Novelist and former karate champion Ralph Robb recounts his experiences at one of Europe’s toughest dojos and provides an insight into the philosophy and training methods of a club which produced national, European and world titleholders. In a hard-hitting story, Ralph tells of the fights on and off the mat; his experiences as one of a very few black residents in an area in which racist members of the National Front were very active; and the tragic descent into mental illness and premature death of the training partner who was also his best friend.
- Did or do you like to read comic books/grapic novels? Which ones?
From an early age I’ve been a keen reader of the Marvel comic world. Every Saturday morning I’d race to the local news agent to pick up my weekly subscription of comics. Fast forward to the present – If my wife ever loses me in a book store she knows where to find me.
That’s right – in the comic books / grapic novel section.
- Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?
The love of books came later in life and was a result of the trigger for me not being old enough to watch the movie ‘Enter the Dragon’. So, the next best thing was to purchasing the book. That book captivated my imagination like nothing before and was the catalyst to a lifelong love of reading.
- When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?
Not at all. I tend to be more practical, when choosing such characters which are usually a combination of traits from various people I know.
- How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Coming up with names can be a pain in the ass. At times I find myself scouring movie credits just to see if a name jumps out at me. Sometimes when I find myself in such a fix, I would give my character a letter or a temporary name, in the hope that a suitable one will come to me at a later time.
- Do you write other things beside books (and shoppinglists 😉 )?
Working for a small company, where there is no set boundary, I would write instructional manuals for machinery. Childs play compared to writing a book. One being a logical step by step process, the other being anything but.
- If a movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?
I would be totally happy with the ‘based on’ version. TV is a completely different media, one in which I know very little. Therefore, I would be totally willing to take a step back and let the experts in that field, interpret the book to suit the media.
- Who would you like/have liked to interview?
Steven King – who wouldn’t want to know what makes him tick?
- Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?
The first person I would default to would be my wife. Often, we’d debate such situations, disagree, have a cup of tea, let some time pass and reconvene. If this fails to obtain any results, I have a few friends I would bounce ideas off.
- Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?
Again, being rather a private person, the answer to this question is exactly the same as the previous question.
- What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course)
Personally, I would much prefer a reviewer to explain with a comment. In order for me to improve my game, such comments are welcomed, even if they sometimes sting.
Thank you, Ralph Robb and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
Ralph Robb was born and raised in the industrial town of Wolverhampton, England, and now lives in Ontario, Canada with his wife, two cats and a dog. A proud father of four, Robb works as an engineering technician and loves rugby, martial arts and of course a good book. His world is balanced by his obsession with comic books, quality TV, global events and the great outdoors.