Wig Begone: Interview with Robert Seymour

Robert Seymour, (under the pseudonym of Charles Courtley) is a retired judge who lives on the English coast with his wife, Jane, of 38 years, and a small dog called Phoebe.

He is the author of Wig Begone, a tale of a young barrister’s triumphs and tragedies. As well as adapting his novel into a screenplay and writing a sequel, he contributes to legal newsletters and blogs.

Find him online at http://courtleyprocedures.wordpress.com.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Robert. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Wig Begone by Charles Courtley?

I started with a children’s book (as yet unpublished) almost thirty years ago, and then wrote short stories - two of which were actually produced for local radio. More recently, I wrote a memoir of my early career which actually formed the basis for the present novel (written in the first person under the pen name of Charles Courtley).

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

At the end of the story, Charles obviously feels sad, when his career is under threat. So, rather than feeling “woebegone”, he’s going to be rendered “wig begone” instead (as he will no longer be able to wear a wig in court).

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

Because it’s a good read, I hope, bringing out the funnier side of the law as well as being a “rites of passage” novel about a young man’s stumbling start in a challenging profession.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

Frankly, being self-published, I’ve had to promote the book myself in the main since publication using the internet and blogs. However, I’m very pleased with my publishers Matador/Troubador who turned out a quality product at the outset and circulated details of my book widely through their publicity department.

Q: What books on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

The Rumpole of the Bailey humorous books by John Mortimer. The difference is that Rumpole is an experienced older barrister, whilst Courtley is simply a gullible beginner!

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Page 111 – Charles is on the verge of making his first major speech to a jury:

“ (My) wig and gown acting as a kind of armor, I drew comfort from their physicality by pushing the wig firmly down over my head and drawing the gown close to my body. I started the speech quietly and without drama but then gradually built up the tempo.”

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

At the moment, I’m writing a sequel, Wig Beyond, which is about Charles’ later career as a judge

Q: Thank you for your interview,Robert. Do you have any final words?

Just to say that I’ve found the questions very stimulating. Finally, I hope everybody, not just those involved in the law, will enjoy my book - I always had the general reader in mind when I wrote it.
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