Q&A With Robert Dugoni

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Q&A With Robert Dugoni 

Today I have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with New York Times Bestselling author Robert Dugoni. Robert is a writer of mystery thriller and suspense. Robert has written “The Extraordinary Life Of Sam Hell,” “The World Played Chess,” “My Sisters Grave,” “A Cold Trail,” “In Her Tracks,” “The Eighth Sister,” and “The Silent Sisters”. Those are just a few of the novels I’ve named. Robert also clerked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times which is very impressive. 


Q: So Robert at what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

A: I knew very early on in my life. Actually, the seventh grade. I tended to get in trouble and a wonderful nun named Sister Mary Williams told my mother I was bored. So my mother started handing me books like The Great Gatsby, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Old Man and the Sea and I fell in love with stories and knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life.

Q: How do you get inspiration to write all your stories and characters?

A: Not every idea comes from the same place. It could be from a conversation. It could be a news article, or a television report. It can sometimes just pop into my head. With my characters I let them talk to me and tell me who they are. I don’t try to force character traits on my characters, I just let them live in the book setting and develop.

Q: What advice do you give to those who want to write mystery thriller and suspense novels like you do?

A: Learn the craft. Study books on the craft like Christopher Voglers book, The Writer’s Journey. You have to learn how stories are put together and told before you start anything else. Once you learn how stories are told and start to understand the structure, then you can better trust your characters to live within the structure of the story.

Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?

A: Hollywood does have some rights to The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell and the Charles Jenkins Espionage series, The Eighth Sister, The Last Agent and The Silent Sisters. Other projects are currently in negotiations.

Q: What advice do you give to anyone struggling with writers block?

A: Go out and exercise. Don’t force things. The more you try to force things the worse it gets. Exercise helps your body’s endorphins and that can spur your creativity and inspiration.

Q: What were your favorite novels you read this year so far?

A:I can’t really say what are my favorites. I read a lot of writer’s novels because I’m asked to blurb the book. I will say that I read almost any genre, so long as it has a good story.

Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little bit about it?

A: I’m always working on new projects. I’m working at the tenth Tracy Crosswhite novel. I’m working on a new series involving a female defense attorney in the novel, Her Deadly Game, which will be out next year. I’m working on a historical legal thriller, and I’m working on a World War II story.


Q: What was it like clerking as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times? It sounds very impressive. 

A: It was hard. It was very much sink or swim. I took a while to get my feet under me, but when I did, it went well. I covered the police and fire beat, the Raiders Super Bowl victory parade, then went out to the San Gabriel Valley and wrote feature pieces.

Q: What advice do you give to someone who wants to be a journalist? 

A: Boy, I’m not sure what I’d tell them. Journalism has changed so much in the past few decades. There are a lot of platforms I know very little about. Also, news channel and newspapers have become politicized. You can turn on one channel and get a completely different story on the same subject matter as another station. I think if a person loves to write and loves world events, then they should go for it. Study journalism in school and learn how news articles are written.