At a young age, Rob O’Keefe pursued his desire to see the world despite his fear of heights, open spaces, and waffles. His first job entailed working as a sherpa on the world’s smallest mountain, Mount Wycheproof in Australia, rising 138 feet above the surrounding terrain. There wasn’t much call for carrying climbing equipment or navigating treacherous terrain, but occasionally a hiker would call down from the top of the mountain for a glass of water or directions to a nearby hotel.
From there, Rob moved back to the wilds of New England and started a chipmunk farm, training his charges to be stunt doubles for major Hollywood productions. His greatest accomplishment was securing work for his prize student, Rocky, as a stand-in for Tom Cruise in the third Mission Impossible movie. That’s not Tom riding a motorcycle off of a cliff in Norway! Today, Rob enjoys a life of leisure, growing his impressive stump collection which features a variety of hardwood trees, making pot holders from old quilts and quilts from old pot holders, and teaching Esperanto to farm animals.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
I was born in a Howard Johnson's in Bayonne, which may explain my lifelong habit of ending each day with 28 flavors of ice cream.
In my twenties, I went through a period of crisis and self-doubt upon learning I was not named after a Scottish folk hero, but rather a mixed drink featuring scotch whisky and sweet vermouth. Years of counseling eventually enabled me to resume my place in society. That, and the realization that my siblings, Mojito, Daiquiri, and Gimlet, had it much worse than I did.
I made my way in the world as the inventor of several nonexistent colors and am living a life of leisure thanks to the royalty checks I receives for creating the descriptive names found on garden hose nozzles. My favorite is “Mist.”
When and why did you start writing books?
I started at a very early age to get out of yard work, a strategy that still works today.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
It seemed less dangerous than spelunking, my backup career. And there were fewer bats.
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
My favorite character in Small Stories: A Perfectly Absurd Novel, is Walt, who operates the town Welcome Wagon (a conestoga to be exact), but don't tell the others as I need their cooperation for the sequel.
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
Whatever one I'm working on at the time.
Who is your favourite author and book?
There are so many: Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Terry Pratchett, and Robert Rankin are a few.
What book are you reading right now?
Just finished City of Orange by David Yoon.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Did you read my earlier comment about getting out of yard work?
Do you have any new books in the works?
Why, yes I do. Thank you for asking. I'm working on Small Secrets: A Predictably Absurd Sequel, which I hope to have completed in 2023.
Books by Rob Roy O'Keefe
Small Stories: A P...
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