With tales to tell: Prolific local author Roy C. Booth covers many genres
BEMIDJI -- There's more to Roy C. Booth than meets the eye.
The 48-year-old Bemidji man not only owns Roy's Comics & Games downtown but he is also a professional writer who has written multiple literary works ranging from short stories to plays to full novels.
Booth said from the early age of 6, he wanted to be a writer but had difficulty reading. After picking up a comic book, he realized he read not line to line but in blocks.
"Comic books have always been a part of my creative outlet," Booth said.
Growing up, Booth was called the "monster kid" because of his love for monster movies and horror stories. In the 1970s, he became involved in Dungeons & Dragons, a fantasy tabletop role-playing game, which further inspired his imagination.
Booth said the first published short story he ever wrote was a science fiction tale under a pen name in 1979, during his freshman year of high school. Booth said he can't tell people what the original story is or what his pen name is because he still uses it to write and some of the stories now have nondisclosure contracts with publishing companies.
"The Roy C. Booth stuff is my Bruce Wayne and my evil pseudo name is my Batman," Booth said referring to the superhero.
After graduating Pillager High School, Booth attended Central Lakes College before transferring to BSU where he graduated with a degree in English speech theater in 1989. In 1992, Roy opened his comic book store in downtown Bemidji with his wife, Cynthia. After a few years running the store, Booth went back to BSU and received his master's degree in creative writing.
Booth said his first published play was one he coordinated on with his mentor Bob May titled "Beanie and The Bamboozling Book Machine." As a joke, the duo sent the play into the Samuel French Publishing Co., one of the top play publishing companies in the country.
"He and I were sitting in the office and we said 'let's type it up, let's send it to Samuel French, let's go straight to the top. We'll get a nice little rejection letter and we'll be able to say we tried,'" Booth said.
Instead of rejection, the play was immediately accepted and the pair went on to write two more sequels. Today. Booth's plays have been produced more than 800 times in 29 countries and translated into 12 languages.
Besides writing plays, Booth also writes novels and has even worked on movies.
"I work as a script doctor," he said. "It means there's something in production and it needs to be fixed."
Some of the movies he has worked on are well known, but he can't say which movies they are because, like his secret pen name, he is bound by non-disclosure contracts, he said.
The things he can talk about though are impressive in their own right. Recently, Booth collaborated with another author to write an Amazon bestseller in the Steampunk genre, "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Man-Made Vacuum." Last year, another novel he helped to write,"The One: Children of Destiny," won the 2013 P&E Readers Poll for Best Young Adult Book.
Booth said he draws inspiration for his stories and characters from odd news stories he reads, people he's met and his own nightmares.
"A lot of my characters are either who I would want to meet or who I wouldn't want to meet -- and then bits and pieces of people I've met," he said. "I try my darndest to stay away from the chosen one. I try to have flaws."
With a wife and three children, Booth said he tries to balance his time while still writing daily. At any given time, he said he has about 13 novels he works on in order to avoid writer's block. Even with all the novels he's written, he said he still has a lot to learn about writing.
"Writing is one of those things where I will always be continuing to evolve -- I can never say I know it all. This is my profession and I'm going to do it until I die."
For an author who's dabbled in multiple forms of literature, there is one thing Booth admits that he has, ironically, not done.
"I want to write comic books," he said. "It's the one thing I want to do the most that I've not done yet."
For more information on Roy C. Booth and his literary works, visit, www.amazon.com/Roy-C.-Booth/e/B00A7CVLNG