J.B. Thompson recently interviewed Robert Fate, author of Baby Shark and Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues.
The opening exchange:
JB: So, here we are at last! First, let me congratulate you on BABY SHARK and BEAUMONT BLUES – these are fantastic books.Read the entire interview.
You've written poetry, short stories, magazine articles, journals, stage plays, and TV and Motion Picture scripts, and if I may quote, you've said "it was a long, scenic road to novels." Can you share a little of that journey with us?
BOB: For you, JB, anything. Let's see. I have made up stories as long as I can remember. My older sister encouraged my imagination by taking me to two double features on most Saturdays as I was growing up. Writing plays and skits started early, too, and seemed a natural thing to do. Acting was a part of that, too. I was in so many school plays I am amazed that my peers didn't rise up and put a stop to it – enough of him, already. So, I have always been a writer – and it has taken different forms. Here's an example. A friend of mine became head writer for a soap opera – and that's not an easy feat, let me tell you. Anyway, he called me in L.A. and asked if I would come to New York and write scripts with him. I requested a week to watch the show (since I had never seen a soap) and called him back. "It's all middle," I said. "No beginning. No ending. All middle." Anyway, I did it. And I gained a lot of respect for the writers of soaps during the time I did it, too. Just like anything else, it's all work, work, work. I guess my point is that each time an opportunity to write something has presented itself, I have seriously tried to meet the challenge. You know, learn the form and write. And then, finally, came the novel – a format that had always frightened me. My good friend, Bruce Cook, told me to stop whining and get busy. Uh huh, well, it still scares me, but as usual I will stick with it until I learn how to do it.
Bob Fate applied the Page 69 Test to Baby Shark. The test results will be reported in the coming week.