Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I live in England, United Kingdom. It was never my intention to become an author but when I heard other people’s accounts I came to appreciate my life and those of my ancestors have been anything but normal or run-of-the-mill. It was then I realised our stories should not be lost to posterity. Nevertheless, I remained reluctant for many years: I am a private person and dislike public exposure. In addition I felt and still feel embarrassed by, and ashamed of, many of the events I have endured in my life. Another factor delaying publication was I needed to provide for my son and myself and consequently worked three jobs, round the clock, seven days a week. In the process I have undertaken varied employments including laboratory assistant, night hospital orderly, machinist, barmaid, waitress and many more.
To date (November 2019) I have published three abridged memoirs, two biographical fiction novels and five biographical fiction short stories. Another two short stories are to be published soon, hopefully by year’s end. By ‘biographical fiction’ I mean stories that are partly based upon real events but, to make them more entertaining and readable, I have added a few fictional elements though in the majority these tales are true.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
‘Loving Maria’ my second novel is based upon some of my mother’s experiences. Many of the incidents really happened though I have also enhanced the read with some fictional elements. Even those reflect what my mama went through and how she, courteously and kindly, dealt with many difficult people and circumstances. I do not wish to spoil it for prospective readers by giving too much away here but suffice it to say some of the occurrences were quite frightening.
In the few, very few, years we had together, my mama and I were very close and I wish to ensure her genuine kindness, caring and all together loving nature are remembered. In addition I hope those who have experienced or are experiencing similar circumstances will find solace and help through, and in, this book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not that I am aware of. I do use a mix of pen and paper and computer when drafting a book but I do no think that is in any way unusual these days.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I do not think I have actually been ‘influenced’ by any. From the start I decided to set words out as they arose or as they reflected events in my mind’s eye. Of course, we are all different and therefore some may take to my varied styles while others will not. It is possible my enjoyment of traditional classics may have had some unconscious impact.
What are you working on now?
A complete autobiography (as apposed to a series of memoirs) and the next two short stories in my ‘Bitches’ series. I am also considering a book based upon my own experiences of authoring.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Publicity and marketing are my weak points. I shy away from ‘putting myself out there’: it just feels so rude to push things into people’s faces. I do have my own website and blog (https://trrobinsonpublications.com) though those are primarily designed to share hopefully helpful articles for fellow authors and readers. Naturally, details of my books my be found though I do not actively promote them there. I use various social media sites but again try to use these more for sharing than active promotion though as you would expect I will occasionally mention a book. As a consequence of the above I have sold very few books.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
There are so many things I could say here but will try an limit myself:
– Do not let anyone put you off: if you have a story to tell, tell it.
– Try and write everyday, it does not matter how much, one hundred words or one thousand five hundred a day will bring your book into existence. Another very important factor, especially when preparing a first draft, is just to write no matter how bad, silly or good it appears. You will make amendments and changes later in the process and will often be surprised by the quality of your writing when revisiting it.
– There is a lot more involved in authoring than just writing a manuscript but provided you take it slowly you will assimilate the information and skills.
– Do not expect your book to sell straight away. The truth is readers are not waiting for it. However, once they hear of its existence it may turn out to be a book they will be interested in.
– Perseverance is one of the most valuable tools to have in your toolkit. You will need it. There will be times when you become discouraged but push through. You will be surprised by what you can achieve.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write every day even if you do not feel like it and even if it seems to be nonsense. I am not going to discuss so called writer’s block here but if an author experiences a blockage of one sort or another, pushing through by writing something, anything, will usually overcome it. Those pieces of advice have helped me throughout my authoring career.
What are you reading now?
Normally I choose memoirs or autobiographies authored by independent authors however, at present I am reading a selection of books about the writing and publicity aspect of the authoring craft.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Good question. Of course, there are the books currently in preparation. After those, I am considering perhaps breaking into other genre because I have many story ideas from both life observations and my creative mind. I would also like to become more experienced in the publicity and marketing aspects though these will inevitably be limited due to lack of resources, but there is much an individual may undertake without making a substantial outlay.
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?
– A survival handbook: I do not have one in mind yet but perhaps something like The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne. It contains many survival ideas.
– Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: This was the first English language book I read and have always enjoyed it. Would be nice to have something distracting with me.
– Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: I just love her insights, sense of humour and realistic observances on the society of her time.
– I know it is frequently seen as a forgone but I would also like a copy of the Bible with me.
[I would like to add a word regarding my author profile image. In my books I am utterly honest and truthful about all those involved. Consequently, I consider it only right, whether they deserve it or not, to protect their identity, not just for themselves but also for their relatives, friends, and descendants. Those in-the-know would be able to easily identify me, and those I have associated with, from any photograph. This is why I choose to use the logo.]