Where I Am
About Kevin Rau
I'm the author of the H.E.R.O. series of novels in the SciFi/Superhero genre. I also do character art (as seen on the rest of the page here).
I've launched the Author Interview pages to promote my fellow authors, and hopefully create some cross-links back to their websites or social networks within the interview.
Interview Date: 5/3/2012
Warren has been writing since the tender age of 12. His first real contribution to literature and poetry, outside of a few children’s jokes, was a small limerick about a chocolate bar. After that experiment, he really started to delve in to the world of short fiction in his first year of High School. Over the past two decades, he has continued to hone his craft while finally starting to break in to the business in 2010. He has content published on websites such as Mydeadheroes.net and eHow.com. Soon he will be joining the self-publication revolution and releasing short stories on the various eBook platforms.
When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?
I’ve been reading and making up stories my whole life. I would get hand-me-down books from my older brother, so I tended to read above my grade level as a child. (I also tended towards science fiction and fantasy. My brother tells me I wouldn’t touch his mystery books…) Because of a love of reading and a love of books, a good friend and I started to write down our own stories in about 1989/1990. My first real story was for my freshman High School English class. I think my teacher may have thought me psychotic because of it, but I have been writing since.
Kev's response: I'm not so sure. You're still having those delusions of being a writer....
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")
I’d love the ability to live without needing sleep. As much as I like sleeping, it has always seemed like an inconvenience.
Kev's response: Oh, that's a great one! Man, I could get so much done if I never needed to sleep....
Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?
Batman. I’ve always love the fact he wasn’t a ‘super powered’ superhero. His abilities are from being in superb physical and mental shape or through technology. I started reading comics in the 80s, so the whole “Dark Knight” era of Batman is my favorite. I like that the new movies reflect that much more than the older, Tim Burton era movies.
Kev's response: *shake fist*
Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?
I love to tell stories. I love the idea that people can come in to my created worlds and play around a bit. It isn’t just that… I
hope what I write really helps people in some way. I know that I tend towards fiction, yet I also know that fiction can be a powerful
tool in the life of an individual. I always hear stories about how such and such author changed a life for the better. I’d love to hear
that about my own work.
I also don’t want to be tied down to a day job, stuck in the daily grind working for someone else. I did that for years and don’t want to go back.
Kev's response: Funny you mention being tied down. I've considered writing a how-to book called "Duct Tape Babysitting Methodologies." I figure it'll be a massive hit for parents.
Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?
Before 2001 or so I never planned anything about what I wrote. However, I started writing screenplays around that time and found I needed an outline. Screenplays are a bit more rigid than a short story or a novel and I needed a road map. That has filtered down in to the rest of my writing. I find myself using outlines on bigger projects now, though not always on shorter ones. So I’d say it depends on the size of the project: Bigger I preplan, smaller I go by the seat of my pants. That, however, isn’t always the case.
Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?
Since I am working on making writing a career, I have a set schedule I write. This means writing when I don’t feel like it and setting fingers to keyboard even without inspiration. Stephen King talks about how being inspired doesn’t just happen, a person has to work at it. I find that as I mature as a writer, this is much more a fact of my life. If a writer or an artist has a desire to get paid for their work, there must be discipline involved. I have no desire to be a starving artist that is only known after he dies. I feel a set schedule is necessary for this to come about.
Kev's response: It may help to get a recording of the 7 dwarves song about working. I think it was 7 dwarves. Hmm.
Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?
Science Fiction and Fantasy on both counts. I make no bones about being a genre writer. I have no desire to ever be known as a ‘literary’ author. I love Science Fiction and Fantasy with a passion and am glad to be numbered among the same type of authors.
Kev's response: Same here. My work is intended to be fun to sit down and read about the fights, the interaction between the superheroes, etc. Not so much on the literary side.
What do you enjoy the most about writing?
The end result. I love having a story completed so people can enjoy it.
Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?
Editing and rewriting. I’m not the best editor and I hate going through multiple drafts to get things just right. However it is a part of being a writer and a necessary evil. Unfortunately, I tend to not be able to produce a polished piece on the first draft, heh.
Kev's response: I doubt many of us do.
Can you tell me something odd about yourself?
Since I live with my oddness every day, I wasn’t sure how to answer this. I went to a friend and asked her “What is odd about me?” Here
is how she responded: “You're an old-fashioned romantic movie hero inside a gamer geek body.”
So there is that.
Kev's response: There's also the delusion thing I mentioned above...!
Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?
I tend to write one story at a time. However, I might have several different projects going at once. So maybe I don’t write one story at a time? Hmm. I’ll have to think on this.
Are you for, or against, evil plots to take over the world? (Not saying I'm doing that, but thought I'd ask, just in case....)
Depends if I’m the one that put the plot in motion. In that case, it isn’t evil and I’m totally for such a thing. I hope you don’t mind being a puppet leader :D
Kev's response: Wait, are you dissing evil? Evil is good! After all, with great evil comes great, uhh, plots. Yeah. Plots.
Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?
I think ebooks are the future of the publishing world. It is much easier to download a book versus going to the local Barnes and Nobel to look around. Yet I don’t count hardcopy books out. I think they will become the special edition version of said book. They might not have as large of a readership as the ebook counterpart, but people (including myself) love books. Because of this hardcopies of books will still sell. Look at the continuing popularity and resurgence of vinyl records for an example. I don’t want to see hardcopy books die, but I also know how easy it is to carry around an ereader with access to thousands of titles… My biggest fear is that libraries will die away. I hope that doesn’t happen and they will adapt with the times.
What are your current projects?
I am about to take my first steps in to digital self-publishing. After writing for various websites for years, I have decided to start selling short stories through various eBook platforms. This summer I will start putting the stories out, hopefully at the rate of one a week. I also am working on a novel that I would like to have finished by the end of the year. I want to get some screenplays sold as well, so I am going to start sending out query letters… again. There is also a project I put on the back-burner earlier this year I would like to start as well – writing modern day radio plays. I am also working on getting a couple of web-comics online later this year. The first is a return of one I wrote for five years called Random Encounters and the other will be a comic about truck drivers called Bobtail.
Kev's response: I'm wondering how you'll fit in the editing process on a one-week short story. It always takes my editors a few days to get back to me (if not weeks), even on a short story....
Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?
Self-publishing your work means you have no safety net and no PR firm to scrub your mistakes out off the internet. Use common sense when
it comes to online interactions with everyone. Be nice and respectful on the social networks you use. People will disagree with you on
various subjects and can be very vocal in their disagreement. Keep in mind that everything you say online will stay online forever and might
come back to bite you in the butt. This means you shouldn’t start ranting on twitter about how so and so shouldn’t of hate your book/story
because they are a ‘n00b’ or ‘Fascist.’ Not everyone that enjoys your work will share same opinions as you. There has been at least one case
where I decided not to buy the work of a writer because of how she treated people. Don’t be that person.
Also, make sure your work is as polished as it would be at traditional publishing outlets. Going through self-published eBooks is like separating the wheat from the chaff. Don’t be the chaff, be the wheat.
Kev's response: Wait, are you saying you won't buy my book because of my evil plot to take over the world? Is that what I'm hearing?
Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?
My main site is http://warrencbennett.wordpress.com. I update the blog almost every day, so there is always fresh content. I have posted
short stories, movies reviews, thoughts on gaming/books/anime/etc, and many more entries that are of a personal nature. I feel the blog is an
extension of me. If you read my blog, you know who I am. I love comments so leave some :D
Just a quick thank to Kevin Rau for asking me do this interview. I really enjoyed it and hope to do more in the future.
Kev's response: Warren, thanks much for the interview, as well as being good-natured about the evil plot. I'll make sure to include you as a partner (until I create a minion-maker raygun, then all bets are off). Good fortune on the short story lineup. I hope it works!comments powered by Disqus