Rob lives in Reading in the UK and has previously been published in a number of print and online magazines including Perihelion, Shoreline of Infinity and Daily Science Fiction.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I’ve always written short stories for as long as I can remember so I don’t really know why I started. When I was working I had very little time to write and managed only one sale back in 1998. I was lucky enough to get early retirement at the end of 2010 and since then I’ve been writing a lot more with over 30 sales. It’s a great hobby.
What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
If you have something you think is good – keep persevering with it. I once had a story rejected after just 3 hours but it was eventually accepted by another publisher.
Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
The Submission Grinder is an excellent site for finding markets and keeping track of your submissions.
Do you favor the traditional route or self-publishing?
I do like to know that an independent editor thinks a story is worth publishing and is prepared to pay money for it! Having said that, I have self-published a small book of Drabbles but about a third of them had been previously published elsewhere so I felt that was a measure of validation. With first novels, it is so difficult to find publishers or agents that I think new writers mostly have no choice but to self-publish.
Are you an outliner or discovery writer? Or somewhere in between?
Most of my stories are flash pieces so I usually have them fully formed in my head before writing a first draft. However, I do also get opening lines popping into my thoughts which I then write down and stare at and a story starts to develop. This happened with an “Every Day Fiction” piece called “A Fresh Start” where the opening line was: “What about a rabbit?”
How do you deal with rejections?
It’s always a disappointment, of course, especially if the piece has been out with a particular publisher for a long time. However, you do sometimes get some feedback and that can be very helpful. If you like the story – try another market.
Do you ever get criticism from family or friends who don’t understand your passion?
I rarely show anything to family or friends before a publication acceptance. Once it’s been published I don’t care if they criticise it – the editor liked it!
Do you participate in any online or in-person critique or writing groups?
No. I would like to but I find it very difficult to analyse what I like or dislike about a particular story so I would feel very guilty at getting useful comments back from others while not being able to help them much in return.
What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I hope I will continue to get ideas for further short stories. I’m also constantly tinkering with a humorous ‘novel’ that I originally wrote about 25 years ago so I may get that into a final form.
Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
Some of my work can be found on my Amazon author page at:
Keep an eye out there for that humorous novel!