Interview with Robert Eff

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Wow, difficult to get it down to five. There are so many, Danny Champion of the World is a classic. The Fantastic Mr Fox is just that, fantastic. The Phantom Tollboth by Norton Juster is pure genius and I couldn't possibly miss out Robert Arthur's Three Investigators. More recently my kids introduced me to the wonderful work of Jonny Duddle.

Humour, wonderfully drawn characters blended with a fat dose of Tolkein''s erudition. People obsess on LOTR and forget he wasn't all 9 hour epics. Also Catch 22, Dune (or God Emperor), The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien. Err, is that five?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I wouldn't be publishing without Smashwords. Before I found this site I looked at other e-book publishing platforms and I didn't even know where to start with them. Smashwords is 100% responsible for where I am today as an e-book writer! It's a really fantastic platform with a great range of features and I'm very happy with it. I'm just so amazed it;s free.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm never sure what my characters are going to do next so it's tremendously exciting whenever they do something unexpected.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Certainly. It's the disastrous story of a failed bank robbery with illustrations in coloured pencil., I must have been about six. My mother guards it in a scrapbook.
What is your writing process?
I usually start with the kernel of an idea and then I worry it around trying to see where it could go. I keep scrapbooks full of interesting news articles, overheard speech and everyday observations. What do they mean? Are they pieces of one story or many? One day maybe I'll solve the jigsaw puzzle.
Describe your desk
I would if I could see it. It's surely there, somewhere under the sedimentary layers of paper. I know it's there because it keeps the laptop and the cups of cold coffee off the floor.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Mobile or laptop, whatever is within arms reach and charged up.
How do you approach cover design?
I pick a strong scene and then, I rough arrangements. A good layout has blocks of dark, light and mid-tone in strong shapes. The layout can't bee too complex and it has to fit the required page format, Being able to see the characters faces is a factor too. A composition might be great with good tonal values but if you can't read the characters emotions most likely it's time to try something else.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly what the kids tell me to. This year we've been through the Naughtiest Girl in school series. The first one is one of Blyton's best IMO. Full of character development and emotion something scarce in much of her work. Jonny Duddle is popular in our house. Have I mentioned his illustration is fantastic?
Published 2015-08-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Ghost Train
Series: The Golden Children, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,190. Language: English. Published: September 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Children’s books » Law & Crime
Is the old railway tunnel really haunted? Has Arthur really seen a ghosttrain? John and Susan have been warned to stay away but when Arthur disappears they have no choice but to try to find him. Reading age 3.8. Get this book for $0.99 while it is on pre-order!
Albert Climbs a Tree
You set the price! Words: 1,450. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Children’s books » Nature & the Natural World / Environment
Albert loves the great old tree that grows in his family’s tiny city garden. When Mr Bates arrives with his chainsaw and Albert is horrified to find out what his Dad is planning. Reading grade 3.8.
The Last Trainspotter
Price: Free! Words: 870. Language: English. Published: July 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Children’s books » Trains
Michael and his granddad shared a passion for trainspotting that his parents can't understand. But now the railway and granddad are gone, and Michael struggles to come to adjust. Things come to a head when his parents clear out granddad’s old cottage. A haunting emotional journey. Reading grade 3.0.
The Treasure Hunters
Series: The Golden Children, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 1,710. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Children’s books » Law & Crime
(4.00)
Susan loves holidays on Granny's farm with its woods and caves, and this year her younger brother is old enough to come too. But the children are horrified when they find nasty Mr. Mustard wants to buy the farm. Who is he and what does he really want? Soon the race is on to stop him.