Interview with RS Pateman and Book Giveaway.

Books with wine and chocolate welcomes Rob Pateman author of The Second Life of Amy Archer which is his debut novel. I gave this book five stars,you can read my review here
Rob is from Romford in Essex but has lived in various locations such as Rotterdam and Frankfurt, he now lives in London. He is a history graduate of Warwick University and worked as a copywriter,writing ghost letters for the rich and famous. He is now doing what he loves best,writing his own books and if his debut novel is anything to go by he need never look for another job.
You can find Rob on his website here
or on twitter @rspateman
Rob has kindly agreed to a question and answer session.
I apologise for the change in type size.Blogger had a wee fit and decided to change the size and not change it back.

BWW&C ) What was your writing schedule when writing your book? Did you set aside time each day or lock yourself in the attic for a month?

Rob) A month? I wish it had just been a month!! From writing the first word of the very first draft to checking the last full stop on the approved manuscript before it went to the printers, took me about ten months. There were seven drafts in all. Maybe there would have been fewer if I was more of a planner but I tend to just jump in and see where the story and characters take me.

I was at my desk by 5.30 or 6.00am (easier in the summer than the winter of course!) and would write for a couple of hours and then go for a bike ride, swim or walk. I was doing as little freelance copywriting work as I could get away with to allow me to write. On book writing days, I’d go back to work until lunchtime, have a quick bite and then get another hour or so of writing in and stop around 3.30pm. I’m pretty disciplined and usually manage my target 2,000 words a day. But not always. And although I try and write every day, sometimes it just won’t happen so I’ll bunk off and do something else and try not to feel too guilty. 

BWW&C)  That sounds like a good routine Rob.

BWW&C) What made you decide to write the book from the mother's prospective? Where did you go to find her voice?

Rob) You know, I didn’t realise there was such a ‘thing’ about men writing female characters until my agent, Oli Munson at A M Heath, read the book. On his advice, the book was sent out to publishers using my initials instead of my first name, so that editors didn’t know if it was written by a man or a woman. Of the six people who read it ‘blind’ at Orion, all of them were convinced it was written by a woman.

Several reviewers have commented on the authenticity of the voice – and one, who didn’t give a good review of the book, still paid me a huge compliment by referring to the author as ‘she’ throughout her review!

I never questioned that the book had to be narrated from a woman’s perspective. And it didn’t strike me as odd or problematic for me to try to write a female voice – it just felt like my natural voice. Perhaps this is because I grew up in a children’s home run by my parents – the staff and the residents were female so I was immersed in a female world.

BWW&C) I read the whole book assuming it was written by a woman until I googled you.

BWW&C) If you could choose a perfect writing retreat in any country in the world where would it be?

Rob) I hope that means you’re going to get me a ticket to get me to wherever I choose! I was very lucky with this book actually, as I wrote it in the house of a friend of mine in an idyllic Cotswold village, rather than at home in London. But having a choice of anywhere in the world, hmmm…I’d worry I’d never get anything done as I’d be too busy exploring! Sunshine, a tennis court and water to swim in would certainly be towards the top of the list – so South Africa maybe?

BWW&C) Sounds like a lovely place to write a book,you wouldn't need to go anywhere else so, sorry, no ticket.

BWW&C) You have to give all the books on your bookshelves to charity,which three books do you save?

Rob) Uh-oh. What a horrible decision to have to make but, seeing as it’s for charity and all the books must go, my three to keep would be:

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal – Jeanette Winterson
Harvey – Mary Chase

BWW&C) I agree with you on the first book but I haven't read the other two I must look them up. I would find it hard to answer that question myself.

BWW&C) I read a book with a glass of wine and some chocolate. What about you?

    a) Coffee and cake
    b) Beer and crisps
    c) Tea and biscuits
    d) Something else

Rob) I’m not very good at reading and eating at the same time - I worry I’ll get the pages messy and my concentration falters. But I do take breaks, in which case I’d go for coffee and chocolate.
BWW&C) If you read on kindle or ipad the crumbs are easily wiped away. Coffee and chocolate sound good together.

BWW&C) I know you are planning another book Rob, are you willing to give your readers a teaser of what we can expect or is it a secret?

Rob) I’m currently redrafting my second novel, The Prophecy of Bees. It’s a psychological thriller about a troubled teenaged girl and her mother who retreat to a Cotswold manor house following a bereavement – but they fall foul of sixteenth century witchcraft, superstition and murder. My agent reckons it’s where The Wicker Man meets The Secret History. And I’m happy with that!

BWW&C) Thank you Rob.What great answers.
Your second novel sounds a very intriguing story and title. I hope we don't have to wait too long for it.

Rob is kindly giving away two signed copies of his book to the winner of this rafflecopter. Just leave a blog comment or tweet or follow our twitter accounts and sign into the rafflecopter. The competition will run until the 11th Oct and due to high postage costs is open to the UK and Europe only.
Good luck, it will be a book you just can't put down.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oops, I said I'd commented before I did..haha. Lovely interview with Rob, Anne! He sounds like an interesting man altogether, and his connection to Rotterdam makes him even more so to me! Oh and the part about wanting to go to South Africa! I'm impressed too about the female persona he takes on. I've read another book recently where a man is writing as a woman and was amazed at how well it worked, so I'm now curious about Rob's book. Another one on my wish list! Thank you both for very interesting questions and answers!

    1. Thanks Val,yes I noticed the connection too. Good luck!

  2. So excited about this book! When I first read your review, I knew I had to read it, but then decided to wait for your giveaway and cross my fingers - so fingers crossed!!

    1. Well there's two copies,I think you're already included for following me on twitter when you signed in.First time I've used rafflecopter so hopes it works.Good luck!

  3. This looks great, Anne. Great interview too!

  4. Thanks for the comp, good interview


  5. thanks Rob and Ann! ooh a rafflecopter I can go in for...the Ameerican blogs do them all the time but I can never enter!

  6. I hope it works Carol,first time I've used it.


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