Welcome to RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour.
I’m excited to present our “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Robert Fear.
Meet Robert Fear. Ask him questions. Leave comments.
What’s next for Robert Fear?
Well, before anything else, I will be concentrating on the opportunities offered by being in the ‘Author Spotlight’ for July at #RRBC (Rave Reviews Book Club). It is a huge privilege for me to be chosen and came as a real surprise as I only regard myself to be a part-time writer and editor. As I am in between contracts for my day job at the moment, this gives me more time to promote my writing and also concentrate on writing my next book.
The 2017 Travel Stories Competition (500-1000 words) will run until July 31st 2017. The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges and announced early in September. The 2017 Travel Highlights Competition (50-100 words) will then run from mid-September until mid-November, with winners being selected by a public vote in the last two weeks of November. I will then select the best stories and highlights from both competitions. These will be included in a 2018 Edition of the Travel Stories and Highlights book and should be released early in the New Year.
As a special offer to readers of this blog, I would like to offer you a free copy of the 2017 Edition of the Kindle version of Travel Stories and Highlights (normally $2.99) if you sign up to the Fred’s Blog Newsletter. Follow the link to sign up and I will send you regular updates on the competitions and news about upcoming releases.
I have started work on a new memoir but I am making slow progress. It is about the first time I left England on my own and spent the summer season of 1977 working and partying on the island of Ibiza in Spain. This is more difficult to write than when I self-published Fred’s Diary 1981. For this book I do not have a handwritten diary to fall back on. I do, however, have the letters that were written to me while I was there. These are helping me bring back memories and create a timeline of when things happened.
In the past I have been more of a diarist or a memoirist, as well as an editor and proof-reader, rather than an accomplished author. I am having to get my head round a completely new skill set and learn the art of creative writing.
This may be a risk at such an early stage of the new book, but I am including a small extract below of what I have written so far. Your feedback and constructive criticism would be welcome (please e-mail me at email@example.com).
The ferry edged its way from the berth and headed for the harbour entrance. In the early evening light the clouds lifted, and the sun appeared on the horizon for a few minutes. Through the descending gloom I could make out the famous white cliffs of Dover as we left the shores of England.
The seas were choppy, and the wind icy as we headed across the channel. I put on a jumper and buttoned up my denim jacket. Determined to stay on deck, I enjoyed the feel of the wind that blew against my face and through my hair. A surge of elation swept over me as I realised that my dream had come true.
I did not hear her approach as I had become absorbed in my own thoughts. It took a few seconds to realise she had spoken.
‘Hi, how are you doing, where are you heading?’
She was taller than me and several years older. Long blond hair wrapped itself around her shoulders and her pale blue eyes glistened as she looked at me.
I averted my gaze for a moment before smiling back,
‘Hi, sorry, I didn’t realise you were there. I’m travelling to Barcelona by coach and then getting a ferry across to Ibiza.’
‘What are you planning to do there?’
‘I’m hoping to work for the season in a place called Es Cana.’
‘Is this the first time you’ve worked abroad?’
‘Yes, I’ve just finished work at a bank in London. Where are you heading? Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.’
‘Everyone one calls me Micky, but my real name is Michelle. I’m off to Barcelona. We’re on the same bus. I saw you earlier on and thought, as you are on your own, you’d appreciate company. I’m an English teacher returning to the school where I work, after an Easter break back at home in Bristol.’
Micky edged closer as if to get extra protection against the biting wind.
‘And what’s your name?’
‘Most people I know call me Fred.’
‘Is that a nickname then?’
‘Yes, I got it at school and it’s stuck since then. My mates call me Fred though my real name is Robert.’
Her eyes widened,
‘You seem more like Fred than Robert.’
I smiled back,
‘How long have you worked in Barcelona?’
‘Just under a year. I finished Teacher Training College in 1976, not long after Franco died in November 1975. Spain was a country that had always interested me. When I saw an advertisement in the paper for a teaching position there, I jumped at the chance and applied straight away. After an interview in London I got the job.’
‘Are you enjoying it?’
‘On the whole, yes. Spain is changing fast after forty years of dictatorship, but people’s attitudes will take longer to change. Life for a female is still difficult. I am lucky they take care of me while at the school but things can be awkward outside sometimes.’
‘Do you ever regret doing it?’
‘No, not at all. Travel gives you a new outlook on life. You’ll discover that for yourself this summer. That is as long as you don’t weaken and I don’t think you will Fred.’
‘Thanks Micky, that’s nice of you.’
The loud sound of the ship’s siren broke the atmosphere for a moment. The ferry had arrived at the port of Calais.
Micky gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and winked at me,
‘I’ll see you back on the bus, take care.’
‘Yes, great to meet you, see you later.’
What a lovely surprise, I thought as I smoked a quick cigarette before my return to the coach.
Books published to date:
Fred’s Diary 1981 getBook.at/FredsDiary1981
Travel Stories and Highlights getBook.at/TravelStories
Exclusive Pedigree getBook.at/ExclusivePedigree
Born in Leicester, UK in 1955, Robert’s family moved to Surrey when he was 11. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School. After this he worked at a bank in London for several years before getting the travel bug. Fred, a nickname he got at school, stuck throughout his travels and has remained with him to this day. His travels took him to Ibiza for the summer of 1977, hitch-hiking around Europe in 1978 and the USA and Canada in 1979. During this time he also settled and worked in Germany. Fred’s Diary 1981 was written during the 158 days he spent travelling around Asia.
These days Robert is happily settled in Eastbourne, East Sussex where he lives with his wife and three cats. He works as a software consultant and has been able to combine work with some travel during the past fifteen years, having visited countries as far apart as Australia, Singapore, Ghana and Suriname.
Facebook – @fredsdiary1981
Twitter Handle – @fredsdiary1981
Website – http://www.fd81.net/
Thank you for joining our Author Blog Tour.