Name Rob Kitchin

Age 46

Where are you from Near Liverpool, but have lived in Ireland for 20 years

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc I presently work as a professor of Geography, which keeps me pretty busy. At home, I mostly read and play with our three dogs. 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I don’t have any fiction related news to be honest.  The last book was out three years ago.  My latest work has got stuck in the finding a publisher merry-go-round. In terms of non-fiction, the latest edited book was published last month and another will be published later in the year, and I’ve a steady stream of articles being published. I’ve spent most of the last few years concentrating on non-fiction writing.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I read quite a lot when I was a teenager and always had a desire to write. I wrote my first novels in my early 20s, but none were published.  I had my first non-fiction piece published in 1993 and have published fairly consistently since then.  So far, I’m just over the 30 books mark, plus a large encyclopedia, 200 or so articles/book chapters, a couple of thousand blog posts, and editing over 130 volumes of academic journals.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In terms of academic stuff, early 1990s.  In terms of fiction, I still don’t really think of myself as a fiction writer; more a hobbyist.  I think the difference is probably success.  I’m well established as a non-fiction writer and have won a few prizes, etc., but I’m still finding my way with fiction.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

It was just something that I always wanted to do.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

No, not really.  I’ve written for a number of formats and audiences – academic, newspapers, blogs, TV documentary, fiction, etc.  I’m used to shifting registers and styles depending on what’s required.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

For Stumped – it was suggested by a friend.  The book was originally titled ‘Saving Siobhan’ but the publisher thought that non-Irish audiences might struggle with ‘Siobhan’.  Stumped works on a number of levels – the lead characters quickly get stumped in their deductions, the novel is set during an election when one of the characters is working the stump, and the lead character is a double amputee.  It also chimed well with the previous book that was titled ‘Stiffed’.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No, not really.  The story is a comic crime caper and is meant to be a bit of fun.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

In parts it’s reasonably realistic, but some of it stretches the imagination a little.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No, it’s entirely made-up.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I read pretty widely.  Generally, I read a couple of novels a week, plus a lot of non-fiction.  I’m not drawn to any one book or writer.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Adrian McKinty, ‘Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly’

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Loads – I review a couple of books a week on my blog – The View from the Blue House.  New authors to me I’ve liked recently include Caimh McDonnell, Jock Serong, John Hart, and Harry Bingham.

Fiona: What are your current projects?


At some point during the year I’ll have a go at re-editing my latest work-in-progress.  Otherwise, it’s non-fiction writing related to large funded projects concerning the relationship between digital technologies and cities.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It kind of is on the non-fiction side.  My work involves a lot of writing, I make a bit of money from it, and do a lot of related travel (I get 80+ invites a year to give talks).

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

In terms of the one I’ve been working on recently, not really, other than how readers react to it.  They generally think it’s a book aimed at 10 year old kids, whereas I think the target audience is adults!

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, not really.  They are mostly based in Ireland.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The publisher looked after that, except for a couple of short story collections, which were done by JT Lindroos

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

A book doesn’t write itself; the only way it gets written is to sit and write it.  And write the book that you’d like to read, rather than trying to second guess agents, editors and publishers.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

My fiction blog is The View from the Blue House ( /).  Generally, I review crime fiction novels and post short stories.  I have a bunch of other websites but they are all day-job related.  My Twitter handle is @robkitchin


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