by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Guest speaker best selling author Michael Robotham enthralled the crowd at the Millicent Gallery last week, with tales of how to write a thriller and how his success came about, when many writers aren’t able to make a living and don’t have the luxury of writing full time. Many published authors in Australia earn an average of $11,000 per year but the international market has allowed him the privilege of writing full time he told the audience.
He remembers sitting up in bed with his wife watching the bidding process of his first internationally sought after book, watching the bidding increase and each country out bidding the last and this was, he said, the beginning of his success as a full time author. In a period of three hours his book Suspect had sold in 15 languages and went on to sell in 23 languages.
“This is every writers dream,” he said.
The New South Wales born successful author said he wanted to write from the age of 12 years old and loved the Bradbury Titles and as a primary school child wrote a letter to Random House about his love of these books. He arrived home from school one day to find a package of five books and a letter from the author Bradbury addressed to him. He always intended to visit the generous author who had encouraged a young boy but he passed away shortly before the planned trip to meet.
Michael Robotham has carried on that generosity towards writers and readers alike, spending time with aspiring authors after his address, including local man John Renehan who is working on a series called ‘The Gate Keeper Realm’. John said he was inspired and encouraged by the authors visit and encouragement.
The author described his plots as psychologically pure. He said that his audience is so well read that he must make that effort.
Writing in the first person can have it’s problems he said.
” I was at dinner with my wife one night and my eyes glazed over and I looked into the distance.
My wife said, “You’re thinking of HER aren’t you!”
“The HER being my latest character, a 28 year old woman,” he said.
He described writing in the first person like spending a year in a two man tent with a friend.
He is inspired by people in a coffee shops, on the news, magazine articles – everywhere is an idea he told the audience.He is also inspired by brilliant psychologist Paul Britain who can analyze a person in 30 seconds. He worked on the very public case of Fred and Rosemary West. He was called in by investigators, walked through the house and as he stood in the back yard, a detective asked him why the three bodies they had found buried under the patio, were kept so close to the couple?
Paul said, “Because under the house is full.” Seven more bodies were found under the house.
Michael said, “I want to write books that make the reader get off the couch and check the doors are locked!”
He is concerned about the future of e-books and the increasing piracy; it is the enemy of e-books he said. A hard cover book to him is still better but he predicts that with in a two year time span there will be no paper newspapers.
Ms Nitschke presented Mr Robotham with a bottle of local wine and thanked him for the visit. He mingled with people over afternoon tea, happy to sign books and posters and pose for photographs.