Michael Robotham: Twenty-eight years ago, when I was still a journalist, I wrote the great unpublished Australian novel. It was more literary in style and quite worthy in tone, without a murder in sight. The novel was almost published by Penguin in the UK, missing out by a single vote in a final publishing meeting. Looking back, I’m glad that it wasn’t picked up. If I had been published at twenty-five, I would probably have thought I was God’s gift to writing and been quite obnoxious. I would also look back now and cringe at that first effort.
I am a better writer today for having been a ghostwriter. I know how to capture someone’s voice and hopefully make a character leap from the page and live and breathe in a reader’s imagination. I have the discipline and the tools to be a writer, but I have lost the ego. Every new book is a blessing. Every new reader is a joy. Life is good.
HoCaM: Do you have a long-term plan for your series or do you go one book at a time?
Robotham: It’s definitely one book at a time. I finish each one convinced there won’t be another. I tell my wife that every "description, one-liner, plot twist, setting and bit of dialogue has been used up, it’s gone. I’m an empty shell, a hollow human being, I will never write again." Then I follow her around the house for two hours until she tells me to go away. She finds me a few hours later, back at my desk. "What are you doing?" she asks. "I’ve just come up with an idea."