1. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
To tell you the truth, my intended audience was my wife and two sons. I never thought the manuscript would get published, so I wrote it for them. You see, one of my sons had a stuttering problem and I wanted him to have a story where the hero spoke like he did. I wanted him to see that even though he had difficulty speaking, he was still somebody incredible.
In a broader sense, the book is intended for people who love character-driven fantasy. However, I’ve been told that the book is really dark, which I suppose it is. But I’d rather think of it as “realistic.”
In most fantasies, the hero is always a good-looking, manly-man, with big muscles and a perpetually torn shirt. My character, Edmund, is a short, fat, balding librarian who stutters. That’s life. We’re not all Brad Pitt. Some of us are closer to Carrot Top.
2. Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
I was a very lonely kid. Reading books like Tolkien’s over and over again gave me a place to go and feel accepted. I’d come home from school feeling like crap and I’d lay on the sofa reading about Bree or the Shire. Nobody made fun of me there.
3. Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre? How did it turn out?
I once wrote a romance story called “Thunderstorms and Undying Love.” Everybody died in the end. It never got published (Surprise! Surprise!).
In Riddle in Stone, I tried to step outside my comfort zone a good deal. You see, I’m a bit squeamish. I can’t stand blood or people getting hurt. But I forced myself to write a somewhat gory torture scene. I should point out, that a publisher told me that it was the best torture scene she’d ever read (It involves a cup of tea and a comfy chair! Enough said!). So I’m glad I pushed myself.
4. How do you get past writers block or distractions like the internet?
I’m lucky. I really don’t get “writer’s block.” I have these characters in my head and I let them do whatever they want. I then sit back and type away.
The internet is a huge distraction, though. So many pictures of cute cats, so little time! I still haven’t found a cure for that.
5. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I like themes involving everyday people. I really get tired of reading stories about handsome, rich, athletic characters who have everything in the world going for them. (I suppose I’m a tad jealous!) I want to see the person walking down the street fight the dragon or win the princess’s heart or feel good about themselves. I just can’t relate to the beautiful people of the world.
6. What is your writing environment like? Do you write with a pen and paper, or on a computer? Do you need quiet, or music in the background? Do you have a pet who gets in on the act?
I have to have my office dark with a full-spectrum light shining down on my keyboard, hot cup of green tea to my left, and everything very quiet. I also have a standing desk, which has really helped increase the amount of time I can be at the computer. (I can’t sit still for long.)
When I write at home, I usually have my cat, Bob, sitting on my lap. But he gets demanding and won’t let me type, so that doesn’t last long.
7. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Hmmm… My son and I had speech impediments, so there’s a connection. I’m not the manly-man type, there’s another. I suppose the biggest connection to reality is that my main character, Edmund, is searching for happiness. He’s trying to feel comfortable in his own skin and be happy for who he is. That sums me up pretty well.
Thanks for being with us Robert, I look forward to reading your books.
About the Author:
By day, Robert Evert is an ordinary university professor bent on stamping out ignorance and apathy wherever they may rear their ugly heads. By night, and during various faculty meetings, he is an aspiring fantasy writer. Living in northeast Ohio with his wife, two sons, dog, four cats, and a host of imaginary friends, Robert enjoys teaching, yoga, hiking, and writing. You may learn more about Robert Evert at http://robertevert.blogspot.com/ where he discusses being a neurotic writer. Riddle in Stone is his first novel.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Riddle in Stone, it is available at www.robertevert.com.
If you read his work, please contact the author. He’d love to hear from you because he’s very lonely.
Where to Buy the Books: