NY Times Bestselling author of over 80 books including the #1 series Green Berets, Area 51 and Time Patrol. He’s a West Point graduate and Special Operations Veteran. Born in the Bronx, having travelled the world, he lives peacefullywith his wife. Bob has taught writing for three decades for over a thousand conferences and workshops. He’s hit bestseller lists across multiple genres including thriller, science fiction and is the only male author on the Romance Writers Honor Roll. With that incredible resume, and busy work schedule, Bob graciously made time to share his story with us here at Books Uplift.
You are an author, but is it your day job? I’ve been writing full time for thirty years. My first novel came out in 1991. I have done a bunch of active duty tours early in my career in the Army Reserves.
Did you always want to be an author? I was always a reader. It wasn’t a conscious thing to be an author. In the Army I wrote a lot of different things when assigned as an instructor/writer at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School at Ft. Bragg, such as the Gettysburg Battle Staff Walk. When I left active duty and moved to Asia to study martial arts, I had some time on my hands between workouts and just began writing a book.
What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? My most recent is Hell of a Town, the fourth in my Will Kane Green Beret series. I’ve had three main protagonists in the course of the Green Beret series and Kane is the third. The books are unique because I set them starting in 1977 in New York City, so they’re sort of a precursor. There are no laptops, no cell phones. It’s a time and a place I am familiar with, having grown up there and then. Son of Sam lurks in the background, and I knew I wanted the first book, New York Minute, to end on 13 July 1977, the night of the big blackout.
I was inspired to write these books because I love the Jack Reacher character, but, interestingly, my own life mirrors Reacher, so I wanted to write a more realistic Jack Reacher, warts and all, in a unique time and place.
How did writing a book help your career take off? It took me three years to get published. I’ve been trade published, hybrid, indie, and Amazon imprint published over the years, so I’ve seen it all. I also write in multiple genres which is unique. I’m unique in that I have a solid monthly income given I have the rights to almost all my titles. My Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide is a consistent bestseller in print, especially these days.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Persistence beats talent. For 30 years people have been moaning and groaning about publishing. But it’s actually a great time to be a writer in that we have more options than ever. The only thing between a writer and the reader is the internet. So, the only person who can cause you to quit is you.
How do you handle setbacks and criticism? Rejection opens up other opportunities. As Terry Gilliam says, you must have a mule-like stupidity to succeed in the arts. You have to shed negativity and keep your eye on the goal. The #1 path to success is to have a long-term strategic goal and doing whatever it takes to achieve it.
How do you hold yourself accountable and achieve the goals that you set forth? Amazon now allows pre-orders a year out so that gives me a publication date. I have an internal clock, after so many years of writing, that keeps me on task. My next book, No Quarter, is due to be published in June this year, so I know when I need to get that done. I’m currently writing a book with no publication date, a sequel to the bestselling Agnes and the Hitman, Shane and the Red Wedding. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it once I finish. It depends on how beta readers react.
How do you structure your day and make time for writing? I work almost all the time. However, as an indie author with over 80 titles, business stuff, including marketing, takes about half my time. I do try to get out on the bike or the kayak every day to clear my head.
What do you find most fulfilling in the career that you’ve chosen? I work for myself. I work at home with the dog under my desk. I’ve made a career that most industry professionals would say was impossible to do, but I did it and continue to do it.
Anything else you’d like to share with your readers? I’ve got a book/series for almost every type of reader from thriller to science fiction to historical fiction to romance and several interesting nonfiction titles. My Area 51 series is a multiple #1 bestseller on Amazon. I think everyone needs my Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide, especially given current events.
I also give away e-books all the time on my freebies page on my website. I also have over 200 free, downloadable slideshows on my website on a range of topics from writing to survival to history.
Learn more about Bob Mayer via his website and make sure to sign up for some of his free e-book giveaways.