- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
The Same Six Questions
1. Have you published a book yet?
Yes, three novels and a book of stories and poems. The first novel, Striking Out, a coming-of-age novel, was published in 1991 by The Permanent Press and was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award. The second, Atlanta Blues, is about the search for a missing college girl by a newspaper reporter and two cops. Published by Harbor House Books, it was a Southern Critics Circle Selection and was named in a year-end round-up as “one of the best novels of 2004 by a Southern writer.” The third novel, A Majority of One, was published in September 2011, by Red Letter Press. The fourth book, due out soon, is also from Red Letter Press. It’s title is Six of One, Half Dozen of Another (Stories & Poems).
Synopsis of A Majority of One: When preachers in a rural Georgia town move to ban some classic American novels from the high school curriculum–and post the Ten Commandments in every classroom–only one person stands up to them: English teacher Anne Brady, an “outsider” from Atlanta who champions great literature (and the separation of Church and State). Refusing to “go along to get along,” she soon finds herself in a fight to save her job and reputation. For help, she turns to another outsider, lawyer Eugene Shapiro, who as the county’s only Jewish attorney knows all too well what his client is up against. By the time Anne’s struggle spills into court from a heated school-board meeting, the mood of the county points toward a legal lynching – or worse, as some of the more zealous defenders of the faith have drifted beyond the reach of law or reason. This novel is a powerful reminder that not all religious fanatics live in the Middle East. America has its own home-grown variety. (Available at Amazon for the Kindle and smashwords.com for all other ereaders).
2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
At age 10, I saw a movie, “Gentleman’s Agreement.” Starring Gregory Peck, it was about his work as a magazine writer exposing, in this case, anti-semitism. I was smitten. I grew up to become a newspaperman (The Atlanta Constitution) and then a novelist and short-story writer.
3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?
It was my first attempt at a novel. It was about a teacher who gets into trouble because of his/her unorthodox religious views. I began it as a college student, probably in my junior year. I still have the original, written in a notebook, around here somewhere; better still, I finally got that novel written (though changed in material ways). It’s the novel titled A Majority of One.
4. When was your first indication, “I can do this (write)”?
I’ve always been able to write. As far back as grade school, I wrote creatively, and my classmates and teachers encouraged me to do more. But I knew how to write long before I knew how to write a novel. That first attempt at a novel, when I was in college, sputtered out at about 50,000 words – because I didn”t know what I was doing. Novel-writing is a craft. One must learn the craft or trust to blind luck for success. The latter approach, when it works at all, often leads to what’s known in writers’circles as the sophomore jinx: the second book bombs because the author didn’t know how he did it the first time.
5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?
I’ve already met some of them. The two cops in Atlanta Blues were based on cops I actually knew and worked with as a reporter. In Striking Out, Johnny Kelly was based on a childhood friend whom I knew well. But Shapiro, in A Majority of One, is a fictitious character I’d like to meet in person.
6. It’s a dark and stormy night…you’re alone in the house…there’s a knock at the door…you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What’s on the doorstep?
I can’t imagine screaming like a little gir, but I might do it if the people from Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes were there, holding a big, big, check made out to me.
- Editor's note: Yes, from time to time, LikeTheDew.com does allow our authors to do blatant self-promotion. In fact, we encourage it and hope you'll click this book link, buy and enjoy Bob's book. He's a really nice guy and great writer and, IMHO, deserves great success. Oh, yeah, this story also appeared at AndyRane.blogspot.com.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
In this day of anonymous email trashings, un-informed blog posts, and you tube mistakes that last forever, we rarely see political second chances. But last week a disgraced public servant rose like a Phoenix from the ashes to reclaim former glory in the political arena. Mark Sanford has been elected to represent Charleston, and South Carolina, in the United States Congress. In a room where everyone is addressed as “honorable” Sanford will have an opportunity to regain the revered glow that accompanied him during his magical time as governor of one of the self-proclaimed great states in this country, and finally bec Read on →
If state Democrats want to win big elections like the one they lost Tuesday on the coast, they’re going to have to get busy and retake control of the state Senate. Why? Because the outcome of Tuesday’s election was practically determined two years before the special contest between GOP former Gov. Mark Sanford and challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Why? Because constitutionally-required redistricting to even population changes after the 2010 census made it tough for any Democrat to win. In the First Congressional District, for example, voting age blacks comprised just 18.2 percent of voters. Huh, you might wonder? On the coast where African Americans comprise 30 percent of Charl Read on →
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey isn’t the first nationally acclaimed wordsmith to make her home in Decatur, Ga. Between 1892 and 1916, Charles W. Hubner (1835-1929), the “Poet Laureate of the South,” lived at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Gordon Street in the city’s southwest quadrant. After a couple of decades in Atlanta, Hubner had a home built in the fashionable East End subdivision, one of the Atlanta Suburban Land Company’s residential ventures in unincorporated DeKalb County along the streetcar line linking Decatur and Atlanta. The Baltimore, Md., native served as a Confederate telegraph officer in the Civil War. After the war, H Read on →
We are barbarians. I can't take credit for saying that, although I completely agree. My friend did that, just after I posted this video on my Facebook page: I was all set to write about how Charles Ramsey isn't a hero. But this, this makes me realize that I was wrong about that. Here I was thinking Ramsey, the guy who answered Amanda Berry's cries for help, ending the imprisonment of three women in Cleveland, shouldn't be called a hero because he just did the right thing. My argument was that we've set the bar way too low for bestowing hero Read on →