This week’s indie author interview is with Robert Spake, who has written and published several of his short stories as well as a novel, Angel and Hellfire. Find more about him at Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862513.Robert_D_Spake .
1. What first inspired you to write?
I wouldn’t say I was inspired by anything in particular, it’s just part of my
nature I think, although it didn’t manifest itself until I was 18. I was in
college and I had a couple of ideas for stories, so I started writing and then
the ideas started coming thick and fast and since then I’ve never been able to
stop. It was like I was flooded with all this creativity that almost
overwhelmed me, and then I knew that if I didn’t write these stories no-one
would so I felt it was almost my duty or responsibility to bring these stories
out into the world.
2. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
My mind wanders a lot so a lot of them just come from thinking. I’m also
influenced by movies and books and songs, often an idea sparks in me because
I’ve been exposed to another idea. I studied philosophy and that helped me to
look at things from different angles, but really I’m just interested in a lot
of things and I like to write about things I’m interested in. An idea will
flash in my mind and I’ll just have to run with it.
3. I see that you write both short stories and novels. Which do you prefer, and
I think they both have their merits. I read a good quote, I think it was Philip
K. Dick who said it but I’m not sure, but it basically said that short stories
are to explore an idea or a concept while a novel is to explore a character and
the world they inhabit. I really love short stories because I get to bounce
between different ideas and I can see the finished product a lot sooner than
with novels, but I can put more of myself into a novel and I think they tend to
have more of an impact on a reader. If I had to choose I’d have to say novels,
but they take more work to write. Both types have their merits though.
4. What kind of book would you say “Angelic Hellfire” is, and why?
What type of reader would it appeal to?
I always say it’s a sci-fi coming of age story. I think it would mostly appeal
to the young adult crowd, but I’d like to think most people could take
something from it. It’s really about coming to terms with who you are and
finding your place in the world, overcoming your own insecurities and realising
that no matter how small you feel sometimes compared to the vastness of the
universe you still matter. I think most people struggle with those ideas at one
time or another, especially when we’re passing into adulthood and the whole
world opens up before us, so Aaliyah is an embodiment of that struggle.
5. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
W. Somerset Maughm. I only discovered him fairly recently but I instantly fell
in love with his beautiful prose and some of the attitudes his characters
express, particularly about love, are identical to my own feelings. I think
he’s incredibly underrated too because I’ve never heard much said about him and
I think he should be more widely-known.
6. Tell me about your latest book.
My latest release is I, Tomorrow? and Other Stories, a collection of 12
stories. There’s a bit of a mix – some sci-fi, a couple of romantic tragedies, a
Greek tragedy and a few other ideas I was playing around with. I’m proud of it
and while the stories would fit into different genres they mostly deal with
similar themes, examining the nature of the universe and ourselves. I included
author notes which give some background information on the stories and some of
my feelings towards them because I always find it interesting when authors
provide an insight into their stories.
7. What are you working on next?
Well I have my ongoing serial story about a superhero which is updated weekly
on my blog. I’m also working on a story called Hit Hard which is about a
women’s boxing world champion and her struggle to find a challenge in her
sport. Along with that I’ve just come up with an idea for a pirate story, and I
have a fairytale in the works as well as a sequel for Angelic Hellfire, so
plenty to keep me busy!
8. What is the best advice you could give to new writers?
I think I just have to echo advice that served me well – read and write as much
as you can.