Q&A Interview with Robin Roughley

Most of you all know by now that I post a regular Q&A author interview up on my blog every week. I am delighted to welcome Robin Roughley to take part this week. Robin has been a very supportive follower of my interviews. I have to say what a fabulous change this is for me to Interview Robin this week lol. So without further ado…….I would like to welcome Mr Robin Roughley

Morning thank you for joining me this morning
Hello, Shell, and thank you for having me.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
My name is Robin Roughley and I was born and live in Wigan, which isn’t as bad as you would imagine. I have been writing full time for around three years now. Before that I drove trucks for a living tramping up and down the country and thinking up plots for the book I was hoping to write.

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I always wanted to be a writer; however, I was rubbish at school and had problems with both reading and writing. I left with very little in the way of qualifications so writing books seemed like a pipe dream. This was pre home computers and companies like Amazon didn’t exist so I moved to truck driving simple because it was a job that didn’t require me to do lots of paperwork.
During this time I wrote four plays that could be classed as dark comedies two of which were performed script in hand at the Contact Theatre in Manchester.
Eventually I took the plunge, bought a computer and started to use that rather than working long hand. I wrote The Needle House and tried the usual route of sending it out to agents with very little joy.
Then Amazon came along which allowed a writer to get their work out there and hopefully sell a few copies. This coincided with me being made redundant so I decided to try to write full time and I am still here which is a miracle in itself.  

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
I write crime thrillers set in the Wigan area and featuring DS Lasser. Initially I had no idea who the audience would be and if I am honest The Needle House started life as a paranormal rather than crime thriller. Half way through I realised it wasn’t working, DS Lasser had put in an appearance on page seventy so I dragged him kicking and screaming to the start of the book and it suddenly made sense. I would say that the vast majority of my readers are female and voracious readers, which is brilliant. The fact that they seem to love the books is even better.

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I knew that to make this work I would have to write the novels as quickly as possible. After all the years of truck driving I had plenty of ideas to work with. I tend to write every day, at first I would write as much as I could but now I stick to two and a half thousand words a day and then edit the day’s writing. First draft takes twelve weeks and then I send it off to be proof-read and start on the next one. By the time it comes back I am normally half way through, so I stop for a couple of weeks to work on the draft and off it goes again and I get back to work on the new one. This way when one is complete, edited and proof-read I have another ready to go.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
To be honest they are all fictional I don’t even have faces to put to the characters they remain fairly vague which seems to work for me. I think this helps the reader as they can fill in the gaps and imagine the characters as they see them not as I have written them. I have asked the readers who they would like to play Lasser and the responses have been very varied which shows that the readers each have their own picture in their head as to who would suit the role.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
Not that I can think of, I tend to write about things that affect me in some way. This can be something I read or watch on the television and normally it involves an injustice. This can then find its way into the book as I try to put it right, to take the injustice and dish out retribution to the perpetrator. Bit sad really and helps no one but there you go.

What research do you do?
As little as possible, I have one or two ex police officers I can call on for advice though to be honest I find research hard work and avoid it if I can.
I can appreciate that in some genres, it is essential but I just want to tell a story that hopefully engages the reader and takes them on a ride that they love. Besides, I have read one or two books and it is as if the writer has spent so much time on research that they are determined to get it in there even if it doesn’t really fit.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I think Phil Rickman is a fantastic writer, plus he comes from Wigan so we would understand one another which helps.

What’s your favourite book?
December by Phil Rickman, brilliant book and unique, if you were to read the blurb you would be left with a frown on your face. Ten pages in and you are gripped.

What’s your favorite food?
I come from Wigan so it would have to be anything that you can wrap in a pie crust.

What’s your favorite film?
Publication day April 15th
This is sad but I love the film The Holiday.

What’s your favorite song?
Forget Me Not- Roy Harper.

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?

Thank you Robin for joining me today it’s made a change to see you answering the questions instead of commenting on my posts. I really appreciate your support and feedback.

It’s been a real pleasure Shell. I like nothing better than taking about myself ha ha

2 thoughts on “Q&A Interview with Robin Roughley

  1. Thanks Shell this was a really interesting interview. Have always wanted to know a bit more about Robin.I've read The Needle House and really enjoyed it and have 5 more to read but now need to maroon myself on a desert island with my Kindle to get chance to read them all!


  2. Love this, Robin. One of my books was performed on stage at the Birmingham Rep. There's nothing quite like it for inspiring you to write on. Love your attitude, too. You are obviously a storyteller. 🙂 Have to agree about the character descriptions. The reader has their own picture in mind and if you've engaged them enough to be doing the picturing, you've done your job. Well done and best of luck! x


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