Today I have the pleasure of chatting with David Robinson, author of, well, many bestselling books.
In his words, David Robinson retired from the rat race after the other rats objected to his participation, and he now lives with his long-suffering wife in sight of the Pennine Moors outside Manchester.
He is best known as the creator of the light-hearted Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries and the cynically humorous Midthorpe Murder Mysteries. He also produces darker, more psychological crime thrillers.
Welcome, David! Since you are not from where I am from, I am curious to know how many languages do you speak? Which is your favorite?
Five: English, Spanish, French, Rubbish and Bad. Bad is my favourite. I’m a textbook grumpy old man, and when someone or something irritates me, I’m not slow with the ‘F***s’.
Well, if that makes you a textbook grumpy man, then I speak that fluently along with English and several other species.
Who inspired you to write your debut novel?
No so much who as what. I suffer from arthritis and in order to combat the pain, I took a course in hypnosis. Wider reading on the subject brought up the inevitable queries on hypnotic abuse. Is it possible? From that came The Handshaker, a serial killer using the power of hypnotic suggestion to subdue his victims. It was published by Crooked Cat/darkstroke, but it flopped because by then I was identified as the creator of the light hearted Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries. It’s since been republished as Dominus under my pen name Robert Devine… and it’s still a flop.
Well, I think it sounds divine and will have to check it out, as well as your other books!
Seriously, though, I have to ask a fundamental question. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars. James T Kirk gets on my wick and I never followed the other series.
Okay, so I speak American English and had to look up "gets on my wick!" Please don't hold that against me.
I really enjoy the idea of the Jedi and their mental powers and their connection to something bigger. If you were to be gifted a superpower that you had to use continuously for 8 hours every day, what would it be?
The power to shut politicians’ mouths. I loathe them as a breed.
They are a breed apart, to be sure.
What is your favorite author/book?
John le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It is the most complete (in every sense of the word) novel I’ve ever read, and it’s a far cry from the absurd world of James Bond.
Like, where did the 007 come from? Alright, I looked it up. Personally, I like the numbers 867-5309 better.
Speaking of movies, what movie sequel would you erase from history and why?
Probably all of them. They’re always a let-down. The one exception is James Cameron’s Aliens (1986). It worked because it was so different to the original.
Sequels have such a hard time living up to the expectations. Just trying to make a bigger and better version of the first doesn't cut it. I do have to say that I really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and hated it simultaneously. That being said, I wouldn't erase it. It follows life and Grimms' Fairy tales...not every story has a happy ending.
Now I am bummed and need a lift. Tell me/us your favorite "dad joke."
YOUNG SON: Dad, I think I need glasses.
DAD: They’re expensive, son.
YOUNG SON: Yes, but I can’t see too well.
DAD: (points to the sky) Look up and tell me what you see.
YOUNG SON: The Moon.
DAD: That’s a quarter of a million miles away. How far do you want to see?
Oh my gosh, that is awesome! You surprised me with that one!
Cake or pie?
You put ’em on the table, I’ll eat ’em.
Right? When there are multiple choices, I select one of each, please. It's only respectful to the baker.
Now for the meat of the interview. Tell us about your latest book that releases TODAY.
Tis the Season to Be Murdered, the 21st Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery. A Christmas tale with Joe Murray and his best friends, Brenda Jump and Sheila Riley. Basically, it’s Joe, Sheila and Brenda away for the weekend prior to Christmas, staying at Britain’s worst holiday park, when the proprietor and another local man are murdered. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it brings Joe into contact with someone he helped send to prison years before. It’s not going to change your life but the plot hints at certain contentious issues in modern society, and questions whether leopards can change their spots. Like all the Sanford Mysteries, it’s fun, and the tone is quite light-hearted and cosy. No bad language, no graphic sex or violence. They do okay in the US, but they’re not overwhelmingly popular partly due, I think, to the characters and background which is blue collar Yorkshire. Many of the colloquialisms and much of the humour goes over the head of readers from Europe and the States. Some of the British have problems understanding them, too.
The Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries are exclusive to Amazon. They’re short reads (about 50,000-60,000 words, and I usually write them in a couple of months.
Do you have a favorite character that you created?
Joe Murray, the lead in the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries. There’s so much of me in him. He’s short, outspoken, irascible, but beneath it all is a man who believes in law and order and has a concealed compassion for others.
The gloves are off, the loins are girded
’Tis the season to be murdered…
Has Joe finally met his match – a Yorkshireman even grumpier than him?
In wild, wet and windy weather, Joe and his nephew, Lee, turn up at Rough Riders Caravan Park for a pre-Christmas weekend away together with Lee’s wife, Cheryl, and son, Danny.
Immediately, Joe gets into a confrontation with park owner, irritable, failed artist, Arnold Chew, and within twenty-four hours, Sheila and Brenda arrive in time to learn that two men have been murdered – leaving Joe a suspect.
While Lee and Danny enjoy Scarborough’s Christmas offerings, Joe crosses paths with old friends and old enemies alike, but he’s urgently short of time to pin down the killer.
Is Brenda jealous of Sandra or concerned for Joe? Has Sheila recovered from the debacle of last Christmas? Has Sandra really changed her ways? What is the dark secret of Van Zero? And will Danny ever learn not to be quite so truthful?
’Tis The Season to be Murdered… A Christmas conundrum of the Joe Murray kind in the 21st outing of the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries.
I think this book, and all of your other works, sound amazing. Yes, I use a lot of American words like amazing and awesome and right? But that is because they are the essence of what I am thinking. And I think that your books are bestsellers for a reason. Right? They are amazingly awesome!
David, thank you so much for entertaining my questions. I wish you the best of luck with your release of Tis The Season To Be Murdered.
For more information, you can track David down at www.mysteriesaplenty.blogspot.com/