One of my favorite things to do, is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground, or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. So, wherever you’re joining us from, (sorry no video this week) I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Around the Campfire and information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.
Okay, without further delay…
Today I’m welcoming, Robert Heimall to the Around the Campfire. This interview will be a little different. Bob is a close friend and artist with an amazing story and book. His work is non-fiction. I think you will enjoy him and the remarkable world he shows us. So let’s get started with the important thing first. What’s your preference coffee, tea, cocoa?
Coffee it is. Have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp. If so, tent, trailer, RV? Where? Did you like it? If not, and no judgment here, would you like to someday? Where? Bob I know you’re a beach person so I can move the fire to a beach setting.
No camping! In my book I recall living in a homemade camper in Mexico for 4 months. Never again – Lord willing.
LOL! Seems people either love or hate camping. There is no middle ground from what I'm finding out. So, tell us about your project. What’s the title?
Cover Stories: “Tales of rock legends and the albums that made them famous”
It's a beautiful book and getting great reviews. I know this has been a long work of love for you can you tell us how long it took from conception to fruition?
On a short-term mission trip to Dominican Republic 10 years ago, I met a lady from Atlanta GA who was a literary agent. I gave my testimony of “sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll” and conversion to Christ at a breakfast during our group’s morning devotional time. Later while at the work-site we both discussed my idea of writing my memoirs from the record business and how I eventually became a missionary.
Bob does what we call short-term missions. He is was also part of the missions committee at our church. Tell us about the challenges you've faced during the development and even now post publication. How did you get through it?
My biggest challenge was revealing some very dark episodes of my life during 60’s – 70’s while still maintaining my “Christian Witness’ and how those things might affect my wife and kids and church and mission. One of the main things that made it a 10 year long project was trying to get copyright clearances for record companies that no longer existed and were part of big corporate conglomerations now. I tried through attorneys (fees $$$) email, phone calls, etc. etc. and it literally took me 3-4 years AFTER I finished MY writing! When I finally got the OK to print, I had to go back and update some stories due to the passing of some of the artists and newly acquired relationships with others.
Everyone has those dark episodes. It takes courage and conviction to bare yourself to others. I know getting permissions is tough. My book in development had named some songs, my editor had me take them out. So a word of warning, be careful authors. Let’s time travel, is there something you would tell your beginning self? Any advice or encouragement? Warnings?
Yes, 10 years ago when my agent sent the book proposal to many top publishing houses, we were told “Coffee Table Books were no longer selling! They loved the concept but wouldn’t sign me for that type of publication. Since 90% old the book was full color art of my album covers, I did not accept that verdict and kept trying for 3-4 years through different agents, ghost writers and self publishers ($$$)
Patience and Perseverance are a recurring theme with all the authors I've interviewed. You have to stick with it. Don't give up. Good for you. Writing isn't your only thing though. When you’re not writing, what are your hobbies or passions?
Oil painting. Photography. Sitting on the beach. Surfing
I've seen and love your pictures especially of the Jersey Shore. Can you describe yourself in three words?
Creative. Narcissistic. Spiritual.
Interesting mix. I get the first and last but I do suppose to be an artist and a creative person a bit or narcissism is needed. Do you have a tattoo or special piece of jewelry?
Sharks tooth and coral beaded necklaces I wore 60’s 70’s. No tattoos.
What is your “Kodak Moment.”
Haitian Rescue Mission 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at Temporary rescue Hospital set up to treat victims. I was photographing everything that went on and will never get those images out of my mind. (amputations, chests cut open, etc, etc. it's difficult to look at the photos I took)
The other Kodak moment was a positive: sitting on sunken floor sofa in penthouse of NYC Hilton hotel drinking and passing a joint with Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendriz and Janis Joplin sitting next to me. Thinking I finally had ARRIVED (made it to the big time!)
Wow! What amazing talents they were. One of my favorite movies had a line about a candle that burns twice as brightly...It reminds me of those artists. Most writers need support. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to? Or what were childhood books you loved?
My main mentors were Impressionistic artists: Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet. The FAVORITE writer I love since I started reading a lot 40 years ago is James Lee Burke. His writing is literally visual to me. No one “paints a picture” or “an atmosphere” better in my opinion I make it a point to read every one of his books.
Final question. As a writer, what does success look like to you?
Certainly not book sales, though they would be very much appreciated in my semi-retirement. my love of Art and early art lessons and great teachers/mentors in High School gave me the tools I needed to succeed! I did not like or take college prep courses like algebra, geometry, etc. I loved art, metal shop wood shop and auto shop, all classes that promoted and trained for the “Trades”. My highlight: That with God’s help I was able to earn a living with 2 successful careers in Art and Softball both of my passions (without a college education/degree)
Thank you so much for joining me around the campfire today, Bob. I would appreciate you leaving us a blub. In your case what does the back cover or inside flap say. Do you have an exert from your work. Any reviews I can post. Any testimonials about the book. Don’t forget to add where we can purchase your book and how we can find out more about you below.
8 customer reviews 4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
4 star4 star (0%)0%
2 star2 star (0%)0%
1 star1 star (0%)0%
FB: Robert L. Heimall
This weeks movie recommendations are in about Rock Stars
Bohemian Rhapsody with Rami Malek is a newer movie I thought amazing.
The Rose with Bette Midler.
Recipe for the week.
I made this in a Dutch Oven over the campfire
Don't forget to join me next week where my guest is Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Time Travel with Romance Author, Susan Royal.
Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it.
ELVIS PRESLEY, attributed, The Book of Rock Lists