Robert D Turvil Interview

Robert D Turvil lives in the South of England and has always had a love of books. He is married and has three adult sons. When it comes to his own writing, he likes to take tricky subjects and develop situations that sweep the whole gamut of emotions. He feels that reading should be a roller-coaster ride – but with a blindfold, so that you can’t see what’s coming.

What inspired you to write?
I wanted to write something different; something that avoided predictability and presented interesting characters, warts and all. I enjoy having an ending in mind then twisting events until I can get there. It’s great fun to shock and, sometimes, to unsettle.

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
My inspiration to write has always been there, probably triggered by a single book that really captured my imagination many years ago – I wish I could remember its title!

How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I always have an ending in mind and a few events that I want to weave in, but I usually let characters and events have their head. This spices up the writing process and challenges me to sort out intriguing complications that wouldn’t otherwise arise.

Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
I work alone but get massive encouragement from family and friends.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Sometimes particular ideas or scenes can be tricky to write up, especially important action scenes. Finding simple ways to do this can be challenging.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
The sense of accomplishment. Weaving stories that hold together across the platforms of language, logic, excitement and so on is really satisfying.

Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
I don’t think I was changed, although it was interesting to see how others changed towards me.

What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
This is an interesting question. I suppose it’s the principle of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Anything and everything can get in the way of creativity (or anything else) – if you let it.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I doubt that anyone has ever done anything that hasn’t been criticised by someone or other. For me, it’s the intention of the critic: is it to be helpful or just to blow off steam? If the former, criticism is most welcome.

Are you working on another book? How do you spend your time now-days?
Yes indeed! I’m writing a sequel to ‘Vengeance of an Evil Man’ as there’s so much more to write about the main character (Oswald Bardolf) and the lives he blighted in his thirst for vengeance. I’m also writing a non-fiction book about how to handle difficult people. My background is in training professional managers across a whole raft of subjects, and having to cope with ‘difficult people’ can affect us all.

Have you received any accolades for your books?
I haven’t entered my books for any awards so far, but probably will.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
I tend to focus on the here and now rather than reference the past – especially the distance past! I guess a good childhood memory would be roller skating. I liked that. The worst is linked. When skating along the top of a narrow wall (not remotely recommended) I tried to jump across a gap left for a pathway. I still bear the scars!

Do you have a favorite quote?
‘The best is the enemy of the good.’ Although there are several possible interpretations, for me this quote is a reminder not to allow the quest for perfection to deter me from producing works that are ‘merely’ good – because the ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist and the ‘good’ can be thoroughly entertaining.

What is your favorite show on TV?
I’m not a great TV watcher but drama that’s credible and well acted has definite appeal.

Favorite movie?
Perhaps, The Shootist staring John Wayne.

Favorite book?
There are so many good authors about these days. It’s difficult – and possibly unfair – to pick on just one book.

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Not so much an individual, more a period in history. I think it would be really interesting to experience life as it was at certain key periods in the past. But as to making a specific choice, that’s really difficult.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I don’t wish for anything, but it would really please my wife if I could dance.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
Although I seriously dislike gardening, my youngest son loves it. He has an honours degree in horticulture and heads a multi-million pound initiative at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (the UK’s biggest-ever wild flower campaign geared to transforming local spaces with native wild flowers and plants). for anyone interested.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Reliable, interested, constructive.