Words with Robert Collins, Author of "The Sagas of Surgard the Traveler"

Can you tell us a little bit about "The Sagas of Surgard the Traveler?"

The book is a collection of short stories I sold over several years involving Surgard the Northerner. Surgard is a sort-of Viking who's told by his god to go out and find new stories for the god to tell. Naturally, in doing so Surgard ends up getting involved in all sorts of adventures. The stories make fun of various fantasy elements, from Wagner's operas to Greek myth to Conan.

What's your background with writing?

I wanted to be a writer since junior high. I started selling fiction in 1990. I also have an active nonfiction career.

Who are your inspirations/influences?

I really don't have any. I read like I listen to music; whatever I like, I like. In the case of the Surgard collection, there are some influences. One story was inspired by a Steve Jackson list, "Characters I Wouldn't Allow in My Game." Another came from an incident in the second "Hitch-Hiker's Guide" novel.

Who was responsible for the cover/book design?

I am. At first I wanted to use a public domain image. Then I read about these stones the Norse used for messages, to boast, and so on. I had the idea that using those might make some inexpensive but interesting images for the cover and the interior. So that's what I did.

What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?

I wish I could do more for Surgard. But I've been working to promote two novels, and I have a new nonfiction book coming out. So for Surgard it's pretty much catch as catch can.

What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?

First, here's my blog. I tend to write about writing, with the occasional post about life in general.
Next is my website. This is where I have information on my books, where I list periodical sales, and keep up a schedule of events.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

I'm hoping to get out more short story collections in the next few years. One of which will be a follow-up to my second novel, "Lisa's Way." I also have a full sequel to that novel done. In the short term, I'm bringing back my first novel, "Expert Assistance," back into print.

Is there anything else about you we should know?

Here's where you can get the book from Amazon.

And from Smashwords (ebook).

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