This interview is with a very talented man. Douglas R. Cobb. A man who has recently scored his first major hit on the Western bestseller charts. The book was called “Guns of the United States Marshals” and is slowly shaping up into one of the biggest hits of the year so far. What drives Douglas to write such hits? I think it couldn’t do us any harm to ask him… I present Douglas R. Cobb to you…
Douglas– This is a pleasure for me as I love your work. When can I tear you away for an interview?
Next week–just kidding. *Laughs*
Tell me about Douglas the man– what do you like? What do you do to relax?
Tax accountancy work, going over files like Bartleby the Scrivener from Melvile’s tale. No, not really, of course…mostly, of late, I haven’t had much free time, as I am either at work, online tweeting about my books, or writing. But, I like to spend as much time with my family as possible and I love to read and write book reviews. I have stacks of books that are rapidly taking over the house, demanding to be read–though, I want to get the as-yet-unwritten books inside of me out into the world, as well. Oh, and I like to play with Lily, of course, take her to the local Pterodactyl Park, lift weights, and do yoga…somewhat…though I find the more pretzel-like moves very daunting.
Sounds like you have a few bestsellers to come yet! Tell me about your writing? Do you listen to music when you write? Talk to the wife? Total silence? What does Douglas Cobb dig for writing?
When I was younger, I liked to listen to Rock whenever I either studied or wrote, like the Beatles, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, The Police, etc.–New Wave and Punk also,,, I still love to listen to this music, but as my family are asleep by the time I generally do my writing (between 10:00-2:00a.m.) I try to keep the noise down and maybe have CNN on in the background.
It’s difficult to keep inspired for a long period of time, unless I have dreamt up certain dialogue/scenes during the day for a chapter I’m working on, so I usually only write maybe 1,000-2,000 words per night. Sometimes I’ve hit over 3,000, but sometimes just 700 or 800 words a night.
You enjoy writing about the legendary Bass Reeves… don’t you?
Yes. He fascinates me.
What drove you to start writing westerns about this legendary western figure?
My teenage daughter, Kaitlin, actually suggested that I write a Western, and she gave me a very simple request: “Make it as good as Lonesome Dove and True Grit.” Well, I had never written a Western before, had no idea how to, and no one in mind to write one about. I had dimly heard mention of Bass Reeves, though, and I knew he was a native of Arkansas, where Rooster Cogburn, of True Grit, also lived. So, I was intrigued and started doing research on his life, and I became more and more interested in this fascinating man and his life.
How does it feel to currently have that Western on the bestseller charts?
Absolutely fantastic! I’m so appreciative of the readers I’ve gained since signing with Dusty Saddle Publishing.
So tell me, how do you publicize your work and what was your most disheartening moment?
I utilize House Elves, mostly. I am jonesing so much for J.K. (Rowling) to write more Hogwarts novels, whether with Harry or the offspring of the original characters. Am I evading the question nicely? I write the books and my publicist promotes them.
Have you considered your books as films?
Only every single day, Nick! I think that my series The Case Files of Lily and PAWS could be successful hits as either live movies or animated ones, possibly for a studio like Disney, Pixar, or Nickelodeon. My Brother, The Zombie, I believe, would make a great movie combining horror and science fiction, and ‘Guns of the United States Marshals’ cries out to be made into a Western flick.
Do you consider interviews like this crucial to sales?
Oh, yes! Interviews and book reviews are other fantastic ways for authors to get the word out about their books. The best book ever written might lie unnoticed somewhere not because it’s a piece of crap, but because it hasn’t been noticed by enough people to make it into a commercial success. So, I and all authors definitely owe our fellow authors who are bloggers, like yourself, a word of thanks for agreeing to interview us and sometimes write reviews of our books.
What three items would you take to a desert island?
Well, everyone needs food, but assuming that the island is chock-full of food, my three items would be a pocket knife, writing supplies (okay, so I’m cheating with this, as it conceivably can refer to paper, pencils, pens, a typewriter, a computer–if the island has electricity, etc., anyway–so sue me!), and a Kindle Fire stocked with hundreds of books and movies and tunes–if the place has electricity. If not, besides the knife and writing supplies–arrgh!–even with them, to be honest, thinking about it, toilet paper is one convenience that I would not like to be without.
I’ll cheat, and make one of my three items a boat (not one with leaks) so I could reach a proper town that has electricity!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
That depends on how much gas I have in my car, LOL! If I only had an electrical one, I could really go places! But, honestly, I hope that all of my books will be commercially successful, though they are really labors of love, and I’d keep on writing (probably) if I didn’t sell a single copy! Don’t let that stop anyone from actually buying them, though. I am unanimous in my recommendation of them! I don’t ask for much, in terms of success–if I’m at the head of my own multi-media empire and worth millions, that’s good enough for me. I will, of course, strive to remain humble, in the midst of the accolades I will undoubtedly receive by the lorry load.
Final question, with all your success– why do you keep working?
Ah, success is, as Einstein said about some Space/Time Theorem Thingy, relative. Poppa needs a Maserati, or at least a Saab or Camaro. Groceries must be bought, and then there’s my immense staff of servants that need to keep the wolves away from their doors…am I wringing any hearts, yet? I hope so. You can also purchase most of my books in paperback via Amazon–please do–they make great gifts for friends, relatives, yourself, and look fantastic under the Yule tree!
Nick, it’s been a sheer pleasure answering your questions, and I feel proud that I barely flinched when you drove those wooden spikes under my fingernails to get the answers from me, despite my initial insistence on only giving you my name, rank, and serial number!
It is a time period as vast as the desert and as relevant as our world today. It is the time between Colonial America and the modern age. A place that held death, destruction, love, desire and greed. A time of man’s bravery and fears. A place where a man needed every ounce of his strength to survive. A barbaric time. A better time. It is a place we call the Old West. This is an exciting adventure in that dangerous, yet, dramatic and exciting place. Grab your copy of “Guns of the U.S. Marshals” today!