The 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ is proud to present Bob Mayer as our keynote speaker. On Thursday, March 22nd, he will guide attendees through A ONE DAY NOVEL WRITING SEMINAR. The presentation begins with the original idea and heart of a story, developing plot and character, working with point of view and, in conclusion, pulling everything together to sell your book and the business of writing.
Friday and Saturday, he will present topics on Write It Forward: From Writer To Successful Author, E-Pub, POD and the Future of Publishing for the Writer, and The Military for Writers. Saturday, he will speak at our luncheon I Will Make it Work.
GLVWG’s Bernadette Sukley does the honors of interviewing Bob.
Bernadette: Your first book, “Eyes of the Hammer” debuted in 1991, but at what age did you start writing?
Bob: The key was that I was a voracious reader as a child. I read everything I could get my hands on; growing up in the Bronx; I’d bike to the local library. When I’d read through that, I biked further to the next nearest library. I’d take the subway to Manhattan to the main branch, guarded by Patience and Fortitude, the two lions.
At West Point, I wrote a psychology paper that was supposed to be a study of some historical figure, so I picked the protagonist of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and turned it in, inside the LP. Then I also wrote a short about a young man arriving at West Point in the mid-1800s based on some diaries I read in the archives. In the military I wrote lots of orders; also the Gettysburg Battle Staff Walk for the JFK Special Warfare Center.
But I jumped right into novel writing with a book in 1988. Technically, it wasn’t my first book published, but it was called Dragon Sim-13, based on a mission my A-Team had done.
Bernadette: A favorite author(s)? Why?
Bob: A terribly unfair question. There are so many. I believe Stephen King said, “read writers who you aspire to be like.” Great writers. Not so much the literary canon, as I really doubt Ulysses was the best book of the 20th Century. Sorry. I heard enough drunken Irishman stories growing up. Off the top of my head, there’s Kate Atkinson, Larry McMurtry, Michael Connoly, Richard Russo. I read a lot of non-fiction. Currently devouring American Lion by Jon Meacham. I’ve read all of Pat Conroy’s books, which are an intriguing study in plotting and prose. He has operatic plots, way over the top, but when Jimmy Buffet can set your words to music, you can write any damn thing you like. We used to live across the Intracoastal from Dafuskie Island, the setting in The Water Is Wide.
I like authors who combine great characters with intriguing plots. I’m not a fan of books that I need to read four times and write a paper on in order to try to figure out what they meant. That’s not good writing in my opinion. I can grasp what Hemingway meant the first time. He was direct and to the point.