We are delighted to welcome New York Times bestselling author Bob Mayer to Romance University. Bob has 40 books published and has over three million books in print. He is in demand as a team-building, life-change, and leadership speaker and consultant. Bob graduated from West Point and served in the military as a Special Forces A-Team leader and a teacher at the JFK Special Warfare Center & School. His latest book is Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear & Succeed. He teaches novel writing and improving the author via his Warrior-Writer program. He lives on an island off Seattle. For more information see www.bobmayer.org
Let’s turn it over to Bob.
Adrienne: What do you think of collaboration and how did you and Jenny Crusie work together?
Bob: We did everything for the first book via email-no phone, instant message, etc. I’m more a plotter and she’s more of a pantser and very character oriented. Each contributed their part.
Do not collaborate with someone who doesn’t understand how weird the publishing business is. A-type personalities will go crazy with how slow it is.
Adrienne: How has the collaboration affected your career? Knowledge of craft?
Bob: Career-wise I learned a lot from Jenny. The same with craft. Since we were so different in the way we approached things, we both learned. I learned about rewriting. Jenny learned to have her characters go outside and do things. And that guys really don’t want to talk.
Adrienne: What is the most important thing you’ve done to advance your career?
Learn the craft. Read. Network. I talk to other writers. I just got a lot of good advice from Susan Wiggs that I am taking to heart and using. It’s important to study the craft, learn and be open.
My friend Elizabeth George read my latest manuscript and gave me a lot of feedback. I think it’s important to be willing to listen to and accept feedback. I actually go to classes at conferences, rather than just teach. I just learned a lot in Dallas at a conference. One of the things I teach in Warrior Writer is that when something you experience upsets you, to focus on it. Because it’s telling you a truth that you are resisting.
Adrienne: What’s the biggest mistake you made in your career?
Bob: Not networking enough. Not having a long term plan. Something I focus on now and teach in Warrior Writer is to decide your long term goal, then break down short term goals and make sure they align. The publishing business is changing and we have to adapt to the change.
Warrior-Writer fills a critical gap in the publishing industry paradigm. While there are numerous workshops focused on just the writing, this is the only one that focuses on the strategies, tactics and mindset a writer needs to develop in order to be a successful author.
Warrior Writer is a holistic approach encompassing goals, intent, environment, personality, change, courage, communication and leadership that gives the writer a road map to become a successful author. Many writers become focused on either the writing or the business end; Warrior Writer integrates the two. I use all that I’ve learned over 20 years in this business to help other writers.
Adrienne: How do you juggle writing, speaking, consulting, classes, etc.?
Bob: I work all the time. But I also have learned to shut things down. To say no. Close doors. Another tenet of Warrior Writer. You can’t do everything. Pick the things you want to focus on.
Adrienne: What advice do you have for the newly published author?
Bob: Find a mentor who is published in your field. Ask for help. There is so much agents and editors won’t tell you. Most writers are pretty open to answering questions. Don’t expect anyone else to give you your career. You have to make it yourself. Thus the first Force in Warrior Writer is WHAT-you have to specify your goals right up front and then use the other Forces to pursue them.
I actually started Warrior Writer based on my experiences. There’s a huge problem-no one teaches writers how to be authors. I want to do that. To show them not to make the mistakes most new authors make. The market is too unforgiving now to do that.
The bottom line is to focus on making your writing better. The one thing you control is writing a good book.
Thank you to Bob for being with us today. He will be checking in to answer questions so have at it!
Join us on Wednesday for part two of Bob’s interview when he will talk about the differences in the male/female creative process.
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