Jan. 7, 2021
Q. You worked as one of the screenwriters on the adaptation of your novel, The Trial. What did you learn in that process?
Robert: Unlike a novel, writing a screenplay is a collaborative effort. My goal was to preserve the essence of the story as originally created, while recognizing that it’s impossible to film a 400- page book! I had the final say on all major changes. In writing the script I focused on the dialogue while the other writers wrote the aspects of the scenes that related to movie production. If someone came up with an idea that I wished I’d included in the novel, we added it!
Q. Which do you enjoy writing and working on more, movies or novels?
Robert: Novels are my preference. Living a story alongside my characters makes story-telling fun. As a writer, I’m more comfortable with the creative style of a novel. Scriptwriting must, to a certain extent, be more formulaic.
Q. You’ve said that you enjoy participating in book clubs. What’s the appeal?
Robert: I enjoy the questions readers ask and learning what they liked about a story. Even criticisms provide food for discussion. I appreciate and respect a person who took the time to read one of my novels and then wants to spend time with the author.
Q. How has your experience as a lawyer has informed your legal thrillers?
Robert: One of the axioms of writing is to write what you know. I’ve been a lawyer for decades so my knowledge and experience help me create fictional worlds that are close enough to reality that the reader can join the journey. I draw on many personal experiences with cases and people. I’ve always been an active, curious listener who asks people questions. That has provided a wealth of information that seeps into my novels.
Q. What are you working on now?
Robert: A new novel, Trial and Error, will be released in February, 2021. My work in progress is called Attorney in Law. It’s a story that involves in-laws who end up in a law practice together and become involved in a case that is about much more than they bargained.
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