I'm pleased to announce a slight departure from the usual post on my blog. I have for you today an interview with Robert Germaux, who came to my attention with his intriguingly-titled Grammar Sex and Other Stuff. Being a fan of the Oxford comma, amongst other punctuationary issues, I thought I'd reach out directly...
So what's the story with Grammar Sex and Other Stuff?
As I say in the blurb for the book, it’s one man’s take on life’s little moments, minor annoyances and unexpected delights.
This book is a change from your previous books. What made you change things up?
I’ve enjoyed reading a couple of local newspaper columnists for several years. At some point, my wife suggested I try writing some essays myself, with an eye towards having enough for a book. So to anyone who enjoys the book, you can thank Cynthia for planting the idea in my head.
Sex. A deliberate attempt to grab the attention of potential readers?
Definitely, and the fact that you asked that question means it worked, right? Actually a year or so ago, when I was writing my first guest post, a friend suggested I come up with a “catchy” title. Since I had used the expression “grammar sex” in “The Backup Husband,” I decided to use the term in the title of the post. Incidentally, that piece is one of the essays included in this book.
I love slice-of-life stories and Grammar Sex and Other Stuff certainly fits that category. How did you manage to recall the stories? Notes or memory?
I have a good memory, but not that good. One thing that helped, especially with the essays related to vacations Cynthia and I have taken, is that I’m big on taking notes. When we’re on vacation, I take a few minutes every evening and jot down notes about what we did that day. After we get home, I use the notes to write what amounts to a daily diary of our trip. I put that diary with the photo album of the trip, and then we’ll get it out every few years and relieve all those wonderful moments. As for the essays that aren’t trip-related, anything I can’t remember on my own, I can usually get help from Cynthia or, in some cases, family members, especially my sister Barb, who’s become sort of our family historian.
Speaking of stories, what do you think makes an interesting story?
For me, it has to be something that I can relate to in some way. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something I have personal experience with, as long as the author writes well enough to grab my attention. That pertains to fiction, but I also enjoy reading autobiographies.
What kinds of books are in your personal library?
I like detective novels, of course, but also other genres, anything that is well-written and captures my interest. I particularly enjoy stories that inform me about other countries and cultures.
Do you have a book genre/writing preference – fiction or non-fiction?
Definitely fiction. I loved writing “Grammar Sex and Other Stuff,” but I prefer writing about my private detective, Jeremy Barnes, or my police detective, Daniel Hayes, both of whom work in Pittsburgh. As soon as I sit down and start a new chapter about either Jeremy or Daniel, I’m right back in the world that I created for that book. I just lose myself in it.
Do you have any new books in the works?
Yes, I do. I’ve completed “One by One,” the next book about Daniel Hayes. It will be available not too long from now. And I’ll also be releasing at least one more Jeremy Barnes novel later this year.
How can readers connect with you?
You can always reach me at my Amazon Author Page. I love interacting with my readers.
Since you have now had several published books completed, what advice would you give aspiring authors?
The most important thing is to keep writing (and rewriting). Equally important is to find at least one person whose opinion you trust. Ask that person to read everything you write and give you an honest take on it. In my case, that person is Cynthia. She knows my characters, my writing style and, well, me better than anyone else in the world. When she offers a suggestion, I end up taking it 99% of the time.
ABOUT ROBERT GERMAUX
Robert Germaux and his wife Cynthia live outside of Pittsburgh. After three decades as a high school English teacher, and now a good many years into retirement, he is beginning to have serious doubts about his lifelong dream of pitching for the Pirates. Grammar Sex and Other Stuff is Bob’s first non-fiction book. You can find links to his first three novels (The Backup Husband, Small Talk and Hard Court) at his Amazon Author Page.