Here are my questions, answered by Jeremy Robinson on the last day of his book tour! Books by Jeremy Robinson include 'Pulse' and 'Instinct.' These books are high fantasy adventure, very well-received by Young Adult readers. And since lately I've enjoyed the Young Adult Genre more than others, I intend to check these books out. Not to generate any confusion at all, but he also goes by Jeremy Bishop and has a whole other set of books in another genre, and that includes 'Sentinel', a great horror read about a ship and other scary things. So with only a Happy Halloween to you, without further ado, Jeremy Robinson!
Welcome to Jeremy Robinson’s Great Kindle Giveaway and Blog Tour.
“Hurray for free Kindles!” you say, but who the hell is Jeremy Robinson? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the author of eleven mixed genre novels, published in ten languages, including the popular fantasy YA series, THE LAST HUNTER, and the fast-paced Jack Sigler series (also known as Chess Team—not nearly as nerdy as it sounds), PULSE, INSTINCT and THRESHOLD from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. I’m the co-author of an expanding series of novellas deemed the Chesspocalypse, which take place in the Chess Team universe. If that doesn’t wet your whistle, I’m also known as Jeremy Bishop, the #1 Amazon.com horror author of THE SENTINEL and the controversial novel, TORMENT. For more about me, or my books, visit www.jeremyrobinsononline.com.
I have watched for years as my fellow authors held online events called blog tours. Some would visit ten blogs. Others, as many as ninety. And every day they would bring something different, waxing eloquent about a multitude of topics. When I finally decided to have a blog tour of my own, and settled on doing each and every weekday in October, my first thought was, “This will be cool,” which was immediately followed up by, “Holy crap, I can’t think of something interesting to say twenty times in one month!” I can barely think of something worthwhile for my own blog just once a month. The solution is what follows; each blog participating in the tour could ask me ANY three questions. That means, if the subject matter bores you, I’m not to blame! Huzzah!
But fear not. There are other rewards for sloughing through the questions and answers. I’ll be giving away two Kindles to two randomly selected readers who sign up for my newsletter. Details on the giveaway can be found below. On to the Q&A!
1) When you come up with an idea for a book, how much of a pre-writing process goes into it?
Well, the time between idea and actual writing of a novel can be years. Literally. For example, if I came up with an idea today, and decided I absolutely had to write it, I couldn’t until after writing: ISLAND 731 (due out in 2013), RAGANAROK (Chess Team book 4), the final two LAST HUNTER books, and a new Jeremy Bishop novel. So there are at least five novels that have to come first, not to mention a few ideas already in the cache. But this is the true test of the idea. I may love it today, but will I love it a year from now? Two years from now? Some concepts that I think are great fall flat a few months later. Those that still interest me after this percolation period are the ones that get written. My book TORMENT (writer as Jeremy Bishop) stayed on my mind for five years before I had a chance to write it!
If the book moves ahead to writing, I generally spend about a month on research, usually while editing a previously finished novel. While researching, I’ll come up with names and bios for the main characters using the character worksheets from my only non-fiction book, THE SCREENPLAY WORKBOOK. I’ll keep those next to me as I write in case I forget the color of someone’s eyes. Sometimes I’ll write an outline, but usually only when its required of me by the publisher. I tend to know how I want to end things, but tend out outline just a few chapters out at a time. I like to throw in surprises and find that they work best when they’re a surprise to me, too, so I don’t like to lay everything out, and if I do, I tend to then ignore it. And then, the writing starts! For me, it’s usually a pretty quick prep period because I’ve been thinking about the story for years and have a pretty good idea of what I want to write.
2) How important is research when writing your books?
On a scale of one to ten, I’d say research ranks a seven for me. There are general details about locations, history and science that authors should get right, especially if they’re well known or established fact. Getting that kind of stuff wrong can pull a reader out of the story pretty quickly. But this is also fiction, so there has to be some room for imagination. The author should be able to add buildings that don’t exist, or streets, or even entire towns (like Stephen King does). The real key is to do enough research so that you can convince the reader that you know more about the topic than they do. That way, when you slip in something that’s fiction, the reader doesn’t notice. And for this reason, no matter how educated a reader feels after finishing a novel, they shouldn’t trust the information. It’s likely that at least a portion of the history, science or location details are fictional. So for me, research is important and helps frame the story, but if something doesn’t line up perfectly, I have no qualms about altering the real world, short of changing the laws of physics. Well, most of the time.
3) What is your general daily routine when writing a book?
I tend to spend my mornings working on non-writing aspects of the business. Marketing, edits, interviews (like this one) are all completed by lunch. And if they’re not completed, they get pushed back to the next day. Because once I’m done eating lunch, I switch gears to writing and generally pump out two chapters a day between the hours of 12:30 and 5:00. It’s a pretty rigid routine, but it helps me keep up with the ridiculous number of novels I’ve decided to write every year (five). Since I started working with a group of co-authors on the Chess Team novellas, CALLSIGN: KING, CALLSIGN: QUEEN, etc, I’m now editing most nights, too. There are seven novellas coming out in 2011 (three are out now) so there is always something to take the red pen to. The last week has been surreal. I’ve been doing edits for my next hardcover novel, SECONDWORLD, for Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press in the morning, writing my next YA novel, THE LAST HUNTER – ASCENT in the afternoons, and then acting as editor on CALLSIGN: BISHOP at night. Bouncing back and forth between all these very different worlds is sometimes confusing, but it’s also very fun.
Hope that was as good for you as it was for me. Now how about that kindle giveaway?
Here’s the deal: to be entered to win one of two free kindles all you have to do is visit my website—www.jeremyrobinsononline.com—and sign up for the newsletter. That’s it. The first kindle will go to a randomly chosen newsletter signup on October 31. For the second kindle, there’s a catch. The second giveaway will only be triggered if one of my kindle books hits the Amazon.com bestseller list (top 100). So pick up some books (most are just $2.99 a pop) and spread the word! If one of the books squeaks up to #100 for just a single hour, the second kindle will be given away to another randomly chosen newsletter sign up on October 31.
*When you sign up for the newsletter, be sure to include the name of the blog that referred you in the field provided. I’ll be giving away two $50 Amazon.com gift certificates to the blog that refers the most sign-ups and another to the blog who referred the first kindle winner.
** I will announce winners via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and newsletter (which you will be signed up for!) but I’ll also e-mail the winners directly—I’ll need to know where to ship those kindles!
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A, and good luck with the kindle giveaway!
-- Jeremy Robinson