Interview with Brian Robertson

Describe your desk
My desk is an IKEA creation expertly put together by myself. I share it with my wife in a corner office area of our living room. There is never enough room on it but if I got a larger desk I know it would just be the same. The desk is Birch veneer and the varnish is peeling, which is handy. I can pick at it, while gazing out the window to the back garden, when I am thinking hard about what to write next. I like my desk.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am sure that the place an author grows up can influence their writing, but it really depends on what they are writing. I grew up on a farm in the North East of Scotland and I doubt very much that this had any influence on the writing of Riotous Retirement. Riotous Retirement is as the result of my lifestyle and that of my co-author Ron Smallwood in the last few years. However when I write "A Gordon for Me" a memoir of life in the first Battalion the Gordon Highlands during the mid 1950s, my upbringing in East Aberdeenshire will, I am sure, play a huge part in the writing.
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing in various capacities since becoming a teacher. Producing teaching plans, stuff on the blackboard, courses, test and examination questions, reports and so on, is all writing. But if we are talking books, the answer is not until a couple of years before I retired. Myself and an education officer in the Solomon Islands were asked to write a book for agriculture teachers by Chris Roering an acquisitions editor of Pearson Education Australia in the late 1990s and "Organising School Agriculture" was the first book Kerapuke Toben and I had ever written. It was written during lunch hours in the Mendana Hotel in Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands and the fun Toben and I had writing this book was enormous. The easiest way to see the cover and find out about this book is to type my name Brian Robertson into the search function of the website at It is the last book on the page.
What's the story behind your latest book?
There is nothing so funny as living with a group of older people, in a retirement village, who all sincerely think that their particular experience of life and the world in general means that they have the only answer or solution to any decision that has to be taken by the village as a whole. It makes for hilarious situations. People get upset and angry, and very often behaviour becomes outrageous. It places the writer of comedy in a very advantageous position and he enjoys every minute of it. There is all least one more book in it!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Although I have published many books traditionally including my last book "Digger's Story, Surviving the Japanese POW camps was just the beginning," neither my agent or my publisher wanted to have anything to do with a book of short funny stories about older people. I was encouraged to follow up my military biography with something similar but I am too old to write what others want written. So I am an independant author in the meantime.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It hasn't yet but I am hoping that it will.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It is the best feeling when a reader lets you know how much they were moved, were amazed, fascinated about what they discovered or how much they laughed, in the case of Riotous Retirement, at what what you wrote. And if many buy the book than that is certainly an added bonus.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am and will always be grateful to all who read and enjoy what I write and I love to hear from them. I will always respond. I say something to this effect at the end of the book and I really mean it. However I do not regard these people as fans. The word fans conjures up crowds of screaming teenagers and I doubt people who enjoy my writing are that!
What are you working on next?
I think I have already mentioned that first cab off the rank will a sequel to Riotous Retirement. After that a memoir of my experienced in Cyprus in the first battalion the Gordon Highlanders. And many more to follow if I am still alive and kicking!
Who are your favorite authors?
I only have one really. It is the late Tom Sharpe who died in June last year. The fact that our book is titled Riotous Retirement is no accident. I have read Riotous Assembly, Sharpe's first book about three times. It is extremely funny and the way he can write about ridiculous situations and make them almost plausible is amazing. He is my hero. I laugh just thinking about it. Porterhouse Blue is another book of his that I regard as a masterpiece. I do not have a group of authors that I regard as more enjoyable or their writing more satisfying than the writing of others. The genres that I read in at present are military and comedy and books about writing and publishing, of course.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Make up your own joke in here about not wetting the bed, while I resist! The cup of real coffee that I make for my wife and myself and the breakfast that I cook each morning is another reason. I am retired and so I have time for a very healthy and delicious breakfast of one rasher of crispy bacon, one tomato, usually some mushroom, a slice of toast and a class of tomato juice spiced up with two drops of tabasco, and yes I do look forward to writing or some other activity to do with producing or marketing my books.
Published 2014-05-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Riotous Retirement
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 34,600. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Retirement community life is harmonious, say the brochures. But this book has fifteen short stories that say—untrue! Retirement villages are where bored over 50s go, who enjoy a good fight, hate authority, argue like hell, question every rule and regulation and love to interfere in the lives of others. And it’s where the authors live. Riotous retirement is much more interesting than harmony.