Robert Rotenberg — Bobby to his friends — and I got to know each other in our last year of high school, and he was already a writer.
We joined a creative writing class where we lounged on pillows at our teacher’s house and read our work to each other. Bobby’s stories were already a cut above. When he read, we listened.
We have stayed best friends since then. We give each other advice all the time, and sometimes we take the advice, sometimes we don’t.
“I want to move to Paris and work on a magazine,” he said one time. “Don’t,” I advised. He did anyway, and edited an English-language weekly for several years.
“I want to start a magazine,” he said. “Don’t,” I said again. He did, and started a remarkable magazine, T.O. Then we both went to law school.
Through all our years he has always been dedicated to the point of obsessiveness about anything he does. It was no secret that he was writing all the time, but he didn’t show his work even to me until he was ready. It was amazing how perceptive and clever his work turned out to be. But not surprising.
-Written by David Israelson
Which ‘hood are you in?
Downtown. Very downtown. Home and office. I walk to work. Rarely go north of St. Clair. Can’t remember the last time I was north of Bloor – except to get right out of town and to north. Far north. Either in the city or in the wilderness.
What do you do?
A few things. I’m the author of bestselling novels. I also work full time as a criminal lawyer, for the last 30 plus years. I write television screenplays. I teach writing to wanna-be novelists at Humber College and private students and lawyers, who need to learn how to write. And because I always wanted to do something like this, I import hand-made bags from Spain. But mostly what I do is love my children. Really the only things that matters.
What are you currently working on?
I’m well into Book Seven in my series, which is due – yikes – June 30. Also very tied up in the launch of DOWNFALL. Plus co-writing a TV pilot about…(top secret for now, a real fun idea). Plus preparing for the virtual book tour across Canada by Zoom – very cool. In my law practice about ten different cases, mentoring the young lawyers in my firm. Teaching I have two terrific writing students, both with great ideas for novels. Waiting for the lockdown to end so we can start selling more bags. Best of all, working on a few new bread recipes.
Where can we find your work?
I’ve had the great fortune of being published by Simon & Schuster so my books are available everywhere. On line, in bookstores (I encourage you to use our great local bookstores). All six novels are available and, final plug, you can go to my website and order from there, and sign up for my very very infrequent newsletter. I’m at robertrotenberg.com. Hope the pages turn!