Sunday, March 11, 2012


It is a pleasure and a Great honor to Interview Author Robert Bangor Today. Thank you Kindly for your time. I wish you much Success.

~~Author of "THE BURNT CITY"
~~A Novel Of Iran On The Eve Of Revolution

~~Author Interview~~

What inspires you to write?
Passing over issues such as ego and psyche, I think I have loved words as I have loved music since childhood, and I have felt impelled to create in both. I started writing again when I was overseas in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, partly because I could use the money, and partly to share my experience with others. Ideas for short fiction came from situations, some real, some imagined, and some derived from articles I was writing.

When I returned from Iran in 1980, I had just witnessed an historic revolution, the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty. I was caught in crossfire three times and had to run for cover, and felt the need to express myself about it. I wrote a few articles, one or two were published. Also, I remembered incidents and people, and began to think about my experiences in terms of fiction. The first draft of "THE BURNT CITY" was a product of that period. Then I got a job overseas, and my writing was once again put on hold until retirement, when I began publishing translations from classical Persian. Most of my fiction derives from my overseas experiences. I don't know if I could call it inspiration, but I enjoy writing and would like to share my enjoyment with those who care to do so. Perhaps, I write because I cannot conceive not writing. 

Who is your favorite author?
My reading taste has always been rather catholic. I enjoy history, from Herodotus through Gibbon to the moderns. I enjoy philosophy, especially Plato and the Greeks. Also, enjoy biography, ancient and modern. With regard to fiction, my favorite author changes from time-to-time. I think I had my first awakening in high school, our English teacher gave us the task of reading "SILAS MARNER" by George Eliot. Most of us groaned when our teacher told us what it was about. I began reading it as a chore, and finished it as a convert.

I quickly went on to Dickens, Hawthorne, Melville, etc. A few years later, I discovered the Russians. Tolstoy's "WAR AND PEACE" is a blockbuster of a novel in more ways than one. I re-read it every five years or so. Then, I ventured to do Maupassant, Zola, Dumas and other French greats. At the same time, I enjoy reading mystery and adventure novels. I think I have read most of the books by Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Alistair MacLean, and Hammond Innes. Most recently, I have been reading John Grisham, Nelson DeMille, Lawrence Block and Ruth Rendell. I think my favorite author is the author I happened to be reading at the time the question is posed, if I am enjoying the book. 

Did you enjoy reading as child?
      I was fortunate in having a father, who seemed always to have a book in his hand, when he was home and relaxing. He was fond of history, philosophy, and other series subjects. He didn't read much fiction, but he revered Shakespeare, and the unsurpassed beauty of the 'King James Version' of the Bible. My mother taught me my alphabet, before I started school. There was no pre-school for us in those days. I recall that one of my early teachers read "THE SECRET GARDEN" to us in class, and we were all enthralled. A few years later, in my early teens, I discovered TARZAN, and read every volume of that series that our local library possessed. So, I can say 'yes.' I enjoyed reading as a child very much, just as I do an adult.

How important is a book cover?
I realize that book covers today are a form of high art, and artists work hard to get one's attention with an enticing front cover of a paperback, or the jacket of a hardback. However, when I go to the library or a bookshop to select a book to read, I usually see the spine first with the name of the author and the title of the book, which grabs my attention. Then, I turn to the back cover. It should give the reader a hint of what the book is about, and maybe something about the author. Then, I look at the front cover.

Do you have current work in progress?        
 I am currently working on "THE SHROUDS OF MOHARRAM." This is the second of the two novels I drafted in the nineteen-eighties. I am also collecting my miscellaneous essays, articles, and short stories for possible future publication. 

"THE SHROUDS OF MOHARRAM" is Prelude to Evolution. "THE BURNT CITY" takes place in 1978-1979, while "THE SHROUDS OF MOHARRAM" begins in 1963. I arrived in Iran in 1964.                                                                                                                                         

No comments: