Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author RBK about writing his memoir, My Life My Story My Journey And A Tall Tale, what inspired him to start writing, and his creative process.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am just an ordinary person who could be your neighbor. A father of two with three granddaughters. A tradesman and custom motorcycle builder from Alberta Canada. A poet and award-winning Author with two published books. And a third to be self-published in the winter of 2022. I like to commune with nature and solitude is a dear friend. I pay no attention to the lunacy of humanity. And continue to write and share my story with the world. For all who will turn its pages.
When did you first want to author a book?
There were times in my life that I had tossed around the idea of authoring a book. But was just a whim at the time.
As I grew older, and my life began to change. The idea of a memoir seemed possible as I found myself emersed in a new experience. That set me on a path less travelled. Which gave me the purpose to pick up pen and paper. Which I had literary done. Choosing the path less travelled was the instigator of ink to paper. And my memoir was born.
When did you take a step to start writing?
The first step to writing was pen and paper in hand. Old school all the way. Sitting in front on my computer one evening. I decided to share my story with the world. Reflecting on my life the pen and paper became one. Sculpting the paragraphs one after another. Until three pages were complete. As I began to reread the beginning draft of chapter one. I chuckled to myself and decided to use my computer. This was the moment in time that changed my life forever. Inspired by a dear friend who has never left my side. The fall of 2019 was the dawn of MY LIFE MY STORY MY JOURNEY & A TALL TALE.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It was not as though I had any kind of idea. Being a memoir, I just reflected on my life. Adding in the new experiences that had engulfed my newfound life. The path less travelled reveled many new experiences that I had not fully experienced yet. Leaving me with an ample amount of material for the book. A firsthand account documented in real time as my story unfolded. I had been thrust into the eye of a hurricane. My life had been turned upside down. And navigation was unfamiliar to me within the moment. Within a year I had my first book published. And the second was soon to follow.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
The second in the series continues my pilgrimage. Once again written in real time as my story continued to unfold. The idea for the second release was simmering while still writing the first. Continuing to document my new experiences. The second book entails more of my character and the inspiration of my friend. That propelled me to travel the path less traveled in search of answers and clarification. Of many remarkable milestones on my journey. Written again within a year and published. The second book also includes book three. With book four part four being written now.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write My Life My Story My Journey And A Tall Tale?
It was not so much as a want but more of a purpose. And purpose came from deep within. Guiding me each time as the computer sluggishly painted the words and letters on each page. My story became very personal to me.
Creating a tapestry that began to weave my story together day by day. Piecing together a puzzle of questions and answers with calcification that followed. Did I want to author this book? Yes of course it was my purpose!
What were your biggest challenges with writing My Life My Story My Journey And A Tall Tale?
Challenges can be draining and exhausting for an Author. Finding that typing four to five hundred words a day is plenty. As long as you write each day that is the secret. Editing your work each day is necessary. Two birds with one stone. So, to speak. The only challenge for myself, is that I tend to write late at night. Which does raise havoc on my routine.
What was the research process for My Life My Story My Journey And A Tall Tale?
Since this book was written from firsthand knowledge and life experienced. The research process was very little. Some insights of new experience were clarified and researched. From others with similar experiences. Overall, my books are from my personal perspective. Authentic raw and real. I have not embellished one word. Written with my heart on my sleeve. Inspired by a friend from ages past.
How did you plan the structure of My Life My Story My Journey And A Tall Tale?
Well, there is no rhyme or reason to my lunacy, lol. And book structure is something that I do not plan in anyway. I structure on the fly from the seat of my pants as I write. For the most part I do not consider myself an Author. I am just a simple man with an original story to share. Structure creates generic story lines and plot twists that inhibits the writer’s originality. Originality comes form the heart of the soul and will never be found in structure. I just sit down and type and follow my heart.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did My Life My Story My Journey And A Tall Tale need?
Editing is a journey in itself. And as one begins to proceed in the writing community. Becoming familiar with editors and the way they work. Is an education in itself. I did get support with editing with both my books from different editors. And did experiences differences between the two of them. From price range to editing practices. And believe me there is no limit to how much some of these editors will charge.
I have found that some editing practices can be so profound that the writing style of the Author is compromised. Prerequisites of degrees hung on the wall do not always make for a good edit. Both edits that I did receive still left the odd mistake missed in the proof reading. And if you happen to get a reviewer who tends to review the edit instead of the content, even if there is just on mistake. The review will never be fair to the content.
So, in conclusion who better to edit your work than yourself. My books did not need much editing, for most of the editing was done myself.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to draft a book.
There are three methods to utilize publishing a book. Self-publishing, vanity publishing and traditional publishing.
Traditional publishing the old school rout to take. Adds up to getting down on your knees and begging some editor to publish your book. Not recommended could take years to find a publisher. Remembering that traditional publishers are only concerned about the bottom line.
Second vanity publishers charge you to publish. Offering publishing packages that can be extremely expensive. Vanity publishers also have quite a bit of control with your published book. And have to be conferred with on any change’s promotions etc. And are pretty much the agent between you and the retailer. And will charge for their time at excessive rates. They are also there for the bottom line. But not so much as the traditional publisher.
Self-publishing would be my first choice and would advise anyone inspired to publish use this option. For writing advice stay away from generic story lines be original and write from the heart. This is what I have learnt firsthand from my subjective experiences with publishers.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you are planning to write?
I have been tossing around the idea of drafting a book on the evolution of conscious awareness. At this time in the age of Aquarius. And what it means to humanities future. How it affects individuals and their lives. And how being conscious of our awareness can change the world for the better. As humanities evolution continues.
And finally, are you proud of you’re accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I tend to stray away form the word pride. It does seem to puff out the chest of one’s ego. And would rather compare my Authored accomplishments to heart felt joy. There are no words that could convey the sincere gratitude that I feel for my friend Theresa. For without her my books would never have been written. She has given me the strength to search for my authentic self. And for that I thank her. Once again written with my heart on my sleeve to share with the world. And was it worth the effort? With every tear that hit the floor! Of course, it was! It was always For Theresa.
Find More From RBK:
ON THE TABLE READ https://thetableread.co.uk/my-life-my-story/
BOOK REVIEW https://www.artisanbookreviews.com/2021/04/02
BOOK REVIEW https://www.artisanbookreviews.com/2021/07/18
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