Robert Ushy Showcase Interview
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Robert Ushy, author of The Ivory Betrayal, and The Zodiac Connection. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Robert.
Robert Ushy: Thank you very much for having me. Ready to have some fun and delve into your questions.
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself and your work?
RU: I am a Canadian, from Winnipeg, Manitoba and have been privileged enough to visit and meet so many countries all over the world already. I have so many more to see, and will hopefully get the chance. Probably never the greatest student in school, but always creative. I did find myself playing baseball at a professional level briefly before injury when I was younger. After that, started life, got a “real job” (Lol!) and discovered traveling on volunteer holidays to a few animal reserves in South Africa and Romania. Since transitioning into the #WritersLife, I’ve seen over twenty other countries as I find myself back again in baseball, as a coach and spending my time between Australia and Europe mainly.
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
RU: I try to get something down every day. Mainly do my best work in the mornings, pretty much in the quiet. Whether it be a current work-in-progress or ideas for future novels, always trying something each day. Since I do write with some realistic facts mixed with creative story, I do also find myself doing lots of research and internet surfing about facts and historical events as well.
SPS: Can you put your finger on the moment you decided that you wanted to publish your work?
RU: I can’t say that there was a particular time exactly. I originally wrote a story as something to do, for myself, but ended up losing most of it to a computer crash. A few years after that point, I found myself writing again, but this time with definition and purpose. I had the idea for The Ivory Betrayal and just kept going with it, enjoyed the characters and decided to self-publish it mainly so I could say I did it.
SPS: Why do you think it is that you have found yourself writing in the style that you do?
RU: Writing can be hard work. Most people don’t actually believe me when I say that, so you have to write about what interests you. I enjoy the spy and espionage worlds created by other authors, directors, producers and actors. There is so much diversity in the world and being able to add to even the smallest bit is just so intriguing. Write about what you love, what inspires you and what drives you. If you don’t, you won’t be able to keep motivating yourself.
SPS: What would you say, if anything, best differentiates you from other authors?
RU: I’m sure that all authors write with aspirations of keeping the reader involved for the whole book and I’m no different in that aspect. I write with the story developing to me as a movie might for a viewer. If a book or film can take you away from reality for time, then I’ve done my job. I like to have subplots and backstories that contribute to the ongoing atmosphere between characters, but also so the reader’s mind gets to create for themselves and hopefully feel like they’re with the characters. Who knows, maybe even find themselves cheering for the secondary ones, or even maybe…the antagonists!
SPS: Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
RU: I like to mix the reality of today’s world into the imaginary ones that I create. Through my travels in life, I’ve seen, experienced and met some incredible things and people. Highlighting many of those times and adding twists to accentuate and exaggerate them, then mixing in real life historical facts or political ways seems to bring my stories to life.
SPS: Have you received a favourite review of your work?
RU: I honestly haven’t received many reviews over the years and no “official” poor ones, but I do love hearing from readers and authors when they contact me through social media or email directly. The Donald Trump supporters amuse me the most currently. They assume my latest book, The Zodiac Connection is about him because of the front cover and that I’m against their beliefs. I smile, hey I’m Canadian, don’t vote in the US and the book came out before he was even brought into office, but it’s still fun to think about:) If fans want to take their time to contact me, I think I can find a couple minutes of mine to acknowledge them.
SPS: What’s next on the self-/indie-publishing horizon for yourself?
RU: I’m currently writing a sequel to my first novel, The Ivory Betrayal. Had to take a little time off between the last one and this one, but I’m extremely excited about the story arc I’m journeying towards. I can see it continuing as a full series as I already have ideas for a third piece too.
SPS: Was the self-/indie-published route always your preferred route for your work?
RU: There are certainly some benefits to self-publishing. You get complete control of your work. From the front cover, all the way to your final words and acknowledgements. On the flip side, you do have to do all the work yourself, from editing, design and marketing. I certainly always am listening if a publishing house wants to talk and help me out though.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?
RU: It’s actually a lot harder than you think it would be originally. As I mentioned earlier, writing is hard work. Having ideas is the easy part, but turning those ideas into a creative story that keeps a reader’s attention and have them wanting to keep going with you is one of the hardest things. Lots of options for readers to choose from and trying to stand out after the novel is finished can be taxing on your time as well. Little things that you don’t think about beforehand like the designing and marketing side of your novel prove why there are experts in the field specifically for that.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
RU: Try it. Over the years, the quote “Everybody having a book inside of them…” has been used, requoted and changed, but is generally true I believe. Some have fiction, some fantasy, or self-help and biographical, but it’s there and most now end up on YouTube channels or other social media platforms lately. Yet I’d still recommend trying the writing method at least once. Writing brings out another side of yourself that I think most people need to find. Even if you write merely for yourself, give it a try and release that creative little monster that’s hiding inside.
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
RU: Can I say me? Just kidding. No, there are so many good indie authors out there these days that just haven’t been discovered yet. The big name authors are still producing quality work, but the self-publishing scene can really be where the hidden gems are located.
SPS: Thank you for joining us today, Robert, and all the best for the future.
RU: Thanks again for the opportunity, I certainly enjoyed taking the time speak with you guys today. You can find my first two novels on Amazon.com, traditional paperback and e-book are available for order and through Amazon Kindle if you are a member.
SPS: For more information on Robert and his work, please do visit: