For those who are new to my blog, you probably want to know a little more about me, as much as you may want to know about my book.
So I decided to answer 20 questions about myself. I hope these are questions you thought you might want to ask, or that it at least gives you a better idea about who you are reading.
I will mention something before I begin: Yes, my first name is Bob, but I am going by B.W. in fiction writing to avoid confusion with another fiction writer who has the same first and last name as I do.
1. What do you do for a living?
I have written for small-town newspapers for more than 20 years. I first started in November 1993 at the Rocky Ford (Colo.) Daily Gazette. I spent five years there, before taking a job with The Raton (N.M.) Range as the sports editor in January 1999. I stayed there until July 2013, when the paper ceased publication. From there, I started work at The Duncan (Okla.) Banner as the sports editor in August 2013. I didn't find that job to be the right fit, so I took a job with the Kingman (Kan.) Leader-Courier in June 2014 as the sports editor. I just my finished my first year.
2. So it sounds like you've been covering sports for a long time. You like it?
Yeah, I do. I've mostly covered high school sports. So I get some insight into how teenagers are like, the personalities you deal with, and how they sometimes interact with one another.
3. Why not write a book about sports?
Well, I actually did write a book. It was called Small Town Sports Beat, self-published through CreateSpace, about my years working for The Raton Range. Unfortunately, two months after it was published, the newspaper ceased publication, so I lost some of the will to promote it. Also, I didn't format it the best way (one-and-a-half spacing when single spacing would have worked), so it became too many pages and thus I had to set the price too high. The book is still available through Amazon, though, in case anybody comes across it and is interested.
4. OK, so why not write a fiction book about sports?
Well, I make brief mentions of sports in my planned fiction work. Really, though, I wanted to try something different. I've always had an interest in science fiction and superheroes, and have become more interested in works that picture a dystopian society. So I wanted to go that route. As I've learned through writing advice, sometimes it's better to write about another subject that interests you, instead of what you write about all the time.
5. So the only sports writing you plan to do is for your job?
Actually, no. I contribute to the Denver Broncos discussion blog Thin Air. I post there regularly, with a weekly column on Wednesday and contributing on other days when time permits. If you are interested in the NFL or the Broncos, stop by and check it out.
6. OK, so let's get back to you. How did you become interested in writing?
I've had an overactive imagination for as long as I can remember. Writing has been a good outlet for me to let that imagination run wild. I didn't really get into creative writing, though, until I got older.
7. What were some of those creative writing projects?
Well, one of them is a hobby called e-wrestling, in which you create professional wrestlers and write out promos and interviews for them. I actually think it helped me understand how to create characters, because pro wrestlers are characters themselves. They have personality traits and quirks that make each of them unique. While it was a hobby, it did allow me to flex my creativity. And, no, I don't feel embarrassed talking about it, because I've learned that any writing you can do is a good way to prepare for the world of novel writing.
8. Any other writing projects you have done?
One more: I contributed to a fan created and produced tribute to the 1980s children's cult classic show You Can't Do That On Television. The tribute, called You Still Can't, was released on a free DVD years ago, but is out of print. However, you can learn more about the tribute by going here and find a link where you can watch it.
9. OK, so what made you decide to try your hand at fiction writing?
I love writing in general. I found that I enjoyed creating characters through e-wrestling. I had a lot of interest in science fiction and superheroes. And I love to read. So I believed the time had come to try my hand at fiction writing.
10. Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Longmont (Colo.) High School in 1989 and from the University of Northern Colorado (simply referred to as Northern Colorado now) in 1993. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism.
11. What about your family?
I am single. My parents and sister still live in Longmont. I have no pets, but I hope to change that in the future.
12. So you do all your own cooking and laundry?
Yes. I'm not the greatest cook, but I've learned to prepare simple meals. And, honestly, I've never had a problem doing laundry.
13. You mentioned e-wrestling. Are you still a pro wrestling fan?
Yes, but I prefer the matches I grew up with in the 1980s. I've tried to watch current pro wrestling product but haven't found it as appealing. So I'm the type of person who would be known as an old-school fan.
14. So who were your favorite pro wrestlers?
Bret Hart, Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper, The Rock, Randy Savage, Chris Jericho and Diamond Dallas Page.
15. You mentioned the Denver Broncos site you write for. How long have you been a fan?
For as long as I can remember. The Orange Crush rose to prominence when I was 5 years old and I loved Randy Gradishar, in particular. I've never lost my Broncos fandom, even as I've moved out of Colorado.
16. So who were your favorite Denver Broncos players?
Already mentioned Randy Gradishar. Others would be John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Terrell Davis, Steve Atwater, Demaryius Thomas, Von Miller and Chris Harris.
17. What other sports do you like to watch?
I try to watch baseball when I can. I haven't done as much this summer, though, because I've been spending time with my fiction writing, reading and watching DVDs -- the latter two to help me understand about plot structure and character development.
18. Who are your favorite superheroes?
I'm a huge fan of superhero team-ups: Justice League, X-Men, Teen Titans, The Avengers and their variants. If I had to pick individual superheroes, I'd probably pick Green Arrow and The Flash, mostly because I love the CW shows based on them.
19. Other than writing, what are your favorite pasttimes?
I collect football cards. I also have a collection of Wacky Packages, which are stickers that parody popular products (example: Crust toothpaste parodied Crest). I try to take walks when I can, but I'll admit it was easier to do that when I was in New Mexico, where it didn't get so warm and you could walk scenic trails. So, yeah, I do miss New Mexico, but I've found ways to adjust here in Kansas.
20. Even though this is your first foray into fiction writing, what advice do you have for new writers?
First, do a lot of reading. Get an idea about how authors structure plot and develop characters. Second, spend your time writing whenever you can. It doesn't necessarily have to be tied into your job, and it doesn't have to be entirely fiction. Think about a subject that interests you and write about it. Start a blog, keep a journal, write pieces of any type, even if you don't plan to share them with others. As so many writers have said, the only way to get good at writing is to write.