About Robin Ray:
I was born in Trinidad & Tobago to a Black mother and Asian father. I mention the biracial background because that, in addition to me being gay and autistic, caused me much grief in both Trinidad and the U.S. when I emigrated here at age 12. Finding absolute solace in isolating, I began honing two specific arts that interested me – music and writing. As a musician, I played guitar in bands and keyboards in recording sessions. Writing, always in my blood, came to the forefront when I stopped playing music to concentrate on it. So far, I’ve published six books on Amazon, they include two novels, two novellas, one non-fiction book and a collection of short stories. I’ve also authored five screenplays.
What inspires you to write?
Injustice inspires me to write. I gravitate towards telling stories of the underprivileged, the poor and homeless, and the innocent victims of war and brutality. Everyone has a story to tell, and to me, no voice is more important than the other.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write from an outline when it comes to longer works like screenplays, novels and novellas. For my novel “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven”, I first had to create a section of heaven designed for the rock & pop musicians who ended up there after they died. After the outline and “set design” has been created, I make notes about who will populate Heaven, then get on with the business of telling the story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
In most of my books, I give the main characters a “face.” Captain Wieck in “Stranded in Paradise” was designed for Gene Hackman. Ingrid Werner in “Iron Maiden” was written for Mariah Carey. Gregory Angelicus, PI from “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven” was sculpted for Will Smith, with his sidekick intended for Bruno Mars. Visualizing these characters helps give them a recognizable voice, allowing me to write things they might or might not say.
What advice would you give other writers?
I try my best to ensure my characters don’t “walk” or “say” anything. Why walk when you can glide, run, shuffle off to, dance, saunter, traipse, crawl, fly, etc from one point to another? “Saying” something is also not as interesting “screaming”, “crying”, “shouting”, “whispering”, “bawling”, “regretting”, “cooing”, “fantasizing aloud”, etc. In the past, I made two substitution lists which I pinned to the wall above my computer.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first published book, “Wetland & Other Stories” was not self-published. The reason I sought out a known publishing house is because I wanted to be sure I was on the right track in terms of sentence structure, grammar, story arcs, spelling, and so on. Feeling confident that my writing wasn’t fraught with grammatical errors, I went ahead and self-published all subsequent works. A few years prior, I’d attended a proof-reading class as well as studied the art of fiction writing through books I’d obtained from the internet.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m glad to have direct access to getting my books published online. E-book readers are popular these days, and with the proliferation of Nook, Kindle and other markets instantly available on smartphones, tablets and computers, the audience continues to grow. I think brick and mortar shops will be around for a while, too. There is a market for avenues.
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction, humor, horror, science fiction, crime, drama
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.