Hugh W. Roberts is a new author, and has just recently published his first book, Glimpses, a collection of short stories. Besides this, he is a blogger, and has a really inspirational story. It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to ask Hugh a few questions and learn more about both his book and his life!
You have dyslexia, and make no secret of it. What was it like growing up with this, and do you think it caused people to see you differently?
While growing up, dyslexia was not an acknowledged condition. Teachers told my parents I was either slow and/or not very intelligent for my age. You can imagine how that made me feel, while sat alongside my parents, knowing that sometimes the words I wrote or read just seemed to get jumbled up. I was often taunted by other children about all the mistakes I’d make when reading out a story in class. Thankfully, dyslexia soon became a recognised condition and by the time I left school there were help groups being set up for those with the condition and/or the parents of the child if they also wanted to attend.
How (if at all) has your personal life influenced the creation of Glimpses?
Like many authors and writers, I do pick up ideas for stories from conversations, experiences or when out and about and I over-hear the odd snippet of a conversation. However, only one of the stories in Glimpses has been taken from a personal perspective.
And which one is that?
Now, that would be telling, but let’s just say that many people found the story funny.
How long have you wanted to write a book for?
Ever since I can remember. However, for far too long, I foolishly allowed being dyslexic get the way of fulfilling that dream.
When did the idea come along to publish all of your short stories?
Shortly after I wrote and published, on my blog, ‘The Truth App’, one of the stories in the book. It went viral and people started asking me to write a second part and to put my short stories into a collection. I ended up writing another nine parts of ‘The Truth App’ and, in June 2016, decided to start putting the book together.
Which short story in Glimpses is your favorite?
Lipstick. I love the reaction I get from readers. I’ve been told it’s a great ‘karma’ story.
Do you think you would have ever published your book if you hadn’t started blogging?
No. Without a doubt, if I had not started blogging then none of the stories in the book would have ever been written. Many of them were created from writing challenges and photo prompts set by other bloggers.
Have any authors inspired your work?
Rod Serling, who created ‘The Twilight Zone’ and wrote many of the episodes, has certainly inspired my writing. He’s the master when it comes to those unexpected twists in stories. Alfred Hitchcock is also a big influencer when I write. I’d love to tread in both their creative footprints.
Do you hope to inspire others with your writing and overcoming your dyslexia?
Yes. Other bloggers with the condition have left me comments telling me they are dyslexic and that my blog has inspired them to write more and to publish and share their work. I only wish I had discovered blogging before February 2014. One of the biggest compliments I can get is to be told that I have inspired somebody to write.
Who is the target audience of Glimpses?
This is a difficult question because Glimpses contains stories that cover many genres. I hope it would appeal to anyone over the age 18, but is probably geared more towards fans of science fiction.
Most of your short stories are drama, sci fi, and fantasy. What about those genres do you love?
I’m a big fan of time-travel and it features in some of the stories. You can do so much when time-travel is involved. My mind often gets carried away when writing fantasy and I never know where it is going to take me. The words seem to flow very easily when writing in that genre. I’m fascinated with life and where it can take us and that’s why I also enjoy writing drama stories with a twist.
Oooohhh Time Travel!! Are you a fan of Back to the Future?
Oddly, no. My favourite time-travelling movie is the original version of the H.G Wells classic ‘The Time Machine.’ I’m a huge fan of time-travelling TV shows such as Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, Sliders, and a brand-new show I’ve just discovered entitled Timeless.
You wrote an LGBT story in Glimpses. I think it’s great that you’re inclusive of a group that often gets ignored, especially in works that are otherwise unrelated to this community. What caused you to write this?
It was after reading a blog post which asked the question “where have all the LGBT characters gone?” Being gay, I wanted to include at least one LGBT story. However, it’s so sad to still read that some book reviewers won’t read and review LGBT fiction. I, for one, won’t allow that to stop me writing more LGBT short stories.
You definitely shouldn’t. It means so much to so many people when minority characters are written about.
What do you most want your readers to know about you?
That I am a ‘people’ person. I enjoy contact with other people and always go out of my way to respond and answer comments left on my blog or answer emails. That includes any constructive and non-offence negative feedback about my writing, so never be afraid to approach me.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! I loved getting to hear more about your incredible story, and your life!
If you guys liked what you heard about Hugh, make sure to first check out his blog, and then head over to Amazon and buy his book! I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but from the few bits that I’ve heard, it sounds worth the read.
Buy Glimpses on Amazon
Add on Goodreads
Check out his Blog
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