Most people give up on their dreams after retiring, not for this guy!
Most authors discover their passion for writing at a young age, and this holds true for Robert Gallant. However, he didn’t immediately make a career out of fiction writing in his early years. He pursued his love for story-telling suspense and action novels only after he retired. His reason? He knew that writing would detract too much time away from his family, so he waited until his retirement to start doing it. This proves that dreams don’t have an expiration date and it’s up to you to make them happen.
Becoming A Novelist in His Golden Years
Bob, as he is known to many, worked in Chemical Engineering before he decided to become a novelist in his late sixties. He has published over 50 articles in science journals and 3 books on technology. Unlike many writers, he didn’t have to choose one career over the other as he loved it both equally. He enjoyed science so much that he incorporated it with his love for writing.
As a young boy, he would often mix his thirst for adventure with his school lessons to spruce it up. He fondly recalls that while taking up Biology class in high school, he pretended that he was swallowed by a giant sea serpent and befriended by a huge antibody. Together, they traveled throughout the entire body, learning about its functions and having exciting adventures along the way.
The adventure stories that he created as a kid made him realize that he wanted to become a fiction writer in the future. True enough, he did, and one of his goals was to write novels that are both entertaining and educational.
This goal materialized when a nurse told him that his novel, The Armageddon Virus, explained how viruses work so well and what makes them deadly. The nurse said that it was even better than the textbooks she read in nursing school, which is why she tells new nurses to buy his book and read it.
Finding Inspiration in His Family
Family plays an important role in Bob’s career as a writer. As mentioned before, he didn’t start writing novels until his retirement. He didn’t want to spend too much time away from his wife Margie and their three sons. His family was an excellent support system and cheered him on everything he does. However, his wife holds a special place in his heart for constantly inspiring him even after her passing in 2013.
In fact, Bob’s wife has dramatically improved his style of writing by being her critique during his first novel. His wife was a big fan of women’s mystery novels, and her piece of advice was this: if he wanted a major woman in the story, don’t make her dependent upon some manly hero. She must be a major driver in the direction of the novel. This led to the creation of Chesney Barrett, the heroine that stars in five of his six books.
Today, he is happily enjoying his life with his three sons and their families. He says that they provide him all the support he needs to keep working as a writer.
On Writing Suspenseful and Informative Novels
For Bob, his lifelong dream was to write fiction novels that are both action-packed and full of meaningful knowledge at the same time. His novels are based on facts from science, technology, culture, history, and geography. To do that, he spends over a year of intense research on every novel he writes. For example, he allotted over 5 years of research for his book Rob The Vatican to actually learn how to steal from the supposedly impregnable holy city.
Bob’s works are heavily influenced by scientific magazines and articles. Two of his most favorite ones, The National Geographic and Scientific American, were his inspiration for four of his novels. Newspaper clippings triggered the plot for the two other novels. According to him, these materials provided him with knowledge on a wide range of historical and cultural events, as well as medical and technological advancements.
Of course, the path towards publishing six novels wasn’t easy for him. He was scammed into signing with a bad publisher before and had to eventually start over. He lost a significant amount of money after that. But on the bright side, he learned an important life lesson as a writer: do a lot of research so you can find reliable companies that will help you get your work published.
Living A Fulfilling Life After Retirement
When asked about what he would do if he wasn’t a writer, Bob earnestly answered that he wanted to focus on doing plenty of meaningful exercises and encourages others to do the same. He would become a speaker and talk about fulfilling things that a retired person should focus on.
For him, the most important thing to focus on would be exercising every day because it will keep you feeling young. Second, don’t be afraid to take on new challenges to keep your brain active. Failure shouldn’t be feared because that is one step closer to success. Third, never be so preoccupied with your problems that you forget to help those who are around you. And lastly, have fun while you are doing all of it.
Right now, Bob is convincing major book publishers and movie studios to closely evaluate his novels as potential best-sellers and movies. His books have received top ratings from book reviewers and readers, but he wants to go the extra mile. Bob is a living proof that age will not limit a person’s ability to chase their dreams. It’s just a matter of being brave enough to chase after what you want.
May Bob’s story be a great source of inspiration for our young (and old!) writers of today.