Two Books for Santa’s Stocking

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“Christmas would be perfect for the ‘Hotel Stories’, nice and easy and a good laugh and afterwards after Christmas get the hard stuff ‘Blood Summit’”, Peter Bichler, proprietor of “House of Scotland” on Robert Pimm. “I like this man.” Robert Pimm, the author, on Peter Bichler.

The audience in turn last night was treated by Robert Pimm to a reading from “Blood Summit”, the “hard stuff”, something that went straight for the jugular, hyper paced, gory, causing a few ladies to giggle nervously at some of the passages: “…The ambassador. Helen whirled around. The toughened windows were intact except for a tiny hole in the glass. Sir Leonard Lennox turned towards her. There was something wrong with the top of his head. Blood was streaming down so fast she could see it dripping from his chin onto his shirt. He lifted a hand to his forehead. Then slowly he fell to his knees. …”. Mr Pimm paused at the end of Chapter One and asked solicitously if the audience had the appetite for one or two more chapters. They had. But before he could continue a lady next to me asked with true concern in her voice whether the ambassador had survived.

Robert Pimm is the alter ego of a completely different person. Why Robert Pimm as a nom de plume? Three good reasons the writer explained: Robert happens to be his first name, he has a flat in Pimlico, therefore Pimm and P is somewhere in the middle of alphabet so if you go to a bookshop and head for the middle of the books you’ll find him straight away. With this pseudonym he has written eight novels plus the “Hotel Stories”, a collection started originally as a gift for a special friend, a hotel manager, which by now has grown to nine such stories.

When Mr Pimm emphasised the importance of research, some of it can be done on the internet, to make stories as realistic as possible he was asked: “Do you have any personal experience of mutilated bodies or throat slitting?” “I have not cut anybody’s throat and are not planning to do so although I am sometimes quite tempted”, he replied. A flurry of nervous giggling rose up once more in the audience.

That a writer’s lot is not that easy, in particular if you are already holding down a demanding and responsible day job, became soon apparent. An iron disciple is required; at least two hours every day for writing must be set aside and the need to have a good agent appears to be paramount. For prospective writers he has the following advice: Don’t send your book to individual publishers, the chances that they will be published are very slim. Use an agent. And don’t give up if you first don’t succeed. The rule of the thumb for writers is, try 25 agents before a case can be dropped as hopeless.

Finally: Palladium is a statue of Pallas whose preservation was believed to ensure the safety of Troy. “Palladium” is also the latest Istanbul-based thriller by Robert Pimm. You may look forward to its release.

It may have been three years of tenacious and dogged persistency by our President Prof Dr Kurt Tiroch but he has finally achieved what he had set out to do: A private reading by Robert Pimm of his recent thriller to the members of the Austro-British Society.

Clutching my purchase, signed copies of “Seven Hotel Stories” and “Blood Summit” I have got finally my Holiday reading together: The nice and easy and good laugh for Christmas and the hard stuff for thereafter.

There was now nothing left but to enjoy the happy and generous hospitality that only Café Ministerium can provide.

Wolfgang Geissler


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