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Robert Appleton eBooks
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Robert Appleton eBooks

Robert Appleton is a native of Bolton, England. He is an award-winning writer of science fiction, steampunk and historical fiction.

In his previous lives, Robert served (smuggled) popcorn in a cinema, mis-filed much as a public servant, and walked away with a Film Studies degree. He has visited America, Greece, Spain, Scotland and other alien planets.

In addition to writing, Robert enjoys football, kayaking, and especially going to the cinema. His favourite writers include H. Rider Haggard, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Patrick O'Brian, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Richard Matheson, Ian Fleming, Evelyn Waugh, Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Alfred Bester.

Interview with Robert Appleton

If you had the opportunity to live on another planet, would you?

Absolutely. That would be the ultimate adventure, to build a new civilization from scratch on a new planet—but I’d have to be able to return to visit this one whenever I wanted. What can I say, I need my Sunday roast dinners. And I’d want to be in charge of immigration. Jennifer Love Hewitt lookalikes only allowed.

How do you feel about taking no for an answer?

I don’t mind hearing no for an answer, but you should know I’m going to find a way around it. Somehow. Blackmailing will be involved. 

Had you always wanted to be a writer?

Not really, no. I’d always excelled at it in school and college, but no one ever presented it as a viable career option. I hate that about the education system. Artistic talents should be nurtured and encouraged, not treated like token extras on a CV. After university, where I studied Film, I endured several unfulfilling years in jobs that meant nothing to me. I’d still be there now if I hadn’t, almost whimsically, sat down one day to write an Edgar Rice Burroughs style prologue to a grand time travel adventure. The prose was purple and the font Blackadder, but it ignited my imagination in a way that made everything else I was doing in my life at the time seem aimless and prosaic. I’d needed that spark. And I’m thankful I found it as early as I did. Some writers find it late in life, while others never find it.

Do you ever write while intoxicated?

No. I’m a good buoy...I mean boy. :hiccup:

What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have a work set schedule? What are your surroundings?

I tend to get most of my writing done late at night when the rest of the world’s asleep, and during the day I plan, outline, edit, promote, and go on the occasional bike ride. I don’t have a set work schedule, but I find it best to read a chapter of a quality novel just before I start writing, to get the creative juices flowing. Right now it’s Patrick O’Brian. I’m tucked away in a quiet corner, surrounded by a library of books and DVDs, so inspiration is all around if I need it.

Did you ever read a book and then wish you had all that time back?

I generally don’t finish books if they become a chore, but a couple of romance novels I forced myself to finish last year were brain-stewingly trite. And I was a judge on a book contest a while back. Apart from one outstanding dark fantasy novel, they were all stupefying reads, some of them epics. I wish I had those weeks back.

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your writing career?

The idea of a writing career being a business first and foremost. That took me a while to come to grips with because at first I was just glad to be published, and I wasn’t scrutinizing my publishers’ practices objectively. Blindly loyal is as good a way to put it as any. They were conducting; I was playing along. And that’s not a smart place for a writer to be in. You need to be vigil and read a variety of author blogs and forums, not just what your own publisher tells you. There are all kinds of opportunities out there. If you think you can do better elsewhere, go for it; don’t get stuck on one publisher because you’d feel disloyal by leaving. All publishers are there to make as big a profit as they can. So must I.

Do you base characters on real people you have known?

Not really. Maybe facets of them, like a particular look or behavioural quirk, but on the whole they grow out of the universe I’ve created for the story. Curiously enough, and quite unconsciously, the last few heroines I’ve written have borne a striking resemblance to Jennifer Love Hewitt. Ian Fleming did that a lot in his Bond books—wrote variations on his ideal woman. I guess it’s a tough mould to break.

What do you think of eBooks? Do you support digital publishing?

One-hundred percent! And I support print publishing one-hundred percent. They’re just alternatives to delivering the same product. No need for an either/or attitude. I do think eBooks have loosened the traditional publishers’ stranglehold on what’s seen as viable for publication. All sorts of weird and wonderful niche sub-genres that never would have had a chance before the advent of eBooks are now seeing traction in the digital sphere, and that can only be a good thing. I own a Kindle e-reader and it’s great. I find it much easier to take chances on genres or authors I probably wouldn’t read in print, simply because of space and cost. An e-reader is an entire library in the palm of your hand. That’s a magical thing.

eBooks found: 1
The Basingstoke Chronicles PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Robert Appleton
The Basingstoke Chronicles
Robert Appleton
Uncial Press, September 2009
ISBN: 9781601740779
Format: PDF
List Price: $5.99 Our price: $4.99