The Official Site of Robert Barclay, Author

Novelist Robert Barclay

Robert Barclay author leaning against tree


Myrtleford Times – from Page 1

Who is the young village girl, Chavy, trafficked for sex? Why are Cambodia’s political corruption and human trafficking trade so dangerous to foreign nationals? What are the father complexes she and her daughter both share?

“For this series, I have invented three women symbolising the transition of Chinese history,” said Mr Barclay.

“So, for example, Katy’s mother represents the traditional China before Mao and the disciplines of Confucian piety, Katy herself lives through the Cultural Revolution, born into one world and then living through another, which replaced the old traditions. 

“Clara represents the New China, sassy and well-educated, talented and becoming centre-stage in the world yet, like all Chinese, having 5000 years of demureness built-in”

According to Mr Barclay, telling stories matters.

“We live in a world where the distractions of technology for technology’s sake dominates and diminishes our lives,” he said.

“But stories do the opposite; they enrich the world.

“It is possible to change the world, one word at a time, and the stories I am telling need to be told.

“What is curious to me is the degree to which characters in so many stories are representations of the writer, whether the retelling of personal experiences under various disguises, and that also includes genders, or representations of unfulfilled dreams.

“I found writing is the literary version of the psychoanalyst’s couch.”

Interestingly, like in his books, Mr Barclay himself founded a charity called The Sunlight Foundation to assist with the plight of any children affected by trafficking.

The inspiration for both his charity and novels came about from seeing firsthand the war-ravaged villages of Vietnam and Cambodia and the children affected during the Vietnam War, where he received two commendations for bravery.

“I see examples like this all the time in my own writing,” he said.

“I discovered I’m probably better at writing than living.

“In a way, writing is a wonderful way to create characters to live your life for you, doing the things you wish you had done, or dealing with situations differently.

“It’s like a second chance at life!”

The third book of Mr Barclay’s series, Cassie’s Song, is due for release in February 2024.

The books are available from Beechworth Bookshop, through other retailers or direct from Shawline Publishing.