This is me.
A native of Virginia, Robert Hartley began drawing and telling stories at age four and never really stopped, having written and published poetry and worked as a freelance artist. Vivid memoir though is the genre for which he is best known. The author of Childhood and MossBackDragon, he is currently completing his third book, The Royal Road to Thebes. Hartley states as follows:
I’m far too subjective as an artist to properly evaluate my work; for that it is necessary for me to rely on others. And they are worth listening to.
Who is a good author?
Dedicated readers regularly complain about how hard it is to go into a bookstore and find a good book. Members of book clubs say the same. The lament is heard everywhere.
If I find a book padded with clichés, I throw it in the trash. Trite language suffers a similar fate, the trash where it belongs. Stories with the same plot line reinvented every six months?—well, life is too short.
God help those with disjointed books written by one author, with eight or ten people also writing the book, and many pages in the back acknowledging the persons who helped write the book. As in, How many literary people does it take to change a light bulb? One to start it; nine to finish.
Literary to me means work offered by an author who sees the blank page as an opportunity to say something original; who loves the language as literate readers love the language; who creates a unique world and invites you into it. One is reminded of the quote by Oscar Wilde: “A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.”
I do not write about vampires, drugs, fantasy, child abuse, or celebrities. I write about you and me.
Do I sound negative? Don’t you think it’s about time somebody did? I personally do not care about ordinary books written by ordinary people; there are enough of them. The fight is for discriminating readers who seek an artistic interpretation that is uncompromising, who appreciate that reading is an experience, not mindless entertainment. These are the readers worth fighting for.
If you find comfort with what I have stated, I’m your author.