Today’s edition of 20 Questions is with author and blogger Robbie Cox. I have had the pleasure of attending three book signing events with Robbie over the past few years. He is an interesting guy and a prolific writer.
I have enjoyed getting to know him and hope that you do as well through this installment of 20 Questions.
Q1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Middle school. I started writing as a way to not have to listen to my teachers lecture. They thought I was the studious one, taking notes, and the entire time I was killing off elves and dwarves. It was a fun escape.
Q2) How long does it typically take you to write a book?
Depends on Life. Just as I get in a flow of a book, Life likes to pop up and say, let’s toss in some time hurdles. I’ve written 80,000 words in a month and then I’ve taken two years to finish the sequel to Reaping the Harvest. Sometimes, my mind just flows with a certain story and other times, I have to set it aside and work on something else. On average, my goal is to put out four books a year and a couple of short novellas.
Q3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
That goes back to Life again lol. I write throughout the day, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and quite often on my back porch in the evening. I don’t have a set schedule. I write as much as I can when I can. However, I do try to get most of the creative writing done in the morning; it just doesn’t always work out that way.
Q4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I change processes all the time. Sometimes I want to write by hand, others I type out. I probably waste quite a bit of time doing this, but it helps me get a fresh perspective on things.
Q5) How are your books published?
I’m a control freak, so I chose Indie.
Q6) Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Watching people. Most of my books are a study in relationships. I want to see how certain things play out and so I ask a lot of what-ifs and see where the trail goes. If you watch people and ask yourself what their story is, you get some pretty entertaining answers.
Q7) If you don’t mind sharing, when did you write your first book and how old were you?
My writing career hasn’t exactly followed a linear path. In high school, I wrote poetry and short stories, winning some state awards. We also started the school’s first literary magazine, Spindrift. After school, I did some freelance writing for various magazines. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that I started taking the fiction writing seriously and published my short story, Circle of Justice. The next year, I published my first book, Reaping the Harvest and I’ve been going strong since.
Q8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Traveling with the girls and hanging out with friends. We seem to always be exploring new areas or revisiting old ones.
Q9) What is your favorite book?
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. It is actually the book that started my desire to write.
Q10) What do your family and friends think of your writing?
Everyone has been extremely supportive and encouraging. Although, I had an aunt say she was going to wash my mouth out with soap for some of my more steamy romance scenes.
Q11) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much hard work is necessary after the fun part of writing a story is over. There is so t really is a fulltime job.
Q12) What do you hate most about the writing process?
I don’t really hate anything, but I do enjoy others much more than some parts. As a writer I want to write, but the business and marketing side take up equal shares and I find myself impatient not to be writing fresh words.
Q13) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
As of right now I have twelve titles out, some longer than others. My two favorites are Reaping the Harvest and Losing Faith, because they were my first ones out the door. However, Come Halloween is right behind them. It was fun exploring the paranormal world.
Q14) Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?
Write. Read. Study. Never put out the first thing you write down and always be studying your craft. Read everything you can get your hands on and ask how the author made certain things work. Never think you’ve arrived.
Q15) Do you get feedback from your readers much? How and what kinds of things do they say?
I get more now than I used to, especially with my Fangirls series. These are what I call my Lunch Break Reads. They’re only about 15,000 words and five to seven chapters long. They can be read waiting at the doctor’s office, commuting to work, or right before you have to get ready for dinner. People seem to have enjoyed the accomplished feeling of finishing those books in short time.
I also get complimented on how I portray women in my stories being a male romance author.
Q16) What is your preferred reading audience?
I want them all lol. I think that’s why I write so many different genres. I want something of mine to appeal to everyone.
Q17) What do you think makes a good story?
Characters. And the element of surprise. I’ve read stories that were so-so, but the characters gripped me and I loved it. Furthermore, I think people want to be kept in the dark as to what is coming next, even in romances.
Q18) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve done plenty of other jobs, but writing was always my goal.
Q19) Where can we find your books?
Everywhere. They can be found on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and CreateSpace. They can also be found on sites like Scribd.
Q20) Will you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite works?
“I know you’re in there!” Anger. A male voice. A fist violently pounded on the front door. “Open the damn door, Buttercup, or I’m going to be really pissed off. You don’t want to see me pissed off, do you?”
Rhychard forced his eyes open and stared at the clock. Seven A.M. And the person at the door already sounded pissed. :Kree?: No answer. Great. Tryna was still off scavenging for information. Who knew where the giant mutt was. He hadn’t returned after their foray into breaking and entering. Rhychard sighed. He was going to have to get up, and now he was pissed.
Throwing the sheet to the side, Rhychard grabbed one of the short swords from the harness and stormed his way to the front door. Well, it was more like stumbled, but he did it while he was fuming, so he felt like he was storming. As he left his room, he realized he hadn’t slipped pants on and, as he knew he was wearing his giant Walmart smiley face boxers, he felt less like a powerhouse and more like an angry boyfriend. Hopefully, the sword would intimidate where his outfit wouldn’t.
As he entered the living room he spotted Buttercup wearing one of his T-shirts and huddled in a corner, tears streaming down her face. Even from where he was he could see her body shaking. She was afraid. Very afraid. He gestured to the door. “Who?”
She wiped the tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand. Rhychard could see that she was trying to pull herself together and was failing miserably. It was understandable. It hadn’t exactly been her best week. “It’s Jerome…my pimp. He’s the one who hooked me up with Pastor Adrian.”
Well, that would explain how Jerome knew where to find her. If Vargas couldn’t use the gargoyles to get her, Adrian would use humans. Rhychard wondered what Vargas had offered the preacher that would have him make such evil decisions. How could Rhychard have been fooled all this time by the man?
Jerome pounded harder. His screams were going to wake up the neighbors. Rhychard was already getting fussed at enough by the Condo Association. He didn’t need any more complaints. He yanked the door open, grabbed Jerome by a handful of hair, and jerked him inside and down onto the floor, the point of the sword an inch from his Adam’s apple. “I was trying to sleep!” He felt like an idiot from some Hollywood spoof, but the small man with the three days’ worth of stubble wasn’t staring at Rhychard’s boxers. His eyes were glued to the sword.
The kid, and that’s what he was really, a kid, was probably not even five and half feet tall standing up. He had shaggy hair that was in desperate need of a comb and a gazillion tattoos up and down his arms as well as around his neck. The man had biceps instead of brains and at the moment he had lost his bravado, as well. “What the hell, man?”
Buttercup stayed where she was, her body still shaking. Rhychard tightened his grip on the sword. “That’s my question, as well. What the hell are you doing pounding on my door?”
“I came to get what’s mine. Someone told me you kidnapped Buttercup.” He tried to posture, puffing his chest out, but from where he lay sprawled on the carpet he just looked like an overturned turtle.
“What’s ‘yours’? She’s not a watch. And I didn’t kidnap Buttercup; I rescued her. And if you were rescuing her, why would you be pissed at her?” Rhychard cocked his head to one side as he dragged the sword’s point down Jerome’s torso and aimed it right at his crotch. The man probably valued that head over his upper one. “Buttercup is free to leave whenever she wants, but it’s not safe for her out there right now. I would think you would want to protect your employees.” Rhychard pressed the sword point into the man’s jeans. “Never mind. She quits. Your life insurance policy really sucks and, well, she needs better benefits.” He pulled the sword away and took a few steps back, still remaining between pimp and hooker.
Jerome pushed himself off the floor brushing off as if trying to wipe away his fear. He glanced at Buttercup with narrow eyes and Rhychard knew the man was blaming her for his loss of dignity. Rhychard knew how the streets worked. Buttercup had grown a conscience and started thinking for herself. That just wasn’t allowed in their world. Jerome believed that he really did own her and was free to do with her as he pleased. Right now, what the man pleased was to hurt her for his wounded pride.
Jerome stood with arms at his sides, fists clenched. His eyes never left Buttercup. “Nobody quits.”
Rhychard shook his head. “People quit all the time, and if I was you, I’d quit right now. I’d cut my losses and just walk away. Buttercup is under my protection and I’m very protective.” He raised the sword, tip aimed at Jerome’s chest. “Now, get out of here, and tell Adrian I said hello.”
Jerome stared for a moment longer. Rhychard could tell he wanted to say something, but thought better of it as his eyes stared at the sword in the Warrior’s hand. “I’ll be back. No one quits Jerome.” He turned and left, his back stiff and straight.
Not until Rhychard had locked and bolted the door did Buttercup come out of her corner. Her arms were wrapped around her chest, her hands rubbing up and down her upper arms. She still had that trapped look in her eyes.
“He’s gone,” Rhychard said as he walked over to where she stood.
About Robbie Cox:
Living in sunny Florida, Robbie Cox has enjoyed a freelance career writing for several magazines, sharing some of his humorous and interesting viewpoints on life and the people around him. He is an author of contemporary romances, paranormal romances as well as his urban fantasy series, Warrior of the Way. He enjoys traveling with his family and friends, but can most often be found on his back porch – his peaceful haven – watching the squirrels chittering at the birds, while he enjoys a cigar, a scotch, and the many characters that talk to him inside his head.
Connect with Robbie:
My Personal Links –
Goodreads ~ http://www.goodreads.com/RobbieCox
Pinterest ~ http://pinterest.com/themessthatisme
Fanpage ~ facebook.com/themessthatisrobbiecox
Google+ ~ http://bit.ly/1TqGrfZ (plus.google.com/107162452519906861231)
Instagram ~ http://instagram.com/robbiecox66/
Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/CoxRobbie
Amazon Author Page ~ http://amzn.to/1FcOUvU
LinkedIn ~ www.linkedin.com/in/coxrobbie/
Newsletter ~ http://bit.ly/23CFhQQ
Find Robbie’s Featured Books:
Book links for Come Halloween, Reaping the Harvest, and Fangirls: Nikki
Kelly Ginsberg’s husband, Jared, died two years ago in a motorcycle accident. On her way to visit his grave one night, she stumbled across a way to bring him back from the dead on the anniversary of his death and the witch who could help her make it happen. Yet, where does that leave Derek Cranston and the attraction blooming between them?
Amazon US ~ http://amzn.to/1Kb8I1Q
Amazon UK ~ http://amzn.to/1LOGMSj
Barnes & Noble ~ http://bit.ly/1hGef9O
Apple ~ http://apple.co/1jqnNaO
Kobo ~ http://bit.ly/1Oyu4xM
Inktera ~ http://bit.ly/1LPUQS3
Scribd ~ http://bit.ly/1MstThp
On his way home from a moving job, Rhychard Bartlett heard a scream and ran to help. That action changed his life forever and tossed him into a war between the Way and the Void. Given the Guardian Sword, assisted by an ellyll who only stands two feet tall, and bonded to a mind speaking coshey the size of a Newfoundland canine and a taste for pepperoni pizza, Rhychard must stop the demon Vargas from carrying out his plans. Once he finds out what they are, of course. In the meantime, he longs for the girlfriend who left him because he suddenly had too many secrets. Not only must he save the day, but he also must convince Renny Saunders he’s not the cheating lover everyone thinks he is.
Amazon US ~ http://amzn.to/1f4Cddz
Amazon UK ~ http://amzn.to/1opGXNY
Amazon DE ~ http://amzn.to/1Rb6ZTz
Amazon CA ~ http://amzn.to/1mzTuPX
Amazon AU ~ http://bit.ly/1Z20aYN
Barnes & Noble ~ http://bit.ly/1ANiL9b
Apple ~ http://bit.ly/1yIeaqw
Kobo ~ http://bit.ly/1cetfte
CreateSpace ~ http://bit.ly/183d4gj
Smashwords ~ http://bit.ly/15yuCQL
Romance leaps from the pages into the lives of these Fangirls in unexpected ways. The first tale is already out for only $.99!
Nikki Sanford only wanted a place to work in peace. Unfortunately, the Perk & Grind was filled to capacity. Yet, an unfortunate night may just set her on a path she never knew existed with someone she never would have even considered.
Amazon US ~ http://amzn.to/1KcFwYl
Amazon UK ~ http://amzn.to/1iEGXJp
Amazon AU ~ http://amzn.to/1rpQV53
Barnes & Noble ~ http://bit.ly/1L82LrI
Kobo ~ http://bit.ly/1FDEWSG
Apple ~ http://apple.co/1iEFVwN
Smashwords ~ http://bit.ly/1LpVLSX
Scribd ~ http://bit.ly/1VTA2ds
Inktera ~ http://bit.ly/1LpMABW
Oyster ~ http://bit.ly/1Ola1S1