I heard you have a book coming out this week. What’s it called and what is it about?
It’s called LOST, and it is the second in my Denver mystery series featuring Detective Bobby Mac. In the first book, Mac discovered that it’s no matter of chance that he became a cop—he learned there is a deep family heritage of Scottish warriors, protectors…even a number of priests. In book two, Mac is asked to travel north to Idaho where his brother is the chief of police. A family has been murdered and a little girl abducted. Mac and his brother will discover there is more to the murder and abduction than it originally seemed.
How long have you been writing? Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
I’ve been writing since college. Once I became a voracious reader and discovered I had some raw writing abilities, the next logical step was to start creating what I love! At this point, I can’t imagine not writing.
What other books have you written?
I mentioned the first book in the series, entitled Black Beast. In that one the reader first meets Detective Bobby Mac, so there is a fair amount of character development and, of course, the first case where he discovers his ancestry (as well as the dark forces that discover him). I am also working on my magnum opus—a contemporary western cop story set in a fictional Wyoming town that resembles the one in which I grew up. That one is entitled Dark Prairies and will hopefully be out before the summer in 2012.
I’d also like to add that I created a website called “Read a Book, Make a Difference” (RABMAD). We showcase authors who are giving back from the success of their work to causes. Currently, more than 40 authors have signed up.
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?
These days, the biggest challenge is not getting published, it is finding a readership (and that’s for traditionally published writers as well as indies). What a lot of people don’t know—including writers—is that even if you are picked up by a traditional publishing house, there is about a 99 percent likelihood that YOU will be expected to market and sell your books. What the writer soon discovers is that even if he or she has a truly great book, if they are lost in the wilderness where no readers can find them, they won’t sell a single copy.
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?
Yes: start your marketing campaign NOW. Sign up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., and start building relationships with other writers, finding your audience and just generally learning the lay of the land. Start a blog. Blog a LOT. Work on gaining a following. You cannot simply publish your book and wait for readers to find you. They never will. Have your marketing plan and platform set up BEFORE your book hits the streets!
How do you get inspiration for your books? Are there life lessons you have used as inspiration?
Absolutely. Everything I write comes from deep inside me and is totally influenced by the ups, downs, successes, challenges and failures I have experienced. I have said it a hundred times: If a writer is not writing from the soul, they are only words on the page. A core element of my books has to do with the challenges of keeping our faith. Life will never be an easy walk on a flat path. Even the most devout people have faced doubt. It’s very important to me that my characters reflect what we all go through. People want to relate to characters and cheer for them. That is what I believe in: character-driven stories.
I love to write and almost feel like writing gives me an escape from the “real world.” Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
There is no better way in my opinion to communicate with the world. However, a writer needs to be very, very careful. There are no physical expressions for the reader to see…no literal inflection of voice and tone. So the writer must convey these things with the written word. It is a huge challenge, but when you’ve been successful, there is no better feeling in the world.
Has writing made you a better person? Was there a point in your life where writing helped you deal with something, a death or a problem relationship perhaps?
I think so. As we write—if we are writing from deep within—we can’t help but learn things about ourselves as people. And when we discover ways for our characters to overcome, to hang in there, to triumph…aren’t we really also discovering those things for ourselves, too? My wife and I lost our son to SIDS in 2008. He was born on Christmas Day in 2007. He was beautiful, healthy and perfect. We thought he was our miracle. A lot of what I write taps into the grief I have suffered as well as the triumph I’ve had in surviving such tragedy. It’s definitely helped me deal with our incredible loss.
About R.S. Guthrie
R.S. (Rob) Guthrie is a mystery/horror writer and author of Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel. Black Beast is the first in a series featuring Denver Detective Bobby Macaulay. The second book in the series, LOST, will be released on January 1, 2012. The author lives in Colorado with his wife, three Australian Shepherds and a Chihuahua who thinks she is a 40 lb. Aussie.
Keep Up With Rob
“Kudos to R.S. Guthrie!! I started reading Black Beast and from the first chapter
I couldn’t wait to find out where the story would lead — a real page-turner full of
suspense and intrigue.”
Becky Illson-Skinner, Mystery Writers Unite
“R.S. Guthrie is a marvelous storyteller…The development of his characters is awesome.
You feel you’ve known ‘Bobby Mac’ all your life.”
Kathleen Hagburg, co-author of Getting Into the Zone,
a Course and Workbook For The Mental Game.
“[Black Beast] establishes Guthrie as a bona fide talent.”
Beth Elisa Harris, author of the literary blockbuster Vision.