Greetings everyone. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful industry professional named, Rob Bignell. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.
Hi there Rob! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ToiBox Blog. I’m excited to learn more about you and your work.
So tell me, who is Rob Bignell?
I’m the owner and chief editor of Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the editing and self-publishing needs of writers both new and published. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres have been published, and I’m the author of the nonfiction guidebook series 7 Minutes a Day…, Hikes with Tykes, Headin’ to the Cabin, Hittin’ the Trail, the literary novel Windmill, and the poetry collection Love Letters to Sophie’s Mom. For more than two decades, I worked as an award-winning journalist, with half of those years spent as an editor. I spent another seven years as an English teacher or a community college journalism instructor. I hold a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s in journalism and English.
Wow, I mean, just wow! You’ve worked as a teacher, journalist, editor, and writer. I can’t imagine being all those things at once, but you make it seem easy and thrilling. I can’t wait to see what all you have to share.
So whacha got for me today?
I’m wrapping up writing on the next title in my “7 Minutes a Day…” writing guidebook series. Due out at the holiday season, the fourth title in the series focuses on “the craft of fiction writing” – or how to give your writing more zing. It’s a collection of 50 pieces of advice I’ve given to writers who I’ve edited and helped get published during the past five years. It’s called “7 Minutes a Day to Mastering the Craft of Writing.”
That sounds like a good series to look into. As a writer I know it never hurts to brush up your writing and as a writer of fiction, this topic truly appeals to me.
Do you mind to share today, how we become fans, followers, or friends?
Through LinkedIn. I make the majority of my connections with serious writers and editors and other professionals via LinkedIn, much more so than Facebook or Twitter.
I can totally agree with you on that. I find that when I connect with people through Facebook and Twitter, it’s more social, and that can be a good thing, but for business, I stick with LinkedIn. It’s a great way to make initial connections before moving on to something more social, if things work out that way.
Getting to know you a little better, tell me, whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Shakespeare. I’d like know how he came up with the ideas, imagery, and lines for his plays, to learn if they were borrowed, collaborative or wholly of his own mind. I’d like to learn what specific events in his life inspired some of his greatest lines and scenes. Of course, if I knew, then I’d be writing scholarly papers for the rest of my life!
This is one of those questions with no right or wrong answer, but sometimes an answer seems better than others. Shakespeare is always a good one, especially when there is good reasoning behind it – not just because everyone’s heard of him.
Up next, who is so you and why?
Well, I wish they would compare to Captain Kirk or to James Bond! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone compare me to a celebrity or fictional character before. Wait, back in college, someone said they thought I was like Ted Koppel. There’s no way that’s true. I mean, do I sound like Ted Koppel to you?
I know what you mean. We are never compared to the people we’d want to be compared to, but being compared to Ted Koppel doesn’t seem too bad. I always get compared to B-list actresses.
Being the busy person that you are, what makes you chill?
Listen to bebop jazz with a lavender candle burning, curled up with a good book with just enough lighting to read by. I probably spend all of my relaxation time with me Kindle Paperwhite. Pathetic, right? I’ve taken to introducing my Kindle as my new girlfriend.
LOL! I like you; you’re funny. There’s nothing wrong with settling down with a good book. Every day at work (I teach) I scarf down my lunch quickly so I can squeeze in at least 10 minutes of reading, just to clear my mind.
So, what was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?
I read a tremendous amount of science fiction and boy adventure novels. One short story that I read over and over was Fredric Brown’s “Puppet Show,” which was in an anthology I had. I remember comic book versions of “The War of the Worlds” and “The Time Machine” having a big impact on me. I devoured James Blish’s “Star Trek” anthologies.
I never read many short stories growing up and am just now growing to like the medium, but you had me the moment you said “comic book.” To this day, even after having read the originals, I love to read the graphic novel versions of books. I just love the images.
If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s a tough question. Maybe “Star Wars IV: A New Hope.” It’s got action and adventure, it’s got mythology, it’s got humor, just as a start. The movie has a number of layers to it, and if you take that approach and just view it for each layer, you’d be watching a new movie each time you saw it.
I like you more and more every minute. That movie rocks!
What makes you geek out?
“Star Trek: The Original Series.” I can tell you the name of the episode just by seeing the planet they approach in the opening scene.
Wow, that’s impressive. My dad would be so proud of me if I could do that, not that he isn’t proud of me, but you get my meaning 😉 . Good for you!
So what’s testing your patience right now?
What’s testing my patience right now is that there’s a lot of good books, music and art out there there but nothing that’s truly shattering the old paradigms. So much is imitative and commercial. Of course, the imitation is very flattering and the production quite slick. But I’d like to live through a period where you say, “He/she/they are like the Beatles or Motown. Nothing’s the same now that they’re on the scene.”
I know what you mean. There is definitely no shortage of creativity right now, but originality is sparse and the ability to change the game for the better seems almost impossible. However, I’ve seen some of the things people are doing in the name of conservation and my mind is blown.
When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?
When I’m working out, Dick Dale’s surf guitar runs through my head. When I’m mindlessly happy, an upbeat Beatles tune plays up there. When I’m contemplative, John Coltrane is there with all of the improvisational notes matching my thoughts of exploration.
I can get down “with a little help from my friends” and, of course, taking a ride on the Coltrane is always enlightening.
What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?
Anytime my son and I have laughed together.
What a great answer. Family and laugher are always the best.
So, thoughts on EC: GA?
I’m looking forward to reading it. I’ve heard great things about its characters being extremely well drawn and given a lot of depth. One of the pleasures of reading is meeting characters who are like real people and experiencing their adventures alongside them.
I’m glad to hear that. I tell everyone, that while I worked very hard to develop this story, I put so much more into my characters because they are each a part of me, even my bad guys.
Is there something you would like to ask me?
Q: Are you Dr. Mira Brown?
A: Not really. I image that Mira looks like a taller less glamorous version of my older sister, and while I wanted to be a doctor when I was a kid, she’s not really me. She and I have a lot in common, but she’s a combination of many of the women in my life.
Well that’s all for today folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation with industry professional Rob Bignell and will take some time to visit his links.
Rob Bignell editing service:
My “7 Minutes a Day…” writing guidebook series:
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords