Monday, November 20, 2017

A Bookish Conversation with Crime Thriller Author Robert Parker

Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to ManchesterUK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.

His latest book is the crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

All sorts! I have two young kids and a third due any time now, and they keep me very busy! Aside from trying to be as active a father as I can be, I box regularly to raise money for Cancer Research UK, training 6 days a week. After 3 fight camps in a row, I’m having a little break from the fights themselves at the moment but I’m still training. I’m aiming to step back into the ring in March 2018.

When did you start writing?

When I was 6, I remember wanting to write books and stories and would do so any time I could. I then picked up scriptwriting when I was 17, before coming back to writing prose at 29. That’s when I started writing novels.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

The first conversation with Linda Langton, my agent. Changed everything in an instant, and hers was the first voice in the publishing industry that told me there was something there in my work and that I should keep writing and press forward. I’ll never forget it.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Somewhere with water. It just drags my blood pressure right down, as soon as I see it. Give me anywhere with a big quiet lake or river and a decent pub and I’d be very happy.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Be cheeky and ask for another 4! There just isn’t enough hours in the day for everything I want to do in life, but I’m going to push it has hard as I can.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

New York. I’ve been once and was so seduced by the variety, the sense of opportunity, the spirit, the scale. I am enamoured by it, but I’ll need to go a few more times before I can write about it – I full underqualified to commit everything that New York is and represents to page!

Back to your present book, A Wanted Man, how did you publish it?

It was published by Endeavour Press, after I originally self-published it 4 years ago. I’ve rewritten it over 40 times to get to this stage, to get a publisher to say yes!

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

It is set in Manchester, UK, my home city, so aside from living there and interacting with it daily, I luckily didn’t have to do anything special. I think it’s an amazing city that lends itself so wonderfully to storytelling, so much so that every location in the book is real, and only the odd street name and pub name has been changed.

Why was writing A Wanted Man so important to you?

I’m not precious about any of my work, but I’m very influenced by certain topics which play a big part in the story of A Wanted Man. I’m very inspired by the works of our armed forces, and the sacrifices they have made in recent combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. I respect them hugely, and I often wonder what it would be like to go to war, grow up during said war, then come home to a country that is much changed. I felt like telling a story like that was important to me, because I feel like a lot of people take their sacrifices for granted. 

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

A very simple answer is ‘life’. It might sound a bit grand, but just ‘living’ tends to supply all the inspiration I’m after. If you’re looking for inspiration: Just live a good varied life, day to day. Go out and embrace stuff, do things you’ve never done before, go places you’d never picture yourself visiting. The world is mad enough all by itself.

Any final words?

Never give up. Whatever it is you want to do, you can do it. You’re the only voice that says you can’t. Ignore it, and get at it. Two hands.

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