Robert has been a writer since the age of 8 when he won his first award for fiction in a school literature fair. Throughout the years he has continued to write fiction and works of poetry appearing in various local and national anthologies. Once he entered college he gained quick interest in journalism, winning an award for the first article he wrote for The Gull’s Cry at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida. This new form of writing took hold of him and opened a new avenue of opportunity which expanded his palette and enhanced his storytelling abilities in a vast world with very concise and much more “to-the-point” prose in AP Style.
By chasing down the journalism dragon he would in turn propel himself into confronting many preset ideas he once had about writing. There was so much more out there to learn and he wanted to find out all about it. Changing gears he entered journalism school at the University of West Florida in Pensacola – here he would find himself under the guidance of professors and instructors who were all working journalists in print and broadcast media.
One of his greatest writing influences was professor Hugh Merrill who excited him with stories of covering the Civil Rights Movement in the South; the Selma march and sitting down to breakfast with Martin Luther King, Jr. for an interview on that historic day. Professor Merrill was always animated and never short on incredible stories; half of them had to be true and the other half, well, I don’t think they ever quite made it beyond the copy desk. But every decent newspaper reporter knows the fault rests solely at the hands of some obstinate editor seeking to crush your very soul, simply because they can.