MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR BOB BRILL
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Bob Brill, Lancer; Hero of the West is a series of western novels, historical fiction.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I’ve always been a fan of the westerns based on early TV series of the 50’s and 60’s and movies. Lancer is a fictional character and a compilation of several TV western heroes with my own creation mixed in. Lancer is a good guy gunslinger who hires out from his home base in Tombstone and travels to wherever the job takes him. He’s rich, doesn’t need the money, is good with women and kids and interacts with friends Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always considered myself an historian, or at least a history buff so it came naturally. I’ve been telling and writing stories since I was about six years old.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Much of it is from my own knowledge of TV westerns and movies plus what I’ve read over the years but when it comes to specifics I’ll use the Internet like most writers do today to get certain details.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Each book is a different Affair. It started with “Lancer; Hero of the West – the Prescott Affair,” followed by “The Los Angeles Affair,” The “Santa Fe Affair” and the “El Paso Affair,” and book five will be the “New Orleans Affair.”
Los Angeles probably because much of it takes place basically around the neighborhood where I spent much of my own childhood.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Was it always meant to become a series?
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
When I’m writing I’ll usually sit down after breakfast, run through my emails and sites and then start writing. I’ll write for as long as I have inspiration and story flowing, or, unless something I need to do takes me away from the computer. I will also write at night but prefer the morning and I write in my office at home which I share with my wife. When it comes to goals, no I don’t set them, I let the writing flow until either my hands get tired, or I need a break.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Yes, the New Orleans Affair. I start writing it in January, 2019.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Yes, when it comes to fictional characters I always try to create something which honors someone I admire. Or maybe tie the character name to a similar character in a film I like. I’ve gone so far as to reverse the name of a favorite character to create a new name. Often I’ll need to add a letter or rearrange one but it usually comes out ok. For instance I wanted to honor Ray Bradbury in a film script I wrote and I decided to take the name of one of his most famous characters and reverse it. The Character of Montag, the fireman in “Fahrenheit 451.” The character became Gatnom Farquar. Gattie for short, who was a young man in a screenplay.
Where do your ideas come from?
I may see something as I’m driving down the street and it might spark a thought in me. Suddenly I see an entire film or story in it. This is the way it happens for me almost always.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Horror is something I cannot write. It always comes out like “Twilight Zone” thrillers, so while I don’t want to experiment with it, I am expanding into something which maybe adds a Godzilla type monster to the mix.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love them. I created one for “Al Kabul; Home Grown Terrorist” which is a novel I wrote. I also did one for my latest short film “Sundown.”
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Continuing to work at my craft. I’ve been doing it a long time and while success has come in my chose career; Radio News and broadcast journalism, I really want to succeed as a screenwriter and film maker.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Telling a story and having someone tell you how much they really liked it and then actually tell you something which actually happened in the book.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Finished with the Lancer; Hero of the West Series (there are 10 total books planned) and moving on to make one of my books into a feature film or limited series.
Have you always liked to write?
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t ever say “I would like to write a book,” but instead sit down and start writing. Words don’t magically appear on the page unless you put them there.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes I do read them, I thank the good ones and try to respond to the bad ones by giving the reviewer a nice bit of direction.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
What are you working on now?
I am pitching films, writing a current screenplay and getting ready to write the next Lancer novel.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Lancer will be going to New Orleans on a case where he will most certainly hook up with a government agent dealing with some kind of fraud ring, whether it’s counterfeiting, or dealing in illegal weapons, some of it will take place at the gambling tables on a Riverboat Queen.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I do write in more than one, but have been concentrating on the Lancer series because I haven’t had much time for the others. I chose the westerns probably as a tribute to my father who brought me into the genre and since he said he read every Zane Grey novel ever, I’d like to think he’d have read Lancer.
Where did your love of books come from?
Just the era I grew up in when you had to read a book to gain knowledge. I spent a lot of time picking out books at the library.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I can’t say I have a favorite author, although Aaron Sorkin is definitely my favorite screenwriter. I read a lot of history and sports books as a kid but to be honest I don’t read nearly enough today. I think since I became an author I read less because I don’t want to mistakenly take something in and have it sit in my mind and later pop out in my writing unless I’m quoting and giving credit.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Oh, Lancer is the easy answer. He’s the kind of guy I’d like to have been if I’d lived in the 1880’s.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both, at first and foremost energizes but when it comes to the end of a physical day and I’m physically tired but still have idea’s to get down on paper, that’s when it gets rough.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Don’t have one.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Both, originality is what gives a writer his inspiration but if people don’t read or like what you write, much of that creativity is wasted. You still have to sell books.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I don’t have a deep relationship with any other writer although I have a good one with a producer/writer whom I work with on occasion. He encourages me and that alone makes me better.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
I did, “Tales of My Baseball Youth; A child of the sixties.”
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Do you feel your work is important? The answer would be “Hell Yes!” (only joking) but yes I do feel it’s important. Exchanging ideas through telling stories is among the most important things in life, free expression and just good old story telling.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Bobbrillbooks.com, amazon.com, bobbrill.com, http://www.baseballinthe1960s.com/
or just Google Bob Brill
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️