Hello. I write novels, short stories, plays and Creative Writing handbooks. This is my website and I’m aiming to make these pages moderately interesting to you – if you’re moderately interested in my work.
I grew up in Northern Ireland and then I came to England. I have degrees from UEA, Lancaster University and Liverpool John Moores University. For a good few years, I taught in high schools and for a few years more than that, I’ve taught in universities, which is what I still do. I’m married to a wonderful woman, and we have two daughters and one son, all grown up now, all wonderful, too.
My home town for most of my life has been Manchester, and I love it. I always have, even when it wasn’t groovy. I sometimes leave the house to walk the dog and have been known to take pictures of trees and post them on Instagram. @robert55graham. Sometimes I shake it up and take pictures of leaves. Just so you know.
At the moment, I teach Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University.
I love reading (you’d hope so). I’m a fan of, amongst others, Anne Tyler, Jennifer Egan, Richard Ford, Elizabeth Strout, J.D. Salinger, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jonathan Franzen and Joan Silber. Recent hits round here include Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, Clare Chambers’ Small Pleasures, Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend, and Jeet Thayil’s Names of The Women. The fiction I read is often by women, and mostly American. (It’s just the way I roll.)
I’m an ardent lover of cinema. Here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head, no-particular-order top 10: Broadway Danny Rose, Chinatown, The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, The Incredibles, Baisers Volés, It’s A Wonderful Life, Spider-man: Homecoming, The Grand Hotel Budapest and Phantom Thread. Because I was a young man at the time, the best films ever were made in the United States during the 1970s. And the greatest film – of all time – is Billy Liar.
A laugh matters to me as much as to the next person. Some of the places I find one are: Seinfeld, Arrested Development, Lead Balloon, Count Arthur Strong, W1A, The IT Crowd, and Reeves and Mortimer in any shape or form.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love music and I do, a very lot. We’re talking rootsy things here, country, rockabilly, blues, jazz, soul, rhythm & blues, down-homey. I’m a huge fan of The Beatles, too – who are, as David Hepworth has proved, underrated. Like a lot of writers, I love Bob Dylan’s songs.
When I get the chance, I go to a gig. Maybe the best one I ever saw was The Clash at Lancaster University in 1979. It warms my little heart to remember shows by Neil Young, Sir Douglas Quintet, The Cramps and The Detroit Cobras. I could go on. Nick Lowe and Los Straightjackets a couple of years ago was the most fun I’ve had in a darkened room for a long time. Is there anything better than rock’n’roll? Only coffee.
[photo: Noah Graham]