Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to Manchester, UK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.
His latest book is the crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.
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We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?
Thank you for having me! I started off writing bad screenplays when I was 16, then work and business took over. I came back writing when I turned 30, and realized I loved writing prose again, and took it from there. I’d always loved stories, and wrote constantly as a child and well into my teens – so to write full time now is just a total dream.
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
I have no set plan, just a bare structure of scenes I want to get to. I rarely ever know the ending when I start (unless it was the scene that came into my hard which started the whole process). I never know who the murderer is, I never really know what the characters will be like. I just start and go! I tend to write whenever occasion allows, all manner of day or night, and strive to write 2000 words a day.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Sure, it’s ‘A Wanted Man’ and is published by Endeavour Press. It was originally set to be ebook only, but a strong performance has seen it granted a print run, which is scheduled for this Christmas. It is about a soldier who is sent home from Afghanistan to a country he feels he can’t relate to, and soon lands himself in trouble. Redemption is his goal, but it isn’t going to come easy.
How did you get the idea for the book?
I have a number of acquaintances who are soldiers, and did exactly the same thing – come back from war. Seeing what it did to them, the sacrifices they made, how they were just expected to fit right back in at home… it just galvanized a part of me that didn’t like the injustice of it all.
Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Well, it would be very easy to say that my protagonist, the soldier Ben Bracken is my favourite, but in this book I really like the avuncular old criminal mastermind Felix Davison. He is a serpent in the shape of a kindly grandfather. I love that mishmash of evil in a sweet package.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
The 46 rewrites. Sometimes, it would be to chop 20,000 words. Sometimes, it would be merely to add 7. It was a long process which took two and a half years, but one I wouldn’t change for the world. I grew up so much doing it.
What projects are you currently working on?
Well, the second and third Ben Bracken books are already written and news of their release should come soon. Further to that, my standalone novel ‘Crook’s Hollow’ is scheduled for release in March 2018, so I’ve got my hands full putting the promotional plans in place at present! I’m about a third of the way through another standalone, so when I get to sit and write again, it will be that. I can not wait.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
Don’t give up until you get there. You can do it. Listen to others, manage your aspirations, don’t be precious and fight your corner. Believe in yourself and don’t let criticism bother you – use it to improve. And make sure you enjoy yourself.
Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.
Not by the front door.
With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.
Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.
No one to keep him steady.
No one to stop his cause…
The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place.
Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in London.
But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.
Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.
In the process, he descends into the fold of Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…
This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages. Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.