Today’s Indie Interview is with the author of The Discovery Series, Bob Boze, who came by to chat about the inspiration for his trilogy and what he’s working on next.
Hi, Bob. Welcome to Read A Lot.
Hi Rebecca. Thank you for the opportunity to interview with you.
Q: Had you always planned on becoming a published author?
A: No. I’ve always been an avid reader and I loved my English and Writing classes throughout college but never thought much about writing or publishing anything. Much of my life has been spent travelling and in the early 80’s I started writing a yearly Christmas letter to let our friends know what part of the world we were in and what we had done over the year.
My letters were full of stories and humorous events and, after being pressured by friends to write a book, I finally started one in 2013.
That book however, had nothing to do with any of the books I’ve published and actually remains unfinished today. Although, if my writing partner has anything to say about it, that will change in the near future.
Q: What inspired you to write the Discovery series?
A: A visit to a friend’s horse rescue ranch. The Horses of Tir Na Nog is a real ranch, in the east county of San Diego. When our friend finally moved all of her rescued horses onto one ranch, we went out to visit the new location. Walking around the ranch, my heart broke as I looked at the most abused and malnourished horses I had ever seen.
When one of the horses (Deveny), hesitantly let my wife and I approach her, I knew I had to tell her story; actually, all of their stories.
The problem was, it was going to be heart wrenching and, I needed a way to temper that.
Oh, and did I mention I knew nothing about horses?
Five years later, I published Horses of Tir Na Nog: A new Door Opens.
Q: What made you choose this genre?
A: I’ve always been a sucker for a good romance story. Especially the ones that have a happy ever after ending. Given the subject (abused and abandoned horses and young women rescued from the sex trade), along with my need to temper their heart wrenching stories, the NA/YA Romance genre seemed like a perfect fit.
Q: What is the series about?
A: The series centres around CJ, a 25 year old girl, who was rescued from the sex trade at 20 and became the manager of a horse rescue ranch. With the support and trust of the owner and two girls at the ranch, she rebuilds her life then, meets and falls in love with a fireman.
The first book, A New Door Opens, centres around the love, support and encouragement she receives from the sisterhood, formed by the three women, and Shawn, the fireman that adores her. It also builds a bond between the fire station crew, ranch staff and those they meet, that eventually becomes a support family for all of them.
The second book, The Sisterhood, finds the sisterhood expanding as CJ (with Shawn) and Shannon, (with Bert, another fireman) two of the original sisters, run all over Europe on their joint honeymoon, collecting new friends along the way. (Spoiler Alert!) While the third sister (Christine) keeps up her end by rescuing more women from the sex trade and falling in love with a Secret Service Agent.
The third and final book, Dreams, brings story closure and everyone together for a reunion in San Diego; where new generations carry the sisterhood, and their support family, into the future.
Q: Do you find it easier to write with a schedule or with no time restrictions?
A: In general, I don’t set a schedule for my writing. I will set a target completion date for finishing but, even that I keep loose. In the case of book one of the series, as the ideas kept flowing I kept adjusting the finish date then gave up and brought it to a close as I realised I had at least another book’s worth of ideas.
That, of course, turned into two, and my trilogy was born.
Q: Can you choose a favourite character from your books?
A: I have to admit, I love all of my characters. As a sisterhood and support family, they fit perfectly together. But, I do have two favourites: CJ, who the book centres around, because, like Shawn, the more I got to know her the more I fell in love with her. The second character would be Jessie. She’s smart, spunky and just a bundle of love and energy.
Q: Was there ever a point while you were writing the series when you wanted to give up?
A: No. Quite the opposite. I originally envisioned one book but, the more I wrote the more I needed to say. My trilogy started with one message: To make people aware of the abandoned and abused young women in the sex trade and the horses abandoned as a result of the economy crashing.
However, the more I learned, the more messages I felt I needed to get out there.
Q: What is the worst part of the writing process for you?
A: Finding time to write. My volunteering at the San Diego Zoo often takes on a life of its own and there are times when I feel like I live there. So, I’m fortunate in that interruptions don’t hinder my train of thought and I can fall back into write mode after an hour, day or even a week of no writing.
Q: How much of your stories do you plan, or do you make them up as you go along?
I start with a very rough outline and a lot of notes. But, it really only covers the beginning and, if I’m lucky, the end. The rest kind of fills itself in as I write.
Q: Do you have a favourite piece of writing advice?
A: Have others read your work as you write! As many and as often as they are willing and don’t get hurt feelings from their comments. Incorporate the obvious and sit on the rest, if you have to, until you understand what they are saying. They are your eyes and ears to what the reader sees. Use them well and appreciate them.
Q: Where can people learn more about your books?
Q: What have you learned since you started writing?
A: Wow. Where do I start? How about with subjects I knew nothing about, like horses, firemen, fire trucks, the sex trade, and a ton of other things mentioned in my books?
But, most of all, I would have to say, I’ve learned how to write. No, make that, I’m still learning how to write. My writing style and descriptions (for everything) look nothing like they did when I started.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: What started as a beta read swap months ago resulted in my now having a wonderful writing partner, who lives on the other side of the world from me, in New Zealand.
With her help, I’m now about halfway through my next romance novel, The Beach Pool. In addition, with her expertise and encouragement, I might actually finish my first book. the one I started and shelved so many years ago.
Finally, we are both, unsuccessfully, trying to rein in our excitement about co-authoring a romance novel that may very well jump in front of everything else. More likely, we’ll both be working on and helping with several books each, while we co-author our new novel.