Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Author Interview: Bob O'Connor

Today we learn a little more about Bob O'Connor, author of The Return of Catesby, in this author interview. Bob is currently on tour with Walker Author Tours. Enjoy, and pick up your copy of the book at http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-8206-1.

Jennifer Walker: What is one thing about you that most people don't know?
Bob O'Connor: That I do not own a TV. I have not owned a TV in probably the last 15 years. And I don’t miss it!

Jennifer: What you are passionate about right now? 
Bob: I am passionate about Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon. I have written a historical novel abiout him (The Virginia Who Might Have Saved Lincoln) and edited a book he wrote in the 1880s but was never previously published (The Life of Abraham Lincoln As President) and do first person historical impersonations of him for schools and other organizations. I also blog as Lincolns bodyguard, psoting each Friday on what Mr. Lincoln was doing exactly 150 years ago. http://lincolnsbodyguardblog.clogspot.com and www.lincolnsbodyguard.com

Jennifer: Do you edit as you go, or do you wait until you're all done with the first draft?
Bob: No, I definitely edit as I go. I probably have printed out and edited a book 30 or so times before it comes together for publishing.

Jennifer: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?
Bob: Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s bodyguard and a man who I have written about and interpreted as a historical character.

Jennifer: What is your favorite movie?
Bob: The newly produced movie “Lincoln”.

Jennifer: What is your favorite holiday?
Bob: Thanksgiving is my favorite. Each year I cook for a church that provides 1200 or so free meals for anyone who comes by. It is a real “feel good” kind of event. I have done it now for 12 years straight.

Jennifer: What did you do to get people to your facebook page?
Bob: I have three facebook pages – BobO’Connor, Bob O’Connor Books, and Bob O’Connor journalist – I post regularly any article I have written or that is about me.

Jennifer: Who does your cover art?
Bob: I have various book covers. Two are by fabulous Civil War artist Mort K√ľnstler. People ask me how I get him to do the covers. I pay to get the rights to use his artwork that was already drawn.

Jennifer: Do you think we will still have brick-and-mortar bookstores will still be around in 10 years?

Bob: Yes, I think the local book stores (independently owned) provide great service especially to local authors in making their books available and hosting book signing events.

Jennifer: How many hours a day would you say that you spend promoting your work?
Bob: I spend 12 hours a day, seven days a week, doing something in regards to my books – promoting, writing or research. It would be hard for me to break them down or apart. Working on one helps me to “get away” from the others for a time so when I am back I am ready to do that part.

Jennifer: Tell us about your book.
Bob: My book is the continuing story of Catesby – a real colored blacksmith who lived originally in Charlestown, VA as a slave to Colonel Lewis Washington, a descendant of George Washington.  In the first book Catesby struggles to find his freedom. He runs away from the operation of a blacksmith shop under a cruel owner who permanently cripples him. He flees on the Underground Railroad to Pennsylvania.

This book follows Catesby’s new adventures leading up to his teaching position at Storer College, a new school to teach newly freed blacks to become teachers. Ironically, the students’ first day in the classroom was Catesby’s first day too, because he had been taught at home by his mother. Catesby’s vast experience is helpful in encouraging his students and helping them believe that if Catesby, a man with a bad leg who had been a slave could accomplish greatness, they could too.

Jennifer: Where can we find out more about you online and buy your book? http://boboconnorbooks.com/synopsis.cfm#Return

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