Jen: This weekend we welcome our last guest to Book Talk. Monday, February 1 we will start our new blog, Romancing the Book (if you come to this blog address, you’ll automatically be forwarded to the new site). So, please give Bob E. Sherman a warm welcome. Bob E., will you please share a short bio with us?
Bob E: Bob E. Sherman was born and raised on the Jersey Shore. Although he didn’t know it at the time, his family was poor. He enrolled at MIT (Milwaukee) to be a diesel mechanic then transferred to The U (Miami) to study marine biology before getting his degree in accounting. He has lived in Florida the past 40 years where he has never missed the four seasons. He is or was a CPA, CMA, factory trained Evinrude mechanic, yacht salesman, licensed USCG captain, condo treasurer, yacht club commodore and president of a cemetery. His opinions are as unique as his talent for signaling.
Jen: Tell us about Am I the Only One That Signals?Am I The Only One That Signals? and where it’s available.
Bob E: Politically Incorrect has been redefined by Bob E. Sherman in his new book titled Am I The Only One That Signals? The book is a collection of comic essays on a variety of subjects covering everything from Alpha to Zulu. It covers current and historical events mixed in with real life anecdotes. The author’s opinions are as unique as his habit for using his turn signals. The book includes workable solutions to many of the world’s problems, all of which are politically incorrect, but just might work.
It is social commentary at its best. Or as the author’s sister suggests: anti-social commentary. He is at times satirical, sarcastic, and provocative. The book for the most part is humorous, although there are several topics covered that are not meant to be funny, but are important to discuss. Sherman the Shark was so impressed that he wrote the Foreword.
The book is available online from Infinity Publishing at www.bbotw.com as well as borders.com, amazon.com, eCrater.com, Authorsden.com, and Floridawriters.net. It is also available at West Marine in Hallandale Florida and Double Diamond in Vail Colorado.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Bob E: I starting writing in the 1st grade, but never received better than a C+. About 10 years ago I started writing down my opinions on various topics which included sending letters to magazine and newspaper editors. As the pages grew; I decided to put it into a book. The book was published in April, 2008.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Bob E: My sister has published five books under the name of Diane Mariechild. She is also my biggest critic.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Bob E: I go with the flow as I am usually shooting from the hip.
Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Bob E: Peace and quiet. My wife thinks I spend too much time on the computer, so I’m always being interrupted.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Bob E: The most challenging aspect is getting people to read my writing. I do have mental blocks from time to time. However, as I write humor and satire there is plenty of material. People do stupid things every day.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Bob E: Having my writing acknowledged. Positive comments are the best, of course. But, even when people disagree with me it means they are reading my articles.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Bob E: I’ll probably stick with humor/satire. I don’t see myself writing a novel. My writers group (Florida Writers Association) has a lot of poets. I don’t see myself ever writing a poem. I thought poetry was something you studied in high school.
Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Bob E: As a descendant of William Rittenhouse, I’d have to thank Uncle Bill for building the first paper mill in the U.S. Otherwise we might all be writing on tea leaves today. Also from the past, I have enjoyed humor writing since reading My Brother was an Only Child, by Jack Douglas in 1959. Currently I read Dave Barry and Andy Rooney; hoping to learn how to make a million dollars by being sarcastic. So far I haven’t figured it out. I wrote a letter to Andy Rooney; he didn’t answer. I met Dave Barry at a conference after I had sent him a copy of my book. He didn’t seem to remember getting it. My sister, a published author, has been important to me by encouraging me to keep perfecting my craft.
Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Bob E: Having my book published last year. Waking up this morning was also pretty special.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Bob E: I guess if I still remember Jack Douglas from 50 years age he must be a favorite. Another older book, which I read again a few years ago, was Fire at Sea, by Thomas Gallagher. I am currently reading Executive Orders by Tom Clancy. I have also exchanged books with fellow authors of the Florida Writers Association. Some have been pretty good, such as The Eyes Have It, by Madelyn Lorber.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Bob E: I’m working on a second book and also updating my first with the hope of attracting a traditional publisher.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Bob E: On my website, www.bobesherman.com, which also has links to other websites where you can find my posts e.g. www.gather.com and www.twitter.com
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Bob E: Why don’t you use your turn signals?
Jen: Bob E is giving away an autographed copy of Am I The Only One That Signals? to the person who gives him the best reason for not using your turn signals. The winner will be chosen in the afternoon on Sunday, January 31. If you do not leave your email address in your comment, please check back to the blog on Sunday or subscribe to the comments to be notified if you are chosen as the winner. The contest is limited to US residents.