Introducing Robin Lee Robinson, Author from New Zealand and ex wife of Barry Crump

Updated: Jan 27

Robin Lee Robinson claims to have created the characters that feature in the film "Hunt for the Wilder People."

I'm a 65 yr old Kiwi who had an innocent but happy childhood. At an early age, I could do lots of d.i.y number 8 skills. My father was a tree-felling contractor. I had my own chainsaw and would load the fallen trees onto the trailer, and the first vehicle I drove was his land rover.

I had a 'bit of life in the public eye and was married as a virtual child bride (I was very innocent and child-like at 20) to a well-known Kiwi icon 21 years my senior. A 1960s author and bushman.

From the age of 20/21 for the next 12 years, we lived in very remote locations cooking over open fires- building rudimentary shelters possum trapping gold mining. And the film crews arrived, and we'd perform.

Quite literally, I became his literary support plus his panel operator when we did talkback radio. He was publicly adored, but privately a monster.

Thus, my first book was biographical in nature. More than one publisher was interested, but I self-published because I wanted to tell the true story.

In Salting The Gravy.. sold well.

Other background: I allowed the media one article .... Sunday Star Times had always allowed me my say.

The movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople was based on a book that I drafted for my then-husband. I have, of course, no legal claim to 'Wild Pork and Watercress- but it's a splice - I have in my own handwriting. His part was to add the dogs and the hunting.

Like all movies, it bears little resemblance to the book - which was considered deep and complex and a departure from his usual style.

I've had to let all that go.

I now have a youth series that has been well received

So I was writing as a child - nothing published -

Here's my published books. All self-published

In Salting The Gravy 2004

Talkback Toast 2008 and reprint 2009

Diary of a Kiwi Kid 2018

Journal of a Junior Writer 2019

Trials and Tribulations of a Talented Teen which was published last month 2021

I do some performance art.

I'm also published in Byline and People's History of Bay of Plenty.

I consider myself a Tauranga Writer. (although I mainly live elsewhere)

All but the first one have been professionally edited by Jenny Argante. Tauranga

I was in a hurry with In Salting The Gravy. Not everyone was happy about me dismantling the mythology surrounding one of NZs then famous Kiwi macho icon.

I will start with questions about book formatter and cover design.

No ... I know nothing about formatting a book or what it takes to get it print-ready. I'm good at most things and dabble in multiple industries. However, I have a low interest in competitive sport, retail, and tech-related tinkering eludes me.

With my first book I had someone to help me who was ex photojournalist and knew a bit about the printing process.

Talkback Toast was professionally edited and page print-ready by Jenny Argante who has done all my books to date.

The same artist did the same cover design for these two.

Only my first was picked up by a distributor. I never had to deal with promotion sales.

Talkback Toast was written exclusively for the radio fraternity. It had a mail-order audience ... popular reprinted... I knew many of the participant's subjects from my radio Paciic days. There are radio icons featured in that book. Plus early radio history.

What motivated me was an old listener. Plus, I too wanted to record this crucial gap in radio history.

I didn't have to come up with lump sum for printing like previous ... but the books have completely sold out of the print run

As already established.... I'm a 65 yr old with a significant degree of tech ineptitude.

I'm also a multi Tasker and this includes my writing.

So far I've written in 3 different genres... but I plan to cover more, eventually.

To me, my books give me an excuse to do a bit of public speaking ...and a bit of performing.

With the completion of my youth series, I have well and truly proven I'm capable of writing deep and complex plots with a surprise ending. Not that anyone said they doubted my claim (Google Hunt for Wilderpeople with my name and Sunday Star Times article should pop up.

( we are talking about my claim to the Crump manuscript 'Wild Pork and Watercress who reviewers said was a departure from HIS usual style... and some writers wondered 'who helped him with it)

So what motivated me?

Dismantling mythology for the first.

Recording national and Talkback radio history in the second. I believe radio is the missing link. Radio was the first foray in multi-media. But for radio, we'd not have TV or the internet etc

People underplay or are completely ignorant of that.

Next three books Diary of a Kiwi Kid series I was amazed no one had used that.

There's a Diary of books since Susan Townshend wrote 'Diary of Adrian Mole.

I'm a fan of hers. I wanted to do a Kiwi version with a difference.

I don't know much about platforms. Someone bequeathed me 'Short Story Stop' and I put videos up featuring mostly Kiwi books but other writing stuff too.

I also swap books with one or two overseas authors. These are snail-mailed.

One day when I get the help I will do ebooks.

Thank you, Robin, for sharing your story. It is a pleasure and honor to have interviewed you.

Please follow the link to read Eleanor Black's article

"Barry Crump's ex wants credit for book that sparked Hunt for the Wilderpeople"

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