Robert New


Other Uses for Bookmarks

My Son found a pile of bookmarks which I’d had printed as a give away/promotional material for my book, Incite Insight. He decided that sitting in a box with some printed copies of the book was not the best use for them. He asked me to build a “Doom Ship” like Bowser’s in the various Mario Bros games. The ship is nothing but bookmarks and sticky tape (still a work in progress). The ship is able to carry four “Clown Carts” (made from other resources) for him to use when battling his Mario toys.

You know what? Despite the environmental cost of the paper and tape I think this was a really good use for the bookmarks. My Son and I got to spend quality time together making it and he certainly appreciated that I’d donated my resources and the final outcome of the boat.

What’s my favourite piece of my writing?

I’m often asked this question when I give author talks or interviews. It occurred to me my answer is nearly always the title of the last story I wrote. I tend to write because an idea has inspired me and I want to write a story around it. Effectively, my affection for an idea leads to me being enamoured with the story written around it. For my latest anthology, Movemind, that’s Devilish Tricks, which is also the last story in the collection.

This story was the second of two in Movemind (the other being The Second Fear) to be inspired by the case study of a woman who has been given the pseudonym SM046. Through a genetic disorder, she’s had the part of her brain which produces fear destroyed. She is literally fearless. This has given her a number of interesting quirks, some with profound consequences – which I explore in Devilish Tricks.

Reading several studies of SM046 has inspired me to start writing my first non-fiction book about her and fear in general. I’m thinking of calling it Why the Fear, just so the letters WTF can be highlighted on the cover. It’s a much slower process writing non-fiction, but I’m hoping to have it out by the end of next year.

In the meantime, I’m about to send the draft of my next book – Colours of Death: Sgt Thomas Casebook to my editor. It’s another short story collection. This time it’s detective fiction with a science edge, rather than speculative sci-fi. Each story has a colour-based theme. We’re aiming to have it ready first quarter 2019 or before.

Until next time!


My interview on ‘Viewpoints’ went to air this morning. Here it is:

New Radio Interview

After a long weekend spent at the Continuum Speculative Fiction convention, I was exhausted. Then a text came through – was I interested in a radio interview this week? ‘Yes,’ I replied. Such an opportunity is a rare thing for an unknown author like me, so I seized the chance. My day job as a teacher, meant I couldn’t record the interview live-to-air, but I was able to phone it in as a ‘pre-record.’ I’ve just finished recording the interview from the passenger seat in my car! It goes to air tomorrow (15/6/18) at 10.35am as part of ‘Viewpoints’ with Henry Grossek on 3SER. I’ll post the audio next week.


Video Trailer for Movemind

Here is the video trailer for my book Movemind. It is available to order now.

My Writing Strategy

I spent January revising and editing Movemind (now available for pre-order). Since February, I’ve had a target of writing 250 words a day during the week and 500 a day on weekends. It’s really worked for me and I rarely write only the target for the day. 250 words is manageable – roughly 15-25 minutes. I know some authors go for a thousand or 750 words a day. When I try that I invariably fail; the time required interferes with my day job and family too much. 250 words also happens to be roughly the amount of words of one page of a book. The feeling of continually making progress is rewarding. I also like that by the time I get to write again, I’ve spent so much time thinking about what comes next I don’t get distracted and write efficiently.

As a result of this practice, I’ve just finished the seventh story of a planned nine story collection. I’ve written 42,000 words since February, with a rough estimate of 10,000 to go for the last two stories. With a bit of luck, I’ll have the book out early next year, which means I’ll have published two books within a year!

Some stories are based on a well-plotted out plan, some from ideas that have percolated for a long time, but not necessarily written down, and some just on a single sentence. The latest story (called The Storyteller) was a total “pantser.” I had a one-sentence idea: ‘An arsonist sets fires so he can write a story about who tries to stop it.’ That was it. I think it was an idea from a dream I had roughly four years ago. I really like how the story turned out and had a heap of fun writing it, probably because I had no pre-conceived ideas about where it was going. Firmly setting the story in Perth helped the story develop as it led to some plot points coming from local landmarks. The resulting plot become the closest companion story I’ve written for Incite Insight in terms of content.

The collection is tentatively titled: The Colours of Death: Sgt Thomas’ Casebook. It’s detective fiction with my usual sprinkling of science. The main character in the stories is the detective from Incite Insight. The stories are set after the events of that story, and Sgt Thomas is now an extremely effective detective. Each story has a colour based theme. For example; the victims turn blue, violet is the name of a drug, a uniform colour is indigo and so on. I’ve based the colours off the rainbow (ROYGBIV) and added black and white. I still have white and green to write. White is a ‘percolated’ story — one I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years and green will be another ‘pantser’ where I only know it will involve a code being broken (although,  I’ve already worked out how).

It’s not my only project at the moment, as I’m also writing a short story for an anthology which should come out around Christmas time. More on that project in another post.


I know what I’ll be (proof) reading tonight!

My proof copy has arrived 🙂 Release date is the 1st of June.

An easy way to analyse your manuscript/document.

Over the years the editors of my books have made me aware that I have some writing ‘ticks.’ I have created a way to analyse documents/manuscripts to help me identify such overused words and thought it was worth sharing. This is useful for business as well as fiction writing.

Please like or share the video.


Author of The Conversationist, Incite Insight and the forthcoming speculative story collection MoveMind.

Highly Commended

Earlier this year, with tongue firmly in cheek, I wrote a story called Sever-Reign about a Queen, a Prime Minister, and a President. I enjoyed writing it, particularly when I discovered a tantalising tidbit about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while researching a plot point. A few weeks later the deadline for the Monash Wordfest competition arrived and I needed a story to submit. The only one I had written that was within the word limit was Sever-Reign, so I dutifully de-identified it and sent it off. On Thursday the winners of the competition were announced and while I didn’t place, my story was Highly Commended, which I am very excited about.

You can read Sever-Reign (and the winners/other shortlisted stories) for free here!

Sever-Reign will be included in my upcoming short story collection, MoveMind. Due out early 2018.

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