Tag Archive | Robert Evert

Interview – Robert Evert (Follow-up)

Written by Erin Eymard

Happy Monday, Bibliophiles!  Today, I have for you the special treat of a follow-up interview with Robert Evert, author of “Riddle in Stone.  For those of you not familiar with Robert or RIS, please check out my past interview and review.  For everyone else, please enjoy!

Welcome, Robert!  And once again thank you for giving us a little insight into your publishing experiences! At the end of the “Riddle in Stone”, you gave us a little peek into the sequel.  How is the writing process coming along?

Author of  Riddle in Stone

Author of Riddle in Stone

It’s going very well, thank you for asking!

The second manuscript, Betrayal in the Highlands, is basically finished. It’s just needs to be edited.  The current projection is that it’ll be released as an e-book in August and then as an audio book sometime after that.

My publisher and I are currently discussing a third book, tentatively entitled Blood in Snow. The first draft of that manuscript is finished.  I’m just letting it sit a bit before working on it again.

We’re also waiting to see how many people buy Riddle in Stone. If enough people buy it, Diversion Books will be interested in releasing the third book in the series.  If nobody buys Riddle in Stone…well, then Edmund and his dog are dead.

No pressure there, people. Hint! Hint! Hint!

Any sneak peeks or tidbits you could share with us?

Hmmm.  What should I say???

In Betrayal in the Highlands, Edmund continues to be relentlessly pursued by the goblins, Kravel and Gurding. While hiding in a picture perfect coastal town, he falls in love with a wonderful character named, Abby—an unabashed snoop who wants to adventure. The problem is Edmund’s best friend, Pond Scum, has also fallen in love with Abby. Further, she’s now in mortal danger because of Edmund. He has to try to save her while saving himself and Pond Scum.

I really enjoy Abby. It’s nice to meet a female lead character who is as tough and smart as the male leads.  I’d like to eventually write a series just for her; but again, I need Riddle in Stone to sell well enough to keep writing.

Am I being too subtle?

Not in the least bit, Robert.  But it’s alright.  I didn’t invite you back to be subtle.  Over three months since the release of Riddle in Stone, what are some of the lessons you will take away from this experience?

Holy crap! Boy, that’d fill a book in and of itself!

I’ve learned a great deal about the writing and publishing processes.

First, writing is far more of a team endeavor than I originally thought.  

I really have to rely on the feedback of readers to see what works in my writing and what doesn’t. I’m constantly reading reviews and asking readers how certain aspects of the story could have been different and so forth. Then I have to force myself to adjust my writing style accordingly.

I’ve also learned about marketing books. Honestly, I spend more time begging people to read “Riddle in Stone” that I ever did writing it. But that’s the nature of being a small-time writer.

Every sale, every review counts.  

Seriously, a couple dozen sales could separate me from publishing another book or spending my life daydreaming about my characters. Marketing and promotion are THAT important to new writers, which is why I appreciate you letting me come here and say, “Riddle in Stone” over and over again. By the way, “Riddle in Stone” is available where most e-books are sold for $2.99.

In a recent blog post, you mentioned sitting next to a famous author on a flight and he/she gave you marketing advice.  Can you share some of that with our readers who may not have read your blog? (Readers you can visit Robert’s blog here for a more in depth answer)

She was really helpful, not just by entertaining me on a very long flight from Oslo to New York, but also by telling me about what publishers want from new writers. We talked for several hours about the need for writers to have a marketing plan and a well-established presence on social media.  It was a real eye-opener.  I thought I just had to write a decent story. Evidently, I have to be social as well. Go figure!

Speaking of marketing, when will you get that twitter account?

Ugh! You know, I have a website that I rarely update, a blog that I post on every so often, facebook, G+.   I can’t take anymore social media.  I can’t!!!  What can I possibly say on a minute by minute basis that anybody would remotely care about?

Buy Riddle in Stone! Buy Riddle in Stone! Buy Riddle in Stone!

Buy Riddle in Stone or Edmund and his dog die!!!!

I think I’ll draw the line at twitter.

What are you currently reading?

In print, I’m reading Christine Green’s Deadly Errand, Simon Brett’s The Poisoning in the Pub, and Jasper Kent’s Thirteen Years Later. On audio, I’m listening to a book on ancient history. I can’t recall the title. On my computer, I’m reading a bunch of manuscripts other new and aspiring writers have been sending me.

So much to read, so little time…

The cover for Riddle in Stone was one of my favorite covers ever.  Any cover ideas for the sequel?

RIS

Robert Evert’s Riddle in Stone

Well, thanks!  I’ll pass that along to the art department at Diversion Books. I’m sure I owe much of the success I’ve had to them and their wonderful cover.

I always have ideas for covers, but the problem is when you’re a nobody writer, you don’t really get to design your cover. You can’t say, “I want a painting of this and that and these colors.”

I tried with Riddle in Stone; but they basically laughed at me.  Instead, you get covers created from existing pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, the art people are wonderful at putting things together. However, you can only do something with the pictures that are available.  That creates some problems for my books.

You see, my characters aren’t really typical.  Edmund is middle aged, balding man who has one-eye. Most of the available artwork involves burly men with tattoos and their shirts torn off.

And, oh, they also seem to all wear really tight trousers!  

Don’t know why.

None of that fits my books. So we are limited in what covers we can make. But I’m sure the art people will do something wonderful for the second book. Fingers crossed!

By the way, if any of you are members of Goodreads, please visit the site for my book, Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone was put on several lists—including “best cover” and “books you want other people to know about.”  If you have time, please “vote” for Riddle in Stone.

Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone.  Geez! How many times can I say that without losing all respect for myself?  I feel like such a whore.

What character/scene/book do you wish you had written?

Hmmm.  There’s so much that I could talk about here. I have tons of ideas for future books.

I suppose if my book, which I refuse to utter it’s name again, doesn’t sell enough to warrant another sequel… I think my next project will be a satire about higher education. I’m a faculty member at a major university.  It’d be interesting to write something about my odd coworkers and insane administration.  I’m tenured.  I can do what I want now!

Jason Bourne, James Bond, or Ethan Hunt?

To sleep with or just cuddle?

Personally, I think James Bond is overdone. But I suppose that’s the purpose of those books. He’s almost like a cartoon or a superhero.

I enjoyed the Jason Bourne series and Mission Impossible. So they’re both possibilities.

The issue I have is that they are both good-looking guys with incredible skills.  I just don’t relate to those kinds of characters. I like the under-achieving losers who don’t fit in.

However, if I have to answer, I’ll go with Ethan Hunt—but only because I keep getting mistaken for Tom Cruise.  But that’s a story for a different blog post!

Just a closing plea!

If you like somewhat dark fantasies and need something to read this summer, please consider my book. You can read the first chapter on Amazon.

If you’ve already read it, please write a review wherever you can—even if you think it sucks. Every review helps, especially on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, and BarnesandNoble.com!

If you’ve already reviewed it, please mention your review to your friends on Facebook, G+, Goodreads, and so forth.

The life you save maybe Edmund’s!

Thanks for having me, Erin!  It’s always a pleasure!

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Riddle in Stone by Robert Evert (Book Review)

Long after the last of the great heroes of old has died, the Undead King is stirring again, amassing a goblin horde ready to sweep out of the mountains and destroy all of humanity. The only thing preventing utter annihilation is Edmund—a stuttering librarian who knows a secret, a secret that every thief, assassin, and king would kill to have. Fleeing from relentless peril, Edmund wages a solitary battle against an ancient evil. But how can one man succeed when so many before him have failed?

A brief disclosure first about this book.  I was excited about the release of this book.  How excited was I, you ask?  When the book was released, I bought it for my kindle totally forgetting that I had already bought it for my nook.  Oh well.

After downloading it for my Kindle, I didn’t have time that evening to read it.  So I put it aside to read during my lunch hour the next day.  Not only did I arrived back from lunch half an hour late, but I spent the whole rest of the afternoon sneaking in a couple of pages here and there.  I ended up finishing it up sometime after dinner.  I decided to let my mind digest the book for a week before sitting down to write this review.

Riddle in Stone is the debut novel of author Robert Evert.  Frequent readers of the Bookworm’s Fancy will recognize the name from an author interview and a small feature in Around the Web #2.  He was one of the first authors that I met in the course of working on this blog.  I was surprised by his down to earth attitude about his writing.

Let me say that it starts off a little slow and a bit tedious due to the way Edmund thinks and speaks.  But the slow start is necessary to set up the character and gives the reader a glimpse into his inner struggles.  Once Edmund leaves Rood, the story picks up immediately.  

He leaves his home with his head filled with the legends and history that he read in his books.  But is soon forced to face the fact that all he has believed in was a lie when he is captured by goblins.  All that he has to sustain him during his captivity is a few spells that his mother taught him when he was younger and his love for a local woman named Molly.

For his first outing as an author, Evert does an outstanding job.  He isn’t afraid of the nastiness inherent in captivity.  The process of turning Edmund from a sputtering coward into something resembling a hero is a long and ugly one.  It is the inherent want to survive at any cost that finally pushes Edmund to that transformation.  This transformation is what allows Edmund to triumph over the goblins and rescue his beloved Molly.

Evert creates interesting characters that you can’t but identify with and root for.  You find yourself cheering on Filth, Crazy Bastard, and Pondscum.  You find yourself loathing the goblins and yet intrigued by the goblin king.  

With this story, Evert has successfully put a new spin on the ordinary fantasy character that either through magic, destiny, tragedy, or hardship becomes a hero.  I have read a lot of books in my life and I have never read one that managed to do that any better than this book.  

With Riddle in Stone, Robert Evert has given us a fantastic debut novel, though not without some rough parts.  The great thing is that Evert is a new author; and his writing and storytelling can only improve.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to its sequel, which we get a glimpse of at the end of this book.  

The Bookworm gives this book 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

 You can visit Robert Evert’s blog by clicking here.  You can order Riddle in Stone by clicking here.  If you like what you read here, be sure to follow us on twitter @ErinEymard and Google Plus.

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Around the Web #4 – Plights of the Indie Author

Sometimes being an independent author is a lonely road.  Even with great communities out there (like the ones on Twitter and G+), authors can struggle with that feeling of hopelessness that sometimes strikes us after a rejection letter or when faced with the daunting task of editing or the baby screamed and demanded your attention refusing to let you write (just saying) or the many other obstacles that prevent authors from being successful. 

But in truth the indie author isn’t alone.  Here are three wonderful articles! One designed to help you sell your book.  One to share in your lament of a rejection letter.  One ring to rule them all….oh wait…..sorry.  And one about getting over The PAGE.

The Creative Penn

The Creative Penn

WHY WON’T MY BOOK SELL?

How many indie authors out there have wanted to just pull their hair out because their book (which of course is awesome, if you just ask them) isn’t flying off the digital shelf (are there digital shelves? do shelves only exist in reality? is it a spoon thing?)?

Joanna Penn over at the Creative Penn offers a handy checklist to help you out.  And let’s face it…we can all use a little help XD.

What I love about this list is it is pretty much like calling tech support for your computer except you don’t feel 100% stupid afterward (Is it plugged into the wall?  Is it plugged into the computer?  Is the power on? Are you a complete moron?).  Of course that is probably because you can read this in your jammies and never really admit to how many of these things you do wrong.

One of her most sage pieces of advice has to deal with writing more books.

More books = a bigger shelf space = more sales.

I guess this means that digital shelves really do exist.

The Creative Penn explains:

The more books you have available, the more virtual shelf space you have,
the easier it is for people to discover you.
Plus if a reader finds one they like, they may buy them all so you make more per customer.”

Needless to say, you should check out here article by clicking here.

The Woe of Rejection:failed

Oh the horrors of rejection letters!  Buzz Malone on his blog gives the readers a funny and hopeful post about rejection letters. Did you know that Gone with the Wind was rejected thirty-eight (38) times before it was finally published? 

38 FREAKING TIMES a publisher said “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

I wonder if someone lost their job after it became a bestseller?  Buzz Malone‘s blog post reminds us that even the Greats had to start out somewhere.  Give it a read!

Quote by Neil Gaiman

The PAGE:

Those of you who are regular visitors to the page will recognize the name Leigh Evans.  Leigh is fantasy writer who’s first book Trouble with Fate was released in December of 2012.  

She has also appeared in issue #1 and issue #2 of Around the Web on this site.  Though she is definitely not an indie author, her post rings true to all authors.  She’s been dipping her toes deeper and deeper into the blogosphere and her post on The PAGE truly hits home with anyone who has tried to write anything of length or note.

Hope you enjoyed this issue of Around the Web! Don’t forget about our giveaway of a copy of Stephen King On Writing!  As always, follow us on twitter  and now on GooglePlus!

 

 

Author Interview – Robert Evert

The Bookworm is excited to interview Robert Evert.  Robert’s first novel Riddle in Stone went on pre-order on February 2, 2013.  You may remember from Around the Web #2 that I first met Robert through the wonderful communities on Google Plus.  He was kinds enough give me an interview.

Author of  Riddle in Stone

Author of Riddle in Stone

Bookworm:  “Before we start, let me say that I just adore your blog.  In fact, I picked up Stephen King’s On Writing after reading your post.  I like that you are very frank with your readers.”

Robert Evert:  “Thanks, Erin!  To tell you the truth, I don’t like the idea of “blogging.”  One, it takes time from my other writing. And two, I’m not sure it really helps “promote” books.  But I’ve met some wonderful people like yourself so I’m glad I’ve done it.  Also, I can’t imagine why anybody would read my ramblings.  But I’m glad a few of you have!

And yes, every writer should read Stephen King’s “On Writing.”  Also, Sol Stein’s “Stein on Writing.” Both are wonderful books. I didn’t realize how bad of a writer I was until I read them. I honestly can say that I wouldn’t have gotten my manuscript published without their help.”

Bookworm:  “Speaking of which how’s the blogging coming?”

Robert Evert: “Ha! You tell me!  I don’t know.  I mean, I try to write something every week.  I want to chronicle my journey as an aspiring writer.  Hopefully I can say something that will help somebody out there.  Had I had a writing mentor years ago, I would have gotten published so much sooner.  My blog is just a way that I can try to help others learn what I learned the hard way.”

Bookworm:  “So, tell me a little about your upcoming book?

Robert Evert:  “Riddle in Stone is about this guy named Edmund. He is fat, stutters, and deeply in love with a beautiful woman, who doesn’t know he exists.

One day he realizes that his life stinks. Every morning he gets up, does the same thing that he did the day before, and then goes to bed alone. He’s bored and wants something – anything – to give his life meaning. So he decides to become a famous adventure, like all of the heroes in his beloved books.  But he quickly realizes that being a hero isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.

It’s an “epic fantasy.” However, it really isn’t about magic and goblins and sword fights, although all of which are in the book.  It’s about trying to find out who you are. There’s a mystery and a sweet romance. But there’s also a “bro-mance” where Edmund and another guy are thrown together out of necessity. They become friends and help each other find happiness.

Hopefully it’ll strike a chord with somebody out there.”

Bookworm:  “Who/What inspired the story?”

Robert Evert: Boy, this is a difficult question to answer! You see, originally, I didn’t set out to write a book. I was just trying to practice writing, dialogue in particular. Every day, I sat down and spent at least fifteen minutes writing short scenes with this character—“Edmund.”

I had no idea who he was or what he wanted out of life. I was just trying to practice creating scenes and, bit by bit, this story simply unfolded in front of me. I wrote about four hundred pages and sent it to an agent, who said she loved it. And here we are!

Looking back, I have to say that Edmund is very much like me, though I didn’t plan it that way. He’s not good-looking. He’s not strong or talented. He’s not a hero. But he tries very hard to be a good person, although things don’t always work out the way he plans them.”

Bookworm:  “I love the cover.  Who came up with the concept?  Who designed it?”

Robert Evert:  Thanks!  The wonderful art staff at Diversion Books did that for me. I was a bit nervous seeing the cover for the first time.  I was worried that it was going to stink.  But they really did a nice job.

As far as the concept, that was a lot of give and take between me and the art staff. Most fantasy covers have big burly manly men holding buxom women who are falling out of thin clothing.  Or maybe there’s a grim roguish fellow with a sword. 

But none of that works for my story.  Edmund isn’t the typical hero. He’s short, fat, and balding.  He has a good heart, but it’s hard to see that in a picture. So I suggested showing him from behind.  Hopefully it’ll attract a few readers out there.”

Bookworm:  “Favorite superhero power?”

Robert Evert:  “Most of the time, I’d love to be invisible…which is horrible for a writer. Nowadays, you have to be “out there” talking to people and marketing your book.  I’m just not very good at such things.

If I had my choice, I would like the ability to truly understand people.  People really puzzle me.  I’m never too sure why they do the things they do or say the things they say. They’re a complete mystery to me.  I wish I could just see and understand them for who they are.”

Bookworm:  “Who’s your favorite literary Terry?”

Robert Evert:  Well, Terry Pratchett comes to mind.  I love the humor.  But Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind are brilliant as well.”

Bookworm:  “What authors inspire you?”

Robert Evert:  “Beverly Cleary was the first.  I loved “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” as a kid.  Then Tolkien changed my life.  I didn’t know the joy of reading and writing until I read the Lord of the Rings.  But there are a ton of wonderful authors out there.  Nearly every book I pick up inspires me in some way.”

Bookworm:  “On your blog, you often say “First drafts suck.”  I’m sure every writer feels that pain.  Who helps you edit your drafts?”

Robert Evert:  “I have a writing friend, Christine DeSmet, who edited the first book. She’s a fellow author and an incredible person.  A bit brutal at times. But I think writers need to hear, “This stinks!” Once in awhile.  Sometimes we don’t see the flaws in our own writing.  Outside editors who are blunt are a big help!”

Bookworm: “How did you go about getting published?

Robert Evert:  “Ah! That’s a book in and of itself! 

I’ve been trying to get published ever since I was in fifth grade. I tried and tried and tried, but never got anywhere.  Then I started studying the craft of writing.  If you want to get published, you have to study writing just like you would for any career. Once I realized that, getting published became very easy.”

Bookworm:  “Any advice to unpublished writers?”

Robert Evert:  “I have a TON of suggestions for unpublished writers. Things that I wish people would have told me when I first started out.  Here’s one tip you might not have heard before—read new authors. Of course, being a new author, that probably sounds a bit self-serving. But follow my logic for a minute. 

If you pick up a book by Stephen King or Tolkien or Rowlings or the latest big seller, I think we have a tendency of saying to ourselves, “Since they’re selling so many books, this must be good! I need to write like them!” It’s difficult for unpublished writers to read popular authors objectively. If we see something we don’t like, I think we often say, “Oh, it must just be me. I must not see what everybody else does. I must not get it.” And that’s a bad mindset. 

Unpublished writers need to study writing. We can’t do that if we think other people have all the answers.

However, if you read books by people you’ve never heard of before, you’re free to think whatever you like. You can say, “Holy cow! This is really unique! I love how the author does x.” And you’re free to say, “Holy crap! This sucks! How the hell did this get published?”

Read new writers.  E-mail them. Ask them questions. Talk to them about the craft of writing. Stephen King and J.K. Rowlings probably won’t respond to “fan mail.” But a new writer certainly will!  I mean, I would LOVE for somebody to take the time to e-mail me and say something nice about my work!  That’s a hint, by the way.”

Bookworm:  ”Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.  And good luck on the pre-order of Riddle in Stone.”  

 You can visit Robert Evert’s blog by clicking here.  You can pre-order Riddle in Stone by clicking here.  If you like what you read here, be sure to follow us on twitter @ErinEymard and Google Plus.  The Bookworm is also giving a copy of Stephen King On Writing to one lucky follower of the blog/twitter/Google plus.  More information can be found on our Google Plus page!

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Around the Web #2

Leigh Evans

Leigh Evans

Interview:

Check out The Cuddlebuggery Book Blog’s  Interview: Leigh Evans.  Her best advice comes in her answer about how important research is.

Leigh illustrates the fundamental idea of “write what you love” (as opposed to the inane advice of “write what you know”).

Leigh is an urban fantasy writer whose debut novel Trouble with Fate just went live in December 2012 and she has a deal to write four more books in the Mystwalker series.  She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband.   Bookworm readers may recognize her from Around the Web #1 where we highlighted her fateful encounter with Patrick Rothfuss.

Elmore Lenord’s Tips

Writing Tips:

Want to know how the greats do it?  (WRITE THAT IS!  GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER!)  OpenCulture.com has a great article that includes advice from some of the most prolific writers of our time.

Some of my favorite are #10 Elmore Leonard – “Leave out the parts that people skip”, #6 George Orwell – “Break any of these rules sooner than saying anything outright barbarous”, #1 Neil Gaiman “Write”, and of course #13 Henry Safire – “Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors”.

Robert Evert

Blog Highlight:

So this week I decided to highlight Robert Evert.  Who is Robert Evert, you may ask?  I came across Robert by chance.  He posted asking for opinions on the cover of his upcoming book in a G+ community that I was a part of.

After giving my opinion, I got to talking with him.  What I found was an intelligent, humble new author with a lot of promise.  I was already planning on picking up his book when released in February due to the awesome cover and blurb.  But interacting with him actually made me wish it were coming out sooner than February.  

The Riddle in Stone is a fantasy tale about a middle aged librarian who always wanted to be a hero and soon learns that being a hero is a lot harder than just reading about it in his books.  Robert blogs over at robertevert.blogspot.com and he also agreed to do an author interview later this month.

Hope you enjoyed this issue of Around the Web!  As always, follow us on twitter!