Books by Robert Cooper

Welcome!

I've been writing stuff for years.  Since I was a kid.

The first and (to be honest) only publication that earned me any money was a short story I entered to a competition in a local newspaper when I was 11 - and that was a LONG time ago!  The paper ran the contest that December, and offered a top prize of £20 if I remember correctly (that's about £380 in today's money) for the best story about Christmas.  I wrote a little yarn called "​Hitchiking Home for Christmas" about some bloke traveling home from Alaska to Kent in England by waving his thumb, and I think stowing away on a flight to Gatwick so as not to disappoint his kids that Yuletide.  No idea why he was in Alaska, nor why he had no money, or how he managed to board the airplane.  Anyway, he made it, and his kids were delighted.  So was I when I scooped a massive (to me. anyway....) £5 runner-up prize - seventy quid today.  My mum and dad were pleased as punch and bought copies of the Christmas edition of the paper wherein the yarn was published and distributed them around friends and family, and told anyone prepared to listen that I would one day earn my living by my pen.   

It fuelled my enthusiasm and over the rest of my schooldays I scribbled away - a book of poetry, I remember, that I last saw a few years ago but sadly have now lost.  I remember one, written at 15 shortly after being mesmerised by Erich von Daniken's tome Chariots of the Gods.  It went ​"Was God an astronaut?/Von Daniken said./He must be crazy in the head!/Everyone knows the one to whom/He refers is but a sacred mushroom".  You get the gist.....


Then I left school. discovered girls and alcohol, often in copious quantities, and sci-fi.  I devoured pretty much all the Golden Age stuff - the greats: Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke, plus newer stars like Larry Niven - and that prompted me to try writing that genre.  I wrote a set of stories, very Nivenesque, about a billionaire playboy-adventurer called Jay Soon who travelled the Galaxy having all kinds of adventures, and every story's title and/or punch-line was a pun of some kind.  They actually weren't that bad (if you read them pissed), but all lost.  I wrote another very serious and Clarkish story about the first starship returning to Earth after a ten thousand year journey during which the astronauts had aged only about 20 years, to find the planet devasted by global warming, its seas evaporated and with no life left.  Again, lost.  I tried something more ambitious, about an astronaut, the sole survivor of a nuclear accident that destroyed his ship and crew, and left him stranded on a planet with a human-like dominant species of warriors who charged about on dragons - a sort of cross between Lord of the Rings and Avatar.  The idea was he was assimilated into the tribe and lived happily ever after.  After about 60 pages I ran out of things to say, shelved it with the intention of coming back to it - and, yep, lost the book.  Finally, I had the idea of writing a deep-space disaster and shipwreck rescue operation on the biggest spaceliner ever built, called the Titanic........  Lost, inevitably.

The years passed.  I married, had kids, concentrated on my career and was doing ok.  I worked in the City, and in those pre-computer days, fulfilled my parents' prophecy but in a different kind of way.  Instead of writing stories, newspaper articles or whatever, my pen was used to fill in stock transfer forms, entries into double-entry ledgers, address labels and so on.  Not what I wanted to do, but it paid the bills.  Then one day I fell out of work, and decided to try writing something again while I looked for another job.  I wrote one story about a City bond trader who drives off to Cornwall (a place I knew well from family holidays and I used specific locations in the yarn) for a weekend, picks up a beautiful blonde hitch-hiker on Bodmin Moor and spends a week shagging her all over the Roseland Peninsula.  She disappears one night, he goes back to work and finds out that she was a missing heiress who is subsequently found dead in her car in Dozmary Pool, a mile from where  he picked up the hitch-hiker.  He is prime suspect in her murder until it's proved by post-mortem that she had died a day or so before he met her.....causing a nervous breakdown and the end of his City career.  Weird.  I tried to sell it to a couple of women's magazines but  got no takers.  I still have that one somewhere, I think.

Back to work, another few years' banking, then another job loss, but by this time I had finally written a complete book - The Match.  You can read about it elsewhere here, because you will now be able to buy it (finally!) through this web-site.  That was in the mid-90s, and it's taken me since then to prepare the thing properly to a sellable state, and for the wonderful WorldWideWeb to develop ways to self-publish......

Back to work again, more or less constantly since then, so writing again took a back seat.  Then I thought it would be fun to write a blog, so I started it in 2010, while on a quiet project in Trinidad.  Called Around the World in 80 Expense Claims, it now carries something like 150 essays, on travel (based on my experiences as an international banking consultant - hence the title), and music, and politics and other stuff.  You can view it at http://travellin-bob.blogspot.com.  It's been a tad neglected, because I've been very busy the last year or so, but it's still active, and I'm planning a re-hash of much of the content.  I've also contributed a handful of long posts on LinkedIn on a selection of business and political topics that have piqued my interest lately.   I've also started scribbling  my life story - the memories of an ordinary working man who has lived through extraordinary times.  You can read more about both of these projects on here, too, on the relevant pages.

                                                                                                 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

So.  That's where I come from.

But where am I going?  Why the website?

Well, I will of course continue writing, for my pleasure and I hope yours, and this website gives me a forum, courtesy of the miracle of today's electronic media, to share it with anyone who wishes to spend their precious time (and hopefully money) acquiring and reading it.  The content will vary.  The various sections will contain selected excerpts from Around the World... and LinkedIn, perhaps edited and enhanced, as well as new pieces on who know's what subjects - the tag line for Around the World... is  "A personal view of the World, Life, the Universe and Everything".  Which is about the size of it.  Expect stuff on politics, music, travel, business, sport, movies.....you name it.  Whatever sparks a thought that grows into a piece of writing.

There will be news of The Match as and when I eventually bring it to market (I expect early next year, but don't quote me!), and Living: A Memoir as that develops, and maybe a travel book based around the old blog content, when I get clear in my mind what I intend to do with that, plus anything else that comes to mind.  There will be excerpts from the books when I'm ready and you will be able to buy the completed books from this site.

I might publish some pictures of my kids, places I go to for work and play, other stuff if I see something I want to share.

There will of course be space to communicate - feel free to get in touch, send me a message, praise me, call me a muppet or whatever, what you like and dislike about the site, my writing, the World At Large - whatever.  Dialogue is great, whether written or spoken.  Your feedback will greatly help me develop my projects and ideas.

I hope you enjoy it.  I know I will enjoy writing it.


​                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tel Aviv, September 2016