Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I live in Australia, at a mountain area called Mount Tamborine with my partner Deb and our cat Mr Moo. This is our escape after living on the coast, so can be considered our Green escape.
I have published two novels, thankfully both very well reviewed. Traveller Inceptio and the sequel Traveller Probo will soon be completed by the final in the trilogy – Traveller Manifesto – set to be published before the end of 2021.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Traveller manifesto is the final of a trilogy.
My first novel, Traveller Inceptio, was inspired one day after I had been ripped off by a crooked business partner. I was pretty depressed and sat on a beach, imagining how the location would have looked 100, then 200, then 1000 years in the past. Fortunately, I lived close to the beautiful beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and the exercise of imagining the location before resorts, powerlines and phone towers brought to mind a very different world.
The next step in the tale was to imagine how modern humans would survive ‘back then’. Then – how could such a journey be possible?
The story was born
Besides a lot of my own research, being banned from my library for being so late with returning books, and making every effort to be truthful and conscious of Australian Aboriginal historical sensitivities, the rest was a lot of fun.
After Traveller Inceptio, readers requested a sequel, something I had not planned, and Traveller Probo was the result. Now, Traveller Manifesto is about to be published and the pre-pub reads have been very promising.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have to research, a lot, and do all I can to make sure my writing is correct in its content.
Aside from writing early in the day, life for me is pretty normal, I’m sure.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love to read good science fiction and love to write the same. I accidentally immersed myself into historical fiction because that is where the story led me. I also love history, and my father is a very dedicated genealogist, so to merge the two genres was fun.
I dearly love the works of George Orwell, Colleen McCullough (The Rome Series), JK Rowling, Bernard Cornwell, Arthur C Clarke, Andy Weir, and so on. These are authors of tales of imagination, of new worlds described with not too much waffle. I especially love a clever tale. Stephen King can provide such tales as well.
Occasionally there are authors like Yann Martel (Life of PI) and Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram) where the painting of the mental picture with words can be magical. I always aspire to such a skill.
What are you working on now?
I am completing the final edit of Traveller Manifesto – my third novel, while I am writing the sequel to another story I have written. So far, I have completed six novels, three of which will be published by the end of the year. Thankfully, my marketing tests indicate the stories are enjoyable and have received very positive reviews.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I do try Social Media – I’m not sure how positive that is but I have a good number of followers.
My web site is : www.robshackleford.com
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I like to suggest:
1. Don’t give up. Finish that book! Make it your passion!
2. Be aware that writing your book is the easy part. The hardest part is getting out there, being noticed or recognised. No matter how good you are, the world will not beat a path to your door. The marketing and distribution of your work is by far the most challenging part of your author life.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t believe all you think.
What are you reading now?
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
What’s next for you as a writer?
Keep on going!
Once Traveller Manifesto is published and I am engaged in the promotion of the trilogy, seeking reviews etc etc, I have another novel that will require my attention to be edited, completed, test-read and published next year.
One must treat this as a great hobby, one I enjoy. Becoming a highly-paid, best-selling author will be a consequence.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Probably Colleen McCollough’s “First Man in Rome”
Stephen King’s “The Stand”
Gregory David Roberts’ “Shantaram”
Jerusalem – The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore