Hello and welcome to another Fab Friday Authors, this week we have a terrific author and very lovely friend of mine (I am proud to say).
Mr Bob Atkinson editor extraordinaire and author of my favourite novel, ‘The Last Sunset!’
RWM – “Hi Bob so can you tell me what your current genre is and what made you choose this subject?”
BA – “My novel “The Last Sunset” contains elements of the supernatural, science fiction and history. I enjoy reading books in these genres so I suppose I wrote the book I would most like to read.”
RWM – “Thank goodness you did, I have read this book 4 times now and as of yet have not found one to match it. Can you tell me about your current book or work about?”
BA -“The Last Sunset” is a romantic, time-travel adventure set primarily during the Scottish Jacobite rebellion of 1746. The story concerns a rag-tag group of unwitting time-travellers, who find themselves caught up in an eighteenth century massacre. Can they change the past and so avert a future nuclear holocaust?”
RWM- “It’s just so gripping, so tell us about your favourite author? Can you recommend one of their books?”
BA – “There are a number of excellent independently-published books available now. Some of them are as good as anything you’ll find on the high street. I’m also a huge fan of the late great Ray Bradbury. Some of his stories are perhaps a little dated now, but his prose remains unique. He was a wonderfully expressive writer. Any would-be author could do a lot worse for themselves than invest in a book of his short stories.”
RWM – “I will have to look up his work, I don’t mind dated. How long have you been writing?”
BA – “Most of my adult life. When I was in the army I would alleviate the boredom by writing poems and short stories. Some of the poems were published in books that have long passed out of print.”
RWM – “Here’s a difficult question for most people, can you tell us about one of your pet hates?”
BA – “I really dislike religious fundamentalists. Not just the kind who fly planes into buildings, but the teachers; the imams and priests who stunt the natural development of young, enquiring minds. Such people train children to believe that all of life’s answers can be found in one book. One book should barely contain all the questions posed by a healthy, inquisitive mind.”
RWM – “You should watch a film called ‘The book of Eli!’ I have no problem with religions myself, but do agree that some of the teachings are way too much, killing in the name of seems way over the top to me. So, tell me a quality you really like about yourself?”
BA – “I like the fact that I’ve never lost my sense of wonder. Whether it’s exploring old ruins, or breaking open rocks to find the remains of creatures that haven’t seen the light of day in millions of years, or simply gazing up at the night sky.
Our grandchildren live in Glasgow and recently they had the chance to see a starry sky here in the Highlands. At their first ever sight of the Milky Way all three said “Wow!” I knew at that moment a seed had been planted.
We also took them ghost hunting in the ruins of a thirteenth century castle, but that’s another story altogether.”
RWM – “LOL, that’s fabulous. I love taking my grandchildren off on adventures when I can, it’s just great to keep their little minds ticking, thinking of the wonders they have before them. Teaching them to appreciate all they have around them is very important. What do you hope to achieve in your life from your writing?”
BA – “Initially I just wanted to see my book in print. I think, like most writers, I wanted my work to be recognised. Certainly I get more pleasure reading a good review than from cashing any paycheque. Anyone who writes with the expectation of making a living out of it is likely to become seriously disillusioned.”
RWM – “I agree there are way too many choices now for readers; they can’t possibly read them all. Yes money isn’t everything and as you say the days of making a fortune in writing are perhaps a rarity or a privilege now. What is your favourite work? What is its link so that people can buy it? Tell me about it and why you believe people should buy it.
BA – “Two more novels are currently in the pipeline, but “The Last Sunset” will always be my favourite. As one reviewer said:-
“I was thrilled to find that the author has taken physically diminutive female characters and armed them with a feistiness that would make any Redcoat think twice! Overall, I would highly recommend this novel for all ages and both sexes, if you like action it’s there in bucket loads, if you have a soft spot for romance, it’s there too.”
The book is available from:- Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. It’s also for sale in paperback at a number of outlets in Fort William.”
RWM – So you heard it here fans of ‘The Last Sunset’ this is not the last we have heard of Bob Atkinson’s work, which I have to say made me smile. So tell me Bob, do you believe that big authors can charge too much for their books?
BA – “Perhaps they do, however I think it’s more a question of how little a customer has to pay for some of the wonderful independent titles that are available at present. It’s like football; there’s a huge disparity between the earnings in the premier league and those in the lower divisions. Yet there’s not that much difference in the quality of the product.”
RWM – “Mmm, again you make a good point, but people who write for themselves aren’t that bothered about what they make, just the numbers who buy them and without being Stephen King, people have to take our word we are good. I guess that’s why we sit waiting to be discovered and others just jump the queue, which is something our big publishing houses are excellent at doing. Tell me a little about yourself. What made you become an author, and do you have a job besides writing?”
BA – “I’m a 62 year old, retired, happily married father of three, and grandfather of three, who loves nothing better than to tramp the Highland hills. I live in an area that is not only stunningly beautiful, but is also incredibly rich in history. Within a twenty mile radius of here lie five historical battlefields. On many hilltops can be found the ruins of ancient forts that were built before the time of Christ.
Inhabited for thousands of years, many of the glens lie empty now cleared of people during the evictions of the 19th century.
In such places the past really does hang heavy.
I think “The Last Sunset” was my way of repopulating the empty glens; relighting the peat fires in the ruined houses, as it were.”
RWM – “Wow Bob you are a lucky man. Can I just finish by saying thanks so much for joining us here today and I am so grateful to have you as a friend. So here is the link for Bobs book on Amazon, it’s available in Paperback and on Kindle.”
This book has a whopping 24 reviews on UK’s amazon.
And 35 reviews in USA
Thanks once again Bob for your time, it has been a pleasure to talk to you today.