Exclusive Interview with
Robert Paul Blumenstein
When did you start writing?
My first short story was written in the third grade. I first published while attending college.
What makes writing your passion?
I believe humans have an innate desire to tell stories. Many children create imaginary playmates becasue they want to share their story with someone. I believe storytelling is truly ingrained in our DNA.
How long have you been writing?
Since the third grade.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Disbelief at first. I had shipped the typed manuscript out to several publishers, and even paid the postage for its return trip back home. So, when the print edition came in the mail, the experience was transformative.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Sometimes from people I've met or known. At other times, from people that I would like to meet or get to know.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I think the worst thing is to get a rejection letter from an editor where he or she sings the praises for my work, even describing something the character did or said as particularily endearing to them, and then say, "But we're going to pass." Really??? Nowadays, because editors get so much material they don't have time to say stuff like this, and it's doubtful that they have the time to read much of what you send them anyway.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
The best way to get over "writer's block" is not to get it in the first place. By that I mean, write every day, stay busy with a new project or brush up (edit) some of the old stuff. But, I need a break every once in a while, so after the break, I set a date in my day planner when I'm going to restart and then I keep the appointment!
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I hope every new project will be better than the last. I have a desire to keep getting better until my dying day. There's only one way that's going to happen, and that is to keep churning out new work. My advise to new authors? Write something every day.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Get your priorities straight and stop wasting so much time.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Of course I do. I look for constructive criticism that will assist me in my day-to-day life goal of getting better at life each and every day. If someone just dumps on me, and that's happened before, I wonder what kind of day, nay, what kind of life they're having!
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Sometimes I'm suspicious because it's too over the top. I still look for that bit of constructive cristicism, which can certainly be present even in a five star review.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
That's hard to do. The story never seems to replicate the real life event as well as it did when it happened in real time. I find the imagination actually creates a reality, sometimes more believable, than simply trying to throw some real-life experience into the story.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I have one character that I would like to have been because he turned out to be so much more than I could have ever been.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
In this day in time, it's so important. As we have developed visual media over the decades, the book cover has become vital to the sale of the book. Back in the old leather and cloth bound days, covers had no visuals, then the dust jacket was developed because publishers knew of its power to affect the sale. We're still on the same track.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
No, I love talking to my readers. It's like the chef that's called out of the kitchen by one of his or her patrons and being told what a fantastic meal he or she prepared. Yeah, the patron will try to get your recipe, but you can always talk flavors.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
It's always astounding because someone is taking a risk to endorse me in front of a group of people. That takes courage and that's something that I admire in a person.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
At this point in history, we've been blessed with so many great writers it's impossible to call anyone of them "favorite". Ursla K. Le Guinn and Phillip K. Dick come to mind because they're world creators.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I want to be as big as me.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No, but I might do some editing on a couple of them.