Gareth R Roberts is one of the writers under the wing of publishing house, Libros International - and they're getting quite excited about him. I wanted to see what the fuss was about, and was lucky enough to get him to chat about the book that looks set to thrust him to stardom.
Hi Gareth, nice to talk to you. Tell me, how long have you been a writer?
- I suppose, like most writers, I’ve been writing stories ever since I learnt to physically put a pen on a piece of paper. When I was 21 I became a speech writer for politicians – this is quite a good learning process as you have to write concisely and keep an audience interested. I have also written poetry and songs for many years, which gave me the opportunity to use language in a more innovative way. I have written fiction for about four years now.
That's quite an unusual and interesting background for an author. It must have honed your writing to a fine point. What actually prompted you to write your latest book?
- Well, Anthony, I set out with the intention of writing a very complex and meaningful political thriller full of social comment and dark predictions. After writing about a million pages I gave what I’d written to a friend to read and he paused and said ‘hmm, there’s not many laughs in this is there.’ And I thought, yeah, he’s right – I should write something which is more honest – and so I started again and this time I was able to write a much more honest piece of work.
Gareth, I suppose this is a bit superfluous, but is your book aimed at men, women or children?
- It isn’t really aimed at anyone – I wrote it as it came to me, rather than with a particular audience in mind. I have heard it described as a ‘blokes book’ and also as ‘Bridget Jones for the twenty first century man’ but women have enjoyed it too (or so they tell me).
So let’s do a quick plug for your book - where can readers pick up it up from?
- Well, at present it’s available from the usual on-line catalogues like Amazon, Waterstones.com, Play.com etc, but it’s to be stocked by Waterstones store in London and Manchester with view to being stocked by them nationwide – which is very exciting.
Wow! That’s a pretty incredible achievement. Most authors would give their eye-teeth to get that sort of status. Do you have any other work in the pipeline?
- Yes, I’m currently writing at a ferocious rate – it is the story of two boys growing up in Blackburn in the 1990’s, one is the school fat kid and the other is the school mixed race kid; to cope with the bullies they take on the personae of Superheroes and become Ferret Boy and The Wasp. It ends tragically.
And the masterpiece that’s wowing the bookstores, can you give us an outline?
- The title is ‘That Immortal Jukebox Sensation’. It is a dark comedy and tells the story of a 30 something lawyer who is facing up to the fact that his youth is behind him and that his future isn’t that bright: he has a crap relationship and little interest in his career – he decides that his only stab at making anything of his life is if he kills an international pop star – so he chooses one he was at school with and with whom he has a certain history with. The story then becomes the narrators journey towards a murder he may or may not commit and the readers journey as to why the narrator wants to kill the pop star in the first place.
Gareth, thanks for your time, I know you must be busy. Your book sounds quite something. No wonder it looks like hitting the mark. I wish you well. Maybe you'll come back in a couple of months and tell us how it's going.
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