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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Gary Roen Nationally Syndicated Book Critic and Author Interview

Gary S. Roen graciously accepted an invitation for an interview. I asked questions and he answered comprehensively. I know readers of the New Book Review are going to enjoy this information. 

1.   Please describe the many places for which you write book reviews.


My reviews have been running for a long time in different publications throughout the nation, that includes, bUnike Magazine, Lake Legal News, Hernando Star, Veterans Voice and Bivouac Magazine to name a few. Many years ago, when newspapers had book review sections I wrote for The Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Florida Times Union, St Pete Times, Times Picayune, Baltimore Sun and Philadelphia Inquirer.

2.   Tell us about your career.

In the 1970’s I got into the publishing world by working for a family owned publishing company where I learned the trade of a salesman, something I had never done before. I acquired skills on how to promote authors that are still true today even with all the new ways we have to do so. I set up press junkets dealt with bookstores and events and all kinds of other things that I try to teach to other authors as a consultant


3.   Which recognitions/achievements have encouraged you the most?


I have received several things, one that I that I put in a frame that hangs proudly in my house is a letter from former president Jimmy Carter acknowledging my review of his book on fishing and how much he appreciated it. Others are my contribution to teacher days at schools and tokens of appreciation of my contribution to publications I have written for through the years.


4.   What writers have influenced you the most?


Ian Fleming with his James Bond novels that I grew up with, Donald E. Westlake for his comic mysteries of the Dormunder Capers and other hysterical works like The Busy Body. For Science Fiction there are Fredric Brown, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Ben Bova, Andre Norton, Leigh Brackett and Harlan Ellison.


5.   What classes have helped you the most?


At several schools ranging from high school, junior college and UCF journalism was most helpful of learning to write quickly, concisely and to meet deadlines. Also, at UCF many courses of fiction writing. There I broke rules of the University of Central Florida because I took several fiction courses at the same time that administrative people said you could not do. Well I did it and many of the stories in my collection Journey came from those courses. So much for rules.

6.   What are some magazines in which you have appeared?

Strange New Worlds that was about different aspects of science fiction movies and TV shows, Florida National News Daily, are ones that I can recall off the top of my head.

7.  When did you begin writing?

To be honest that was back in 1969 Boone high school in Orlando when I almost got thrown out, for a story I wrote that was a bit of science fiction. Later I continued to get things published like The Test in Computer Legends Lies and Lore Ageless Press and some other online publications. They are in the realm of the great TV show The Twilight Zone that is still fabulous watching today

8   What are you working on now?

A story with two different alien races that are dealing with a virus on one of them.It

has been a lot of fun creating some of the characters' names and describing them. There are I am sure some underlying premises but I do not consciously put them in. All I am trying to do is tell a good story.

9   Why do you review books?


I love reading and fell into it many years ago when I was on WPRK in Winter Park, Florida. I did the show with Patty Flanigan of WDBO at the time who wanted to expand with a show on another station about science fiction. I was the go-to person on getting books because of my connections in the publishing world for us to talk about on the show. To expand the listenership, we branched out to include print as a way to promote the show. Later we dissolved everything but I kept doing print reviews that have continued to this day


10  What genres of books do you prefer to review?


I write and talk about everything. I do not do a lot of religious books but do include some. I do a lot of self-help, mysteries, suspense, science fiction, and fun ones of kids’ books like Saved By A Sniff Sniff Sniff Book or the Franky a pink Flamingo, or Ka’iwi, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Get to know me, I have to say I have learned quite a bit with books for kids more so than adult titles like the Monk Seal is very educational


11  Where may the readers learn more about you online?

People can type in my name Gary Roen or Gary S. Roen and there are plenty of places interviews I have done like In the DZone, Hanging With Web TV or they can find my reviews in many different publications.

12  What is your literary background?

I was lucky to go to a junior high in Orlando that had a wonderful teacher in John W Shank who taught us the classics. In junior college I had courses of literature but did not learn as much as I should have because of the teachers who did not like my perceptions of what we read. It had to be what they saw that really turned me against poetry and it's funny because I am the author of two books in that genre Look at Me World and The Forgotten Father Coping With Grief.


13  Tell us about the books you have published.


I did a collection with another author Cats Cats and More Cats, Journey, Slotski’s World and The Forgotten Father Coping With Grief. I write short stories of science fiction that are receiving very positive feedback and are a lot of fun to do because I highlight aspects of Orlando Florida that are not related to Disney and the theme parks. I am always working in some way on new stories and having fun with them


14  What advice would you give others?


Keep writing, do not get discouraged, learn your craft better if possible, by taking courses or hook up with writers’ groups that really work with authors on their work. Keep up on what is selling in the industry, do not strive to be the next whatever but do the best work you can possibly do and always be humble. Most of all have fun. 

Gary Roen, point of contact 

     Gary S. Roen, is the author of two collections of science fiction. Slotski’s World, and Journey (Legacy Book Publishing) as well as co-author of Cats, Cats, and More Cats (Royal Fireworks Press)

     He is the author of two books of poetry. The Forgotten Father Coping With Grief (Taylor and Seal Publishing) and Look at Me World (Chateau Publishing). His work has been included in the short story collection; Computer Legends Lies and Lores (Ageless Press) and online magazines including, Anotherealm, and Mercury Sky.  He is also the author of a satirical play entitled Vamp.

      Roen is also a nationally syndicated book critic/writer, consultant who has been writing close to 45 years. His syndicated reviews have appeared in hundreds of daily, weekly, and monthly, publications that currently include Midwest Book Review, The Beachside Resident, Orlando Advocate, St. Cloud in the News, Osceola News-Gazette, Bivouac Magazine, and Arrhythmic Souls.

      His articles have run in; Living Well and Live Wisely, bUnike Magazine, The Beach Side Resident, Strange New Worlds, Crime Book Digest, Eleven Magazine, Backstage Pass, and West Orlando News.

     Over the many years of his career Roen has been a book salesman, as well as a publicist setting up press tours for authors for several publishing houses. He has been an agent working with authors and publishers in many different genres including true crime, horror and non-fiction.   

     He has been a regular on-air contributor to many different types of radio and TV shows throughout the United States.   

     For a number of years, he worked for numerous companies in the field of market research, in Central Florida, as an independent contractor. This gave him many diverse experiences, that have often found their way into much of his fictional stories.  

     His books can be found at these retailers


Books a Million

Barnes and Noble

Gary Roen Nationally Syndicated Book Critic and Author Interview

And watch for a guest post on using videos to promote great reviews and resources for doing that from one of Gary's grateful reviews, Wanda Luthman. It's coming here on #TheNewBookReview.  You can subscribe using the Google Gadget in the right column of this blog so you don't miss any or our precious tips for getting reviews...or precious reviews! 

Thank you for reading, 

Carolyn Wilhelm

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 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Authors, readers, publishers, and reviewers may republish their favorite reviews of books they want to share with others. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read and love. Please see submission guidelines in a tab at the top of this blog's home page or go directly to the form at Authors and publishers who do not yet have reviews or want more may use Lois W. Stern's "Authors Helping Authors" service for requesting reviews. Find her guidelines in a tab at the top of the home page, too. And know that Carolyn Wilhelm, our IT expert, award-winning author, and veteran educator, makes an award image especially for those who volunteer to write reviews from Lois's review-request list and post them in the spirit of her "Authors Helping Authors" project. Reviews, interviews, and articles on this blog are indexed by genre, reviewers' names, and review sites so #TheNewBookReview may be used as a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. As an example, writers will find this blog's search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing

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