About Author

Robert Fear

Robert Fear
BIOGRAPHY

Robert Fear has lived in Eastbourne, on the south coast of the UK for half his life. He moved there to be with Lynn, his future wife and is still there with her thirty years later. As cat-lovers they have taken on several rescue cats over the years and are owned by three at the moment - Hazell (tabby), Jet (black) and Sparky, a bouncy ginger three-year-old.

For his day job Robert works as a self-employed software consultant. In his spare time he writes, edits and self-publishes books, and organises annual travel writing competitions.

Robert's interest in travel goes back to his twenties when he spent most of his time abroad. His experiences included; a summer in Ibiza, hitch-hiking around Europe and touring the USA & Canada. His most eventful trip was in 1981 when he travelled around Asia.

Born into a religious sect known as the Exclusive Brethren, his father John took the brave step of leaving it with his young family when Robert was nine years old. Robert never saw his grandparents again but is thankful for being able to grow up outside this restrictive group. His life has been full of adventures that he would never have experienced otherwise.

Robert Fear's Books

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Book
(4) $4.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Summer of '77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibizaby Robert FearPublish: Oct 27, 2019Biographies & Memoirs
Free $4.99 kindle Free with KU DEAL ends on Jan 22, 2021eBook,
40 Inspirational True Stories: 2021 Editionby Robert FearPublish: Dec 05, 2020Biographies & Memoirs
Fred's Diary 1981: Travels in Asia
(3) $4.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Fred's Diary 1981: Travels in Asiaby Robert FearPublish: Dec 29, 2013Series: Fred's Diary 1981Biographies & Memoirs
Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethren
(3) $4.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethrenby John L FearPublish: Aug 07, 2016Biographies & Memoirs
40 Memorable Life Experiences: 2020 Edition
$3.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
40 Memorable Life Experiences: 2020 Editionby Robert FearPublish: Jan 27, 2020Biographies & Memoirs
Travel Stories and Highlights: 2019 Edition
$4.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Travel Stories and Highlights: 2019 Editionby Robert FearPublish: Dec 20, 2018Series: Travel Stories and HighlightsBiographies & Memoirs
Travel Stories and Highlights: 2018 Edition
$3.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Travel Stories and Highlights: 2018 Editionby Robert FearPublish: Dec 15, 2017Series: Travel Stories and HighlightsBiographies & Memoirs
Travel Stories and Highlights: 2017 Edition
$3.49 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Travel Stories and Highlights: 2017 Editionby Robert FearPublish: Dec 01, 2015Series: Travel Stories and HighlightsBiographies & Memoirs

Robert Fear's Series in Order

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  • Fred's Diary 1981

    Fred's Diary 1981: Travels in Asia - Published on Dec, 2013
  • Travel Stories and Highlights

    Travel Stories and Highlights: 2019 Edition - Published on Dec, 2018 Travel Stories and Highlights: 2018 Edition - Published on Dec, 2017 Travel Stories and Highlights: 2017 Edition - Published on Dec, 2015

Robert Fear's Awards and Achievements

    Robert Fear has earned excellence awards over time. Here is the glimpse of the accolades clinched by the author.

  • 2020 Author Shout Reader Ready Awards "Recommended Read"
    2020

    Summer of '77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza

    award
  • 2020 IAN Book of the Year Awards - Finalist
    2020

    Summer of '77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza

    award
  • 2020 KCT INTERNATIONAL LITERARY AWARD Honorable Mention
    2020

    Summer of '77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza

    award
  • 2020 Kindle Book Award Semi-Finalist
    2020

    Summer of '77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza

    award
  • 2020 PAGE TURNER AWARDS Highly Commended Finalist - top scoring UK author in the eBook Non-Fiction Award category
    2020

    Summer of '77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza

    award
  • Featured in Reader's Digest (Online)
    2020

    Summer of '77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza

    achievement
  • 6th Annual Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist
    2017

    Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethren

    award
  • 5th Annual Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist
    2016

    Fred's Diary 1981: Travels in Asia

    award

Robert Fear interview On 18, Aug 2020

"Born in Leicester in 1955, Robert's family moved to Surrey when he was 11. His day job for the past twenty years has been as a software consultant. His stories are unique but resonate with a large variety of readers. His stories are beautifully woven and unfold slowly. His memoir, Fred’s Diaries 1981 proves that reality is usually more interesting than fiction."
Which is your most cherished memory while living in Eastbourne, on the south coast of the UK?

My most cherished memory was when we bought our house in May 1988. We spent six months searching before we found the place of our dreams. We are still in the same home over thirty years later, so we made the right choice.

Eastbourne is a lovely place to live. It is at the eastern end of the South Downs and has a three-mile-long seafront along the English Channel. The town backs on to beautiful countryside with lots of interesting villages.

Where did you meet your wife, Lynn for the first time?

We met when I was in Frankfurt, Germany in 1981 after returning from my trip to Asia. She came over from England to spend a week’s holiday with her sister, who was a friend of mine. We had a fling and kept in touch after that by letter and occasional phone call. I also visited her when I was in England to see my parents. She returned for another visit in 1985, and after that things got more serious. I left Frankfurt in June 1986 and moved to Eastbourne to be with her.

When did you rescue a cat for the first time and from where?

My wife has been more involved with the actual rescuing of cats over the years. She has worked for the Cats Protection charity in several roles, both paid and voluntary. Our first rescue was in 1988 when we ‘rescued’ a black kitten we named Dexy from a squalid pet shop. Since then we have taken on many cats over the years, all from Cats Protection. We are now owned by three: Hazell, a 16-year-old tabby female; Jet, a 10-year-old black male; and Sparky, a ginger 4-year-old male.

How has been your experience of working as a self-employed software consultant?

Publishing books has been more of a hobby than a money-earner. My day job for the past twenty years has been as a software consultant and I have enjoyed the opportunities this has offered. After returning to England at 30, I settled down to various jobs as an accountant and did this for fifteen years. The change in direction to the software side gave me the chance to travel again, providing training, consultancy and implementation services. Taking part in projects at a variety of companies, I got to visit a lot of countries along the way. These included many places in Europe plus Ghana, Singapore, Australia and Suriname.

What are the challenges of self-publishing a book?

The challenges are many and varied. I consider myself an amateur compared with others. While I have formatted my books, I learned early on that I would need to find a decent cover designer. A fellow author recommended one, and I have used her ever since. Although I edited and compiled the anthologies and my father’s book, I hired an editor for my two memoirs. Also, there is the marketing and social media, which I have found more difficult than the writing sometimes! Self- publishing has a steep learning curve, and I still have a lot to learn.

For how long have you been organizing annual travel writing competitions?

This started in 2015 when I was working on the second edition of Fred’s Diary 1981. I featured daily extracts from the revised book to coincide with the time I had been in Asia 34 years before. To generate interest in my blog, I ran competitions for travel stories (500-1000 words) and travel highlights (50-100 words). I published the best of these in a compilation. This led to a series of three Travel Stories and Highlights books (2017, 2018 & 2019 Editions) and more recently an anthology entitled 40 Memorable Life Experiences (2020 Edition). This year I am hosting an Authors Showcase for Inspirational True Stories.

Why do you wish to go back to your twenties?

My twenties were the decade I travelled and discovered the world. I have published two memoirs about that time. The first is an edited version of the diary I kept while travelling around Asia for 158 days when I was 25 (Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia). The second is about the six months I spent on the Spanish island of Ibiza when I was 21 (Summer of ‘77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza).

What inspired you to write your memoir, Fred's Diary 1981: Travels in Asia?

Before answering this question, I should mention that Fred was a nickname given to me while at school. It became my travel name and people still know me as Fred to this day.

Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia is the edited version of a handwritten diary that I kept during my time in South-East Asia between February and July 1981. It ran to 600 pages of closely written detail. I almost forgot it for many years. It only appeared when friends asked to see it or to read it. In 2005 I started typing up my diary onto the computer as I wanted to share my experiences with others. I got the first two months completed but then ran out of motivation. Several years later, there was an article in a PC magazine about Kindle and self-publishing that sparked my interest.

The full version of Fred’s Diary 1981 came to market in December 2013 and sold well. It was a long book, though. The paperback ran to 564 pages and contained 165K words. During the first few months of 2015 further editing took place and the second edition, released in October 2015, contained less than 100K words, with 360 pages. It also had a professional edit and a sparkling new cover.

Have you read all the short stories in the diverse collection of travel tales, "40 Memorable Life Experiences"? Which one is your favorite?

Yes, I read them all, several times. The first time was when I formatted each one before featuring them in the 2019 Authors Showcase on ‘Fred’s Blog’. The second time I re-read the 54 contributions and selected the top 40 from 21 authors for publication. I then read these again as I was compiling the book. It is difficult to highlight one story as they are all interesting in their different ways. If pushed, I would select Lighten our Darkness by Ronald Mackay.

What do you love the most about writing travel stories?

I love recalling my travel experiences and sharing them with others. To answer your question more fully though, I will summarise how I wrote my latest release: Summer of ‘77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza.

Although I enjoy publishing other people’s stories, I was itching to write a memoir about the six months I spent in Ibiza, when I was 21. I started planning the book in 2016. It was fortunate I still had the letters I received while working the season in Ibiza. Otherwise, I would have found it difficult remembering what happened forty years ago. I transcribed the letters and created a timeline around them. This triggered memories of events from the time and I started writing.

After much prevarication and self-doubt, I completed the last chapter in May last year. Then I began self-editing my words and making the story concise and readable. Next steps included the choice of a title, commissioning a cover design and writing the blurb. Then came a professional edit which reduced the word count by 10% and gave a real polish to the memoir. I published the book in October 2019, on my 64th birthday.

Why traveling around Asia in 1981 was your most eventful trip?

All my earlier travels had been in ‘western’ countries; Ibiza in Spain, hitch-hiking through Europe, and a tour round the USA and Canada in 1979. The trip to Asia in 1981 was my first experience of the unique ‘eastern’ cultures in Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal. I also got in trouble duringmy visit to Chang Mai in northern Thailand and ended up in jail for several weeks. That was eventful to the extreme. If you want to find out more, you will need to read my diary.

What prompted you to publish your father’s memoirs, Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethren?

It started for me back in 1992 when my father, John, was frail and confined to bed most of the time. Visits to the hospital became more frequent, and the doctors were talking about months, not years. John had been working on his memoirs for several years and had already typed up many of the chapters. He also had plans in place for finishing the remaining parts of his book. Now he could not continue. My mother called me to see if I could help. I was more than happy to get involved. In the evenings and at weekends I sat at my computer and transcribed the sections that John had finished. I printed these off and sent them back to him. It was a period of reconciliation between father and eldest son as we discussed changes and planned for the missing chapters.

During the months following his death, I continued working on John’s memoirs with the help of my mother and brother. In 1994 we printed a limited-edition under the title Exclusive Pedigree. If it had not been for a chance remark, the life of the book could have ended there. Towards the end of 2015, I was visiting my mother for a few days and gave her a paperback copy of the second edition of Fred’s Diary 1981. Our conversation turned to self-publishing, and we started talking about John’s memoirs. Then came the bombshell from my mother, “Did you know Rob, that John always wanted to have his book professionally published?” I had another challenge ahead, and within months I published my father’s book in July 2016. I think John would be proud of the finished result, a fabulous tribute to his life.

Did you miss traveling during quarantine? Where are you planning your next trip to?

Lockdown limited my travels to hour-long daily walks around the neighbourhood. It was amazing what I discovered within a two-mile radius of where we live. We do not have any trips planned and I think we will wait until the situation stabilises before contemplating another one. Before the pandemic, we enjoyed two cruises, the first in 2016 for 7 days in Norway, and another in 2018 for 14 days touring Madeira, the Canary Islands and Portugal.

What advice do you have for any budding writers out there?

Be persistent and follow your dream. The important thing is to get your words and thoughts down on paper. Then is the time to refine your work. After that, you will need help. My advice would be to pay whatever you can afford to hire the best cover designer and editor. Your completed book needs to be as professionally finished as possible when you publish it.

When were you first introduced to AllAuthor and how?

A fellow author in a Facebook group mentioned AllAuthor and the cover contest. I had also noticed other authors on Twitter using AllAuthor and investigated further. I liked what I saw and signed up in March this year.

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