I met Robert via Twitter. What a great way to meet people! He was gracious enough to do a guest post on my blog, which BTW is the number one post on my blog. So when we formed the Blog Ring of Power I just knew I had to get Robert to agree to an interview. Once again he has agreed.
So here is a little about who Robert David MacNeil is and a bit about his work, which is listed as Number 1 Science Fiction story on Amazon.
First, let me thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. I love the "Blog Ring of Power" concept.
1. How long have you been writing?
I began writing Iona Portal three years ago. I've written non-fiction for 20 years under a different pen-name, but fiction was new territory. I'm fortunate to have a number of friends who are authors and editors, and most importantly, some honest critics. They believed in the project from the start, and walked me through several major re-writes as I learned the process of writing fiction.
2. When and why did you begin writing?
I've always loved books, and am an avid reader. I think most readers have a secret desire to write.
In my "day job" I'm the dean of a school. I'm also a teacher and traveling speaker. One of my favorite topics is the supernatural. I've been to 32 nations teaching, doing research and writing about angels, demons and supernatural manifestations. Iona Portal is a direct outgrowth of that.
Three years ago, a friend suggested I write a science-fiction book based on the kind of supernatural encounters I describe in some of my non-fiction books. That intrigued me. Most people think of demons and angels as beings in a "religious" context, but quantum physics opens another possibility. The parallel universes many cutting-edge physicists now envision are eerily similar to the religious concept of a "spiritual realm." What if the age-old battle between good and evil is actually warfare between trans-dimensional beings who use our world as a battleground?
Some of the events in Iona Portal are based on actual occurrences.
3. Tell us about your early works—what was the first thing you ever wrote?
When I was in grad school, I wrote a science fiction story and sent it in to one of the popular science fiction magazines of the day. It was classic space opera, and I loved it, but the process of writing it was tedious. This was before the days of personal computers and I was typing the story on an IBM Selectric, which meant retyping an entire page each time I made a change.
Looking back, I’m sure the story was dreadful. I was surprised, however, that the inevitable rejection letter came in the form of a personal letter from the magazine's editor. (Editors still did things like that back then). He was very encouraging and made some helpful suggestions. I probably should have tried again, but by that time I was working on my thesis.
Finishing grad school, I put the idea of writing behind me for a number of years, and focused on career.
4. What books have most influenced your life?
As far as writing style, it would have to be Clive Cussler. A lot of science fiction today tends to get bogged down in nuts and bolts detail. Some people love that, but I don't. Cussler's style is clean, direct, and fast moving. I once heard Cussler say that he sees himself more of an entertainer than author. That's my goal also. I don't claim to be creating great literature, but I do want to keep my readers on the edge of their seats, and leave them a little breathless at the end.
5. What genre do you write?
Iona Portal is more of a suspense thriller than anything else, but it happens to be set in a universe of alternate worlds and parallel dimensions. That earned it the Science Fiction label.
6. What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
I love the Sci-fi thriller genre, and still have some space-opera on the back burner. Maybe when I finish the Synaxis Chronicles series….
Catch part II tomorrow on Terri's Blog
Part III with Teresa on Wednesday
Part IV with Em on Thursday
Part V on Monday with Sandra
Long a fan of science fiction and suspense thrillers, Robert also has a love for history–especially ancient Greece, Rome and medieval Europe. He's particularly fascinated with Patrick, Columba, and the ancient Celts of Ireland and Scotland. The Celtic monks had a special relationship with the angels. They also loved beer and invented whiskey. The Irish really did save civilization!
Robert and his wife, Linda, live near Dallas, Texas. He has authored five non-fiction books under a different pen-name. Iona Portal is his first novel.
Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Robert-
What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
Iona Portal is available in paperback and Kindle e-book at Amazon.com. Amazon Prime members can read Iona Portal free on their Kindle
Find the Kindle version here: http://www.amazon.com/Iona-
Portal-Synaxis-Chronicles- ebook/dp/B005IA87WA/ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313854512&sr=8- 1
Find the Paperback version here: http://www.amazon.com/Iona-
Portal-Book-Synaxis- Chronicles/dp/1467992542/ref= tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid= 1313854512&sr=8-1