Interview with Cheryl Robson

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work as a publisher and editor for a small indie press so I spend my time meeting authors, reading manuscripts, editing new books, commissioning authors, contracts, budgets, schedules, proofing etc.

I also travel for a joint business I have with my husband to Asia and Australia frequently which gives me the chance to network with literary organisations in other countries and take on authors from all over the world.

I also attend book fairs such as London and Frankfurt - I even had a stand at the first ever book fair in Myanmar recently.

My family is also important and I spend time, when I can, with them. I relax at my holiday home in France.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Personal recommendation or browsing are the main ways I find ebooks. Ebooks are good when travelling but I still prefer to read print copies where possible.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No but the first story I had published was about the journey I made with my parents at age 11 on a cruise liner from Sydney, Australia to Southampton, England. We crossed the Pacific, went via the Panama Canal to Acapulco and Nassau and then up to New York. It was an incredible experience and opened my mind to the diversity of people and places.
What is your writing process?
I try and carve out enough time to spend focused on my own projects - not always easy with deadlines every few weeks for other books.
I am a night person so can write into the wee hours of the morning.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No - but I remeber seeing The Wizard of Oz at the movies and loving it.
How do you approach cover design?
I work with many designers - some read the book, most just read the cover blurb.
Some will respond to the brief, others will offer what is easiest to produce from any resources such as images supplied.
The most creative designers often do other things besides book covers so it's sometimes not easy to get them for a price that is viable for a small publisher. Covers are crucial to the success of the book. Get one thing wrong on a cover and it comes back to haunt you.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favourite books are:
Alice in Wonderland for the anarchy and disorientation of growing up.
Middlemarch for the emotional truth in the writing of the relationships.
The Handmaid's Tale for the portrayal of gender, hierarchy and injustice.
King Lear for the compassion and understanding of aging and power relationships.
War and Peace for its portrayal of individuals chasing after things that will only make them miserable, when happiness is right under their noses - the human condition.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read literary fiction mostly but also newspapers, magazines and online blogs.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Ipad mostly.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Sydney at Bondi Beach, one of the most beautiful locations in the world. My school was right opposite the beach so after class we'd go to the beach for a swim or to make something out of the sand. Sand sculptures were my first experience of art. The sea and its vagaries taught me to be awed by Nature. The empty bottles left on the beach that I collected for a few cents were my first business venture. Being in the moment taught me to love life.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm really happy to connect with my fans on Facebook (cheryl.robson733) or Twitter - @cherob15 or here on Smashwords. I'm happy to send signed copies to fans or to meet in person at readings or literary events. My website is www.cheryl.robson.net if you'd like to know more.
Published 2016-08-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.