I began writing fiction in 2001 with a short story that won a Rupert Hughes Award for fiction, and was subsequently published. The publisher suggested I write the story into a novel, which I started in 2002, and finished in 2005 while I was living in Rome. After finding representation through the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency in New York (not a short journey), the novel was picked up by a new publisher, Untreed Reads, in San Francisco. It was released digitally in June of 2012, via audio book through Audible around the same time, then in paperback, October 2014. It is now available in hardcover.
What do you love about being an author?
I love the creativity, the research, and being able to play the part of each character in my stories. Authors are frustrated actors. Without the nerve to stand on stage, we are free to internally act every role in our novels, actually have to, in order to breathe life into them.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
I would dine with Georges Guyñemer, protagonist of the novel I am now writing, inspired by his life. He was the most beloved French Ace of WWI, and a fascinating man to reanimate through fictional biography. The menu would be French, of course, and typical of the early 20th century: vintage Champagne, Breton Oysters and a 1910 Chateau d’Yquem sauterne, Roast Duck, potatoes Lyonnaise, and a legendary 1900 Bordeaux!
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
DEFINITELY, vampires! In particular, Gary Oldman from Coppola’s Dracula.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
Well, in order to have the dinner I want to have with Captain Guyñemer, I’d have to return to 19I7. Other than that, I don’t think I’d want to go back. I like it right now, thank you! Having researched two historical novels, the romance of times past was lost in the horrors of war, barbaric medicine, and limited amenities. As much as the current era tends to be complained about, all-in-all, humanity better off now than it has ever been, and getting better every day. Not that the journey hasn’t been long, and no doubt will continue to be.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Happiness is a choice, not a condition.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
A fairy. I think I’d like living in the forest. And I do love flying!
Where do you write best?
I spend summers on a boat on the west coast of Canada, and am alone much of the time in the middle of nowhere. For me, great inspiration, and few distractions are great contributions to creativity: no phone or television. I tend to accomplish much in short periods of time.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
All The Light We Cannot See. LOVED the prose. Anthony Doerr has a gift for using verbs in a magical way. A wonderful, interwoven story that combined history and fiction. Beautifully done, though I would have ended it differently.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
Not sure I have a set-in-stone genre (much to the consternation of my agent). My first novel was literary fiction, my second, historical, and my third, fictional biography. All have a literary bent. Perhaps, I would try romance?
Where can fans find you online?
Facebook: Robin F. Gainey, author page