I am so honoured to have had the opportunity to interview R.S. Guthrie, author of the Robert MacAulay series of books. His first book, Black Beast, has been very well received, with 29 five-star reviews so far. The sequel, LOST (synopsis at the bottom of the page), hit the shelves on January 1st 2012 and the response has been just as enthusiastic.
Rob is also the founder of RABMAD, promoting authors who are giving back from the sales of their books. Writers who give a percentage of their net proceeds to their own chosen cause, non-profit, or charity. The site, launched in late 2011 already has 46 authors signed up, a magnificent acheivement in such a short time.
Rob, when and why did you begin writing?
I used to make comic books as a kid, so if you count that, it’s been most of my life. However, I didn’t start writing fiction until I was in college. I love great stories and I think I have just always had a few inside me that wanted to get out.
How did you come up with the title for LOST?
I got to thinking about children who are abducted and are lost to their families—normal families that can be turned upside down to the point where they are lost themselves. Then, when the monsters are found that would cause harm to a child, I think we want to become lost ourselves—more like those evildoers so that we can somehow punish them.
LOST is the second in the Robert MacAulay series of books. What plans do you have for him in the future?
Well the third book in the series will tie a lot of things together and will likely finish the “Black Beast” or “Clan of MacAulay” series. It won’t be the end of Bobby Mac, though—that much I will let on. I have a lot more planned for him, but I think most of all he wants to get back to doing what he does best: being a detective in Denver, Colorado.
What was the hardest part of writing LOST?
I kept getting frustrated because the story was moving along but the word count was low. I finally had to let myself off the hook and realize the story is what matters, not how many words it takes to tell it. The story wants to be what it wants to be. Even the writer can’t force that. After I let go of the unnecessary pressure, all was well again.
What books have influenced your life most?
I’ve said before that my imagination is due in large part to all the Stephen King books I read as a child. It’s hard to quantify that because those books also taught me to love reading, which in turn taught me to love writing. There was also a trilogy of books by an author names Terry Brooks—the Sword of Shannara series. Wow. I could not put those books down, and they were 800-1000 pages each!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Honestly I don’t think so. Once I finish a story, it’s done for me—literally carved into stone. Up until that point, however, I am apt to change just about anything! I have learned to let go after the book is released, though. Otherwise I would drive myself crazy.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
A great friend of mine named Mike was a huge supporter. He once created a “must read” book list for me. I knew he was extremely well-read and I was ready to move on from King and Grisham—away from mainstream bestseller authors. I knew he could recommend literally thousands—the guy read a book a day. I tried to narrow it down by asking for contemporary authors, mostly fiction—the list he gave me really changed everything for me when it came to the written word. I still look at that list today and still find books on there I haven’t read.
Rob, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share your experiences with everyone, and I hope the Bobby Mac series achieves all the success it deserves.
Denver Detective Bobby Mac returns in this intense horror/thriller, set in the northern panhandle wilderness of Idaho. After receiving a phone call from his brother, the Chief of Police in Rocky Gap, Idaho, Bobby Mac travels north to assist in the investigation surrounding two gruesome murders and the abduction of an eleven-year-old girl.
These two seasoned cops---estranged brothers reunited---will bring all of their experience to bear in a case that threatens not only the safety of a small town, but also the sacred lineage of a family of heroes.