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Inside The Author’s Head: Rob Haines

Q1. What is your favorite word?

I struggle to have emotional attachments to specific words; it’s tricky to have an opinion on a word without accounting for all the meaning and context around it. That being said, I do have a soft spot for ‘tumultuous’. It’s one of those words which rolls around your mouth as you say it, like a wave crashing down and fading away.

Q2. What is your least favorite word?

Probably ‘overtime’. It’s an ugly word for a generally avoidable concept.

Q3. How has social media helped your career?

Twitter’s been an invaluable tool for me to stay in touch with the writing community. I can usually make it to one or two conventions a year, but in between I can chat with all the writers I’ve met, and keep up to date with the growing pains of the genre. It’s also been an excellent resource for researching agents and keeping track of markets/anthologies with open submission periods.

Q4. What would you say are the downsides to social media in your career? 

There’s definitely a risk of information overload associated with social media. After the day job, my writing and other projects, there’s only a limited amount of time left over in my week, and I soon learned that I can’t keep up with more than one social network on an ongoing basis. To get the best out of Twitter, you also have to consider that there’s a certain amount of curation required, either through unfollowing people or creating lists to allow you to focus on specific subsets of the community rather than trying to imbibe all of Twitter all of the time until your eyeballs bleed.

Q5. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I’d love to have a try at indie game development; I learned to program by typing in pages of code from computer magazines to create simple games when I was a kid, and it’s a skill which has come in handy throughout the years. I’ve thrown a few prototypes together here and there, but nothing’s ever stuck. The possibilities of novel tie-in transmedia-type projects are fun to consider, though.

Q6. What profession would you not like to do?

Anything involving a significant likelihood of being eaten by bears. Or sharks, or rabid chinchillas. I’m not fussy. I did once work in a juice-box factory for a grand total of four hours, where the job entailed watching a conveyor belt spit out boxes, and if the boxes were crumpled or misshapen I had to push them off the conveyor and onto a different one. That. I would not like to do that. Four hours was enough to drive me to the brink.

Q7. What is your favorite curse word? 

I used to be a polite young English lad, my superpower being the inability to curse convincingly. Then I met my wife, and she taught me everything I know about the subtle art. Now I can simply marvel at the sheer flexibility of ‘fuck’ as the expletive multi-tool, suitable for just about every purpose. There are some more imaginative and original curses out there, but for sheer percussiveness you can’t beat it.

Q8. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Rob: [shuffles nervously] So… you’re real? And I’m here?

God: Yes.

Rob: Oh. You’re not mad?

God: [points both thumbs at His chest] Eternal fount of infinite forgiveness.

[A moment of awkward silence.]

Rob: So how did I do… down there?

God: [rests a hand on Rob’s shoulder] You weren’t perfect, but you tried.

[They walk towards the gates, which slide smoothly open. SFX: Star Trek doors. God glances back towards Earth.]

God: It was all about love, you know.

Thanks Rob! I will be stealing “expletive multi-tool” and passing it off as my own. Rob is a creative dynamo as his online presence proves.

Next Time: Adam Baker

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