Today I am really excited to welcome Robert Bryndza Author of The Girl In The Ice which his Robert’s first crime novel. Which is out on the 12th February and can be pre-ordered over on amazon. So without further ado I would like to welcome the lovely Robert Bryndza.
Hello Robert, welcome to chelle’s book reviews thank you so much for joining me today
Hello thank you for inviting me here today
Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
Hello, thanks for welcoming me onto your blog. My name is Robert Bryndza, and my debut crime thriller The Girl In The Ice has just been published by Bookouture. I was born in the UK, and now live in Slovakia. I was originally an actor, which I used to combine with writing plays. Then the writing took over, and now I’m lucky enough to write full time.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? And how did you go about it?
I had wanted to be a writer since I was very young, but I grew up in East Anglia by the sea and I didn’t know anyone who was a writer or involved in publishing. I only saw writers on the television, living in London, which seemed a million miles away! Wanting to be a writer seemed as crazy as wanting to be an astronaut, so I did what I thought was the next best thing and I joined my school drama group. I did keep writing, and my parents bought me a typewriter for Christmas. I was lucky enough to have a great drama teacher who became a mentor, and she said I should seriously consider pursuing acting.
I auditioned for drama school and got a place at Guildford School of Acting. After I graduated, I moved to London and worked as an actor throughout my twenties. Then I had a long period out of work, and to make ends meet I got a job working at the London Dungeon dressing up as all kinds of monsters, plague victims and Jack The Ripper! The actors who worked there were all writing plays, doing stand up comedy,and putting on their own shows and I started to get involved with writing again.
Around the same time I discovered the BBC Writersroom, where new writers can submit unsolicited scripts. I entered every competition they organized and was shortlisted for a few things including the BBC Drama Writing Academy, which was a huge boost and spurred me on. I think the turning point was when I took a play I’d written to the Edinburgh Festival, and it was a sold out hit. My boyfriend at the time said I should seriously consider writing full time, and he offered to support me whilst I wrote a novel (we’re still together, he was a keeper!)
I wrote my first romantic comedy novel The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard, and finished it at the beginning of 2008. This was before the Kindle, and self-publishing were an option. I sent it off and had interest from two agents. One of them then wanted to sign me, and I was taken for champagne at the Groucho club where six figure deals were talked about, my novel was hailed as the next Bridget Jones, and I was whipped up into a frenzy thinking my dreams of being a best selling author had come true.
Two months later, all the big publishing houses had passed on the book, and the agent told me to forget about it and move on. Shortly afterwards we parted company. Time passed, and I kept on writing. Then the opportunity to self-publish with Kindle Direct Publishing came along, so I uploaded The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard, plus another book I’d written called Lost In Crazytown. The first year was rough with just a handful of sales, but slowly I began to build an audience, then I made the eBooks free for a few days. They were downloaded thousands of times and when I put them back to being paid they hit the Amazon top 100 UK best seller list. It was incredible and spurred me on to write fast.
Since then I’ve written four more Coco Pinchard novels, and two stand alone romantic comedies, which have all been bestsellers and foreign rights have been sold in Slovakia. I have wanted to write a crime thriller series for several years, and I have been lucky enough to sign a three-book deal with Bookouture. The Girl In The Ice is the first book in my DCI Erika Foster crime series.
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
I write romantic comedy novels, and now my debut crime thriller with Bookouture.
What is your writing process? And how long does it take?
From starting writing to publication takes from 6-9 months. In the past I have tried writing by hand, but I always get sore fingers and I’m nervous about it just being in one notebook, which can be lost/spilled on/eaten by the dog. So I use the Scrivener software, which is incredible and I highly recommend it. I back my work up religiously in The Cloud, on a USB key, and my hard drive. I write from 8am – midday, break for lunch and do a couple more hours in the afternoon.
Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
All my characters start from a real person. The Coco Pinchard series is all about a writer whose son is gay and an actor, so I have drawn heavily on personal experience for this! The Girl In The Ice is set in South London and people I used to see around when I lived there inspired many of the characters. I lived in a really rough area of London for a few years, which has really informed my new crime series.
Have you written about a personal experience in your novels?
I use a lot of personal experiences in my novels. I think I’ve lived a very interesting life, with lots of tough times, and I think this has helped with my writing. I have two of the most extraordinary and funny Grandmothers, who have given me much material for my romantic comedies.
What research do you do?
I’m obsessed with research and getting things right. I do loads of reading, I talk to people, and I try to visit places I’m writing about. The key is to let the research inform your writing, but not to bog down the book with unnecessary details.
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I wouldn’t want to co-write a book. I have previously written with someone and I really enjoyed it, but writing is so all-consuming and very personal. When I had a writing partner we worked very closely and spent so much time together. I think if I did it again, it would have to be with someone very close to me. I couldn’t just be emailing documents back and forth with someone, it wouldn’t work for me.
What’s your favorite book?
Anything by Sue Townsend or Stephen King. I also re- read The Silence of the Lambs every year.
What’s your favorite food?
Cheese. I love cheese. The stronger the better.
What’s your favorite film?
I know I’m giving you two here, but Grease and The Silence of The Lambs.
What’s your favorite song?
Someone Like You by Adele. And to be really specific the version she sung at The Albert Hall. Also I love One Moment In Time by Whitney Houston, and to be specific again, it has to be the version she sang live at the Grammy’s in 1992. Amazing.
How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
Thanks Robert, you do have good taste in films! I wish you all the luck in the world with your book. And I can’t wait to host your author chat over on Crime Book Club on your publication day.
Thanks so much for having me here today, it’s been great to meet you!