Hercules Editing and Consulting
Interviews > INTERVIEW with JAVIER ROBAYO


14 Jun 2012

 Javier A. Robayo is originally from Ecuador. He now lives in Pennsylvania. He is a writer of contemporary romance, as evidenced by his current published work, The Gaze. Robayo has a unique writing style that is a product of his interesting system of writing several books at once. Other work by Robayo is on tap; he is “waiting on my editor to finish up on The Next Chapter, which is a sequel to The Gaze. I expect to release it by the end of the month {since this interview, The Next Chapter is available.}. There are 9 novels that I'm working on. At least 2 of them are already titled, besides The Next Chapter. They're My Two Flags and a novel very dear to my heart titled A Girl Called Mom. I plan on having them out before December.” 

This gifted and talented young author showed early promise and was encouraged by his Creative Writing Professor, who “was so fond of saying, it all comes down to a person recommending your work to another. She often added: ‘If your work is good, it'll float. If your work stinks, it will most definitely sink.’” 

The story premise of The Gaze is as follows: As a sophomore in college, Samantha Reddick meets Tony Amaya, a brokenhearted young man, whose written words she keeps as a memento of a weekend long affair. The words, written on the back of a paper placemat, become her only solid ground during a tumultuous decade that nearly destroys her, leaving her searching for answers at the bottom of the bottle. Haunted by guilt and the constant menace from a man she once loved, Samantha searches for Tony and inserts herself into his life through an online friend request to his wife, Gwen. Mutual curiosity opens the door to an unexpected friendship that becomes the catalyst of an inner battle between the better woman Samantha longs to be, and the Samantha who despises her own gaze. 

Robayo’s work appears to be largely character-driven, so it is essential to understand how he develops his very real and relatable characters. It seems to be an innate process for Robayo. He says, “I create a character in my head and I get into his or her head so well, I practically let them tell the story. 

His desire to write The Gaze was born of a certain desperation. Times became tough with a downturn in the economy and his job at a steel mill became uncertain and ultimately not enough to keep his family from losing it all. He found solace in writing, it literally saved his life. “I knew I needed to do something different with my life for my wife Sheri and my daughters Kendra and Amber. I only had one thing I could do, that was writing. I've kept journals of life and my observation on people and situations, and I struggled to find something there that would weave into a story. I could answer that love and human emotion in general inspired me to write what I write, but pulling away all the layers, it was desperation.” 

His cover for The Gaze was born out of family contributions, in more ways than one. Robayo tells the story with an obvious adoration for his father and his wife. “I had an idea, but it was my father, Jaime, whose artistic background came in handy as far as selecting an image and the lettering. With GAZE, I couldn't think of anything better than my wife's own beautiful eyes. The photo was only slightly filtered and the new cover is the result. Her gaze is captivating. Soon as I was subjected to it, I knew I didn't stand a chance. Now she's even gotten to autograph a few copies, as requested by readers that say the cover was staring into their souls.”

This sensitive author finds it challenging to write humor into his novels. “It's difficult to be funny on the page, so you're at the mercy of the characters. In The Gaze, Samantha and Lewis engage in some bantering and bickering that has evoked a few laughs, but it's not that I set out to write a funny dialogue, it's more what they say and the infusion of their personalities” 

Robayo, like many authors, has a list of authors that he enjoys and infuses in his own work. His love of reading is evident as much as his love of writing. “For a long time, I've loved Dean Koontz and Tami Hoag. Their characters are so memorable because of what they make you feel and how you connect to them. Lately, I love books written from the heart, like any Nicholas Sparks's novels. My fellow authors John W. Huffman and Bert Carson rank way up high. Their stories are fascinating and I think about them long after I've turned that last page.”

He also gives some credit to some of the newer writers he has met.“Now that I'm immersed in the world of the Indie Author where all of us pull for each other, I've come across several. Elise Stokes, Monica La Porta, Jan Romes, Christine Warner, C.F. Winn, and more that I get to meet seemingly every day. They all have such excellent writing voices that it's been a real privilege to read their work.”  He promotes his work alongside these talented writers. “The social networks have been extremely vital in getting my name and work around at a frightening speed and ease.”

As for his own work, Robayo would love his readers to know that “I consider it an honor to have them open my novel, and give their time to reading and joining the characters of my little universe. It's my sincere hope that they take away some connection, that they think of my characters long after they finish the novel.”

If you would like to link to Javier Robayo’s work, www.javierrobayo.com is pretty much a central hub. “You can go into Amazon to download it into Kindle, and you can obtain a signed copy.”    

 

 

 

 

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