Reading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with Robert James, Author of “Next: The Search for My Last First Date” for an interview. We are excited to share this insightful interview today with our readers.
When did you first discover that you enjoy writing and wanted to become a published author?
I began writing my first book, NEXT! The Search for My Last First Date, as a total fluke. I was
divorced, and my life was on my computer calendar, which my assistant had access to. One morning I came into work, and she said, “I see you had a date last night. How was it?” I told her it was “fine”. No, she wanted all details. So every morning after a date, I expected to have to de-brief her. After a few dates, I told her about a woman who was a bit crazy. After several dates over time with crazy women, or where crazy things happened, my assistant told me I needed to start writing some of the funnier stories, and that’s how NEXT!, and my writing career started.
What is your favorite and the most challenging aspect of writing?
That’s a great question. I have a lot of ideas for storylines, I just have trouble finding time to actually write. Writing is very time consuming, and with a regular full-time job, active social life, family, there’s not much time left for writing. I need to be more disciplined and make time.
Tell us about your latest release.
NEXT! is a romantic comedy whose premise is about a naïve middle aged divorced guy who goes internet dating – what could go wrong? Each chapter is a date with different crazy woman. It’s a hilarious, light hearted romance story about one divorced middle aged man’s quest for the next love of his life. Married jeans, internet dating, landing strips, third date rule, Bob had a lot to learn about the women he met. He knows nothing about modern dating and nothing about modern women. The book goes through the highs and lows, the definitely odd and bizarre, the funny and the heart breaking, and the timing and chemistry of dating, knowing that his happily ever after could be NEXT! If you’ve ever been on a date, male or female, you will relate with the characters, and laugh! You may ever recognize some of the women in the book.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
At the end of every date in the book, things would usually end badly, and I wouldn’t plan on seeing them again. Then, it would be onto another date, or NEXT!. And I really was looking for a long term relationship or marriage, which would make it my last first date. I hoped the combination would make a catchy title.
What do you hope readers are able to get from reading your story?
I’d like readers to get a few things from my book. First of all, I want them to laugh at how funny dating can be. Some of the stories may remind readers of their own dating, or they may recognize people they know in the characters. And we all like laughing at ourselves and real-life situations. I also make the point in the book that timing and chemistry are critical to successful relationships, but they are tough to get right at the same time for both people. I also want readers to know that while taking can be trying at times, there’s someone out there for everyone, but sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince or princess.
Why did you write under the pen name Robert James?
I had my house broken into by women I had dated, and those stories will be in a follow up book, so at first it was partially for anonymity. Before I published NEXT!, my employer told me I had to use a pen name, afraid the book could possibly reflect poorly on the company, so I used my first and middle name. I currently use Robert James on my website (www.nextthebook.com), Twitter (@nextthebook), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/nextthebook). I will use my real name, Robert James Thwaites, on future books though.
What about the success of NEXT!?
I can’t believe it. My first book becomes a best seller, get optioned for a movie, and the movie looks to begin filming this year (2017). And reviews on Amazon are averaging over 4.5 stars. I couldn’t be happier about it. I have to keep pinching myself. The letters and emails of appreciation have been very encouraging too. And much of book sales profits have gone to a charity, Kids Beating Cancer, which helps fund bone marrow transplants for children with cancer. It’s a small contribution that I hope makes a difference.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on three books. The first is a follow up to NEXT!, which will tentatively be released after the movie comes out. I have another romcom in the works, which takes a funny look at relationships, and why they may have failed on the way to Mr. or Mrs. Right. The third book I’m working on is more of a suspense thriller with a working title of The Vault, which looks at the dirty side of money, and secrets people have with money.