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Author Interview - R. A. Fisher

Author R. A. (Robert) Fisher joins me as my guest this week on Author Interviews.

I hope you enjoy learning a little about Robert. I can related with Robert's answer to question 1. I once tried to read The Hobbit when I was 12 or 13 years old. I don't think I made it past the first page or two. And his answer to question number 11 made me laugh maybe a little too hard. But it just seemed the second sentence of his answer was unnecessary in a way. I couldn't imagine how it could be delicious.

Thank you, Robert, for being my guest this week. Your answers were enjoyable.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?

That I read myself? I would need to say the Dragon Lance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. I’d just come off the high of my mom reading me the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I loved it so much I went to read it again the moment she was done, but it turned out my 10ish year old mind wasn’t ready for that on my own. About a year later a friend introduced me to Dragon Lance, and it sealed my interest in fantasy and sci-fi for the rest of my life.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

My mom has pictures of me pretending to write when I was 3-4, before I could even read, so pretty much since I was born.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

It really depends on what day you ask me. Overall, I would probably need to say Ian M. Banks/Ian Banks (because I like is non-sci-fi, too), and Dan Simmons for the Hyperion Cantos alone. But you could replace them with Neil Gaiman, Tom Robbins, and (if I’m up for it) Shakespeare, and I wouldn’t complain.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

I love telling the story—vomiting it out and then sculpting it into something (usually) not-horrible to share with others. But I hate the promotion side of it. I sort of low-key hate everyone, so promotion is really hard for me. I don’t have anything against anyone in particular mind you, just everyone in general.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

I always have this feeling when I’m writing that all these stories are things that happened or will happen at some point in this nigh-infinite universe, and I’m trying to write them down as accurately as possible, and failing miserably at it. Hmm. I don’t think that answers your question.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I can make a pretty good cup of coffee.

7. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

Completely made up, but the dreams I manage to remember are vivid and usually include a cast of very real-seeming dream people, and some of my characters are based on those.

8. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Not quite the same thing, but I have this horrible bad luck when it comes to naming things that end up getting used elsewhere later. Like Eris, the world where Tides takes place, which I’d used twenty years ago when I started the travesty that was my first novel. Of all the gods they needed to name a new planetoid after, they just needed to pick the one I used. Also, I originally named something in Tides a “Thot,” again fifteen or twenty years ago, after the

ancient Egyptian idea of a soul, only to find out a few years ago that the kids had appropriated that word for some sort of internet slut or something (I’m still not real clear on that). Eris, I decided to keep, but obviously I needed to change Thot.

9. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

Now I’m working on part 2 and 3 of the Tides Trilogy. Part 2, The Black Wall, was actually the first book I ever wrote, and it was 170k words of awfulness. But I liked the idea of Kalis Syrina, and thought I’d do a prequel featuring her to flesh out the character more. That became The Kalis Experiments and hugely altered the trajectory of the story, so I went back and rewrote The Black Wall, and am now editing the hell out of it. I’ve outlined part 3, The Grace’s War, but haven’t started any “real” work on it yet.

10. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

I won 4th place in the Vancouver Currier literary contest in 2011(?) with a short story titled the Catalogue. I’d thought that story lost forever, but an old friend recently found a copy buried in the files of an old computer, so now you can read it on my woefully neglected blog.

A Little More Personal

11. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Raw pig tongue soaked in sesame oil. It was not delicious.

12. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

Free-handing up the cliffs around my house where I grew up in Colorado, to push giant rocks off the top to knock down trees below. We were stupid as all hell on so, so many levels, but I can still smell the scent of pine and rock dust in the dry air.

13. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Riding my bike, playing with my kid, playing video games, or getting into pointless political arguments on reddit.

14. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Long ago when I was working at the Virgin Megastore I met Robin Williams. He was always one of my favorite actors/comedians/people, so I was really nervous and tried to act like I didn’t know who he was (pretty sure I failed). But he was just this kind, friendly, silly, almost shy little guy with almost impossible amounts of body hair, and we chatted about nothing for 20 seconds and he was on his way. He came off as very humble. Years later his death hit me a lot harder than pretty much any other celebrity death, and maybe that was one reason why.


Robert Fisher has lived in Hiroshima, Japan with his wife and five-year-old son since 2015, where he occasionally teaches English, writes, and pretends to learn Japanese. Before that he lived in Vancouver, Canada where he worked in the beer industry and mostly just cavorted about, getting into trouble and eating Thai food. He placed fourth in The Vancouver Courier’s literary contest with his short story The Gift, which appeared in that paper on February 20, 2009. His science fiction novella The God Machine was published by Blue Cubicle Press in 2011.

Robert’s Links


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