For years, I’d heard intriguing things about Bob Jeschonek and his amazing stories. For example, I heard my mentor, Dean Wesley Smith, rave about a riveting story he wasn’t able to tear himself away from. A recommendation in itself, but made all the more irresistible when I learned the theme and title of the book: Warning! Do Not Read This Story!
I read a Robert Jeschonek story about a sentient pair of underwear. I read another where a crazed clown takes hostages at a book signing convention. Bob’s stories are always fresh, entertaining, suspenseful, and wonderful fun.
The story, “The Foolproof Cure for Cancer,” is trademark Jeschonek, which is to say—a very enjoyable read. I recently had the opportunity to interview Bob and today I’ll share part of that interview with you.
How do you come up with names for your characters, and do they hold significance?
Sometimes, the names I use are carefully crafted and hold symbolic significance in the story. Other times, they’re an amalgam of the names of people I’ve known or just random elements that have a quirky sound or texture. If a story is more literary and grounded in reality, I’ll often use names that aren’t extraordinary at all, or perhaps have one unique aspect among the mundane.
How important is research in your plotting? Tell us how you go about it.
These days, I conduct most of my research online, unless great rigor is required for a more reality-based project. In that case, I’ll find materials in a library or buy them online if I don’t already have them in my personal collection.
What’s your favorite part about the writing process?
My favorite part of the writing process is when the elements of a story or novel start coming together, and as I’m flying along, I can feel it all taking on a life of its own…and I just know in my heart that it’s awesome. For me, nothing beats that incredible feeling.
What’s your biggest challenge, as a writer?
My biggest challenge as a writer is finding the time to write all the stories and books that I’m burning to write. My to-do list is perpetually overextended at all times, leaving me feeling always as if I will never even come close to turning all my visions into reality.
How do you view your relationship with your readers?
My readers make everything worthwhile, especially when they offer comments that tell me they totally “get” what I’m trying to convey in my work. Though sales and payment are great, nothing beats making a connection with reader and knowing my work has meant something special to them.
Which authors have influenced you the most?
On the crime and mystery side, I love Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, and Kris Nelscott. In general, the writers who’ve influenced me most deeply include John Irving, Jack Kerouac, Cormac McCarthy, Alan Moore, Isaac Asimov, Michael Chabon, and Neil Gaiman.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Tell us about it.
My first story was fan fiction based on the 70s TV show The Rockford Files, which I published in my own little magazine on ruled notebook paper. The whole thing was written in pencil, and I only made one copy, but I loved doing it and set myself up for a lifetime of indie writing and publishing.
What are you working on next?
One of my next projects is the sequel to my cozy mystery, Death by Polka, set in my hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I’m thinking of calling it Death by Pierogi, though the title could change. I’ve had lots of great reaction to the first book and love the characters so much that I can’t wait to write another in the series.
More about Bob
Thank you, Bob!
I feel a real kindred spirit with Bob. His answers to many of my questions resonate with crystal clarity for me and he’s such a fun and positive person to be around. Check out his Amazon author page to find out more about his work and the many exciting future projects he’s got planned.
How about you? Have you read any books by Robert Jeschonek? Can you resist reading a story titled, “Warning! Do Not Read This Story!” Share you thoughts in the comments.