Dan: When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
Robert: That’s an interesting question. I’ve never really thought about the moment when I realized that I wanted to be a writer. I’ve been asked when I started writing, and have always had that answer: 11th grade, that’s when I sat down and consciously wrote my first poem.
I guess, I realized I wanted to “be a writer” during the month I was between colleges. I had just graduated from my first college with an A.A. in Humanities, and I knew I should probably continue to get at least a B.A. But in what? Well, I have almost no ambition to do anything else with my life, so why not try to learn more about writing? It was in very late December 2008 that I decided “I want to be a writer” (or at least get a degree that says I’m a writer, haha). A week before classes started in January, I was accepted to my second college, and the rest is history.
Dan: Where did you attend college for your B.A in Creative Writing? – Was there any certain classes you took that impacted your writing in a big way?
Robert: I went to SUNY Potsdam for my B.A. Either it was there or two other SUNY (State University of NY) colleges with the program, and this was the only one still accepting applications at the time.
I think I really lucked out at Potsdam. I went there, as I said, because it was the only one that was still taking in students. I really didn’t do any research other than “where is this place (30miles from Canada) and do they have a CW program?” So, I didn’t know what I’d find there in terms of classes, professors, etc.
The only thing I can really say I was disappointed with was the lack of writing courses. It was an issue with too many elective requirements and budget cuts, etc. All schools were, and still are, dealing with that. But the writing courses I did take impacted my writing drastically. I was writing poetry for almost 4 years at this point, but didn’t have any serious “professional” feedback on it. I ended up learning a lot about how to make my work better, and even a lot about myself as a person, after taking a poetry lit class with Dr. James Hall. After that, I took a course with him for the rest of my time at Potsdam. If it wasn’t for his input and teaching methods (I learned so much without even realizing it at first), I wouldn’t have been able to write From Where I Stand. Dr. Hall helped me open up and write what I think I was meant to write. His courses helped me grow as a writer.
Dan: What brought you into indie publishing?
Robert: I went into Indie publishing because of the work two authors were doing back in early 2012. I didn’t really know what it was at the time, but after reading a book by Rebecca Hamilton and one by S.M. Boyce, then getting to know them through social media, I jumped into the Indie world.
It was a great place, full of great people, not just writers but readers as well. I had some poems from my college courses that I knew I wanted to do something with, but no magazines or journals wanted them (didn’t expect much there for an unknown anyway), so eventually the idea to keep writing a collection and putting it out myself came to mind. I think it was a great decision on my part.
I might have been able to talk to a few small presses about it and see what came of the inquiries, but at the end of the day, I like to control my work as much as possible. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, but it’s a great learning experience as well. From Where I Stand and each release after that are my creations, and bringing them to the world exactly how I envision it…that’s what I love most about self-publishing.
Dan: You’ve written an erotica short story titled Breakfast in Bed, what made you want to write something in this genre?
Robert: I don’t think I really wanted to write erotica. At least it wasn’t really a conscious decision.
I was reading many erotic stories at the time, and one morning I woke up with the urge to write something down. After working through some edits and beta readers’ notes, Breakfast in Bed was born. It was fun to write, and knowing that I have trouble writing prose (compared to poetry), it’s a piece I’m proud of.
From there, I tried my hand at some other erotic stories, switched up to various types, and have even toyed with the idea of writing more stories about Nick and Julie for a short collection. I just need to get back in the groove of erotic writing if I want to try that out again.
So I guess you can say it was a random idea that I couldn’t not write down, at first. I’m glad I wrote it and that readers have enjoyed it. I just hope I can write something longer in time, since that’s a complaint I get with the 600-word story.
Dan: Do you feel any certain authors have impacted your writing in a positive way? – If so, who, what genres do they write in?
Robert: Definitely! I’ve mentioned a few already. Dr. Hall impacted my writing greatly. Also, once I read his book Now You’re the Enemy I was inspired by that poetry to work on some of my own poems in different ways.
Boyce and Hamilton, even though they’re novelists, impacted my writing as well. I’ve learned a lot just from reading their work, but I’ve also gotten the opportunity to help them through issues with their WIPs. I think the best way for me to grow as a writer is to learn from other writers, not just by me sitting down to write.
S.M. Boyce is a fantasy author. It’s a genre I never read much into before, but her Grimoire Saga changed my opinion of fantasy. I’ve since given other books a chance because of it.
Rebecca Hamilton writes in a few genres, but so far her releases are mainly paranormal romances. The Forever Girl series is one of the few books with vampires, shifters, etc. that I’ve been able to enjoy. It’s opened up my reading mind to the genre.
Dan: Any new projects you’re currently working on?
Robert: I wish I could tell you I have a definite project that’s being worked on. I don’t though. I have some ideas that have either been started or I want to start.
I mentioned possibly doing a short erotic collection. At least I have a good amount of stories already for that one. I also announced in the fall that I wanted to write a poetry collection, A Sense of Fall. Sadly, I didn’t end up writing enough poetry to put that into action, just yet.
Aside from that, I’m just going to try writing whatever comes to mind. Once I get into the writing habit, I think more things will be definite and I’ll be able to complete them. I have some great ideas in my head for stories. I just need to get them on paper now.
Robert Zimmermann’s literary works can be found HERE
Read the written Interview HERE
Photo By Robert Zimmermann