Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Interview with Author Robert D. Sollars

Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention

1.      What inspired you to pen your newest book? I had been planning on writing another book about school security, the first one in 2009 wasn’t edited very well, but was putting it off until the end of 2017, because I had several irons in the fire. Then Parkland happened. I felt the need to write it now and hopefully dissuade a lot of knee-jerk reactions and the unnecessary spending of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars that…well would not be spent responsibly. I didn’t want to capitalize on a tragedy but felt the need to do what I do best…try to save lives.

2.      Why should someone buy it? If you love children, from babies to adults in college, we need to protect our next generations. This book is an effort to put forth thoughts and ideas that will not cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to implement. Therefore, it helps every single family, or person who loves kids, to prevent mass shootings in our schools. From parental responsibility, school accountability, how to spot the warning signs, and then of course physical security and other items for educators. I want to save lives and I’m hoping that people will buy it for the same reason.

3.      How challenging was it to write it? My biggest challenge was being blind and not being that technologically literate, hell I didn’t even learn how to type correctly until I was 49! …I had always been a 2 fingered typist but succeeded in publishing more than 75 articles. Then there are the digital platforms and websites that an Indy writer needs, out there that are not very friendly for the blind or visually impaired to navigate. I am so fortunate to have my wife who can do a lot of that stuff for me. If she can’t figure it out I have a lot of friends who at least can answer questions and guide us through the process. I am fortunate and grateful to all of them.

4.      What are some of the key messages presented? Stop using too many ‘touchy feely’ programs in schools, they usually cost far too much money and generally do little good except emotionally, when that money could be put to use in other programs that help the education of our kids and if someone accuses your children of something, doesn’t matter what it is from bullying, insensitive words, or whatever, don’t take the attitude of “My lil angel would never do that”.  Learn to recognize all 22 of the warning signs and then do something to intervene with them. “We can either choose to act upon or ignore them” and we have seen how ignoring them works out. Third, hold the schools accountable for not upgrading or taking sensible precautions in the security of the schools and sometimes lying to parents to mollify them.

5.      Fourth, Get the idea into your heads that “It can Happen to anyone, at any time, any-where, for any reason”. There is no reason to worry yourself into a coronary over it, because it is quite rare, but realize the facts and don’t ignore them, just like the warning signs.  

6.      Do you have advice for other writers? It doesn’t matter what you want to write… just do it. You don’t have to follow conventional wisdom that many tell you is fact. If you don’t outline well…then wing it. By winging it with non-fiction and fiction you have to ensure that it all fits together at the end. Revise, revise, revise. Then hire a professional editor…they have saved me since I started writing for profit 30 odd years ago. It’s my words but they make me look awfully good. Secondly, don’t listen to the naysayers who tell you to give it up. I have a friend who is in her 80s, blind, has innumerable health issues, and was told by many of her closest friends to give up writing a series of short stories for children…now she has a publisher interested in her underwater tales and converting it for autistic, blind, and other disabled kids.

7.      Why do you love books? I didn’t use to like to read. Until I was in my mid-20s I didn’t read much. Then I discovered the Star Trek book series and that was it. From there I began to read…everything. Before going blind I read as many as 5 newspapers a day, 5 magazines a week including industry specific ones that the field my clients were in, and probably 6 books a month. I enjoy the idea that I can learn from everything I read…now with an electronic book reader from the National Library Service for the Blind. I have had innumerable people tell me that “for a person without a degree, or any college credit, I am the most intelligent person they ever met.” And it is all because of reading everything from the WSJ to Clive Cussler.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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