1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
Hi there, my name is Rob Radcliffe (which you probably guessed) although I also write under the name R.J.Radcliffe, and when I'm not busy with the scribbles I can be found either reading or watching just about anything on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I have two little people who need to be kept alive too, so they take up plenty of time as they don't seem to be going anywhere any time soon. I've tried teaching them about having their own independence but they're reluctant to move out just yet. What can you do? At 8 and 11 they want me to treat them as grown ups but won't meet me half way???
2. When and why did you start writing books?
I started writing books when I was 15 years old. Although that's a lie and there is evidence of me writing stories when I was 8 or 9 years old, 15 was when I finished my first novel...which was a bad Jack Higgins rip off. I then went on to write two more Jack Higgins rip offs before beginning to read just about every book I could get my hands on, in every genre too. This opened my eyes to the possibilities of perhaps not writing any more bad Jack Higgins rip offs, and I began to find my writing voice.
3. What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
I've always wanted to be a writer and so I've always written. When I was approaching 30 years old I found, although I loved writing my novels, I wasn't doing anything with them once finished and so I started looking into the publishing process. After a couple of rounds of rejection letters from literary agents I found an indie community and took a few courses which taught me exactly what this new wave of writers doing it themselves was. Since then I never looked back and dove into this career head first. There have been a lot of bumps along the road. I have made every single mistake in the book (excuse the pun) but being indie means you have that direct line to your readers which is fantastic.
4. Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
I have two favourites. Barman, which is book 5 in my Lad-Lit Series (written under the Rob Radcliffe name), I love because of the way I set the book out. It is about a man ending his life and the reader doesn't quite know why and what happened to him for this to be the only way. The following chapter is a few months before and the character is in a different head space. The chapters leap frog each other all the way through (chapters 1, 3, 5 etc character ending his life while chapters 2, 4, 6 etc is the lead up towards it). The reason I love this book is because the ending...which in a sense is the middle of the story from his point of view...always catches the reader of guard, and I've been told has had a few people in tears. Lovely! My second favourite is Divine (written under my R.J.Radcliffe pen name). It took 5 years to write, it was a completely alien and new and exciting genre that I was writing in (Urban Fantasy/Time travel Sci-Fi) and I had a blast being out of my comfort zone and creating this world. I have since written two other books in The Divine Chronicles, book 1 - Guardian and book 3 - Healer, and plan many more.
5. Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
The most difficult book I have written in Divine. It took 5 years to write from start to finish, there was a lot of research involved which was great, but it slowed the words down. The story has 4 characters whose lives are entwined, there is time travel in there, and it meant, because I didn't plot it, I would sometimes get a little lost, writing in glaring plot holes without realising it, forgetting which character I was writing...Oh it was a nightmare and editing it afterwards was also pretty trying. But that's what you get when you jump into a new genre with four points of view and not a single story thread plotted out. By the end of writing Divine it really felt like an achievement to be able to say to myself, "This monster is now done, go and write something a little more light hearted. It is finished."
6. Who is your favourite author and book?
That is a tough one. My favourite authors at the moment are Claire North and Matt Haig, I love all of their respective books. My favourite book ever is The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
7. What book are you reading right now?
I have just finished reading Touch, by Claire North
8. Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
I'm inspired by the books I read, the things I watch on tv. A conversation in the pub can inspire me, or something funny one of the kids say can inspire me to add it into a chapter, or build a chapter around the conversation. A lot of my comedy/satire stuff is inspired by the kids and just day to day life.
9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy going out singing karaoke, reading, watching stand up comedy, and coming up with ideas for new You Tube videos on my channel.
10. Do you have any new books in the works?
Now there's a question. I currently have 8 books in various stages of "in the works". One day I'll whittle that number down to just 1 or 2...one day...