Today we travel to the English East Midlands in the UK to chat with E.D. Robson about how having no practical skills, being a merchant navy cadet, swimming, pessimism, teaching, London, and Peak National Park come together as part of E.D.’s past and present life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 64 years old, who has lived most of his life in the English East Midlands between the cities of Derby and Nottingham (of Robin Hood fame). I may be retired; I’m not sure as my life is in a state of flux at the moment. Over the years I have held a number of jobs the most recent of which are associated with teaching and training. I pride myself that I can do anything which requires absolutely no practical ability (I’m not exaggerating, I am a total disaster at any practical skill). I would like to concentrate on my writing and have decided that having self-published five books, I can now describe myself as an author (a childhood dream).
In which genre do you write?
To date, I write what I would describe as light-hearted fantasy/Syfy under the pen-name of E. D. Robson, plus a memoir of my life as a young merchant navy cadet in the 1970s under my own name.
How many published books do you have?
I currently have five books published.
Three in ‘The Irrelevant One Saga’ series about an incompetent super being (and former Mesopotamian minor goddess) and her brother-in-law, the world’s only person with no purpose.
The first book in the ‘Alien Librarian’ series.
The memoir mentioned above.
What are you currently reading?
‘Covet’ by Rachel Harley; a psychological thriller about a young woman whose life is almost totally destroyed by another woman she only knows slightly from work. Not my usual sort of story, it caught my attention in an Amazon ad and I’m really enjoying it.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
Until the onset of the current pandemic, I used to go swimming regularly at my local pool. I look forward to resuming this activity as soon as possible before all my clothes burst. I am also an occasional visitor to local pubs for lunch and a pint or two of craft/real ales. Very occasionally I go walking in local beauty spots and would like to do more. Also, since becoming an author I have greatly increased my own fiction reading. I have always read, but for many years fiction took second place to studying as a hobby. I never attended university in my younger days (only five percent of my generation in the UK did) but subsequently got the bug for part-time and distance learning, obtaining 3 degrees plus other, mainly teaching qualifications along the way. I have always been interested in current affairs and the social sciences, although I also studied some science, history and mathematics. I regularly attend psychology conferences staged by an organisation called OUPS and occasionally give talks on modern history subjects to a discussion group I am a member of.
You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What do you do to prepare yourself?
I don’t! Well into my teens I was painfully shy with people I didn’t know and I absolutely hated having to read or sing out loud. Then, quite suddenly I developed what I can only describe as an over-inflated opinion of myself. By this, I don’t mean I thought that I was better at things then other people, I see myself as a serial failure in life and as previously stated, the most impractical person ever (I have a lifetime’s evidence to prove these statements). It’s just that I decided that it didn’t matter. I don’t know where this confidence came from, I just seemed to grow into it.
What do you miss about being a kid?
At this stage in your life, what advice would your young self give to your more mature self?
Remember, you used to say that if the world isn’t going to end, don’t worry. There are no personal disasters, only adventures. Grow up and stop being so immature.
A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?
Penguin – I’m looking for work, can you help?
Me – A talking penguin in a sombrero, this is fantastic! I’ve no work for you, have you considered the circus?
Penguin – Don’t be ridiculous; what would the circus want with a Spanish translator.
(Not an original joke by me (the original is funnier), just a modification of one that’s stuck with me).
Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?
Pessimism – I’m pleasantly surprised more often than I’m disappointed.
What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
While I realise many people dislike big cities, my first choice would be London (although the Peak National Park, close to where I live is a close second). My father was born in central London but I had only visited it for days out or when passing through until about ten years ago when one of my sons moved there for work. He now (conveniently for me) has his own flat fairly centrally. I drive down about twice a year to explore the museums and art galleries, plus attending the occasional concert or comedy show.
What are you currently working on?
Book 2 in the Alien Librarian series, probably to be called ‘Monika saves the Universe’ in which Monika travels to the planet of Atlantis (yes, that much used name again, as Monika points out) where their ideas of democracy and the perfect society are stuck in the past, especially regarding women and slaves. This results in a Marxist revolution (‘Doctor Zhivago’ meets ‘The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ in a much shorter and light-hearted way).
I also have ideas for different genres of both fiction and non-fiction in due course.
Tell us about your most recent book.
Monika with a ‘K’ saves the World: Book 1 in the Alien Librarian series.
Monika, a librarian in a small English town, wakes up naked in a dentist’s chair having been kidnapped by rodent alien invaders who have mistaken her for a world-famous American of the same name. She escapes, stealing a coat from a charity shop on route and gets arrested for shop lifting. Things go downhill from there.
It was great having you on MTA, E.D. Robson! Wishing you all the best! – Camilla
Where to find the book:
Connect with E.D. Robson:
Web site/blog: https://denisscottauthor.com/
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: E D Robson@Scruffyhat
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