Today I have the pleasure to introduce you all to Deborah Install whose debut novel “A Robot In The Garden” is an absolute little gem. Needless to say that it made my list of 2015 faves and if you want to know why you can find out right here . However the lady behind the novel is as intriguing as the book if not more and I am so grateful that she has take the time to indulge me. So without any further ado, please meet Deborah everyone!!
LaChouett: When did you decide it was the right time to go back writing again? What was the trigger?
Deborah: I’d written on an off since I was a child, but was always acutely aware that I didn’t seem to know very much about, well, anything! I think partly I just got to the point where I felt I knew enough to be able to write recognisably about life. More than that, though, when I was pregnant I felt I wanted to do something apart from that…something that made me me. I didn’t have a good time during pregnancy and part of me felt I was losing myself. I guess writing was a way of keeping something separate. In hindsight I needn’t have worried as much as I did about becoming a mother, but I’m glad it gave me the impetus!
LaChouett: Was Tang always meant to be a robot or were you toying with different ideas when writing the novel?
Deborah: Yes, Tang was always a robot. He just came to me as that – it was the very first thing I knew about him and he couldn’t have been anything else.
LaChouett: If Tang had not gatecrashed Ben’s life, what would have happened to Ben? Or, is it a secret Ssshh?
Deborah: I like to think something else would have given Ben the nudge he needed eventually, but I don’t think it would have been in time to salvage any kind of relationship with Amy. I don’t like to think of Ben just drifting forever, he would have been so unhappy.
LaChouett: Is technology a hobby of yours and how did you think about including it in the novel? Was there a particular message you wanted to convey?
Deborah: It is a hobby, yes, although there are very large holes in my knowledge on the subject. In writing the book though that was helpful, because I wanted to write it from the layman’s point of view. In Ben and Tang’s world androids are as much a part of life as smart phones are to ours, and I wanted the level of expertise to be the same, i.e. they’re fairly intuitive to use. I didn’t want to write a book where prior knowledge was needed.
LaChouett: Can you tell us a little bit about the book you submitted to a publisher when you were 8?
Deborah: Hehe, it was called Sammy the Squirrel and had a green sugar paper cover. I drew all the illustrations myself but strangely I have no memory of the story itself. I presume it’s because it was terrible!
LaChouett: Will you be revisiting it in the view to publish it?
Deborah: I think it’s very unlikely! Although I would like one day to write books my son can read, as it’ll be a good 15 years plus before he’ll be able to give A Robot in the Garden a go.
LaChouett: Can you share with us one of your best moments of your published author experience?
Deborah: That’s a lovely question! I think probably publication day itself. I’d heard it can be an anti-climax as in many ways nothing really changes on the actual day, but I found it to be the most wonderful day. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of twitter, and to be an author on publication day on twitter is just the most fantastic outpouring of support you can imagine. I also got flowers and champagne delivered throughout the day, which is also fab! I felt very much like I did the day my son was born, except I wasn’t terribly tired and my body hadn’t gone through the ringer in quite the same way. It was the same feeling if achievement though.
LaChouett: When will we be able to purchase plush Tangs 🙂 ?
Deborah: Haha, maybe I’ll open an Etsy shop for them! I could do a whole range – keyrings, bookmarks… 😀
LaChouett: Can you tell us “10 things” we don’t know about Deborah Install?
Deborah: Oh wow, let’s see now…
- I am a big fan of all things Japanese. I’ve been to Japan twice and felt like I’ve left a little part of myself there on both occasions.
- I’m a gamer – RPG, board games and video games. Any games!
- I used to sing lead vocals in a band, but although I can sing I was no good as a ‘front man’. Just wasn’t for me. Weirdly, though, I absolutely love reading aloud, which is handy in this job!
- I belonged to an am dram group in Stratford-upon-Avon, where I won an award for directing Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. I even appeared topless on stage during one particular show – I was Mae-Rose Cottage in Under Milk Wood. Surprisingly liberating but not something I would do again…not since having a child, haha!
- I am a big advocate for maternity rights and equal pay – I was part of the 1 in 7 women who gets made redundant on maternity leave and it happens all too easily, though there are in theory laws in place to protect women from this. And the gender pay gap…well that just shouldn’t exist. I’m digressing, apologies.
- I am a blue belt in the martial art aikido. Fans of The Rosie Project will be familiar with aikido. I don’t practice anymore as I’m too paranoid about doing my wrists damage, but all the same I’m proud to hold the belt.
- I love Rugby. In fact, our honeymoon was constructed around the fact that I wanted to go to New Zealand to watch the World Cup in 2011. My husband’s not that fussed about it.
- I like to sew…although I think this is common knowledge actually, so I maybe cheating a bit here!
- I have a tattoo of a treble clef above my left hip.
- I have an ambition to be a guest on Graham Norton…because authors never are and I think they should be!
LaChouett: If there is an author you wanted to be, who would it be and why?
Deborah: My ultimate admiration for an author goes to JK Rowling, who is just marvellous in so many ways and does such wonderful things with the influence she has. That said, I don’t think I’d want to be her, just for the crap she gets put through by trolls and the fact that she must have absolutely no time to herself! I would like to be an author who pleases and delights their fans but who has a good life balance. So perhaps someone like Alexander McCall Smith, whose writing always suggests to me a certain serenity of person that I can probably only aspire to!
Thank you so much for sharing Deborah