Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Initially I experimented with various styles and genres, before settling on historical fiction. I particularly like this genre because it offers fixed points in time on which you can build your novel, whilst also allowing the flexibility to weave an entertaining story around them.
I began by writing short romantic stories for women’s magazines. It’s a very disciplined craft and I learned a lot from it. Much of my early work has been published in various national periodicals including “Secrets”, “Red Letter” and “The People’s Friend”.
Since then I’ve written several experimental novels. “Dance the Moon Down required two years of research and fourteen months to write, before being published. Was it worth the efoort? You tell me.
I’m single and live and write in Hertfordshire.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Dance the Moon Down” is an historical drama set against the background of the First World War. The novel attempts a new slant on an old theme by focusing on the lives of the women left behind.
I discovered that whilst a great deal has been written about the men, and even the animals that fought in the Great war, very little had been done about civillian life, particularly that of women on Britain’s home front.
I read an article in “The Nation” for June 1914, written by John Galsworthy, the author of the “Forsyte Saga”. Basically it was a critique of the younger generation, of whom he wrote “had been born to dance the moon down to ragtime” The irony of his statement had such a profound effect on me that I took it for the title of my novel.
Whilst researching in this period, I came across the letters and diaries of some women who had lived through the trauma of the First World War. What I read in them was so poignant , I felt that theirs was a story that demanded to be told.
Consequently, although “Dance the Moon Down is entirelly a work of fiction, many of the events portrayed in the novel are based on actual events.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I always write in longhand first. I find it’s quicker that way., Nothing goes onto the computor until the final draught. In the case of “Dance the Moon Down” it was six.
I prefer to write at night, from about 11pm to 3pm, it’s quieter then and I can hear myself think.
I’m entirelly fuled by black tea, which I drink from a pint mug. Most nights I get through about eight mugs.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Herman Melville. His ability to create driven characters is inspirational. Also Earnest Hemmingway, his powerful understated style has justly earned him an international reputation .
What are you working on now?
At the moment I’m researching for another historical drama, based on the American Civil War. This one also has a female central character (my favourite) In case anyone is wondering, no, it’s going to be nothing likme “Gone with the Wind”, but that’s all I’m saying for now.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
By far, it’s the book review blogging community. Contacting individual bloggers takes a lot of time and hard work, but it’s well worth it. Not only do you get some great reviews, you make a lot of new friends as well.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write for the love of it. Never give up, and above all, believe in yourself.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
No matter who you are, how old you are, where you live, or what’s happening in your life- follow your dream.
What are you reading now?
Heart of Darkness by Joesph Conrad.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Hopefully to finish and publish my next novel.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I really can’t put my finger on just one. There are so many great novels out there. I hope I can get round to reading them all.
Author Websites and Profiles
Robert Bartram Amazon Profile
Robert Bartram’s Social Media Links