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Nuclear Armageddon blasts through time itself, dragging people from different eras into a turning point in history.
The year… 1746.
Around Fort William, the Scottish Highlanders are in revolt and the Redcoats are coming…
But this time they will face more than flintlocks and Claymores.
Can history be changed, or is the future doomed to witness…
The Last Sunset?
TR: Morning, Bob, and welcome…
BA: Good morning, Thomas…thanks for having me…
TR: So, tell us a little about you. How old were you when you wrote your first piece?
BA: I began writing poems and short stories while I was in the army. It was a way of alleviating the boredom, I suppose. Some of my friends would ask me to write poems for them to send to their girlfriends. It didn’t do much for my own love life, unfortunately.
TR: Ah, well, practice makes perfect. What was it, and in what genre?
BA: The first piece of fiction I wrote was a horror story set in a particularly dark and foreboding forest near our camp in Osnabruck, Germany. None of the guys would go anywhere near this forest after dark. The place had such a forbidding atmosphere. Only a few years ago I discovered that that forest was the site of a horrendous battle between the Roman Legions and local Germanic tribes.
TR: Whoa, there’s some history. What made you write it?
BA: I wanted it to be made into a Hollywood blockbuster, so that I could be rich & famous; live in the south of France and drive a Porsche. Okay, seriously, I think I was aware, even then, I was just flexing my muscles as a writer; stretching my wings, as it were.
TR: Let me know, I’ll fly right over. What have you written since then?
BA: A few short stories. A number of poems. I always promised myself that when I left work I would write a novel. The opportunity for early retirement came along and I couldn‘t get out of the door quickly enough.
TR: Lucky you…Now, I’ve read “The Last Sunset”. What was the inspiration for it?
BA: I live in an area that is not only stunningly beautiful, but is also incredibly rich in history. Within a twenty mile radius of where I live lie five historical battlefields. On many hilltops can be found the ruins of iron age forts that were built before the time of Christ. Inhabited for thousands of years, many of the glens lie empty now, cleared of people during the evictions of the 19th century. In such places the past really does hang heavy. I think “The Last Sunset” was my way of repopulating the empty glens; relighting the peat fires in the ruined houses, as it were.
TR: Your descriptions of the area were enough to sell me on the book. Tell us a little moreabout it, and where it’s available.
BA: “The Last Sunset” is a romantic, time-travel adventure set primarily during the Jacobite rebellion of 1746. The story is set during one of the great crossroads of history, and seeks to pose that great question of speculative fiction: What if? The book is available from Amazon.com., Amazon.co.UK. Smashwords, Kobo, diesel and Nook.
TR: Is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
BA: I have found that ideas can come anywhere, at any time. I have learnt always to have pencil and paper handy. Many authors are blessed with photographic memories. Very often I can’t even remember where I left the pencil and paper.
TR: I love the fact that you’re my writing brother at Greyhart, tell me…what made you choose either traditional or independent publishing?
BA: Like yourself, Thomas, I had the great good fortune to have my book accepted by Greyhart Press, run by Mr Tim C Taylor. Tim is a very talented author in his own right,and how he manages to balance his work as a publisher with his own writing career is a mystery to me, and to many other writers in his stable. I admire the energy and enterprise of self-publishing authors, and I think that writers’ groups such as ASMSG are a wonderful idea.
TR: I agree, Tim is a wonder. So, if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
BA: Wow! Some of these questions are tricky. Can I phone a friend on this one? Okay. All methods of publicity have their place: Twitter; Facebook, Word of mouth; Blog sites such as yours, are all excellent platforms to advertise our work. Just to demonstrate the power of Twitter. My publisher sent out a general tweet announcing the forthcoming publication of The Last Sunset. The tweet was picked up by someone who worked for the BBC. Within three days an article had appeared on the BBC Scotland website. Luck, therefore, also has a huge part to play. Reviews are important too, although now that a few unscrupulous authors have been caught purchasing reviews, they have come to be regarded with some suspicion.
TR: Always a few ruining it for everyone. So, in these interviews I’ve heard quite a variety of mistakes writers have felt they made. What mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
BA: I have been fortunate in that the whole process has gone remarkably smoothly. The one thing I would do differently in the future would be to make an effort to create a blog site such as your own excellent example. This is as good a platform as any I have seen for connecting with other writers and would-be writers.
TR: Thank you…you’re too kind. So, do you have an idea for your next book?
BA: A number of very kind reviewers have expressed the hope that a sequel to The Last Sunset is in the offing. The framework of the story is there; it just needs fleshed out a little. Now, where did I leave that pencil and paper?
TR: I think a sequel would be great, and having read the book – and loving it – I can’t help but wonder how you’d go about a sequel. Keep me posted.
TR: Thanks Bob, I enjoyed having you over. Well, there are you, folks. A little about Bob and his book. I’ve had the good fortune to Beta read “The Last Sunset”, and let me tell you, you want to read it…trust me.
Tune in tomorrow, as I’ll be interviewing my good friend Travis Luedke, author of “The Nightlife New York”. Be there!