Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to the author behind the book that made me smile again after having a little bit of a rough patch. Please welcome Robert Bryndza, author of the recently released “Miss Wrong and Mr Right” that I have also reviewed and the link is right here! Robert has written quite a few other humorous novels which is great because :” Hello back catalogue!!!…”
I suppose the only thing missing is that damn Playboy centerfold!!! Just keep reading…you’ll know what I mean. *wink*.
LaChouett: Rob, there is a real shroud of mystery over you which is great as I can ask you anything, so my first question for you is, when did you know you would be a writer and was it always what you wanted to be?
Rob: Growing up, my dream was to be an actor, and I trained at the Guildford School of Acting in the UK. In my late twenties I had a long period of ‘resting’ as actors call it, and was about to call it quits and get a nine to five job when a friend asked if I could replace someone who had dropped out of a comedy show he was producing. As well as performing, I ended up writing some comedy sketches. I enjoyed the writing part so much that I carried on; I started to submit my work to magazines and to enter writing competitions for the BBC Writers room. The turning point came when I took a play I had written to the Edinburgh Festival, it did very well and my husband persuaded me to concentrate on writing.
LaChouett: Why did you go for humour out of all the genres out there?
Rob: I’ve always loved comedy. Making people laugh is one of the hardest things, but so rewarding. Growing up I was obsessed with Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books, Victoria Wood, and French and Saunders.
LaChouett: How old were you when you wrote your first story and what was it about?
Rob: I was thirteen. I was given an electric typewriter for Christmas and I wrote a comedy science fiction story which I thought at the time was completely original, but reading it back recently, I realised it was a complete rip-off of The X-Files.
LaChouett: “Miss Wrong and Mr Right” is the first of your titles that I read, was it difficult to write from a female POV? Or do most of your titles have a main female protagonist?
Rob: All my titles, bar one, are written from the female POV. Finding the voice for a character is never easy, regardless of them being male or female. Coco Pinchard was very tricky to work out. In the early drafts of what became the first Coco Pinchard book, the protagonist was male, and he had a wife called Coco. After a while my husband said that I should concentrate on her because he was a bit dull! I think writing from the female POV is far more fascinating and interesting than the male.
LaChouett: I love Anouska amongst other characters, how did you come up with her?
Rob: I was walking the dog one day and she just popped into my head fully formed, she’d based on many of the tough, funny old ladies I’ve met in my life, in the UK and Slovakia. I wanted a character that could be on Natalie’s side. Natalie decides to leave her fiancé at the altar, and her Gran, Anouska is the only one who supports her. She is also rather outrageous, and is quite badly behaved for an old lady, and I love writing those kinds of characters.
LaChouett: What are you reading right now?
Rob: Still Standing: The Savage Years by Paul O’ Grady. Love Paul O’Grady. I should include him to the list of comedians I loved growing up.
LaChouett: When it comes to writing, what do find the most challenging and how do you get passed it?
Rob: I find it all challenging. I’m constantly filled with doubts. I just have to make myself do it. I sit down at seven every morning and don’t get up until I’ve written 2000 words. I think the biggest hurdle I’ve overcome recently is realising that sometimes I’ll sit down and write utter rubbish, but if I keep at it, something good emerges. The biggest challenge is time. I need lots of time to perfect a novel. I re-write a lot.
LaChouett: How do you find living in Slovakia and how does it influence your writing?
Rob: I think in many ways it has really focused my writing. As a foreigner, you become more of a listener than a talker. As an outsider looking in, you often notice more about how people tick. On a practical level, the working day here tends to begin at seven in the morning and finish at three. I love it so much more than the nine to five routine I used to have. I always make a point of getting out of the house to do something completely different after 3pm. It’s great for having ideas.
LaChouett: Can you tell us “10 things” we don’t know about Robert Bryndza
Rob: Ten – oh blimey, that might be hard… Okay;
- I took my husband’s surname Bryndza when we married. Bryndza in Slovakia is a type of sheep cheese. My email account always translates my emails to read, ‘Dear Robert Sheep Cheese.’
- When I was eight, my parents took my and my sister to live in Canada for a year. It changed my life completely and gave me a different perspective on things.
- I’m terrified of frogs.
- My favourite colour is green.
- I’ve been a Playboy Centerfold! The play I took to the Edinburgh Festival was a comedy about a failed Croatian magician who was unhappily married to his assistant. The Editor of Croatian Playboy stumbled across an article about it online, and flew over to watch our show and interview us for that months issue.
Okay, that’s five. I hope that will do?
LaChouett: Yeah I guess the Playboy Centerfold count for at least 6 :).
LaChouett: Can you share with us, one of the best days of your life?
Rob: The day I met my future husband. Until then I’d been rather flailing about in my life. He was the first person who sat me down and told me that I should focus on being a writer, and he said that if I did, he was willing to support me whilst I tried. His belief and his support changed my life in so many ways.
Thank you so much Rob!!
You can find Rob on Twitter @RobertBryndza