TODAY I WOULD LIKE to re-introduce you to Rolando Garcia, author of The Sun Zebra. His book stands as one of the first by an indie author that I downloaded, read, and reviewed. I picked my first forays into the brave new world of self-publishing carefully, and I was not disappointed. He was also one of my earliest Twitter friends and his fantastic blog contains many insights into the world of self-publishing.
I hope that author interviews will soon become a regular part of this blog. Today’s post stems from Denise Baer’s Pay it Forward author series of blog posts where I was a featured author. If Rolando chooses, he can also continue the chain and Pay it Forward by featuring an author on his blog.
R. Garcia is the peculiar eclectic writer. He was born in Cuba, lived in several Latin American countries, and now resides permanently in the United States. Along the way he obtained a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline and produced several highly technical publications. However, one fine day he decided to fulfill his dream of writing something besides technical articles. This he began to do by publishing his work under the pen name “Phantomimic” on the document sharing site Scribd.com where his stories have accumulated more than one hundred thousand reads and hundreds of comments. Based in part on this enthusiastic response to his work, he decided to take it to the next level. His first book on the Amazon Kindle is a collection of short stories.
The Sun Zebra, a work of contemporary family fiction, is about the “adventures in living” of an unusual little girl named Nell, her mother, Rhonda, and Nell’s father who is the narrator of the stories. The stories deal with how the world of adults and its hard realities intersects with the magical carefree world of children. This book is what he likes to call a“children’s book for grownups.” Its aim is to encourage us to discover (or rediscover) the amazing things that children and their magical carefree world can teach us, even as we try to teach them about the harsh realities of our own.
He wrote the first story of the book after he saw a picture of a real sun zebra, but he can’t tell you more about this without spoiling the story. After this the other stories came to him one after the other. An insect boldly embarked on a courageous trek, Poe’s poem “The Raven” received a new twist, a Christmas tree revealed its secrets, and a forgotten superhero made his triumphant return. As he wrote these stories he realized he was writing about his daughter and about the child he once was, but within a fictionalized setting that allowed him to manipulate the elements of the story to experience again the wonder of the world around me through a child’s eyes.
Because he is a latecomer to this business of writing fiction, he decided from the beginning that he couldn’t afford to spend years of his limited time trying to land an agent and hoping a publisher would sign him up. It was clear that the best option was self-publishing. However, as he learned more about it he realized that this option had many additional advantages over traditional publishing such as better royalties and total control over one’s books. But even among those that still want to get traditionally published, self-publishing is the way to go to build a fan base and demonstrate to agents/publishers that your books will sell.
At the moment his book is only available on Amazon: The Sun Zebra
You can connect with Rolando on his website.
Is there anything else you would like to know about Rolando?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2012.
Wow… that sounds like a really cool idea for a book! The world through a child’s eyes as told by an adult. Thanks for introducing us to this author. 🙂
It can be tricky to capture a child’s POV, but Rolando certainly has the knack!
Thank you very much for featuring me here Jeri. It’s an honor to be in your blog, and you do know a lot of things! : ^ )
I’m glad you like the idea G.G. It did not come all at once. Rather it sort of grew on me story by story until one day I said, “This is a children’s book for adults.”
I love the story and his story. The cover art draws you into wanting to buy the book. I’m amazed at his success self-publishing. I’m sending this along to two friends who I don’t know that he’s done as well as Rolando.
Thank you so much for helping to spread word of Rolando’s work. His writing truly is special.
Thank you Jeannette. The cover has been described by a few people as “stunning.” I was fortunate to have the talented up and coming artist Julia Baumgart design it for me. What I like about it is those swirls that go from the girl to the father. They perfectly describe the whole idea behind the stories.
Great post Jeri. Sounds like a really interesting book- related stories are almost like chapters of a novel. Obviously the personal involvement of the POV has been successful. Great project BTW. I’ll def check out both Rolando’ site & Denise. Thanks for the links 🙂
I think most readers nowadays do not want to invest their time in understanding and becoming emotionally and intellectually involved in a new plot at the turn of each chapter. I think this is why collections of stories are not very popular. Even though this is what I write (at least for now) I try to link the stories with some underlying common thread. In the case of the Sun Zebra the stories share the same major characters so, like you wrote, it reads like chapters in a novel. Thanks for your comment.
What a great story about the author and his journey into self-publishing. I am also a late comer who is looking to do an ebook of my stories. He is an inspiration to me to keep pressing on. His book Sun Zebra sounds as delightful as his personal story. Thanks you for this. 🙂
Thank you for your kind comment Susan. All of us self-published authors have to support each other because as a group we will achieve much more that way. Hope you publish too and join us in the self-publishing revolution!
Hi Jeri – This new feature of your blog ties right in with your desire to touch readers more. This one on Rolando and The Sun Zebra is a powerful endorsement and I would think it would result in more sales of the book. Good work.
As I work on putting together my first ten-question interviews for the coming weeks, I’m reminded how much I love experience how others come across their knowledge. Sharing experiences has always been my favorite part of the learning process.
Jeri is very hardworking and constantly on the lookout to find new things to try. I hope this new feature drives a lot of traffic to her blog. Thanks for your comment Larry! : ^ )
Incorporating interviews on a regular basis feels like the right move for me. Especially since every time I write a “how to” post, shades of classroom anxiety start creeping up on me 😉
Nice work on the profile, Jeri. And nice to meet Rolando. I love Cuba and the latin culture. And because I am a soon-to-be self-published author, I’m thrilled to see bloggers like you giving the Indies the attention they deserve. Hats off to both of you!
As with the book reviews, I’m already lining up quite the variety of authors for interviews in the months ahead. In a weird way, posting the reviews and interviews makes me feel like I did in the classroom. It’s so worth it to be able to promote others and to learn so much in return!
It’s nice to meet someone familiar with my cultural background. Thanks for your comment Doreen and good luck with your book! : ^ )