Thomas Robbins waits to chat with community members at his book signing in the Medfield Public Library.
By Ella Kohler
Hometown Weekly Intern
Ten years ago, Medfield’s own Thomas Robbins decided he wanted to write a novel. After multiple classes, rewrites and publishing companies, Robbins realized this dream: “Guardians of Tomorrow Book One: The Rise of Veratta” was finally published last December.
Robbins spoke to Hometown Weekly about his final product, as well as his arduous journey from layman to author.
A cross between science fiction and fantasy, “Guardians of Tomorrow” features hoverboards, magic, and most importantly, a society divided in two. Leaving their old medieval ways, one group splits off to form a new futuristic civilization. The novel follows these old and new civilizations as they struggle to coexist.
Though the book contains battles and challenges, Robbins hopes to send an optimistic message to his readers.
“That, first of all, there’s always good and evil in the world and good triumphs out in the end. And that there’s hope,” Robbins says. “This society kept banding together with people and they always conquered all the problems in the world, like climate and everything. All the things that we’re going through now — this planet succeeded. I wanted to make sure that it was a message of hope, not that everything is dark and gloomy.”
Robbins’ motivation to write the book came partly from his father, who often wrote poetry and short stories. When Robbins first began writing, he experimented with genres and pieces he thought his father would enjoy. After his father passed away 23 years ago, Robbins was inspired to further pursue writing.
It was with his father in mind that Robbins began “Guardians of Tomorrow.” Robbins decided to base the book off a previous piece he had written: a 10,000-word short story. The book’s concept also stemmed from various ideas Robbins had recorded when he was younger. “I had all these notes in a binder in a drawer,” Robbins says, “and I just started looking through them to get some ideas, and then the ideas turned into a story.”
Robbins then decided to take the story more seriously, enrolling in various writing classes. During one class, students critiqued each other's work. “By that time, I had about 500 pages to my story. And the feedback was, in general, that it was really good, but it was too complicated and too long,” explains Robbins. As a result, he divided his idea into three sections, this new book being the first in a trilogy.
While attending classes and working on the book, Robbins balanced writing with his day job. Despite the demands of being a full-time engineer, Robbins aimed to add to the book daily, even if that meant writing just a single paragraph. “This turned out to be a great escape for me,” says Robbins, “because [with] engineering, I had no way of letting myself be creative and this is my way of doing that.”
Hoping to see his words in print, Robbins discussed publishing options with friends. Ultimately, he opted for paid professional editing and supported self-publishing. Half a dozen rewrites and two publishing companies later, Robbins’ book was ready to be printed.
With his first novel finally materialized, Robbins offered his advice for those only beginning their writing journeys. “Don’t write from the head; write from what you feel, from the heart,” he says. “Sometimes the pen just sort of goes across the paper when you just stop and let that happen.”
“Guardians of Tomorrow” can be found on Amazon, eBooks, Barnes and Noble and www.xlibris.com.