Author Interview: Robert Babirad

Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?

I generally prefer printed books. However, audiobooks are wonderful when driving long distances, at night, or even at the gym. I find myself turning to ebooks when I need to read about or find a specific piece of information quickly. I also sometimes read them at night when travelling.

It varies. However, the title of my first book “In-Transit Passenger: Making the Journey Matter” came about in a rather interesting and unexpected way. The title was derived from the passing words of a Customs official in Ireland while stamping my passport. When he called me an “In-Transit Passenger,” I knew that I had found the title for my new book.

How important was professional editing to your book’s development?

In my opinion, the importance of good editing cannot be underestimated. For me, it’s extremely important. Having more than one set of eyes on a manuscript, and over multiple pass throughs, is essential for a book to be at its best. This is particularly true before the final draft is sent off to the publisher for the last time. Someone else is always going to see something that you missed.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Keep a journal. I find that it helps a lot. Record interesting things that you see or experience in the moment or as close to the moment when you experienced them as possible. Later on, there’s a high likelihood of not remembering all of them.

These notes will prove to be an invaluable resource and an important aid in making your own writing richer in detail, insights, and sensory experiences for the reader.

I think it’s also important to study the books written by your favorite authors, but this time, as a writer. Copy out a few of your favorite passages that achieve something you’re trying to do, and perhaps struggling with in your own writing. This has been a big help to me. They may show you how to effectively describe a character, place etc. in a way that you previously hadn’t thought of. I know it has helped me.

Looking at a favorite book through the eyes of a writer is different from reading a book solely for information or enjoyment. When you’re looking at mechanics and technique, a favorite and familiar book suddenly becomes a whole new learning experience.

Have you ever travelled as research for your book?

Absolutely. My first book is actually a travel memoir of various experiences I’ve had and places I’ve visited. “Love in Budapest” is a fiction novel. However, it is based largely upon my time in Hungary.

How long does it take you to write a book?

My most recent book took all of last year to research and write. I wrote “A Westhampton Beach Christmas” over the course of a summer, so around three months for a first draft.

How much research did you need to do for your book?

All of my books have involved a lot of research. It’s one of the most time-consuming parts of the entire process for me.

It’s interesting though, because the research always ends up going far beyond just looking through books and websites. I’m frequently able to have very interesting conversations with fascinating people all because of the research needed for my books, and where it leads me in that process.

What do you think makes a good story?

There needs to be an interesting conflict that the characters somehow or other find themselves inextricably involved in.

I also think that a good story teaches the reader something. I like to always make sure that my novels are to some degree, a learning experience, both for me as well as for my readers. This though once again goes back to the importance of, and need for research in writing any book, and that’s irrespective of whether the book is fiction or non-fiction.

If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?

Great question! I would say to them that I understand why they did what they did in the story. Whether or not I agree with them and what they chose to do, is something different altogether.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?

My least favorite part would be the seemingly endless waiting on each part of the publishing process. At times, it can all feel interminable. It’s difficult to put a new book out there that maybe you’ve spent a year on, and then hear nothing about it for a very long period of time. It’s also frustrating when the first draft gets rejected and there are some perhaps not too flattering comments said about your submission. This is where self-care for writers comes in. You really have to and you have to reward yourself along the way, because extrinsic rewards and gratification aren’t always forthcoming.

My favorite part of publishing is reviewing the final galleys, seeing the finished cover design, and of course, having the new book that I wrote, finished, published, and in front me. It is such a celebratory moment at the end of what at times feels like a very long journey, from that first draft to the final moment of publication.

Social Media Links Robert Babirad: books, biography, latest update

Author, Robert Babirad | Facebook

Leave a Reply