kilometers travelling along the ancient pilgrimage route across Tibet, my first reaction...
Touch of Fate
Click Here To Purchase From Amazon Touch of FateAuthor: Christine AmsdenISBN: 1-931201-97-8 Touch of Fate is a paranormal story about a woman named Marianne who has an extraordinary gift – a gift of foretelling the future. When she can’t change the course of events, she feels powerless and as though it runs her life. After moving to St. Louis because of the signs, she meets a group of women who share her gift. When one of the women in the circle gets killed, a good friend, she tries to...
The Simple Touch of Fate
Author: Arlene Uslander & Brenda WernekaISBN: 0-595-30283-1Genre: Religion and Spirituality The following review was contributed by:
THE SIMPLE TOUCH OF FATE
Edited By: Arlene Uslander & Brenda Warneka Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.ISBN: 0-595-30283-1The following review was contributed by: Jennifer Brown & Click Here To View Jennifer Brown's ReviewsTo read Jennifer's interview with the editors CLICK HERE