Today I am hosting an author who has reached the summit that all writer’s dream of… the New York Times Bestseller list. He has sold millions of copies of his books around the globe, and embraced the indie publishing culture with aplomb. It is my absolute honor to be able to sit down and chat with nobody less than Mr. Bob Mayer.
With over 50 published titles to your name, you are the very definition of a successful author. Do you remember where the writing bug came from?
From reading a lot. As a kid, I was a voracious reader.
Rumor has it that you have sold over 4 million copies. Does it ever get old, seeing people reading your books?
I’ve very rarely seen anyone reading my books. I was on the ferry coming off Whidbey Island and looked in my rearview mirror and saw someone reading one of my books in his car, but then realized it was my neighbor who’d I’d given the book to.
Putting aside finances and that side of ‘success’ do you still feel the same way about a new book today as you did when you finished writing your first ever novel?
By the time you finish writing a book, editing it, and having it published, you’re actually kind of sick of it. People ask what my favorite book is and I always say: the one I’m writing now.
Before you were an author, you were a member of the armed forces; a green beret to be precise. Was the military path one you had always planned to take?
No. I actually pretty much went to West Point as a way to go to college. I didn’t really know what to expect.
What was the most important lesson you learned during your service?
Preparation is key. Hard work pays off. Trusting your teammates is critical.
You have used the principles instilled during military service in your writing. Do you think you would have made it so far as a writer without it?
No. I use a lot of my military background in my writing. Also, the skills I learned in Special Forces have allowed me to switch from traditional publishing to indie publishing and form my own company.
Who Dares Wins is somewhat of a catchphrase for you, and I too am a big believer in aiming high and pushing hard for your goals. Would you agree that being brave enough to reach for what you truly want is one of the keys to long term success?
The key to long term success is setting a long term goal and doing whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
When was the first time you can recall using the phrase?
It’s the motto of the British Special Air Services—their form of Green Berets.
You and your partner in crime business Jennifer Talty have your own publishing company. Cool Gus Publishing. Where did the name come from?
We couldn’t use Who Dares Wins any more because the British government actually owns the trademark. So we were trying to think of a name for our company and I looked down and Gus was lying under my desk, and he’s pretty cool, so . . .
You have grown the company into sometime quite spectacular in a short period of time. What is the secret behind your success?
Honestly, having the rights to my large backlist. We are now expanding. Jennifer Probst, who is a NY Times Bestselling romance author will launch a new series with us in November. We’re very excited about that.
How many authors do you have published under the Cool Gus name?
We have 11. We’re only looking to add a couple of more because we don’t view it as publishing but rather partnering with authors. So we have to give them individual attention and focus.
Kristen Lamb is one of those names correct? She is quite the lady.
Kristin was the first author other than me that we published. She introduced me to Twitter and got me started on social media. That was critical as it takes time to build community on-line and I’ve been doing it ever since she got me started.
You also do a lot of public speaking, incorporating elements of writing and military life. It must be quite an experience having so many people eagerly listening to your every word.
I take what we did in Special Forces and apply it to other fields. It works well with small businesses, sports teams, start-ups. Etc. We developed the best team in the world, the Green Beret A-Team, so the tactics and techniques we used are very valid and time and battle tested.
Writer, Public Speaker, Publisher, you wear a lot of different hats. Do you have a favorite?
I prefer writing. Creating something from nothing.
To finish off, it would be hard to run an interview without asking you about the Area 51 Series. You have been writing it since the mid 1990’s. Is this something you intend to keep running for as long as possible, or is there a specific end point that you have planned?
We’ve launched a spin off series titled Area 51 Nightstalkers. The first book came out last December and the next book comes out on 30 July. I also plan on launching a serial, Burners, soon. The original Area 51 series actually came to an end with Area 51 The Truth, the 7th book. The next two, Legend and Nosferatu are prequels. The Nightstalkers books stand on their own.
Thank you once again for taking the time to talk to me. I am honored and truly appreciate being given the opportunity.
Thanks for having me!
With so many published titles it would be overwhelming for me to link to each and every one of them, so if you are interested in reading some of Bob’s work, and I highly recommend that you absorb every syllable, you can check out his Amazon Author page.