the image on the left is not a true current likeness of
Yours Truly. That on the right is a little more accurate
although it is three
years old !
That first image
was taken when I was seventeen years old, seventeen and
dreaming of wealth and fame as an international best-selling
My first attempt
at writing was under the pen-name of Craven Chesworth. Thank
goodness the manuscript for my story Pen Roche is long lost, The
Obscene Publications Act is still in force isn't it ?
As a teenager my
hero was Alistair MacLean, the writer of Guns Of Naverone,
Where Eagles Dare and more. His books have sold over
one hundred and fifty million copies making him one of the
best selling authors of all time. I envied his success and
by the way, on the right. He left us in 1987 at the young
age of sixty-four. Penning this page I am, myself, coming up
to seventy years of age so I had better get a move on if I am to
emulate his success.
training college my English lecturer was the writer Dennis
Hamley. He set we students an assignment to write a short
story which could be read to a class of pupils. I wrote
something about a young boy Mickey Rig. Dennis loved my
story, he read it to the entire group of students and sent
it to his publisher. I remember well the publisher's reply:
We do not think this is one for us. However. Dennis
set me firmly on the course to become a published writer.
This is Dennis,
Working as a
teacher in the 1980's I wrote a book for teenagers, Garatt's
Gang. As I composed each chapter I shared it with my classes
who loved my writing. Unfortunately publisher after
publisher disagreed with me, constantly filling my letter
box with rejection slips.
I did not give
up. I managed to secure a writing job with our local
newspaper. Once a week I composed the Lifestyle Page.
The page featured different aspects of the New City of
Milton Keynes. The individual articles were gathered
together and published as a book Not The Concrete Cows. The
photograph of one of Milton Keynes famous concrete cows is
shown on the cover in negative showing that there was more
to the new city than concrete cows !
I wrote something
for Landrover Owner Magazine from which I secured a
commission to write a book for a charity working in Albania.
Albania He Cares was published in 1995.
In 1992 I
published a book I had written for my oldest son's twelfth
birthday, Peter's Magic Fountain Pen.
Not The Concrete
Cows, Albania He Cares and Peter's Magic Fountain Pen are
long out of print although Peter's Magic Fountain Pen is
available as an e-book on Amazon.
My newspaper and
magazine articles, together with these three books were all
written under the pen-name of Jonathan Flie.
Mickey Rig and
Garatt's Gang were all written on an old fashioned
typewriter. The Jonathan Flie newspaper articles and these
three books composed using an early word processor. Writing
the text was easy and fun but selling it to a publisher was
hard, very hard. With the advent of the Internet, home
computers and Amazon everything changed.
Amazon as a writer I changed my pen-name to Max Robinson. As
you can see I now have many of my books available on Amazon.
Being able to
instantly publish my work on Amazon moved my writing to a
new level. At the time I joined Amazon I changed my pen-name
from Jonathan Flie to Max Robinson.
is my mother's maiden name. Here are Nan and Granddad
Robinson with my son Matthew. Born in 1900 Granddad lived to
the age of ninety. Nan lived to be just a few weeks short of
her one hundredth birthday.
Mack was our
family's pet during my childhood. Here I am, aged I guess
about six, with Mack.
that did not sound quite right so I changed Mack to Max and
became Max Robison.
There are Amazon
millionaires, those who earn a fortune selling their books
via this internet giant. Sadly I am not one of them ! I would not
object to earning a fortune but that is not my primary purpose in
I write for my
own personal enjoyment. If somebody reads what I write that
is a bonus. If they enjoy what I write it is a double bonus.
An important part
of my writing is to inspire others to write.
Who is the
greatest childrens' writer of all time ?
Roald Dhal ?
NO ! J K Rowling ? ABSOLUTELY NOT !
inspirational writer of child fiction of all time is Enid
Enid Mary Blyton
was born on 11th August 1897 and left us on 28th November
1968. During her life she sold more than six hundred million
books, four times the number sold by Alistair MacLean. Her
stories included The Famous Five, Secret Seven and Noddy In
criticised for her stories being too simple, characters too
middle class. She was said to be racist and to be sexist.
RUBBISH ! Complete and utter rubbish ! No other author has
ever inspired children more to write their own stories. If
my own writing could inspire just 1% of the readers Enid
inspired to write I would be a happy man.
So Enid sold six
hundred million books. Let us pick a figure, say 10p, as the
average royalty earned by one book. Six hundred million
multiplied by 10p = £60.000,000 ! If I could achieve 1% of
her inspiration, if I could achieve 1% of her earnings I
would make £600,000.
I guess that's rather up to you, my readers.