Interview with Robert Nicholls

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always been a keen writer - poetry when an angry, frustrated, confused or love-sick teenager - short stories and essays in the university days and finally novels. Writing has been a nourishing experience, always. But trying to attract an agent or publisher has been just the opposite. Becoming an indie author was a way of allowing some of those closet-works to find whatever exposure they warranted and letting me get on with what I love to do.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Success is measured in many ways. My novels have been down-loaded a couple of thousand times, which means that a couple of thousand people have thought them at least worth a go. That's gratifying. I've enjoyed just knowing that they were 'out there', for the free taking. The little voice that pressed me to keep lobbying literary agents has been stilled and I'm good with that. And finally, once, a person I didn't know wrote a review. It was short - eight or ten words - and restrained but the fact that they took the time made every word solid gold.
Who are your favorite authors?
The only fiction author whose works I reliably re-read is J.P. Donleavy. But I love Tom Robbins' verbal acrobatics, Haruki Murakami's odd plotting, Margaret Ätwood's beautiful phrasing and Stephen Donaldson's fantastic visions (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant). I read a good bit of non-fiction as well and have nothing but admiration for the likes of Bill Bryson, Simon Winchester, Clive James and Barbara Tuchman.
What are you working on next?
I have two projects on the go. One, set in North Queensland, is a story of teenage rebellion in which the absurd reaction of authorities has a terribly exacerbating effect. This story is finished but awaits firm editing which, for me, is the work of the better part of a year. And it won't be this year because I'm presently entirely absorbed with a project set in Central Australia, the Gibson Desert, amongst one of the last Aboriginal groups to be contacted by Europeans. The complexity and beauty and sheer practicality of the spiritual lives of Australian Aborigines fascinates me and I've long wondered how difficult it would be to tell a story set in so rich and yet so challenging an environment. I'm 45 000 words into finding out and having lots of fun.
Published 2017-03-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Neville the Less
Price: Free! Words: 97,380. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Seven year old Neville is the world's most harmless person. Not even the return from Afghanistan of his war-damaged father, the Quiet Man, can alter his determination to stay that way. In the six yards of his Australian neighborhood, however, familiar prejudices, fears and obsessions provoke grim imaginings in adults and children alike until, with darkly comic inevitability, war comes to town.
Price: Free! Words: 39,710. Language: Australian English. Published: May 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
"In (Tower Zero) as in his other stories, Nicholls introduces the drug of compulsion - a prescription you cannot get over the counter." (Bruce Pascoe, Editor, 'Australian Short Stories' No. 53). Fifteen short stories to remind us that no life, whether rough or fastidious, is without its extraordinary moments.
Sugar Town
Price: Free! Words: 218,750. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Crime, Fiction » Coming of age
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
The rape of a child. The violent murder of a grandmother. A suspiciously unlikely suicide. In remote Sugar Town, a teen-aged girl leads an epileptic boy, a self-confessed murderer and a spirit-seeking outsider in a search for the guilty and for justice.
Children of Clun
Price: Free! Words: 116,370. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
1421. Henry IV of England is at war, but planning a bright new future for his kingdom, with justice and mercy for all. In the remote Welsh Borderlands, however, the old ways and the old enemies don't yield easily. And the children of Clun, both young and ancient, are set to ensure that the future is not solely in the hands of kings.