Without further interruption, please welcome Robert Rotenberg who has published his 2nd book entitled The Guilty Plea. It has been released in Canada today, so go out and get it, trust me, you will love it !
With such a busy schedule, what or where, when were you hit with the writing bug? – It is hard for me to remember a time when I didn’t want to write. Tell stories. But the reality of my chaotic life, is that it wasn’t until I was finished being a magazine editor and radio producer that I really sat down to write. Logical time. I’d just started practicing law, was broke so was working about 100 hours a week, we were just having our first of three kids, and of course I was still playing hockey every Monday night. Hey, you need energy to do this job.
Have you taken some or many details from your real life cases and incorporated them into this novel or your previous one? – As you know I’m a criminal lawyer and client confidentiality is paramount. (Unfortunate sometimes, you wouldn’t believe the stories I hear. The other day a new client came in and told me…). In fact it’s not a joking matter, I would never betray a confidence. So the stories are not from my own cases, or any others. But I truly believe the adage, that the great advantage that fiction writers have over non-fiction writers is that we can tell the truth.
Does life imitate art in some circumstances? – Well, in Old City Hall when Nancy Parish, exhausted, flops into the chair in her office and is overwhelmed by the volume of voice mails, emails, letters, demands on her time. Ask any criminal lawyer.
As the lawyer in the book, do you follow the same principles in your real life practice – not letting yourself believe or disbelieve your clients? – The best chess players always try to see the board from their opponent’s point of view.
If you could choose between being a lawyer for the rest of your life or being a writer, what would you choose? – Simon & Schuster want to sign me for two million dollars a book for the next ten years. Brad Pitt wants to star in Old City Hall, and Angelina (I call her Angie now) is dying to play Sam in The Guilty Plea. John Grisham and Scott Turow want to spend the winter with me in Hawaii working on the screenplay. I think I’ll go back to bail court (where I was on Monday) for a few more clients.
If you had died and had the chance to come back as anyone or anything you wanted what would it be? Why? – See answer to question 5
What is the one talent besides writing would you want to have? – A better slap shot. Thirty years of playing hockey and it still sucks. But hey, I’m an excellent passer.
If you could live in one place in the whole world where would it be? Why? – Paris me manque. With money this time.
I see on your website that you volunteer for a Rehab Clinic in Toronto. What was the main reason you decided to go this route? Have you seen the worst case scenario ever, and the person has turned around to make a full recovery and a good representation of being clean and sober? – I am the least addictive person you will ever meet. But for 20 years I’ve seen people and families torn apart and destroyed by addiction. And yes, I am extremely proud to say that I’ve seen so many of my clients totally turn their lives around. It is the greatest part of my job.
Do you have any pet-peeves? What would they be? – Those tiny tea pots you get in restaurants that always spill no matter what you do. The way we treat poor people in this rich city.