Featured Interview With Robert Bartram
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in Edmonton, London, but I speant several of my early years living in Cornwall. I now live in Hertfordshire, where I’ve speant the best part of my life.
Apart from writing, I’m interested in collecting antiques (mostly books) going to the theatre and eating out.
I’m passionate about history, particularly women in war situations, which is reflected in my books. I’ve had a variety of jobs, including Typewriter mechanic, Health shop Manager and Taxidermist, yes, you read that correctly. Writing has always been at the centre of my life. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than by creating worlds populated by exciting characters.
I’m a single semi-domesticated male and I guess that’s the way it’ll stay.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. I’ve first began writing at the age of seventeen. I experimented with various types of genre, including science fiction and horror, with little success. Believe it or not science fiction wasn’t very popular in those days. Not until “Star wars” turned it around.
Funnily enough it was writing science fiction that first got me published. I sent a few of my short stories to an agent. She refused them and suggested I try romance. After a few trys, she finally accepted my work and I was published.
By combining that with my love of history, I finally found my preferred genre, historical romance.
My first novel “Dance the Moon Down”, was set against the background of the First World War. I perfer a strong female protagonist as my lead character. There were some reservations amoungst reviewers about a man writing about women. Would it be authentic? Well, after more than thirty five star reviews and being voted book of the month on “Wall To Wall” books, I guess they’ve changed their minds.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Writers like Herman Melville. He was so ahead of his time and so unappreciated in his own time. The psycological themes in “Moby Dick” are outstanding.
Ernest Hemmingway is another. His understated style of writing packs a real punch.
I must also mention Shakespear, not that I compare myself to him in any way at all, but his ability to create both colourful and memoreable characters is well worth studying. Also he’s written some of the finest love scenes in all of litriture.
Perversely, one of my favourite genres is ghost stories. I love them, it’s pure escapism. Strangely enough, I’ve never tried to write one.
I suppose I’ve been influenced by just about everything I’ve read, but above all I have to say that it’s
life and living it, that has had the greatest affect on my writing.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My new novel “Whippoorwill” is an historical drama set against the background of the American Civil War. It’s about Cecile Prejean, a southern belle who falls passionately in love with handsome young northerner, Trent Sinclaire. Trent is a cadet at the West Point military academy. They begin a torrid affair, even as the southern states begin to sucede from the Union. When war breaks out, Trent goes north to fight for the Union, leaving Ceci in the south. After the death of her family at the fall of New Orleans, Ceci meets with infamous spy master,Henry Doucet. He initiates into the shadowy world of espionage. Infiltrating the White House, she comes face to face with Abraham Lincoln, a man she’s sworn to kill. Forming a reckless alliance with actor John Wilkes Booth she is drawn deeper into the plot to assassinate the President of the United States. A Confederate spy in love with a Union officer, her next descision will determine whether she lives or dies.
Believe it or not, there were hundreds of women spies in the American Civil War on both sides. After many months of research, their courage and determination couldn’t fail to impress me. That’s what inspired me to write the book. It took about eight months to write and about three months setting it up for print.
Ceci’s character is based on a number of women I have known, all of them with their own little quirks and foibles. Together they have produced my heroine. I think she’s one hell of a woman.
You can find out more by checking the book’s site at Troubadour. www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=4722
Connect with the Author on their Websites and Social media profiles