Robert Lane’s second stand-alone Jake Travis novel, Cooler Than Blood, blends Lane’s trademark humor with page-turning suspense and literary crime-noir overtones. His debut novel, The Second Letter was released last year and his third Jake Travis novel, The Cardinal’s Sin will be released in October 2015. You can learn more at Robertlanebooks.com. You can also follow Robert on Facebook and twitter at RLaneBooks. Lane resides on the west coast of Florida.
Purchase COOLER THAN BLOOD on Amazon.
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
Different days produce different answers. How’s this: I could find precious little that I enjoyed reading, so I wrote my own book and fell in love with the process. An element of that answer exists every day.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
I haven’t a clue what it’s cracked up to be. It’s hard, long work and adheres to the dictum of 99 percent work and 1 percent inspiration. The demands? Your life. The perks? You get to do it every day. Any place. It’s new, exciting, and your best effort. Get it out there.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I formed a LLC and publish through that. I outsource as much as I can, so ‘self-published’ is a bit of a myth. I’ve made nearly every mistake out there. You can likely say that about any business you start from the ground up. The nitty? You must embrace the marketing side and not be jealous that it is draining precious writing moments away from your limited hours. The gritty? Find good people to help you. Learn to compartmentalize your working hours.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
I come from a long line of readers and bibliophiles. Everyone is supportive.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
Ignore the phone, dinner’s whiskey on the rocks and I have no boss.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Okay, those are pretty extreme words, even if diluted. Nothing crazy or insane has happened to me in the book publishing process. It might be driving me crazy, and while that may not address the spirit of your question, it’s paramount in my mind.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
That’s a shifting landscape if there ever was one. The jury’s still out, but I think Facebook has a slight lead, twitter’s hugging the rail, and instagram is closing fast on the outside. That’s enough metaphors for a mixed salad, but so goes social media. I’m not sure what helps today will necessarily help tomorrow. I’d like to avoid them all and have the world circumferenced by breathless reader’s waiting for my next book.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
We’ve all hear the mantra but it bears repeating. Write the best book you can, market it as if the survival of western civilization rested on its success, and repeat. Over and over and over and over. I view books sales as yearly targets that encompass more that one book. I know that when I discover a new (to me) writer, the first thing I do is go back and read previous titles. I believe that if I am relentless in my effort, sales will follow. If not, shame on me if the effort wasn’t there.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
It wouldn’t be about anything in particular—I would just scream.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
I like having the book out of me; all the themes, the action, the conflict—all a refection of a certain period of my life, the months that I worked on the book. If I started today and wrote the first line of a book I’d previously written, it would be vastly different.