Updated: Apr 4
The idea for The First Robot President occurred to me a few years ago before I retired. I was actually putting notes down on paper for a different book, yet to be written, when it dawned on me that someday robots will be nearly indistinguishable from human beings; and taking that thought one step further, a robot might one day blend into society so perfectly that it will be able to be or do anything a human being can be or do. You know where the story goes from there!
If you read my bio, you know that I retired in 2018; and by then, I had several notepads filled with scenes for this novel. Indeed, I had so much material on paper that I thought I would be able to write the novel in six months, max, and publish it the same year. Well, you know how that goes. Aside from having to tackle tasks I had put on the back burner while I was working, the process of writing a novel turned out to be more challenging than I remembered. (I had written two novels, never published, before I turned twenty-one.) My tastes in reading had also changed over the years; rather than reading novels, I had mostly read biographies and other non-fiction books in the years prior to my retirement. I guess the word that best describes my novel-writing skill level in January 2018 would be "rusty."
To get myself up-to-speed, I reread The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White; ordered the latest edition of Andrea Lunsford's EasyWriter (a truly great reference book, by the way); purchased a course from The Great Courses called How to Publish Your Book by Jane Friedman; and found inspiration in Stephen King's On Writing. (If Mr. King ever reads my novel, he will be disappointed with my decision to use the word "curiously" on page one; he advises would-be novelists to avoid using adverbs.)
After getting some urgent matters out of the way (retirement papers, my Social Security ap-plication, and so on), I finally got started on the novel in April 2018 and wrote the first few chapters before the end of the year. Throughout 2018 and 2019, I experienced numerous interruptions and had to put the novel aside for weeks at a time; then, finally, in mid-August 2019, I decided to focus on finishing it, writing a few hours each day. I completed the novel itself in February 2020 and finished the afterword in March; then I submitted it to Tracy Atkins at The Book Maker to make it look like a real book. I also found an artist by the name of Tanja Prokop, a colleague of Tracy's, at Book Design Templates, and she agreed to do the cover for me. I think you will agree that the cover and the interior of the book both turned out great.
My niece, Brenda Ernst, volunteered to do an audiobook for me and has already started work on it. I am sure it will be terrific. Look for it on Amazon and other on-line retailers later this year.
What's next for me? Well, I do have at least one other idea for a work of fiction. It won't be a sequel to The First Robot President ; it will be an altogether different book. But I don't plan to start working on it this year. For one thing, I have quite a list of books I want to read -- some of which I have never read and others of which I enjoyed years ago and want to reread. I will share some of my reading experiences on this blog over the course of the year if I see there is any interest.
Thanks very much for visiting my web site and taking the time to read my first blog. If you have any comments, you can reach me by means of the Contact page on this site..
Robert Carlyle Taylor