Author Interview – Roman Colombo

Share Button

BookAn interview with Author, Roman Colombo….

Why did you get into writing books?

Ha. Writers are used to “Who got you” or “What got you” into writing books. “Why” is a bit
harder. And I’m not sure if I entirely know “why” I started writing books. I was 12 when I started
writing my first book because it was fun. But that’s more “How” than “why.” So, why did I get into
writing books? I would say because it is still fun, but I’ve written some not-so-fun works and
have more reference-style books in mind. Not that it wasn’t fun rereading Tolkien’s work 10 or so
times in one year and contemplating how to connect with readers I’ve never met who also love
Tolkien, but it was a crazy endeavor that had no promise of success. And now I’m looking to do
it all over again with the Chronicles of Narnia, Dune, and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
(three big requests). That 12-year-old me would hate the very idea of writing books that are
essentially 365 days of homework. But maybe I’m overthinking it, which is a “skill” writers need and the answer itself. There are just too many words and thoughts blowing around in my mind like fall leaves in a wind tunnel, and I have to rake them up somewhere. It just turns out that people like reading the results of my various neurodivergence traits all colliding with each other and taking, what I’m told in a coherent form.

What advice can you give young authors?

Put down the pen and walk away. Okay, maybe not that, but it’s important to understand the
work and not-so-fun parts of being a writer. You are going to spend more time editing than you
will writing, and you’ll eventually hate your own work. That’s when you know you’re doing it right.
Just know that if you have an editor and they tell you it is finished – IT IS FINISHED. If you
don’t, you need to know when to be okay with the imperfections.

Writing will impact all aspects of your life, and you can’t escape it. I, and several of my
colleagues, have had at least one partner complain that we “just sit there and do nothing.”
Meanwhile, there is so much happening in our minds that all we can do is sit and think. One of
my friends’ fiance actually called it off because “she just sat around” too much.”
She was and still is a marathon runner.

This is also why it’s important to be part of a writing community because no one else will
understand that when you are deep into the writing, it feels physically exhausting and
emotionally draining. Whether you are forming a group in your community or getting your MFA in
Creative Writing, find your people.

On that note, writers need writers, even if some claim they don’t We need the feedback of other
writers. We need to soundboard ideas off of them and listen to their “what if” responses. You
might not use that “what if” idea, but it will help you come up with other ideas.

And learn to take their criticism. I’ve met a lot of young writers, more recently than ever before,
who balk at the first mention of criticism. You might not like what they have to say, but you have
to hear them say it. Even if you go back to your work to prove them wrong, you are still revising
your work into something better because of them. And don’t be afraid to give harsh criticism to
others. If they are taking their writing seriously, it helps them.

On the flip side, listen to what works because quite often you won’t know what is working until
someone mentions it. For instance, someone saying “I really loved what you did with this
character” leads to you finding more ways to utilize that character.
(if you can’t tell, I’m also a creative writing teacher)

What is your book about and what inspired you to write it?

Meditations Through Middle-Earth: A Year with JRR Tolkien is a year-long devotional to the
major Middle-Earth books: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. We cover
every chapter of every book. Each day has a quote and a journal prompt to reflect on. Some are
deeply personal, some ask you to reflect on your worldview, and some are just silly.

And it was Tolkien’s writing that inspired me. Not simply the stories, but how he wrote them. As I
say in the introduction, there is better consistency in his work than there is in any holy book.
This led to a joke that one day, it would be a religion, and people will have their Middle-Earth
devotionals as we see in the Bible. That was a joke…until people said they would really want
that. And the more I thought about it, the more I could see how it would benefit others.

And it appears to be working. As I said, I’m already getting requests for other “Meditations
through” books. Some have even messaged me asking when a certain book will come out,
skipping right past the “if”.

Link where your book can be purchased.

Link to book: Click here