Fernando Rover Jr.

Pre-Interview:

Fernando Rover Jr is an author born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.

He earned a dual BA in English and history from Texas Lutheran University. In 2019, he released his debut poetry collection, ‘Labyrinth’, available on Amazon.

Labyrinth is a collection of poetry that illustrates Black masculinity through lenses of identity, vulnerability, heritage, and resilience.

'Labyrinth' was selected as the 2019 Best Indie Book Award for Poetry.



Author Interview:

Author Writer Interview Questions

1.What inspires you most to write?

I am inspired by what I do not understand and what I do not know. I am inspired to write to express myself and contribute a voice unseen and unheard in writing.

2. What is your favorite genre?

My favorite genre would have to be African American literature. I love stories told for African American people by African American people.

3. Who is one author you admire if any and why?

One author I admire is Toni Morrison because her stories was, and still is, unapologetically black. She knew how to craft an intricate and well-researched narrative and tell it so eloquently that I literally can get lost in the pages. Beloved and Song of Solomon are two of my favorite works by her. I remember being in high school and saying out loud, “I want to be like Toni Morrison.” I wanted to be a writer and a publisher and a professor and do everything she did. I felt like she was a kindred spirit to me because our birthdays were two days apart (February 16 and February 18, respectively). She was a literary grandmother to me.

4. How do you overcome blank writing spells?

I overcome blank writing spells by listening to music and watching tv and films. I am very much inspired by the world around me. I sometimes even people-watch. I often find my source of inspiration comes from unrelated things at the most unrelated times. It also happens in moments of reflection as well. I allow myself to just feel and just be, which has been a practice in and of itself I had to grow into. I am not going to say it always works but I do actively try from time to time.

5. What legal publishing advice can you give?

The best legal publishing advice I can give is be authentic in your approach as well as be authentic in your research. Do not just do something because it is the fad. Embrace your voice and do not be afraid to be creative in your editing, in your marketing, and in your audience. Put together a plan and have a reason for that plan.

6. How many books have you written, are any a bestseller yet?

I have written one book of poetry and I am blessed to say it is well on its way to be a bestseller.

I just must keep working at it.

7. If you had the opportunity to rewrite one movie script which would it be, why?

Edward Scissor-hands because I feel like it is a relatable story but because there are no Black people in the movie, it did not translate that way. I would have kept the core story that Tim Burton created but I would have changed some aspects of the story such as the neighborhood including more of a diverse atmosphere. I probably would have made everyone Black!

8. What are some difficulties you have experienced in your writing career; how do you handle book critiques/criticism?

Some difficulties I have experienced in my writing career so far is finding a mentor or confidante that looks like me and that can be a sounding board for me. Also, people not believing in me or telling me to give it up because to them, writing does not make a lot of money and is not considered a real job. I have learned to believe in myself and define my own success as a result.



9. What are your best experiences in your writing career?

Besides seeing my name and my book on Amazon, the best experience of my writing career has been my first poetry book winning the Best Indie Book Award for Poetry in 2019. To be able to say I am an award-winning writer and poet is a wonderful blessing.

10. Do you prefer to write in silence and or have some sort sound in the background?

I enjoy writing with a lot of noise in the background. The creative chaos resembles what is going on in my head, so I do not get bothered with a lot of noise. I am a quiet individual so there must be noise somewhere.

11. What are some encouraging words you'd give to another author/writer?

I would tell other writers to tell your story first and worry about everything else later. Follow the voice that lives in you and watch it point you in the direction of where you are meant to go. Before the awards, before the money, before the book tours; your first job is to tell your story. Everything else will come later.

12. How did you decide the pricing of your material; how did you go about promotion/advertising and distribution of your work?

I was very honest with myself. I would never price my book a price I would never pay for a book. I also take into consideration: I am a self-published author, I am an upcoming author, and I am promoting it myself. I do not want to overprice because to be completely honest, money is not all that important to me. I know it will come if I work hard and be honest and forthright. Also, I am still learning about distribution and advertising and all that. I have learned is that all books have an audience and as an author, you must be creative about identifying and keeping that audience.

13. Why should anyone read your book?

Anyone should read my book of poetry because it speaks to the voice and pain of Black men. It teaches Black men to love themselves and to embrace what keeps them bound and what makes them unique. There is not a lot of literature written by Black men that speaks to experiences of vulnerability, feelings of anxiety, or even healing from past and present trauma. I know there are Black men out there that are looking to heal from those things and reading my book of poetry will offer them something.

14. Did you have a book coach?

I did not have a book coach.

15. What was your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school was English. I have loved to write since I was nine.

16. Are you self-published or have an established publishing contract elsewhere?

I am a self-published author.

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