I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Robert Hoffman’s book Blind Spot.
“Do I Have a Story to Tell” is today’s post by Robert Hoffman who recently released “Blind Spot”, a humorous novel readers are raving about!
Do I have a Story to Tell?
One cannot hope to do what one hasn’t dared to ponder. Take Edgar Allen Poe for instance. Think about how simple and yet how powerful this little statement he jotted down nearly 200 years ago truly is. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.” He is pronouncing to the world that he has taken the integral step towards accomplishing nearly anything there is to accomplish in this world by his assertion that he has indeed, pondered. It can be argued that everything that follows after one has pondered is all gravy, and who doesn’t like gravy?
It was the act of pondering that brought me to the concept of becoming a writer of fiction. You see, I had been a blogger for the Times Union of Albany for nearly six years, and after a while, the experience was starting to feel a little stale. When you have to sit and think about what to write as opposed to ideas coming to you, it probably means it’s time to move on as a writer. I decided that perhaps it was time to explore the world of fiction. Therefore, I turned to my eldest brother, who was a professional editor and is an English professor, as well as the editor for my novel, Blind Spot, and I asked him to turn me on to some of the great works of literature. After I had read several of his recommendations, I decided, well, if Vonnegut, and Roth, and Fitzgerald, and Tolstoy could do it, why not Hoffman?
Once I had decided to attempt my hand at fiction writing, I had to come up with an idea, and that was not going to be easy. I’m not independently wealthy, and I can’t come and go as I please. Therefore, if I was, let’s say, interested in writing the story of a mid-16th century Romanian cobbler who has a smoldering affair with the local wash lady, I wouldn’t have the luxury of traveling to Transylvania in order to live amongst the cobbler folk and learn their ways and means. I also didn’t have endless time to sit in a Parisian patisserie, smoke clove cigarettes, and discuss existentialism with the village idiot in order to enhance my writing style. No, this was going to have to be a topic that I could easily access from my quiet suburban existence.
Fortunately, my wife sent me on an errand to the store one day where I saw an individual whom I knew and didn’t wish to talk to at that particular time. I rushed out of the store, jumped in my car and almost went pedal to the metal—in reverse. It was then that I caught myself, and realized that not only could I have hit somebody for being so foolish and careless, I could have hit the very same person I was trying to avoid. Hence, Blind Spot, my first novel, was born.
The story of Doug Kaplan and his antagonist, the elderly German immigrant Trudy Fleischman who gets hit by his car, is not autobiographical, but let’s just say I can relate. Doug isn’t a bad person, and he is fortunate to be surrounded by enough people in his life who see him as a flawed but salvageable individual. Trudy is also flawed, but only Doug seems capable of recognizing it, while everybody else seems able to see Doug’s flaws, with the exception of him.
Like Beverley Baird, the individual responsible for this wonderful website, I am also a retired teacher, or at least semi-retired, teaching two classes in the morning at the same school I’ve taught at for nearly 30 years. Writing has always been my passion, and in addition to completing and publishing Blind Spot—squeezing in my writing time for my novel between classes and marking papers—I have also partnered with another writer to submit a treatise for a television show. In addition, we are now working on a screenplay. Like Beverley, I am enjoying the journey.
Thanks so much Robert for sharing your journey with us.
Be sure to check out all the stops along the blog tour, especially for a chance to win a copy of his wonderful book.