Book Realities

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How Robert Horne turned his book dream into a book reality

Season 1, Ep. 4

Another in our Book Realities series of interviews with independent authors, where we discuss their books, their writing methods and what inspired them to be writers in the first place. In this episode we meet Robert Horne, an avid reader of fiction since childhood when he started on the classic novels his mother put in their bookshelves.


With a BA under his arm, he worked at many different jobs before spending sixteen years as a senior secondary teacher in English and Classical Studies. His first visit to south east Asia in 2008 developed within him a burning interest to write about that area.


His articles have appeared in the Sydney Review of Books, Mekong Review and journals of the Universities of Barcelona and New Delhi. He is the prize-winning author of two books of short stories and completed a Master of Arts in 2012, and in 2017 a Doctor of Creative Arts in Creative Writing. He is now a freelance editor of academic writing, as well as an interested gardener and grower of organic vegies. But it is the flame of fiction writing that still burns most strongly in him.


His novel, Made in Cambodia is a story set in the midst of the upheavals of a developing nation forcing its way into the 21st Century. Ex-Khmer Rouge cadres must live among their former victims, modernism challenges millennia-old spirit beliefs, and young women, who yesterday were destined to remain the centre of village life, today must leave to be factory workers or medical students. It may not be enough that two people are right for each other, the world must be right for them.


Robert was also a long list selection of the ARA Historical Novel Prize, for The Glass Harpoon.

More Episodes

9/14/2022

How Jim Shields turned his book dream into a book reality

Season 1, Ep. 6
Another in our Book Realities series of interviews with independent authors, where we discuss their books, their writing methods and what inspired them to be writers in the first place. In this episode we meet Jim Shields. Born and raised in Larne, Northern Ireland, Jim was formerly Emeritus Professor of Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Ulster, retiring from his academic career in 2004. A passionate and lifelong supporter of the arts he was a relative latecomer to creative writing, but once started he has striven to make up for lost time. Seasons of Affection is his third published collection of short stories. He has no intention of it being his last.Jim, still living in Larne with his Annette, (where they regularly entertain their five children and five grandchildren) is joined in conversation with Ian Hooper, a fellow-Larne native, although now living in Australia. Together they discuss, Seasons of Affection, and how it explores the cares, life’s and loves of his hometown’s inhabitants across the generations. These are the people you could meet on any day in any town. But the folk within this collection of stories all live in the author’s home town. A small, ordinary town inhabited by ordinary people, busy with the everyday task of living.Yet within the stories that span a century or more, is a central thread of caring; for partners and children, for wider family and friends. For the town itself; its heritage and history. Each of the characters is also searching for friendship, independence, affection, love and self-respect. As the seasons in the natural world transition in colour and personality, so too do the ordinary people in this ordinary town, revealing their hidden needs and their hidden selves in the pursuit of happiness. From tales set within the pandemic, as young and old feel their way through a dramatically changing world bedeviled by fake news, to tales from the Victorian era, it seems that the season may pass, but our affections remain true.