Robert E. Keller is an online acquaintance of mine. He is a member of Codex, a group of neo-professional SFF writers that includes yours truly. Robert’s novels on Amazon Kindle are selling very well, and he has amassed many short story sales to magazines, including professional ones. His literary interests tend toward epic fantasy. Robert’s Internet dwelling-place is http://www.robertekeller.net/.
The interview follows the break.
1) Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Northern Michigan in the early 1970s and still live there. I went to a small, two-room school with only about sixty kids (until high school). I was a fairly imaginative child and spent half my time “spaced out” and inventing stories in my mind. I come from a family blessed with a lot of writing talent–especially for poetry–so my crazy imagination was accepted as normal.
2) Tell me a little bit about the characters and worlds you’ve created. Do you create your fantasy worlds as you go along or do you plan them out?
I started building my own fantasy universe in my twenties, and I’ve just kept adding to it over the years, making it as believable as I could and creating a dependable and consistent system of magic. To date, both of my published novels in e-book form (“Knights: The Eye of Divinity” and “The Curse of Credesar”) are set in that universe, as well as another novel of another series soon to be released. Each series takes place in a different age, but the general rules of magic remain the same. I tend to do a lot of planning, but then I end up deviating from that plan here and there as I go along.
3) What draws you to epic fantasy?
What draws me to epic fantasy is the joy of creating a detailed world from scratch and watching it come to life. My primary goal is to make the reader long to live in the world I create. I’ve also always loved the notion of characters on long quests overcoming terrible odds.
4) What do you find most challenging about writing?
For me, the most challenging thing about writing a novel is making sure events are always new and fresh and not becoming repetitive–especially in a series.
5) What do you enjoy the most about writing?
The thing I enjoy most about writing is probably character building. I love to see my characters learn and change (even if they change for the worse).
6) Do you enjoy writing short stories or novels more?
Novels are where it’s at for me. I believe I’m a better novelist than a short fiction writer, and I have more fun writing longer works that allow for greater world building and character development. I do enjoy crafting a short story now and then.
7) Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I also like Terry Brooks, Robert E. Howard, and many more.
8) What’s next for you? Any new books on the horizon?
I have two 80,000 word (plus) novels that are soon to be released. “Knights: The Hand of Tharnin” (book 2 of the Knights series) is about a day or two away from being uploaded for sale.After that, I will be releasing a book called “A Knight of Tharnin” that features a female warrior as the main character and is set in our time.