Happy Birthday, Michael Robotham, born 9 November 1960
- Write, write and when you’re sick of writing, write some more. It’s the only way to get better.
- I have wanted to be a novelist since I was about twelve and always saw journalism and ghostwriting as being stepping stones. Writing fiction is a lot harder than I expected. Instead of having a wealth of material at my fingertips – the interviews and research about someone’s life – I have to start from scratch, inventing everything.
- There are few things more terrifying than a blank white computer screen. I love the freedom of writing fiction but sometimes it feels like I’m standing naked on a high wire above Niagara Falls with everything hanging out in the breeze.
- Read everything you can – not just the very best writers because some of them are so brilliant you will consider giving up because your prose might never match theirs. Read the lesser writers, the mere mortals, and ask yourself how each book could be improved. Take it apart like you would an old alarm clock. Why does it work? Why it doesn’t it work? Learn. (With the truly great book, you won’t be able to take it apart because you won’t be able to find the joins.)
- I wake without an alarm clock, wander down to the beach for some exercise and then have breakfast at a café while writing longhand. I try to write a least 500 words a day, hopefully twice that much – and spend my evenings doing research, answering mail and correcting proofs.
Read my 2011 Essentially Michael Robotham Interview and Mia Botha’s 17 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Michael Robotham
Michael Robotham is a best-selling Australian crime fiction writer. An Edgar finalist and Gold Dagger winning author, he was the ghost writer of 12 best-sellers before he started writing his own books, which include the Joseph O’Loughlin series. His latest novel is The Secrets She Keeps.