Interview with Rob “Sharky” Pruneda
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I live in Victoria, Texas in the south Texas crossroads less than an hour from the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve called Victoria home most of my life, but I grew up in Austin, Texas, which is what I claim as my hometown, even though I was born in Victoria. I’m a fiction author, independent small business owner working from home, and an avid gamer. I also love animals, all forms of auto racing, technology (my favorite gadget is my Kindle Fire), and long walks on the beach.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
My first book Pursuit of a Dream was born during a fairly lengthy break in employment. With so much time on my hands and trying to find full-time work, I decided to tackle something I had always had the desire to do… write and publish a novel. Pursuit of a Dream is the first of three planned books in Victory Lane: The Chronicles and is a story about a boy with a dream of becoming a professional stock car driver. No one in his family has ever been involved in auto racing, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing his dream. This story is kind of a parallel of my own dream of writing full time. My current work-in-progress is a horror/mystery tentatively titled The Devil’s Nightmare. I came up with the idea behind the story from a dream I had one night (and an actual experience). I jotted down some notes on my computer after waking up and did not revisit it for several years. It wasn’t until taking the #WIP500 challenge created by Cara Michaels that I decided to start writing the novel.
How do you create your characters?
My characters create themselves in a way. I have an idea of what my main characters will be, but then as I write the story I let my characters tell the story, if that makes any sense. By doing this new characters are often introduced into the story, and as I am writing the story I get to know the characters just as the reader does. This is the main approach I have been using with The Devil’s Nightmare and I’ve been having a lot of fun writing the story this way.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
My main inspiration came from my brother who was a great storyteller. When I was a kid, he would draw graphic novels (not comics) and would also write short stories and poetry. I began drawing my own graphic novels when I was a kid, but I was nowhere near as good as my older brother. Ever since then, I had always had an interest in storytelling, but never really got serious about it until recently. My first book Pursuit of a Dream was dedicated to my brother who passed away in 1999. My brother never published any of his work and one day I hope to find his stories and publish them in his honor.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
My writing desk sits in a corner nook of my bedroom since I don’t have a formal office. When I write, I usually listen to instrumental music on Pandora radio. If it’s raining outside, I turn off the music and just write to the sound of the wind, thunder and rainfall. I usually write in the afternoon or late evening, but when I have the rare occasion where I find myself writing early in the morning, then and only then do I drink coffee. I usually just drink iced water. I know, I know… an author that doesn’t drink coffee or wine? Never!
How do you get your ideas for writing?
With Pursuit of a Dream it came from thinking about my own dreams and my own love of auto racing and I just built it from there. Other times ideas come from literal dreams I’ve had while sleeping. I’ll jot down a quick summary of the dream when I wake up and save it for future reference. The Devil’s Nightmare is inspired by both a dream and an actual experience that I had when I was a kid.
What do you like to read?
I enjoy reading fantasy, horror, and thrillers. My favorite authors are Stephen King, Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weiss, Terry Brooks, Michael Crichton, Michael R. Hicks, Steve Alten, and Dean Koontz. One particular indie author, Steve Umstead, has gotten me interested in the Science Fiction genre with his Evan Gabriel series. The “In Her Name” series by Michael R. Hicks is also another popular series that I’m planning on reading. There are many, many other Indie authors that are on my TBR list. I’m currently reading Billy Purgatory by Jesse James Freeman.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
I think the hardest thing about being an author is getting genuine support from family. Now, of course they support my writing, but I think many writers can relate to the nonchalant reaction received when talking about writing projects to family. It is almost as if they consider writing a novel as more of a hobby than anything. So, I usually keep it to myself and just write. On the same note, I find it very important to have a support system in place or else you may get burnt out, frustrated and even quit. This is where connecting with the writing community is extremely beneficial. I never would have even started writing my next book had it not been for the supportive people I have met in the industry through social media. My website never would have been created and I never would have re-released Pursuit of a Dream in eBook format without them. Find a supportive writing group to be involved with and don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. Chances are there is someone else out there in your family of writers that has been there, done that. Let me emphasis the word ‘family’ there… as writers, I feel we are all a part of a worldwide family that is more supportive than you can ever imagine. Indies Unite for Joshua is a clear example of that.
Anything else you’d like to share? I just wanted to thank you very much for having me as a guest at The Pen & Muse. I always enjoy sitting down at the virtual interview desk with fellow authors to chat about our love of writing. Cheers!
About the Author: Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is author of Victory Lane: The Chronicles. The first book in the trilogy, Pursuit of a Dream, was published by AuthorHouse in 2004; the revised e-Book edition was released for the Kindle on September 10, 2011 and is now available on Nook and in other formats. Pruneda operates an administrative support business from home and has also worked as an obituaries coordinator and advertising sales consultant at the local newspaper in his home town. Pruneda has recently taken up writing fiction again and is currently working on a horror/mystery tentatively titled The Devil’s Nightmare. He is very active in social media, mainly via Twitter, and enjoys connecting with other writers and helping to promote their work.
Links: Where to buy Pursuit of a Dream: Kindle at Amazon Kindle at Amazon UK Nook at Barnes & Noble Smashwords Goodreads Follow “Sharky” on Twitter @SharkbaitWrites and his author site and blog at http://SharkbaitWrites.com. Pursue your dreams… and never look back!