Ask the Author: John R. Cobb

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John R. Cobb Please note the following would be a personal horror story for myself, and likely, for many other readers. On the other hand, some may not consider the ending horrific. Anyhow, enjoy the story either way, and if you have any snarky comments, feel free to keep ’em to yourself.

As the cable news channels churned late into the night, I grew weary and retired to bed. When I awoke the next morning, the CNN banner proclaimed, “Trump Wins Again!”
John R. Cobb A verdant alien planet unmarred by human existence as described by Ray Bradbury in many of his literary works. I would like to be a member of intelligent and well-equipped celestial explorers seeking to build a Utopian society on a new world. Assuming of course, humans have learned how to live in an extraterrestrial environment without succumbing to alien pathogens, were careful not to overwhelm the defenses of indigenous plants and animals, and certainly, not attempt to colonize a planet already inhabited by sentient beings. I understand the inherit risks, but the exploration of uncharted places throughout the universe is very appealing to me.
John R. Cobb In my case, it certainly isn’t fame, fortune, and fawning adulation. At this point, I guess the best thing for me is having an actual book in hand to touch and smell. Yes…I like the aroma of a newly printed book. Just wish the toner tasted as good… And, it’s always a treat when a new reader emails and says how much he or she enjoyed the story. Oh…and finding a favorable review on Goodreads… Hopefully, fame, fortune, and fawning adulation aren’t much farther in the future. ;-)
John R. Cobb Since I procrastinate terribly, I’m not too afflicted by this malady. By the time I sit down in front of my computer, the next plot element for my storyline is already waiting to be written down.
John R. Cobb I wish I could say that I write x-number of words every day without fail, but I procrastinate terribly. My regular job as an IT Infrastructure Analyst drains my mental energy, so it’s a challenge to find the right moment to finally sit down and focus on a new narrative. As a result, I’m not overly prolific. I suppose if I wrote fulltime, there would be more words written down by the end of the day, but even then, I’d have to exercise great discipline.

Thus far, writing is a tedious endeavor where the fulfilling part for me isn’t the journey but the world that’s finally created in the end—a world populated with empathetic characters and powerful stories. I’m most satisfied when the story is said and done. However, I always feel a small twinge of excitement when I begin writing my next one.
John R. Cobb For goodness sake…please STOP!

Keep your regular job or get one where you can actually make a living because you may very well starve trying to live on e-Book royalties.

Indie publishing is great, and it has opened up the market to all writers, including myself. However, there are now a glut of authors clamoring to be read, and I hate to say it aloud, but perhaps, the quality of work on “bookshelves” has diminished somewhat. Of course, there are those, who say the same about my work. There’s just so much competition now, and it can very discouraging when you can’t find your readership.

That being said, perseverance is possibly the most valuable asset for an indie author—perhaps more so than actual writing talent and savvy online marketing. If you love to write, keep doing what you love. If you actually want to be a successful writer, keep trying. If you do happen to become a bestselling author, then please offer me some advice.

Good luck!
John R. Cobb Although I normally write adult fiction, I’m actually working on a children’s’ story about a spotted turtle named Clemmie. I originally wrote the story when I was around eight or nine years old as a school project. For many years, my mother safeguarded the story, which was bound in a handsome handmade cover. Alas, it disappeared under mysterious circumstances several years ago. I suspect my sister had something to do with its disappearance, but she denies any involvement and seems to have an ironclad alibi. However, I’m still watching her. Someday, she’ll slipup, and I’ll be there to pronounce her guilt… Anyhow...I digress.

Rewritten in my adult writer’s voice, many details in the story are accurate in regards to turtle physiology and such, so I like to think the narrative is somewhat educational. Since the story is written with a rhyming, singsong prose, it should appeal to children of different ages, especially when read aloud.

Presently, I’m anxiously awaiting the last drawings from the book’s illustrator.
John R. Cobb My latest book, Tales of the Cemetery Trees, is an eclectic anthology, including short stories about crime, fantasy, mystery, and the supernatural. I actually wrote many while toiling away on my first book, Judith: A Quoddy Tale. You see…I get kinda bored when working on a long project, so I took frequent breaks from my debut novel and wrote short stories. Many of my reading preferences were influenced by my favorite author, Ray Bradbury. I love writing short fiction as much as reading. 500 or 5,000 words, you can bang out an entire storyline in a fraction of time as compared to a full-length manuscript. If the reader market was robust enough, I’d probably write nothing but short stories.

Many of my story inspirations come about from my own personal experiences—excluding, of course, the boogiemen and psychopaths. At least, for most stories… Many story settings are actual places that readers would recognize if they ever visited, and characters are usually composites of people I have known throughout my life. And, sometimes, I have no clue where certain story ideas come from. Nor, do I probably wanna know… ;-)

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