It’s always nice to welcome an author to chat in the Meet My Book feature. Today we welcome Robert Schofield – here on the release day of his new book, which makes his visit extra special. Welcome Robert!
1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.
Title: Marble Bar
Publication Date: June 26 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
2. Why did you write the book?
Marble Bar is the sequel to my first novel: Heist. It was part of a two-book deal with my publishers, who were adamant that they wanted a sequel, set in Western Australia, with the same protagonists. Who was I to argue?
3. How long from idea to publication?
When I was negotiating the two-book contract, my publisher asked how long I had taken to write my first book. Wanting to sound nonchalant, I told them I had knocked it out in 18 months. This was a mistake, because it was a loaded question. They then assumed that I could write the second one in the same period, and wrote a delivery date into the contract. I’d never written to a deadline before, and it was difficult with that weight on my shoulders, but I delivered. It was another six months between delivering the manuscript and publication, so two years in total.
4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?
It was the Difficult Second Novel. As well as the deadline hanging over me, I had to prove that the first novel was not a fluke. If you’ve poured everything into your first novel, what can be left for the second? It’s only natural that on the second visit to the well, you might find that it’s gone dry. This of course is why publishers offer two-book deals. They understand that it is the second book that separates the professional from the dilettante.
5. Coolest thing about your book?
My book isn’t cool, it’s smoking hot. It’s set in the hottest town in Australia, and the cover says ‘Welcome to Hell’. With my first book, I had no input into the choice of title and the design of the cover, but with Marble Bar my publisher kept my title and used my photographs on the cover, so I guess that’s pretty cool.
6. Something you learnt through writing the book?
I wrote my first book in complete freedom, with no expectation of publication. It was just something to keep a restless mind occupied. The second one had a whole lot more riding on it, and I had to learn a different approach. It taught me discipline.
7. What will you do to celebrate the release?
We will be celebrating the publication at Planet Books, Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley on Friday 27th June from 7:00pm.
My friends Malcolm Dix and Sean Gorman will be officiating and entertaining.
8. And how will you promote the book?
Promotion of the book is in the hands of the lovely Lara, who is my publicist at Allen & Unwin. She will present me with a list of media interviews after the launch.
I have a series of events planned at libraries around Perth, generously supported by Dymocks Bookshops:
Gosnells Knowledge Centre: Sat July 5th 10:30am
Fremantle Library: Thurs July 10th 6:30pm
Karrinyup Library: Weds July 16th 6:30pm
9. What are you working on next?
I’m currently working on a sequel, the final part of the trilogy, which I am doing as part of a Doctorate in Creative Writing at Curtin University. As if I hadn’t got enough on my plate working full time and wrangling three kids, I thought I’d set myself another challenge.
10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?
My website is: robertschofieldauthor.com
My publisher’s site is:
Thanks for dropping in Robert – and congratulations on the book!