“Reprisal! The Sorrow,” the book cover says.
This is Cliff Roberts — a talkative guy in a pair of slacks with a manuscript in in his hand.
“I just gave up cigarettes and wrote better than I ever believed I could have,” he says, sitting in his office. Sales awards litter the walls.
This is Roberts — Clifford Ezekiel Roberts from Dearborn, Michigan, where he almost became a life-long politician instead of one of the most popular Indie thriller authors of the year. His success grew quickly simply because he has both adult and juvenile appeal.
The Kindle-after-dark sets dig him the most.
Republican hearts turn misty when they read his books. Democratic eyes take on a far-away stare.
Like his peers in the thriller business– Roberts is a man with a story on his mind every single minute of the day. The trade is saying that if Cussler had Roberts self-assurance, he could be another Cliff Roberts.
This is Roberts, with the two personalities, telling me he has “a desire to be the biggest writer in the world because his stories can’t be held back.”
He said, “There are two Robertses — the one the public sees, and the poor boy from Dearborn who wants to make enough dough to eat.
“Roberts is me in this room where I worry about the next book for weeks. Roberts is also the guy who goes out there and moves books. The struggle is between Roberts and Roberts.
“Some night I’ll probably write something I will feel confident with from it’s moment of conception.
“The struggle is to match a book with it’s audience. I have to struggle to bring Roberts home and write the smash hits he’s capable of.”
Roberts is controversial — and as self-assured as an bomb.
“How do I feel about publicity?” he asked me with a serious look on his face, and then answered, “I love it.”
He continued, “I guess I’m controversial because I say what I feel. I can’t tell anyone I don’t worry about the threat of terrorism. I do and I worry that we are all in danger. I get into trouble because am too vocal about my beliefs at times. My PR guy hides his face.
“Well, I’m 57 but I feel 24. There are only two things I won’t talk about — my personal life and my political career.”
This is Roberts, too —
“As Cliff Roberts, I’ve been able to have things Clifford Roberts wanted — a home for my books and a fan base willing to read them. Nothing is more important to me than the people who read my books.”
“You know what else?” he says with a smile. “Lots of people call me to ask when my next book will be released. I’ve had around 10 calls over the weekend and around 40 e-mails from people asking to see the first chapter pre-release. For an Indie writer this is unheard of, I guess. But Clifford Roberts back in Dearborn always had a dream about this really happening. Somewhere in his head he knew it would become a reality.”
This is Roberts, who says: “I’m a funny kinda guy, really. I have a feeling for writing the kinds of books that would horrify the average person. I write about terrorists and acts of terror; and believe me, it scares me too, sometimes. A year ago I thought there was something wrong with my ability to write about these people, but today I just accept it as creativity.
“I refused to change my style of writing; readers just changed their style of reading.”
This is Roberts, who has been approached to make a movie out of his book Reprisal! The Eagle Rises. “I want to make a movie akin to some of the best thrillers Hollywood makes. I want to be a personality writer– a writer who writes for people who like to watch action unfold.”
“I can’t wait my next book to be released– it’s called Reprisal! The Eagle’s Sorrow. I’m no longer running. I’m just walking real fast and keeping the pace up.”
This is Cliff Roberts.
And you have now met one of the most exciting writers of our times.