Friday, March 01, 2013

Interview with Robert Pruneda

After reading Rob Pruneda's Pursuit of a Dream, I asked the author nicely if he'd allow me to briefly interview him. He was more than willing to answer my questions and had some insightful and wonderful answers, about his book, the state of publishing in general, and,  most importantly, who his favorite Goonie is. These are important questions people! Take a second to read  his interview and then take a couple more to check out his blog, or buy his books! Thanks for doing this Rob!

Question 1: Settle an internal debate for me. As an author who is trying to get published, or self-publish, I'm currently in a battle with myself about what to do. Weigh in on the debate: Try to get published or self-publish, which side do you come down on? (Oooooh, I just got all controversial!)

This is a debate that will likely go on for light years to come. When you make the decision to write your first novel it’s inevitable to hit that fork in the road with one sign reading “Traditional Publishing” and the other reading “Self-Publishing”. I think making the decision as to which road to take is dependent on the writer’s goals and personal preferences. For me, I decided to self-publish both novels that are currently available. I published my first novel Pursuit of a Dream as more of a challenge to myself to complete a personal goal of publishing a novel. It’s a novel that I have given royalties away to charity and now give away for free on a few platforms for readers to get a glimpse of my style of writing, particularly the dialogue, which many readers have stated as my strong point.

There are a few reasons why I decided to stick with self-publishing when I wrote my second novel (and first horror) Devil’s Nightmare. First of all, I like being able to have complete control of the publishing process. I like the idea of being able to set my own prices, write from my heart, and be involved in every stage of the publishing process. Now, one misconception about self-publishing is that you are all alone in the process. The smart thing to do is get as many other people involved in the process as you can. So, self-publishing is still a team effort. You, the author, are responsible for telling the story, but you have many options out there to assist you in fine-tuning your work of art. You have alpha and beta readers, proofreaders, editors, formatting specialists, cover artists, and marketing assistance if you choose to go that route. You have the choice to put as little or as much money into publishing your novel as you choose. You also don’t need to spend a fortune on any of it. Many of it can be done at little or no cost to you.

There are pros and cons of both self-publishing and traditional publishing, but those battles have been fought all over the web, so I won’t try to weigh them out here. I can only provide my personal preference and my reasons for choosing to go the indie route. It is a lot of work. That’s the most important thing I must point out if you decide to self-publish your work. I actually enjoy the lengthy and challenging process of getting my novels published independently. When I hold that physical copy of the novel I wrote in my hand it is a very rewarding experience because of all of the hard work I put into it, even more so than royalties; although, royalties are definitely a nice perk that comes along with publishing when I manage to sell a few copies.

At this point I have no reason to seek traditional publishing, but if the right opportunity surfaced, then I would be open to traveling down that road. 

Question 2: Did you have a favorite character to write/read when you’re rereading/reviewing Pursuit of a Dream? I haven't read Devil's Nightmare yet, but did you have a favorite character you liked writing/reading more than others? And if so why? In terms of Pursuit of a Dream, I especially enjoyed reading about Brian, and was wondering if you had the same reaction, or if you were drawn to other characters instead.

I think Caleb Lockhardt was my favorite character to write. He resonates with me because his dream of becoming a professional stock car driver against all odds is something that I believe many people can relate to, myself included. As an author, my ultimate dream is to be able to write full-time for a living, so writing about Caleb’s pursuit of his own dream is almost like writing about me in a sense. Caleb is a fictional character, of course, and he has his own unique traits and story, but there is definitely a bit of me in him, which is why I enjoy writing Caleb’s character the most.

Brian Pirelli is a character that originally wasn’t going to have much of a role in the story, but as the story evolved, Caleb’s childhood friend began to grow on me and I felt he also had a story to tell. It’s one reason that by the end of Pursuit of a Dream he has a more significant role in Caleb’s story. I’m glad you enjoyed Brian’s character as he will have more “screen time” in Book 2 of Victory Lane: The Chronicles. Oh, and by the way, Brian’s stepfather Tony makes a cameo appearance in Devil’s Nightmare, which I think you may appreciate.

Question 3: This is important! You will be graded! What is your favorite character in the movie The Goonies and why? What that character choice says alot about you as a person and I WILL judge you accordingly. (For example, if Mouth is your favorite character, I'm not sure we can be friends.)

That’s a no brainer for me. Sloth! Hey you guys!!! Why? As a kid, I just thought he was cool. I also loved how he finally stood up for himself at the end of the movie and became a hero. For some reason I feel like eating a Baby Ruth candy bar now.

Oh, and I think Data is a very close second favorite, only because I’m a natural geek.

Question 4: Let's talk about charities for a second. I know we're both very intent on giving back to charities and organizations that make a difference. My favorite is George Mark House. If you'd like, take a second to talk about a charity or organization that you support or you'd like to mention and why its important to you.

There are two charities that are most important to me. First is the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the other is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The ASPCA has done so much for abused and neglected animals throughout the United States and also steps in during natural disasters to help reunite pets with their owners. Super Storm Sandy is a prime example of how integral the ASPCA was to rescuing so many animals. Every time I see a video of a family reunited with their pet, it literally puts tears in my eyes because I know I played a small part in that with my Guardian ASPCA membership. Two of my dogs are rescues and have been the absolute best pets I have ever owned. No disrespect to my other pets, of course. J

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is another one of my favorite charities because of what they do for kids who have been diagnosed with cancer. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital doesn’t turn families away because of their inability to pay for treatment and I believe one day that this hospital will find a cure for cancer. Cancer is something that many of us have had to deal with in one way or another and it’s a very difficult thing to go through. So, every little bit of dollars that we can contribute to organizations like St. Jude and George Mark House makes a big difference for the kids in need of treatment.

Closing statement:

Tylia thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you on your site. I had a great time answering your interview question and hope I didn’t scare away too many readers with my Goonies answer.

[Ed. Note: You certainly didn't turn me away with your Goonies answer. In fact, I think I like you more now. My favorite is Chunk partly because of the Truffle Shuffle but mostly because of the friendship he forges with Sloth at the end makes him so endearing. You can be the Sloth to my Chunk anytime. Ok, that came out weird, but you know what I mean.]

About the author:

Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a horror fiction and contemporary author of Devil’s Nightmare and Pursuit of a Dream. He lives in south Texas and has called the Lone Star State his home all of his life. He has worked in a myriad of industries ranging from banking to the travel industry, and most recently as an obituaries coordinator for his local newspaper. He now operates a small business administrative support service from home and continues to focus on his love of writing fiction full-time. Pruneda is very active in social media, especially Twitter, and is also an avid gamer and can often be found hanging out with his friends on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Subscribe to Robert Pruneda’s author website and blog at

Find his books:  
Pursuit of a Dream (Victory Lane: The Chronicles):
Devil's Nightmare: 

Social media links:


Eden Baylee said...

It's so wonderful to see Sharky here. He truly is one of my fave men to talk to, and his honesty and generosity come across in his writing and his interviews.

I loved his character of Caleb in Pursuit of a Dream and I didn't need to be a fan of car racing. His book was such a breath of fresh air that I think anyone can read it and enjoy it for what it is -- a story of hope against all odds. That is, after all, something most of us can relate to.


Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

It's a pleasure seeing you stop by for a visit on Tylia's blog, and thank you for the generous comments about my writing. I really enjoyed writing Caleb's character and the fact that you feel that his story is something that we could all relate to in one form or another is exactly what I was shooting for when I wrote Pursuit of a Dream.


The Bloody Munchkin said...

Ah, you got to love Eden with all of her lovely words.

I second what she said about your characters Rob, but you already knew that....