Interview with Robert Beatty, author of the Serafina books

We were thrilled to meet up with best-selling author Robert Beatty at a book signing; and we appreciate his time in allowing our interview. We hope you’ll enjoy it as well!  

Interview by AB


RB1What inspired you to write a book set at the Biltmore Estate?
My family and I live very close to Biltmore, and we visit there often. It’s a place filled with history, beauty and a sense of mystery. We thought it was the perfect setting for a mysterious, spooky story from a child’s point of view.

The character of Serafina was inspired by my middle school-aged daughter, Genevieve, who used to prowl around our house and try to sneak up on me in my office when I was writing.

How has being a father played a role in your Serafina stories?
I’ve always been interested in strong, young female characters. I’ve always felt that girls can do anything they want to do, and be anything they want to be. One of my main goals in writing Serafina was to give my three daughters a story about a heroic girl they can relate to.

Do you have plans to write a third Serafina book? (Please say “yes.”)
Yes, a third book in the Serafina Series is in progress now.  Look for it in summer 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 12.42.23 AMCan you tell us anything about plans to make a movie? (We have heard rumors and are rather excited.)
If the book series continues to do well, I’m hopeful that they’ll want to turn it into a movie. A number of producers are interested, but we don’t have anything definite yet.


Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 12.57.57 AMYou are a man of many interests—you write children’s books, build robotics, and were one of the early pioneers of cloud sharing. How did you get started writing, and what prompted you to pursue writing full-time?
As a child, I was an avid reader just like my mother. She gave me a typewriter to tinker with when I was 11 years old, and I’ve been writing ever since. There were many unpublished manuscripts and struggles along the way, but I never gave up because I loved writing. As an adult, shifting from my corporate career to writing full-time has felt like coming back to a lifelong passion that I’ve always had. It feels like coming home.

What is your favorite book/literary genre to read?
My favorites are the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Ernest Hemingway, and Jane Austen.

Coffee or tea?
Iced tea – the sweeter, the better.

What writing advice would you give to aspiring authors?

  • Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 12.43.24 AMWrite now and as often as you can. Carve out some time in your day, everyday, if possible.
  • Keep at it. I started writing when I was the age of 11. Forty years later, I published my first book, “Serafina and the Black Cloak.”
  • Develop a system of feedback that works for you. For me, that means sharing my work throughout the writing process with a trusted circle of readers to get their reactions to the story.
  • When possible, participate in writing workshops and classes. It’s another very useful way to gain feedback and improve your writing.
  • Think of yourself as a storyteller, not as a person writing a book. Focus on weaving a tale that’s going to keep your readers on the edge of their seats.

Read AB’s review of the Serafina books here.


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