Ronald C.Tobin Interview

A Ruby for Victor by Ronald C. Tobin
Ronald C.Tobin started writing publicly in 1980. From 1981 to 2005, he was the editor and publisher of an internationally circulated small press periodical named THE THOUGHT. He is the author of A Ruby for Victor.
Author’s page on Amazon

What motivates you to write?

For me, writing is a passion. I enjoy expressing myself, and telling a story is an effective way of doing that. I have written non fiction and opinion pieces along with short stories, poems and novels. Even in my fiction, the astute reader will notice that I am sprinkling the tale with concepts and ideas. I want my readers to think as well as be entertained.

What made you choose the genre you chose?

Honestly, I wasn’t really thinking about the genre until after the book was published. I had a story I wanted to tell, one I regard as worthy of sharing with others. One bookstore that is carrying the novel said it was Horror because it had vampires. I disagree. The Plaz Seschni series is overall Science Fiction, maybe some Urban Fantasy with a few Horror elements. When it comes to fiction, my primary genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy. I have nothing against the Horror genre but I don’t think having vampires in a book makes it horror.

Why did you decide to write about vampires? And what would you like your readers to feel about vampires after reading your novel?

This novel is based on a series of short stories I wrote back in 1989-1990. My motivation for writing about vampires then and now is very similar. I am interested in the symbolism, the potential for a life that spans centuries, the enhanced psychic powers, physical strength and so forth. What makes mine different from most is they are not undead, they are humans who have undergone a very trying transformation, one fraught with peril as it does bring one to the brink of death and success in transforming is not guaranteed. Mine are portrayed based on an idea I had of if vampires are real, what would they be like? As for how I would like readers to feel about vampires after reading my novel, I would hope they find my take on the mythos to be enjoyable and thus want to read the series as it goes along.

Where do your characters come from?

My characters come from my vivid imagination. Some of them I have known for decades. They are very real to me. When I write about them, it seems like they guide my hand. Some of the twists and turns in the novel even surprised me. They may as well be flesh and blood.

What is most rewarding about writing?

When I write fiction, what I like is the ability to create a world and populate it with people, create events and determine their outcome. I find that very exciting. Most rewarding so far was seeing this book be published and have people reading it and putting it on their shelves. When I wrote opinion pieces and social commentary, I found it rewarding to share ideas with others and discuss them. I have learned much from people who did not agree with me. I enjoy being creative, and writing is a fine way for me to do just that.

What do you look for in other people’s books?

In novels, I enjoy reading books that make me think. Generally I also want to be entertained, but sometimes I gravitate towards very serious topics. What I appreciate is a good plot, solid characters I can care about, a book that I can lose myself in for awhile. My favorite genre is science fiction, followed closely by alternate history as I enjoy exploring the ‘what ifs.’ I also really enjoy fantasy. I read roughly fifty books a year. My wife reads twice that amount easily. Also, for me, I really enjoy finding non-mainstream writers. Great when I can find a new gem to tell people about.

What are you writing now?

I am working on a set of short stories as a prequel to A RUBY FOR VICTOR. I am also writing my 3rd novel of the Plaz Seschni series, ZOE’S LAMENT. I have the manuscript ready for my 2nd novel, DEBTS OF BLOOD. I am seeking a publisher and a good editor. I had a very positive overall experience with my first publisher but my vision takes me elsewhere for future installments.

What kind of book would you like to be known for?

I aspire to be a writer known for writing books that are thoughtful and entertaining. I’d like to be known for presenting ideas that make people ponder life.

If you were to write in another genre, what genre excites your writer’s blood?

At some point I’d love to write some epic fantasy. That would be fun.

If you achieved great fame and fortune, would you continue to write?

I would absolutely keep writing. Achieving that would give me the gift of time to write even more!

Who is an author who inspires you and why?

There are several for different reasons. L. Neil Smith inspires me because he writes of how things could be and of overcoming obstacles while remaining true to principles. Philip K. Dick inspires me because his writing is brilliant and challenging and makes me see things in a different light. Maxwell Alexander Drake inspires me with his incredible fantasy storytelling. I could go on and on as so many have inspired me.

What encouraging advice can you offer new writers?

If you want to write, write. Don’t let people talk you out of it and tell you to be practical. Being practical puts one into professions they do not like but happen to be good at. Yes I am speaking from experience here. To thine own self be true. Live the dream and make it happen. Happiness comes from doing what you love, not from being practical.

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