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Robert Samuels tells Rosy Moorhead why he set his novella in such an unlikely area
One summer’s night, while drunkenly crossing Trent Park Golf Course, Hal Maybury, errant husband, ale drinker and Finchley resident, finds in a canyon where the 17th hole should be something that will change his life forever and something that London will never forget.
Hal is the protagonist of The I AM, the new sci-fi novella from Southgate writer and award-winning film-maker Robert Samuels.
Robert originally released the novella as a three-part podcast over three Saturdays in June and it’s now also available as an ebook from Amazon.
“I can’t tell you exactly what the title means,” admits Robert, 36, “that would be a massive spoiler! All I can tell you is that it’s good fun, a tall tale, and it’s set in the north London that I know, where I grew up – the suburbs.
“I’ve found that the London you usually see in sci-fi is the big cityscapes but I liked the idea of having all these little areas, local shops, Finchley Street, somebody getting on the bus in Finchley. So far people have found it really good fun, the juxtaposition of sci-fi elements in a very normal, everyday setting.”
As well as ebook format, The I AM is also available by special request as a printed paperback – which Hal himself will deliver to you. While I ponder that one over, Robert tells me that Hal also has his own Twitter account. “It’s all very cryptic until you’ve heard or read the book,” he laughs, “then the tweets will make sense.”
Robert’s background in film-making and advertising have helped him enormously with the promotion for the novella, he has made trailers for the podcasts, and he is currently waiting to hear back from the producers he has approached with a view to making The I AM into a film. But in the meantime he is enjoying the creative freedom that writing gives him.
“You have complete control over everything with books,” he says, “it’s just you and your imagination.”
And if that imagination takes you on the 221 bus from Finchley, then so much the better.
The I AM podcasts are available from SoundCloud and iTunes and the ebook from Amazon. Details: www.superrocketman.com