I love Interviewing success stories
here on “A living series talk” because I believe aspiring writers can learn from their journeys.
And Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing ‘Robert Harrison’ Author of –
“The Curious Profession of Dr Craven“
A professor and Sweet Regency and historical romance writer.
Hi Rob, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a full professor of computer science at a university, which must not be named, in Atlanta. I use the precious time I have that isn’t involved in writing papers, developing algorithms and tormenting graduate students for writing. It’s something I came to quite late, having been thoroughly convinced in school that I should not, could not, and dare not write. I was seriously upset by university politics, and dashed off a short, eminently forgettable, vampire story set at my university (the administrators were all vampires or vampire want-to-be’s – though maybe this was a non-fiction book after all) It was a blast to write, and the rest, as they say, was history.
I thoroughly enjoy the sweet literary sort of romance stories, Austen, Heyer and that lot. P.G. Wodehouse, Tom Sharpe and other British humorists are another literary influence. I also enjoy the “harder” sort of science fiction. Although I enjoy Tolkien and Lewis’s work, pure fantasy leaves me cold. Actually, I’m a pretty omnivorous reader.
What I’ve written most successfully are sweet Regency and historical romances. I have trouble coloring between the lines and writing straight genre fiction. There’s always an element of something else in what I put together. I pride myself on thorough historical research.
For what it matters, I’m a light-weight backpacker, happiest in the woods. My Philmont base-weight was about 18 pounds. I have two boys, of college age, and am happily married to another scientist. She also writes, but in a different style.
That’s a great intro Rob and I’m pleased to have you with me here, continuing further our talk let our readers know which writers inspires you?
P.G. Wodehouse. Light, entertaining and utterly hilarious. Many of his earliest works are available on project Gutenberg so that his development as an author is there for the world to see. He didn’t start out a great writer, but systematically developed his skill. Of course, in his case, it was anything to avoid being posted to Shanghai with what is now HSBC.
Thanks for sharing this thoughts about P.G. Wodehous with our readers Rob, and I’m sure they’re now excited to know what have you written?
The Curious Profession of Dr. Craven is the first I’ve written for a publisher. I have 8 or so other novels or novelettes written under different pen-names, which, for the moment, will remain a secret.
Hmm… Secrets great!
Let’s move on further to our conversation, so tell us about what’s your writing schedule? You write full-time or part-time?
Part-time, with an eye to becoming full-time.
Well said Rob, do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
My usual goal is to writing in the morning before the commute, and then in the afternoon after I get back from work. It gives me about 3-4 hours of time per day.
That’s quite a writing creativity we got to know today about you Rob.
write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
A laptop, actually my favourite is a Mint Linux running on a Lenovo.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I end up doing a bit of both. If I make too long or detailed an outline, the characters usually let me know that they don’t like it and go off on their own. Or worse they refuse to speak to me. On the other hand, if I don’t have any idea of the story, then it is very difficult to write a coherent story. I’ll often write a set of short sketches to set the tone and colour of my work. Then I’ll develop these into a more complete story and eventually a novel.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Suppressing that inner critic. There is always this leap of faith that what you’re banging together will actually be good.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It depends on what “How Long” means. The actual writing takes between one and three months. However, I’ve found that I will often start a project, decide that it is seriously ill-formed, and return to it later. One book I have sitting in the hopper at Booktrope took a year to finish and looks almost nothing like its first draft.
Yes Rob, I do agree writing depends on ‘how long’ means and do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I read quite a bit. I’m afraid that my favourite authors are mostly old and dead. Authors like Georgette Heyer, P.G. Wodehouse, Mark Twain and Tom Sharpe. Living authors include C.J. Cherryh, Larry Niven, and Ann Rice. Since most of what I write is set in and around the Regency, Jane Austen is a must-read. I’ll also read primary sources and contemporary fiction (e.g. 1800’s fiction) to catch some of the voice of the times. I don’t pretend that I get it absolutely right, but it helps. It also allows me to pull out historical details that have been forgotten and are sometimes important to understand what is actually happening at the time.
Well catching the voice of times it sounds a great choice that you read a lot of contemporary fiction. What are your future projects?
My latest, “The Art of Deception (Pride and Extreme Prejudice) was just accepted at Booktrope. It’s a spy story and sweet romance set in 1805.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Can you give a Sneak peek of “The Curious Profession of Dr Richard Craven.”
Dr Richard Craven is an ethical doctor, but he has one choice, to nurse a lost girl back to health and restore her to her family. That’s when his troubles start.
She can’t remember anything, only her first name, and she isn’t sure about that. As his household helps her to recover her strength and her memories trickle, then flood back, their mutual attraction buds into a flowing passion.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Certainly I’m glad to share the links below for more information on my Books, Social media.
Amazon Author Page:
Book links: Amazon
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Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule and being a part of-
A living series talk.
It’s My Pleasure!
Thank you for having me here.