Interview with Robert Hyull

Published 2017-08-09.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's a difficult question as there are so many. I grew up in a house without a television until I was 18 so I listened to the radio some but mostly I read several books a week. And still do read at least one or two.

I'll try anyway:

Lord of the Rings - Cliche? I read this when I was 14 for the first time and it created my love of fantasy. A love which has continued ever since. It was written before the subject was mainstream and was one of the foundations of the whole genre with it's breadth and scope built on medieval legends such as the Elder Edda and the romance of the Victorian Era.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Another series of stories that created a genre. Even reading them again and again, they are still entertaining

Dwellers In The Mirage - AE Merritt - an early example of the lost worlds genre. There is something compelling about a time when the world wasn't so thoroughly mapped, photographed and spied upon by satellites. Authors could send their imagination out in search of hidden lands where dinosaurs and lost tribes lived; where King Solomon's Mines could be discovered, where tribal shamans could work magic and where women of unearhly beauty could be won by an interpid adventurer.

The Incompleat Enchanter - L Sprague De Camp - A wonderful combination of time travel and mythology. Where a college professor can visit the Orlando Furioso, meet Roland, and marry Belphebe of Faery.

The 1001 Nights - Not the kiddies Disney stories or the pantomime Ali Baba but the original translations by Sir Richard Burton (the Victorian explorer, not the husband of Elizabeth Taylor) and others. Tales of adventure and morality and happy endings in the fantastical world of Arabia where beautiful princesses, wicked Viziers, powerful Caliphs and magical Djinn live.

As you can see, they are all rather harking back to a romantic, imaginary past that is so much more wonderful and enticing than the modern world ;-)
What do you read for pleasure?
I've been reading a lot of the archaeological adventures the past year or so. The type where there is a hunt for a mythical relic like the Spear of destiny or Excalibur, Atlantis or Noah's Ark. Indeed they have been sought and found so often by now that it gets a bit silly but the stories are still fascinating.

Then there are the authors like Clancy and Ludlum and De Mille who I can go back and read every few years. Spies, warfare and adventure. I love Gary Jennings book, The Journeyer, about Marco Polo. One of those that wouldn't fit in my top five. Lot's of lovely and explicit sex as well as adventure.

I don't read a lot of sexploitation novels even though I write them. Or maybe, because I write them! I figure my books are better than most and it's a turn on for me to read something I wrote a few years ago and have it still work for me. I do have a soft spot for the pulp sex of the 1960s and early 1970s though, often written by respectable authors under a pseudonym to cash in on the genre and the new freedom of that era. Totally politically incorrect stories where men screw around but their woman is expected to remain faithful. I guess that rubs off on my own writing.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use the Kindle paperwhite. I don't really like reading on a computer and I'm old-fashioned enough to think a phone is for making calls. Though I have come around to sending texts now. I had a pad for a while but it was a bit clumsy.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've yet to find a really effective technique. That's why I still don't have my Ferrarri. Since I do a lot of art, my pictures and books are both to be found on my web site (yes I do HTML too) at rhyull.com. I also have a page on Facebook and I post on Tumblr sometimes.

Erotica, or porn as some would have it, limits my options since nowhere like Amazon or FB will take my filthy lucre to advertise my books.
Describe your desk
At the moment I have an overbed table on wheels which hold my monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse along with a desk lamp and my e-cig. The computer is on the floor by my chair. The table is black, as are the monitor, mouse and keyboard. There's also a nat Geo mousemat with a picture of a tiger that's so worn away it's almost impossible to identify. It has a sentimental attachment though.

I got this after I had been in intensive care for months and couldn't sit at a normal desk for long. Being much better now, I plan to go back to a conventional desk soon, as typing here isn't ideal.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the middle of England in a nice house without a TV. This was in the 50s and 60s so I remember when kids went off on adventures with friends instead of being hunched over a cellphone all day. It was a time when there were only a couple of TV channels anyway, in black and white. So really I was more influenced by the social upheaval of the times than my actual environment.
When did you first start writing?
I first wrote when I was about 25. There was no internet and I wasn't very good at it (some will say nothing has changed), so there was no real outlet until about 1998 when I got online. That was when my writing really took off, with stories for Galaxy of Terror, web sites that I created and text based roleplaying in IRC channels. But it wasn't until the Kindle came out that I saw a way to publish what I wrote.
What's the story behind your latest book?
At time of writing I have just published the third in a series about Mike and Jessica. They discovered the thrill of watching others have sex, and of being watched while they had sex, by accident. From then on they started to look for opportunities to have sex, or watch others, in random and unexpected places. They continue this hobby, which has put a lot of excitement back into a ten year old marriage that was becoming routine, as so many marriages tend to.

Of course there are a couple of twists but I don't want to spoil it for anyone reading the Look Who's Looking series for the first time.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Having a way to get published and hopefully share what I write with others who will find it entertaining. I'm going to write anyway, because I like doing it. But my style would never appeal to a traditional publisher. I'm not in it for the money as such. But when you write free stories on the internet, it is very rare anyone will bother to say if they like it or not. The internet is very much a place that has encouraged people to take more often than to give.

By publishing and putting a nominal price on my books, I get some indirect feedback. There's nothing like the buzz of seeing someone must have liked one of my books because they have bought several more. (No it doesn't identify individuals in case you're worried. But if someone is buying, say, books three and four in my Accidental Billionaire series, there's a good bet they liked books one and two)
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a popular outlet for ebooks and they accept sexually explicit books on an equal footing with more mainstream works. Before, I was just using Amazon for Kindle and they have a two-faced attitude to sex. They sell it but they won't promote it and you have to specifically search for keywords or you wouldn't even know they sold erotica at all.

Smashwords has opened my work to a wider audience of adults who know what they want and who believe they should be able to buy it as adults without the stultifying morality that pervades society from those who want to ban anything they don't like personally.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I write stuff I want to read myself. So that would have to be reading something I wrote three years ago and thinking, 'wow.... I wrote that! I'd forgotten how good it was!'

A close second is the wonderful people who read one of my books and buy more. It makes me happy to know I have entertained someone and to know others share my love of what I write.
What do your fans mean to you?
I think fans may be too strong a word. I'm not a rock star or a movie legend. It means a lot to me that others are entertained by what I write and it's a real buzz to see that some of them have me as one of their favourite authors. It encourages me to try harder and write more.
What are you working on next?
I'm mostly working on Book Seven of The Accidental Billionaire. Alongside that is Book Eight which will be a series of unconnected scenes where he plays out sexual scenes like Robinson Crusoe in different settings around the world. Lisa has created those settings for him to be as realistic as possible and he interacts with escorts in them for hours, or sometimes days, at a time. I have about six of those scenarios written already.

I tend to have several on the go at once so there will be another one or two that will also get started. It's anyone's bet which one will be finished first.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
LOL... an inability to get comfortable enough to stay asleep and a sense of duty.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read, I like computer games - I'm currently playing Elvenar and Forge of Empires online. I watch some TV, mostly things like Mock The Week, HIGNFY and QI. I download porn and watch about an hour most nights. I call this research as I tend to use words in my mind to describe what I'm seeing and some of those words can later appear in my books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes it was about a rock group and a young groupie with big tits who they all shag in the dressing room after the show. I remember the drummer went last because he had the biggest dick. His name was Rod :-)

Well, we all have to start somewhere.
What is your writing process?
I have a general idea, but only a general idea, about how the story will develop. What I do have is the first sentence. Without having that clear in my mind, I have no starting point. From there, it just flows. Often it goes in directions I didn't expect. The characters make their own decisions and I just tag along behind, wondering what they will do next.
How do you approach cover design?
I've been creating computer art for about five years and have over 1500 images on my site at rhyull.com. I try to recreate one of the female characters for the cover, and if possible, in a location referred to in the book. The aim is to have her looking sexy without quite showing her nipples and quim.

No such limitations on my web site, I hasten to add ;-)
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

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