Gary Roen is a Nationally Syndicated Book Critic and author. He has been a speaker, on a panel, or the moderator at conventions, including Necronomicon, Oasis, Crackercon, Tachycon, and Spooky Horror Empire. He has presented to writer groups in Brevard County, Tampa, St Pete, Orlando, and Central Florida. He also speaks to classes as well as public school programs. Roen writes for Midwest Book Review, bUnike Magazine, Lake Legal News, Hernando Star, Veterans Voice and Bivouac Magazine.
One of Roen’s claims to fame is that he was sent to the assistant principal for writing a science fiction story. You must know the assistant principal has the unenviable job of being the school disciplinarian. Roen’s story was later published, and he says, “So much for rules.” Yes, this is an education blog, but how many times have you heard of something like that where a student is in trouble for something and later becomes famous for that very thing? Teachers are well aware of these kinds of events. I could only smile.
Roen writes science fiction and poetry books. I have read three of his books so far. Two are science fiction: Journey and Slotski’s World. One is poetry and very heart-tugging, The Forgotten Father. These and other of his books may be found on Gary Roen’s Amazon author page. One of his publishers is Legacy Book Publishing.
Journey is a book of Roen’s short and even shorter science fiction stories. I would say some of the pieces are even flash fiction. Several chapters have the same character, Slotski, a scary-looking bear. For some reason, people are attracted to the ugly teddy bear and take him home. The people seem to have some relationship or other issues at home, and Slotski changes things for the better without seeming to move a muscle. The other stories are on a variety of topics.
Slotski’s World has more stories where the strange-looking bear helps people in less than desirable situations. However, some people have bad intentions towards the bear. The bear knows! As they approach, they are suddenly sorry about their evil thoughts towards Slotski, who takes action against the people without any visible sign of movement. I want to give everyone a Slotski bear to help sort out their life issues.
The Forgotten Father: Coping With Grief is a book of poetry. The subject is sad, though, as it is about SIDS, which is a condition that has never been understood. I appreciated the poetic language, as I think it left some thoughts to the imagination that did not need to be spelled out. The reader understands the subject. It still is an excellent story to read with a box of Kleenex. It should wake people up as no one asked Roen how he felt or how he was doing. All the attention in our society goes to the women who are allowed to express emotions. Men have emotions, too, and should be free to verbalize their feelings. In general, this problem continues to this day, and men are still suffering. We all need to be more aware.
Sometimes participating in author groups online can be so much fun, especially when you meet someone new. I met Gary Roen just that way. Later, I was able to interview him for The New Book Review. He offers free book reviews as described in this blog post on Sharing with Writers and Readers.
Right after I met Roen, the Necronomicon convention was held. Being virtual this year, of course, I was able to see him speak on some panels. He answered questions such as are James Bond books spy fiction, mystery, or science fiction? What do you think? Another discussion was about your guilty pleasure, meaning what books or movies the panel members watch that other people think is “junk.” It was all so interesting.
If you are an author, I highly recommend joining author groups online and making friends with other authors and reviewers. You never know who you might meet!