Author Spotlight: RobRoy McCandless

Today’s Author Spotlight is: RobRoy McCandless

 – An award winning urban fantasy writer.


Readers, let’s welcome to my blog, RobRoy. Born under a wandering star that eventually led him to life as a writer both professionally and creatively. He’s the author of the urban fantasy TEARS OF HEAVEN, winner of the 2014 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Preditors & Editors Readers Poll, and a 2015 EPIC eBook finalist with HELL BECOMES HER and THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE (available 2019).  His shorts have appeared in IN SHAMBLES (with Kevin J. Anderson) NINE HEROES, and GEARS, GADGETS AND STEAM.

He’s agreed to visit and share with us today some dreams, some advice, and some reading recommendations.

RobRoy, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

From my old gaming days, I was always intrigued by the idea of an animal companion, one that provided some degree of communication and mutual safety. I’d want a big cat—either a cheetah or a tiger, but I wouldn’t mind a dire wolf or some other canine variant

Oooh, a mind-talking, predator cat? I’m a fan, too.

What do you write and how did you get started?

Fantasy, urban fantasy, and most recently steampunk are my preferred genres, although I’ve dabbled in a bit all genre fiction.

I’ve always been an avid reader, starting way back when a family friend gave me a copy of THE HOBBIT. I was so floored by it, that I immediately rode my bike down to the local book store and bought everything else by Tolkien. I had no idea I was getting the seminal fantasy series of all time. Later, I devoured anything even remotely fantasy-related, but when the stories didn’t meet my desires and expectations, I started writing my own.

I might not write urban fantasy or steampunk, but I DEFINITELY read them. I’m always in awe, hearing of people discovering genre fiction. With my parents, I can’t remember NOT reading (or having it read to me). So glad you found it and fell in love.

What do you like to read?

I’ll read anything with a strong character-driven narrative and a bit of fantasy or science magic. Most recently, I’ve been eating up cyberpunk novels, a genre movement I missed when I was more interested in fantasy.

There’s a movement to retell some of the classic horror stories from different views, like Victor LaValle’s THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM which is great.  Even more recently, my wife gave me a book club membership for Christmas, so I’ve been reading some very interesting things like THE CLOUD ROADS by Martha Wells.

I admit to a bias for character-driven novels as well. Thanks for the recommendations!

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

“It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.”

Jonathan Frazen

I respect the hell out of Franzen, and of course he’s in a much better position to lecture, but I love my internet connection, allowing me access to research and expects that years ago a writer could only dream of.  I appreciate the ability to post up a question in a social media group and get a dozen responses in as many minutes.

Not all of them may be useful, but there’s usually a handful that will meet the needs.

Ah, the internet. The biggest source of distraction a writer can have — and the biggest resource a writer can have. Research and writing support at the click of a button. I’ve got to agree with you, it’s a mixed bag, with only self-control being the deciding factor.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can’t pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Beta readers. I’ll come back from the grave for my beta readers. I have a dedicated core of people, most of whom aren’t writers. Their advice is beyond measure, and I won’t release a word without it passing them first.  They’re worth their weight in gold, and I wish that I could give them that ten times over.

Thank you!

Oooh! Good choice. Beta readers and critique partners are a key part of my process and I don’t think we’re the only ones.

Shameless self-promotion.

Banishing demons is only slightly more daunting than raising a pre-teen. All things considered, Del has it pretty easy these days. She takes her orders, does her job, and goes home to kiss her daughter Jordan goodnight.

But when Jordan is kidnapped, Del learns the world is even more dangerous than she believed.

Lost in the deserts of Northern Nevada, confronted with myths and legends thirsty for her blood, Del may have to fight an entire army to get her daughter back.

She’ll pull down the pillars of Heaven is that’s what it takes.



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