Introducing Gothic Fiction Writer Robert S. Fuller, Jr.
Robert was born and raised in Northeast Ohio at a time when late night television offered showings of old horror movies. Robert gravitated towards the motion picture vampire, and also the vampires depicted in the writings of Stephen King, F. Paul Wilson, and Robert McCammon.
Robert worked at JC Penney’s, where he spent 10 years in the Visual Display Department. His love of vampires, and working in the retail/fashion industry provided the inspiration to create his own vampire book. After several years of writing and re-writing, Valerie: Daughter of the Dragon was born.
When Robert isn’t obsessing over his writing; he can be found taking in a movie, at his favorite local cinema, relaxing and listening to his extensive music collection, or cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes. Robert is a big sports fan, but prefers football and baseball to all other sports. One of his favorite pastimes is participating as team owner and Commissioner of a fantasy football league.
Although a native Ohioan, Robert travels to the beaches of South Carolina at least once a year. Robert is married to his beautiful wife Jackie. They have one son, Dustin, and two rambunctious cats named Meeps and Benny.
- Who’s your favorite author, and why?
I enjoy reading several authors from different genres, but I always come back to Stephen King. Unlike other authors whose books tend to be breezy and lightweight, Stephen King’s books require an investment of time and patience to appreciate them. To enjoy a Stephen King novel, the reader must be willing to immerse themselves into the author’s world to truly understand the depth of the story. Stephen King’s words transports the reader to places, The Wastelands in The Gunslinger, the empty cabin in Gerald’s Game, and the road to Kashwak in The Cell, that you swear you can touch, taste, and smell. It takes a master artist to accomplish that.
2. If you could have a conversation with one of the characters in your most-recently released novel, which one would it be and why?
While I was developing Valerie: Daughter of the Dragon, I wrote the character of Samantha after my own struggles with depression and low self-esteem. I would love to sit down with her and discuss her insecurities. She’s a successful, independent woman, and yet there’s something that always keeps her from feeling worthy of the love she craves. Talking with her would be like spending time in one’s own head, and learning some painful truths that have been locked away.
3. Where do you get the ideas and inspiration for your characters personalities?
Every character is related to someone I know, or are composites of a variety of people I know. I spent a decade in retail and, from a distance, learned to observe people. As I stated, my main protagonist takes on some of my issues, but my vampire protagonist is more confident and self-assured, which is like looking in a mirror and the reflection is reversed.
4. What is the best thing (in your opinion) about being a writer?
I always knew I had something important to say, and I always tell people that they have a story inside of them that is aching to be set free. The best thing about being a writer is that moment when you see your name on the cover. Valerie is such a personal story, so the day my first proof arrived was like nothing I had ever felt. I’ve had the privilege to sign some books for friends and family, and always sign it, “Follow your dreams.”
5. How did you find your agent/publisher?
For five years I searched for a publisher/agent before reading an article on self-publishing. I promised myself that I would wait until I was 40 before I would go the publish-on-demand route. I released my first book a month ago, and now that it is in print and available for Kindle, I wonder why I waited so long. My publisher has been amazing to work with, and I have a simple internet search to thank for giving me the push I needed.
6. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve been given?
I met Bob Adamov, author of The Put-in-Bay mysteries, at a Christmas craft show about a year ago. I introduced myself as an author. He took me aside and asked me what I’ve published. For a second, I sheepishly dodged the question until he looked at me and bluntly asked, “What are you waiting for?” The question hit me, and he saw the frightened look in my eye. He smiled knowingly, jotted something down, and handed me his business card. On the back of it, he had written the contact information of his publisher. I didn’t go with his publisher, but it lit a fire that led me to seek my own publisher.
7. Biggest mistake you’ve made as an author?
My biggest mistake was expecting the literary world to open up to me after releasing my first book. I did my homework and networked like a madman, but the New York Times didn’t call to tell me my book had topped the Bestseller List. I’m in the writing game for the long haul, so I’m determined to turn my mistake into a lesson of tempering my expectations.
What would the lead character of your latest novel want for Christmas?
I love this question. Samantha is such a homebody and small town girl, that she’d want others to be happy instead of thinking of herself. She’s a jeans and sweatshirt kind of woman, but she keeps a journal and listens to records on an old turntable. Maybe, her ideal gift would be a new record player, some cool albums, and some blank journals.
Favorite Christmas music?
Here’s where my old-school tastes kick in. When I was younger I remember a commercial for the Time-Life Treasury of Christmas set. It featured all of the classic Christmas songs on four compact discs. The commercial looked as wonderful as the songs sounded. I bought the collection, and have already had to replace it twice from wearing it out.
What was the best gift you ever received?
I was seven or eight when my parents bought me my first electric football game. It was the one with the vibrating metal board and ear piercing roar. Back then, I was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, and the version of the game was the Super Bowl edition. Naturally, it contained the Cowboys and Steelers. Over the years, I’ve been blessed with remarkable gifts, but when I think back, that annoyingly loud football game always stands out.
The Author to Author Blog Hop Giveaway Prize Package includes:
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Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever by L.V. Lewis (18+)
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