Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Title: Three Quick Steps: An Aspiring Account Of Struggle And Recovery
Author: Robert Emmett
Release Date: 15th Spetember 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
The best way to predict the future is to create the future.” Peter Drucker and Abraham Lincoln. 

How close to "normal" are you?
In 1952, America was only three years away from the Salk vaccine, which would eliminate the threat of polio. That same year, nine-year-old Robert Emmett contracted the paralytic disease. It ravaged his body and unmoored his spirit; doctors told him he’d never walk again.
Faced with a lifetime of health complications and discrimination, Robert gave himself a challenge: to find the courage to live a normal life. Nourished by a devoted family, Robert set out on his long road to recovery. Three Quick Steps is Robert’s story of overcoming the odds, staying inspired, and triumphing over adversity. Decades after contracting polio, when he's exceeded every expectation as a scientist, husband, and father, Robert thinks he finally has the key to success and an answer to the question he’s wondered about for years: Can a disease make you a better person?

But just when he thinks he's achieved normalcy, Robert faces a new question: What if the disease isn't quite done with him? 

When post-polio syndrome strikes, years after the infection has been eradicated, the hard-won peace that Robert has found is threatened. Where will an older Robert find the resolve he needs now? 
Told with warmth, grace, and unflinching resolve, Emmett's remarkable memoir captures how three quick steps can lead to huge strides. 



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Dr. Robert Emmett Klem, born in Rochester NY, I now reside in St. Simons Island, GA.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be?
I wrote this memoir for my grandchildren and the people who touched me as family and friends since I contracted polio at age nine in 1952. Originally, I wanted to be a medical doctor but switched to a career as a scientist and research director with a PhD in Chemistry.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
My main objective was to write the memoir such that the reader would feel they were having a conversation with me. Based on the feedback I received, it appears I may have accomplished my goal as a writer.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
From start to finish it was about two years. The draft was edited many times.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I retired in 2001 as a Research Director. I am currently a partner in a wine making venture. We plan to start-up our winery (Cedar Green Vineyards) this year in September.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
Three Quick Stepsa story of how courage and inspiration brought peace and deeper meaning to my life.

Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish? 
I self-published on Amazon and Create Space using the pen name of Robert Emmett. I used the pen name in honor of my mother…she chose Emmett as my middle name because of her Irish heritage.
 {I love the name Emmett, the Irish have such great and "different" names}
Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher? 

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it? 
My book took about two years.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others? 
I only wrote one book. It was much different than writing a research report and I had a very steep learning curve. When I write another book, I will utilize the knowledge I gained from writing the first.

What can we expect from you in the future?  i.e. More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
My plan is to write a science fiction novel about the inhabitants of multi-generational space ship on trip to a star with an earth-like planet.

What genre would you place your books into? 

What made you decide to write that genre of book? 
I wrote the book knowing it would be a memoir.

Do you have a favorite out of the books you have written? If so, why is it your favorite? 
One book so far.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? and why are they your favorite? 
My favorite character was my surrogate father Thad. He imparted to me the early skills and motivation that led me to a life style that I now enjoy. I endure my handicaps much better now as opposed to when I was younger.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I would choose an amalgam of Robert, because of his intellect, perseverance and loyalty, Thad, because of his ideals, Ray, because of his quiet intelligence, Jim, because of his uniqueness, physicality and wit and my mom because of her determination and courage in the face of long odds.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write? 
When I retired I was full of anxiety. I went to see a psychiatrist and she said a person doesn’t change just because they retire. So I knew I would have to take up something that would challenge me. I always have been a driven person. I wrote a few chapters and a writer friend of mine told me she thought my style and topic would make for a good book.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
The plot ideas came from my recollections. I decided that I would keep my highs and lows as they were and write a memoir which would be balanced and realistic. There will be real enjoyment for the reader with my high moments.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? 
I sit in my office which is isolated enough to write with very little distraction.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? i.e. Your partner, children, friends, and reviewers you know? 
All of those listed!

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews? 

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books? 

What was the best/toughest review you have ever had? 
The best was when the reviewer (who did not know me) said my style made him think he was in my office talking to him. The worst was when the reviewer, after I had received so much positive feedback on my character development, did not understand/relate to the purpose of my friends and family in the book.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books? 

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books? 
The title, which I chose, is about a pivotal moment in my life. The design and cover was done with a format editor.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title? 
The title was chosen after I wrote the book.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? 
Since it was a memoir, I chose people that influenced me in somewhat of a chronological order. Since I wrote and published the book, I still think I included all the important people.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them? 
All the people in the book are real or were real…characterization of each was enhanced by the place and time.

Do you decide on character traits (i.e. shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along? 
No…I tried to be true to each characterization.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story? How do you market/promote your books? 
I had a good concept and outline before writing. I am pursuing reviews, careful to write marketing copy for my book on Amazon, entering many contests, initiating my own web site and trying to establishing myself on various social/media platforms. I have found the ‘quick sales’ books for Amazon only somewhat helpful.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller? 
A book that captures and holds your attention until you just cannot put it down. I certainly don’t think a book has to have a moral, per se, to be a bestseller, although it is easier if there is some universality in the story.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"? 
Not too often...if I did, I would immediately move to something entirely different and then come back the next day. I generally knew when I had written enough for the day.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby? 
I would say sports, books, music and movies are the best for me. In my earlier life it would have been tennis and golf.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? 
Yes and no.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesop’s Fables type of "The moral of this story is...”) 
Always get up and fight the demons that want to strike you down e.g. broken leg.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing? 
Yes…Peter Drucker.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback? 
No preference.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once? 
Two…Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origins by Robert M Hazen and Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker. I have given presentations on both books.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is your favorite/worst book to movie transfer? 
My favorite is the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and the most recent with Keira Knightley was the worst. Jane Austin is one of my favorite authors.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback) 
Currently I am reading Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Both are in eBook format.

Do you think eBooks will ever totally replace printed books? 
No…there has been some studies that show you can learn more from a printed book.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing? 
My older grandson reads five to seven books per week. Nonetheless, I think there is a lot of meaningless electronic communications.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life? 
I did read a lot in school and being a writer is new for me.

Did you have a favorite author as a child? 

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it? 
Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.

Do you have a favorite genre of book? 
For relaxation I like John Sandford…crime investigation.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish? 

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them? 
None that come to mind.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be
There are a few anecdotes that I would add but nothing substantive.

What do you think about book trailers? 
Probably necessary.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? 
Make sure you are totally immersed and knowledgeable about your subject. You must believe your subject will be enjoyed by the readers.

If you could invite three favorite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Winston Churchill, Stephen Hawking and T.S. Eliot

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