Today I’m talking to Richard Roberts. Best known for Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m A Supervillain.
Hello Richard. Thanks for agreeing to this short interview. Firstly, congratulations on the release of Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m A Supervillain.
Richard: For those of you at home, how strange is it to suddenly be a bestselling author? I get asked to do interviews like this, and reading the question I hear all the words in the voice of that horrible 80s JOHN MADDEN JOHN MADDEN voice synthesizer. Peek into the mind of a writer, folks.
Tell us a little bit about Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m A Supervillain. To someone who doesn’t know your work, how would you best describe it?
Richard: ‘Fun’. I mean, I don’t have to tell you much about the plot. It’s about a thirteen year old girl who becomes a mad scientist supervillain. I write a lot of dark stuff, but not this book. It’s all about what a blast it is to be a kid supervillain.
…okay, not entirely true. I put a lot of effort into not just writing a book about a middle school supervillainess, but writing a book about what it would really be like. I think that made it even more fun, at least to write!
You’re best known for this book. What’s on the horizon for you? A continuation of your recent work, or something new?
Richard: Review after review has been ‘Sequel! Please, oh please, we need a sequel!’ So I’m writing a sequel. Just finished a chapter today. It involved psychic cat symbiotes, terrible corporate jobs, and Pig Chips.
If you were to talk to your readership in person, and you only had one shot at it, what would you say?
Richard: If you’re a child, I don’t think you’re stupid, and you deserve books that don’t treat you as if you’re stupid. If you’re an adult, you shouldn’t have to give up the kinds of books you enjoyed as a child.
There’s a lot of discussion, both online and in the press, about the ‘state of publishing,’ and the ‘rise of amateur writers.’ What do you think? Has the advent of independent publishing really just handed a loaded weapon into the hands of amateur hobbyists, or is it all about empowering authors more than ever? What are your thoughts?
Richard: I wish the traditional publishing system wasn’t broken, but it is. It doesn’t matter how good you are, getting picked up by an agent or a legacy publisher has nothing to do with how good your book is, any more. It’s sheer random chance. Personally, I’m a terrible salesman, and I’m glad I was able to split the difference by hooking up with a small press.
Getting away from books for a moment, what else are you up to at the moment?
Richard: Getting ready to go out west to visit a convention with a dear friend. I’m at that stage of having a successful book where I giggle and hope someone will recognize me.
For the other writers reading this, what advice do you have to offer them? What works for you when it comes to setting pen to paper?
Richard: Plan out the story. It keeps you knowing where you’re going. You never have to sit at the keyboard and wonder what happens next. Instead you can point your imagination in a general direction, and let it run.
Lastly, I used to do something like this a few years ago in my interviews. I’ve adapted it for this latest batch.
I have five questions for you. Ready? Here we go. Give me your honest answers.
1. If there were to be a film of your life, who would play you in the lead role?
Richard: My friends tell me ‘Tom Waits’.
2. Following the same line of thought, if there were to be a film made of any of your work, who would you cast in the roles of the main characters?
Richard: Michele Creber as Penny’s voice actress. Surely Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m A Supervillain would be an animated movie.
3. What are you reading at the moment?
Richard: I found a battered old book called ‘Prophet of Lamath’ in my library. Haven’t read it in decades, so I thought I’d reread it now! After that, I have scheduled The Thunderbolt Affair, by Geoffrey Mandragora. I know the guy, and I’ve heard snippets in our writer’s group, so I’m looking forward to reading the full book. Yes, this is a writer thing. It is awesome.
4. What are you listening to at the moment?
Richard: I just discovered Electric Swing Circus. It is just the tone I want for At Least I Didn’t Blow Up OUR Moon, and is even providing some direct inspiration.
5. This is stolen directly from James Lipton, but what the heck. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Richard: ‘I read Wild Children. It made me happy.’
Lastly, where do you see yourself in twelve months time? What will you be doing? Where will you be in life? Where do you hope to be?
Richard: For the first time, it looks like in twelve months time I may be completely self-sufficient on writing alone. That would be nice. By then I expect I’ll have finished either Hard Candy or A Sidekick’s Tale and be working on the third Inscrutable Machine book.
Well, that’s the end of our little interview. Thanks for participating. I’m sure everyone will love Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m A Supervillain.
Richard Roberts’ novel DON’T TELL MY PARENTS I’M A SUPERVILLAIN is now the #1 book in it’s category on amazon. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Roberts/e/B005XOLGVU