Robert Segarra is an artist, writer and musician. He has published 12 books, with The Christmas Mouse being one of the more popular of his works. He also writes, records and produces music under the name, Billy J Bryan & The Ax Grinders. His books are available online in various formats.
What inspires you to write?
Other writers have always inspired me to write. From reading and enjoying other books, coupled with the desire to tell stories of my own, I’ve found writing, whether I am writing a children’s book, a romance book, poetry, or even a song, to be the perfect outlet for me to express myself.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process varies, but it always starts with a germ of an idea. From that is just evolves – usually from some sort of dialogue or plot idea. I rarely use outlines. Instead I let the characters tell their own story. If I give them enough personality, they often tell the story best themselves.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t so much talk to me characters. Instead, I listen. Usually by the time I have a character named, which normally comes fairly early on, the characters can usually dictate where they want to go. For instance, once a character is mapped out in my head, there are things that the character would definitely do in a situation. And likewise, there are things my characters would never do. And in order to keep true to my characters, this seems to be the pattern they follow. On some occasions, however, my characters will do something out of character when the situation dictates – because that’s what we all do from time to time as well. It keeps things interesting.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write as often as you can. Only through practice do we get better at anything.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried the traditional route, and have had quite a bit of material published in small magazines, main-stream magazines, anthologies, periodicals, etc, but ended up running into too many editors and agents that just didn’t know what to do with my material once I wanted to get longer works published. For my children’s books, I ran into way too many publishers that were one step away from bankruptcy, and had accepted my books for publication, but because of their financial restrictions, my books never saw the light of day. My children’s book, The Christmas Mouse, was published by an online print-on-demand publisher – Xlibris. I am very pleased with the job they’ve done. I could always use some more publicity and promotion, but overall I am pleased. For my other books, one romance, one comedy, one supernatural – I went with one of the largest online small publishers, and I have been satisfied with them. I’m not as happy with them as I am with my children’s book publisher, but I am satisfied for now. So I’ve done a mix of self-publishing and small publisher publishing, and I am happiest with the self-publishing. I have more of a say in how my books are edited, and how they are presented to the market place.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is currently in flux. I don’t think printed books will ever completely disappear, but I think that publishers wishing to continue producing those types of books will become more and more selective – with only sure-sellers being released. But with the continuing growth in ebooks, more and more “unknown” writers are going to become a force to be reckoned with. The cream will always rise to the top in every field, and in publishing, I believe that far too many good writers were being overlooked merely because they didn’t have name recognition. The tech world is going to level the playing field. It has begun already, but we can be sure of a lot more to come.
What genres do you write?
Children’s picture books, romance, comedy, supernatural, poetry, screenplays.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print