First-time fiction author, Paul Robinson-Kamp sits down with Blurbify to discuss his experiences of writing and publishing his book, This Scheme of Things (TSOT). Interviewed by Sean Betts
TSOT is a satire of Israeli culture and society which encompasses the use of the very topical characters of the spy and the blog-troll as vehicles to complement not only a very fluid, adept and humorous writing style, but a wry and chuckle-inducing narrative.
Q. So to begin with, tell us a bit about yourself, Paul.
A. Well, I’m a Brit who hasn’t seen the UK since 1995. I studied Philosophy at Manchester and afterwards washed dishes at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. I’ve worked as an ESL teacher in various places including Holland, Sri Lanka, Israel, Portugal, India and New Zealand. I’m married and have two young children. We currently live in Goa, India, where I teach at the European School.
Q. If I’m not mistaken you used to work as an editor of translated works; how did you find yourself in that role?
A. I fell on the job by chance, through an acquaintance who worked with the CEEBP Foundation.
Q. Your first fiction book, This Scheme of Things, is due for release on 1st December 2014, could you please tell us a little about the book?
A. TSOT is a new kind of publication, in that it satirises Israeli society and culture. Usually, people treat Israel too seriously, I think, and with the gloves on.
Q. What inspired you to write TSOT?
A. I lived in Israel for almost ten years, eventually acquiring citizenship; and looking around at the gross materialism, the shallow, vacuous xenophobia and lock-step opinions, I couldn’t believe that nobody was laughing at these people.
Q. TSOT is going to be published by Safkhet Publishing; how did you come across them?
A. I first approached Safkhet back in 2010 with another book, which wasn’t taken. I approached them, really, with a sense of nostalgia for Cambridge, where they were then based. Looking back now, perhaps it was kismet.
Q. How long did it take you to complete the manuscript itself?
A. Two and a half months. Ten weeks. But that’s working on it either consciously, or sub-consciously, for 24 hours a day.
Q. What do you feel was the biggest challenge in the process of taking the book from manuscript to finished product?
A. Not giving up is always the key challenge.
Q. And finally do you have any words of wisdom for those trying to get published, or wanting to work in the publishing field itself?
A. First of all be lucky. Combine this with hard work and things will inevitably happen.
This Scheme of Things will be published on 1st December 2014 by Safkhet Publishing.