Monday, August 20, 2018

Other Side of Writers: #Horror #Mystery Author Robert Walker

It's Monday! That means it's time for another post sharing things you might not know about different authors.

 (* Read the first post on Mary Cunningham and her family genealogy.) 

 Today I welcome hugely prolific author Robert W. Walker, who's written everything from historical novels to thrillers, medical thrillers and more, plus horror--make that lots of horror! He's now working on his -- 81st!! -- book. 

He continues to expand his series, including two new additions to his historical, Chicago-based Inspector Alastair Ransom series, City of Lies (Book 4) and City of Serpents (Book 5). The books in order are: City for Ransom, Shadows in the White City, City of the Absent, City of Lies, City of Serpents, and Titanic 2012.

About City of Lies:
It is 1896 in Chicago, which means it has been three years since Inspector Alastair Ransom beat the charge of murder of a cleric, but his enemies have been working behind the scenes to hang him for the very same crime. Such a thing may appear impossible given double-jeopardy laws, but the Chicago Archdiocese and other powerful groups want Ransom's head. He's behind bars, but he is  soon badly needed on a case involving mutilated torsos; that is headless, limbless bodies that have been brutally ripped apart. With the help of Jane Tewes, her daughter, Gabby, Dr. Christian Fenger, Philo Keane, and Henry Bosch, the trusted people around him,, Ransom begins to put the pieces together. Pieces that include a mutilated tattoo, the nature of the rips and tears to the flesh, strange activity at the Chicago shipyards, the local taverns, the race track, and the streets of Chicago in 1896.

About City of Serpents

The loss of his snitch, Henry Bosch, does more to soften Ransom than even Ransom could have imagined. However, by the end of the story to catch Bosch's killer or killers, Ransom himself is implicated in as series of murders, and going to trial for a third time on such charges holds no charm for either Alastair or his lover, Dr. Jane Tewes. 

 He also has reissued his historic/horror-tinged humor urban legend-based Chicaghosts, Old Fart Squad novella series. The latest and new release is the "creepy-crawly" The Heads Have Eyes (book 4). The series starts with Gone Gorilla, and continues with The Monster Pit (book 2) and Goatbusters (book 3). (If you love puns, horror and old Chicago, these are for you!)

When a new strain of 'smart' spiders emerge in Chicago known as Chi-racnids, heads will roll, as these parasitic spiders make babies inside humans. Specifically inside human heads, until the weight of the growing horde inside the skull becomes too heavy for the brain stem and spinal cord to support. The four 'horsemen' of the Old Fart Squad, led by Retired Detective Aubrey Hamilton are faced with their strangest case ever, one that involves a growing number of citizens succumbing to the Spider Plague of 2018. When spiders destroy a perfectly good hot fudge sundae, it is too much for the Old Fart Squad. They go after the enemy with liquid nitrogen and fire.

How did you start writing?

I began writing as early as 7th grade, doing short stories and bad poetry, but began my first novel in my junior year of high school and completing It in my senior year. The novel got into the hands of a recruiter for Northwestern University, which then got me a full scholarship to the university out of inner-city Wells High School.

I quickly went into Education as my major, knowing I wanted to teach to support my writing, but I soon learned that I loved teaching as well as writing. I graduated with a BS in Secondary Education with an English emphasis and a lot of art classes and literature classes as well as psych, soc, anthropology, and a smattering of all I could get to help me as a writer.

What else do you do besides write? 

I have taught in various places as I have moved from Chicago to Northern NY, to Florida, and now in West Virginia, and am currently teaching at WV State University. I teach, what else, writing classes. And I've been at WVSU as an adjunct professor of English for a decade.

I also teach college credit courses in a local high school for students who are college bound. They earn three credit hours toward their degree before starting at the university.

I also am a substitute teacher with the local Job Corps, which is a federally funded school for trades. Students at the Corps work toward becoming electricians, carpenters, HVAC experts, Office Administration and such, but they also must obtain their high school diplomas. For most of these students from around the country, this is a last chance to get on the right path toward a good end. Many in the program are in their twenties and coming out  of inner-city circumstances where opportunities are limited.

What are your other interests or hobbies?

I enjoy walking my dog, Scout, alias Put-Put, and of course reading is my main hobby, much of which gets used in my novels. I am also an avid film buff of sorts. Love bio pics and historical films, WWII films, and classic westerns. I don't particularly collect anything, including moss or dust, as am always reinventing myself, so to speak. 

Books or Movies? 

I am a huge film bug. I love great classics from High Noon and The Train to horror classics like Night of the Hunter and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I also grew up on TV terror with One Step Beyond, Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone. All of which influenced me greatly.

However, I was even more influenced by books such as Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm and all the works of Hawthorne and Mark Twain. More than any other author, Twain touched me and made me want to be as versatile an author as he was. My first novel, Daniel Webster Jackson & the Wrong Way Railroad, was in total emulation and imitation and influence of Mark Twain from whom I learned my first lessons for doing the episodic drama.

* Visit Rob at his website for more info on his books.

Rob, thanks for stopping by and for the fun! It's always a pleasure!

1 comment:

  1. Christine, you are so wonderful. Thanks for having me and being such a support.