|Posted by Jean Brown on February 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM|
I’m pleased to introduce my special guest today, Historical novelist Bob W Dunbar.
Hello Bob and thank you for joining us today. Please tell us about your current novel.
Bob: My current novel, TO FAME’S PROUD CLIFF, explores the relationship between Sam Houston and Andrew Jackson, two humanly flawed giants of American history.
That sounds very interesting. How close to recorded history will you keep Sam Houston’s relationship with his mentor and friend, Andrew Jackson?
Bob: I hew very close to history. The real story is fascinating enough without embellishment. The emphasis, though, is on the characters as much as it is on the times they lived through. I hope the audience will identify with them enough to make them ask themselves, “What would I do or feel in this situation?”
Do you have a work in progress?
Bob: My work in progress is about the Lincoln Assassination, the focus being on John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators. I don’t like to say much about works in progress before completing at least the first draft, because I find that by the time I actually sit down to write, I’m already tired of my subject.
Do you find it easier or more difficult to write about such powerful men’s characters whom your readers are already familiar with?
Bob: Not necessarily. I think that it’s probably easier to grab an audience by writing about well-known figures, but it’s just as much fun researching and writing about some of the lesser known people and bringing them to life for people who might not have been familiar with them. I’m not saying I never will, but so far, I’ve never used an invented character.
What inspired or motivated you to write?
Bob: I have always written, ever since I learned that words could be strung together to form a sentence. At first, of course, it was just a way of entertaining myself, but as I got older and started getting feedback from classmates and teachers, I began to believe it could someday grow into something more. I didn’t start writing professionally until I was in my late twenties. I spent several years in “freelance hell” before I decided to try my hand at writing novels. My first novel, THE HOLY SABBATH MORNING: A NOVEL OF THE ALAMO, finally saw the light of day in late 1998. Happily, it’s still in print after all this time.
Congratulations on your book still in print after fifteen years. Do you have a set time of day you write or do you just work it into your schedule whenever possible?
Bob: In my “real world” job in private security, I have a very unsettled schedule, so I have to be ready to write whenever the opportunity comes up.
That’s understandable. It’s tough to find time to write when you have a “real world job”. Who is your favorite author and what type of genre do you usually read?
Bob: Obviously, to do the kind of work I do, I have to read a lot of history for research. When I read for recreation, I read mostly mysteries. As to a favorite author, I’d say it’s a tossup between James Lee Burke and John Sandford.
I’m also a fan of John Sanford. What are you reading now?
Bob: I’m trying something new. I’ve just recently come to an appreciation of flash fiction, and I’m reading DAMN SURE RIGHT, by Meg Pokrass.
Catchy title. What type of music do you listen to?
Bob: I listen to a lot of different stuff. Rock’n’roll, country and oldtime R&B are my favorites. My favorite singer is Elvis.
What is your favorite movie?
Bob: It’s not really a “movie” movie but a TV miniseries, LONESOME DOVE. It has to be the most heartbreaking western ever made. The book is a favorite of mine, too.
The book was great. Sometime I would love to see the miniseries. Will you tell us about your writing style and any guidelines you go by while writing?
Bob: Rather than making my stories about historical events, I try to make them about the people caught up in those events. I believe that if I can give my readers characters they can identify with, then even people who hated history in school can enjoy my books and perhaps learn something, even if only by accident.
I love to read and write character driven novels. What advice would you give if someone told you that he/she would like to write a book?
Bob: Well, naturally, I would tell him/her to find a subject that he/she is passionate about. Then, first, last, and always, have fun with it. If there is a good writing/critiquing group near you, by all means join it. You might not get much from it that you can use (although that would surprise me), but you’ll find that you aren’t working in a vacuum, and there are people who can help you through the struggle.
That is sound advice, Bob. Thank you so much for chatting with us today. Where can readers go to find out more about you?
You can find out more about me and my work at these links: