An Interview with Dr. Eric Vanderburg

I’m honored to present my latest interview with Dr. Eric Vanderburg – an information security executive, author and expert witness. He has several degrees including an MBA from Kent State University and was awarded an honorary Ph.D from Vatterott College for his work in information security.

Vanderburg has been called the “Sheriff of the Internet” and he lives up to his name by protecting companies every day from cyber threats. His latest book is titled “CompTIA Storage+ Quick Review Guide“.

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What first motivated you to write?

I first started seriously writing based on my wife’s encouragement.  I kept saying that someday I would write a book and one day she replied, “how about you start now”.  I wrote a few short stories, some of which I submitted to contests.  I didn’t win any awards but I continued to hone my writing.  I then started a blog on information security and wrote more articles for magazines.

Eventually, McGraw Hill approached me to write a book on storage networking and I eagerly accepted.  Of course, I did not know what I was getting into.  Writing a book is a huge endeavour.  You have a technical editor, acquisitions editor, and a content editor who give you feedback on what you write resulting in many versions of a document.  Once the document is complete, a media editor and copy editor review the work and more revisions are made to images, formatting and layout.  The process was much more time consuming than I anticipated but I really enjoyed it.

What is your latest book about?

CompTIA Storage+ Quick Review Guide is primarily a guide for those wishing to take the CompTIA Storage+ exam.  It provides a comprehensive and vendor neutral description of storage concepts beginning with how a hard drive works to how data is stored in the cloud.  It is a valuable resource for both those taking the exam and those wishing to know more about this complex yet interesting subject.

Describe your writing schedule?

I set aside some time each day to write about whatever interests me.  After the kids are in bed and I have spent some time with my wife, I sit down with my computer and my thoughts and begin to write.  Sometimes I blog and other times I work on an article but I try to always have something in the queue.

Why do you love writing?

Writing is a great way to organize my thoughts and to fill in gaps in my knowledge that I don’t even realize are there.  By questioning myself and explaining a topic, I have to challenge my own assumptions or go back to the basics that I have taken for granted.  It sometimes results in completely new ideas.  I also find it helpful to read through documents I wrote in the past.  The fun of this is in seeing how much I have improved as an author.

What technology helps you to write?

I write with only my laptop because I can be mobile with it.  I often change my location.  Sometimes I will write in my office and other times I write in the basement or in bed.  It just depends on my mood.  I have a computer with a large monitor and some people ask why I don’t write there but I find that the large desktop can be distracting.  I keep my instant messaging and email closed while writing then I put the document on my laptop in full screen and just concentrate on getting words on paper.

Do you write first and edit later, or do you perfect your writing as you go along?

Once a thought is in my mind, it is easily lost so I tend to just let the words spill out on paper and then I make more sense of them later.  I do the same with outlining.  I will outline a chapter or book but I give myself the freedom to redefine the outline later if I need to.  Sometimes a section turns out to be more important than I initially thought so I move it higher in the outline or a section may need to be split into multiple sub sections.

Have you ever thought of writing fiction?

I have a fantasy novel that I have been working on for a few years now.  The book is titled “The Prevailing Palette” and here is the teaser for it.

Imagine a world where artists are heroes and graffiti is punishable by death.  Imagine a sect that seeks to control a kingdom by unlocking hidden catastrophic powers.  This is a story of creativity, charisma, and courage — of schemes, plots, and magical art.

A book exists containing secrets of great power.  Used once by a king in the hope of saving his kingdom, it doomed him instead.  Centuries later, history’s terrible atrocities are mostly forgotten and mankind will have to learn again the consequences of absolute power.  In a clash of kingdoms and plots from a mysterious sect, a mason, merchant, and two artists are given the chance to prevent disaster.  Can steel, charisma, and magical art stand up to overwhelming odds?

What helps you to write?

Deadlines!

I tend to want to make a work perfect which results in me continually editing it so I like to have an absolute stop point.  I end up doing some of my best work right before the deadline hits.  I finally wrap up my thoughts and do a full read of the document and then submit it.  There is a nice feeling of accomplishment when I turn a completed manuscript in to an editor.

What advice would you give to authors who are struggling to find enough time to write?

Well, doctors are going to hate this advice but it seems to work for me.  I stay up really late and still get up early every morning.  The only day I sleep in is Saturday.  Otherwise, I am writing a couple hours past midnight several times each week and then I get up at 5:45 AM to go to work.  Why do I do that?  Well, there is only so much time in the day and also, there are no distractions at 1:00 in the morning.

What are your writing goals?

I want to publish a wide range of technology books on subjects such as storage networking, information security, database management systems, and computer networking.  I also want to publish a series of fantasy novels, hopefully with TOR.  I find that my favourite authors tend to be from TOR and I want to join their ranks someday.

Have you ever had any particularly bad reviews? How did you feel upon reading them?

I am blessed to have a good audience.  I really can’t think of anything particularly bad.  My articles and blogs have been well received and publishers continue to ask me to write for them.  That is very encouraging.  I want to say thanks to all my readers for your continued support.  I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it!

CompTIA Storage+ Quick Review Guide can be purchased from Amazon, McGraw-Hill and Book Depository

Click through to purchase from Amazon

Click through to purchase from Amazon

To connect with Eric, visit his Linkedin, Wikipedia page or Twitter.

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