We are thrilled to be connecting with R Weir again. He is an Independent Author and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with him below.
Thank you so much for sitting down with us again. For folks who might have missed our initial interview, can you start by briefly introducing yourself?
Hello everyone. I’m independent author R Weir, author of 8 books in my Jarvis Mann PI series, and 2 books in my Divine Devils series, the second one releasing this summer. I live in Colorado with my wife, daughter and our dog, enjoying the outdoors and travelling in our motorhome.
As an author, where do your ideas for stories come from?
Ever since I was a child I always had an active imagination. Stories coming to mind from simple observations of the world around me. These days I can get ideas from watching TV, reading the news, walking down the street, or lying in bed ready to go to sleep, an idea popping in my head for no particular reason. It’s as if those ideas are floating all around me waiting for me to pick them out of the air.
What is the most challenging part about being an Independent Author?
The challenges are endless and will test your passion during the creative process. Being your own boss has its rewards but at a price. Besides creating the book, you have to handle all the marketing and promotions yourself, unless you want to pay someone. This is true of creating book covers and proofreading/editing your stories, which is expensive. All those costs coming out of your pocket. You must be motivated to do all of this work, with the financial rewards being small, since very few indie authors get rich from their work.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The passion to create from the ground up a fictional world inspires me. Unique, flesh and blood characters, as if I’ve given them life. The cities they live in and the neighborhoods around them shaping a story. The motivation to construct a plot and make the story come to life for a reader. Driving me when creating that first book. Even more so today as I work on book number 11.
Have you ever had writer’s block? And if so what methods did you use to overcome the issue and get writing again?
I’m happy to say writer’s block has rarely been an issue for me. But when I get stuck in a story, uncertain where the plot will lead me, I will step back from my work and go back to the beginning of what I’ve written and start rereading. I’m a writer who doesn’t outline the plot before I begin a story. I write by the seat of my pants with a basic story idea and let it write itself in many ways. The evolution happening as I type. Thinking the story may go right, but as I go along it might veer left instead. Never completely certain how it will conclude. This is where rereading from the beginning helps me and often leads me to answer. The writing revealing itself to me on how the story will continue from the point where I was stuck. An odd method, but one that works for me.
How do you plot your books? And do you always know the ending of a novel when you begin writing it?
I always have a basic plot idea in mind. But as I said earlier, the book will often take turns I don’t expect. I don’t have the whole story in my head before I start writing. I might have a general idea of how it will end, but that can change. I know when I was writing the 8th Jarvis Mann PI book. Mann in the Crossfire, I actually wrote the last chapter partway through the writing of the book. It just came to me one day and I wrote it. Normally that isn’t the case, the finale concluding differently than I imagined when starting. For me, it’s an adventure developing the book, as it is for the reader when reading. Each of us not quite sure where we are heading.
What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?
My advice is simple: write because you love it and desire to create. Don’t write thinking you’ll be rich and famous, because that is rare. And don’t give up your day job thinking you’ll make a living as an author. There will be lots of upfront costs if you stay independent, which you need to account for. And if you want to be traditionally published, be prepared for lots of rejection, which can be soul-crushing. Write because you have a passion for it and not for recognition. If you end up making a living, getting lots of accolades, then it’s a bonus.
It was so great to reconnect. One last question – how can our readers connect with you, learn more or support you?
My website is: https://rweir.net People signing up for my newsletter on my website will be offered a free eBook, Tracking A Shadow.
Amazon Author page where you can find all my books: https://www.amazon.com/R-Weir/e/B00JH2Y5US