Writer's Digest

THE WD INTERVIEW Robert Dugoni

Bestselling novelist Robert Dugoni has your back. He gets you, whether you’re someone who has always wanted to write a novel or if you’ve done the work and felt the sting of it backfiring. Even if you have enough rejection slips to wallpaper your office.

He gets you because he’s been there, including having been dropped by a publisher after sales began to decline. He’s a battle-proven A-lister who has reached the top spot on Amazon’s Top 100 authors list, who spends as many nights on the road teaching at conferences and workshops—including his own annual writing retreat—as he does flying around the country for signings and keynotes.

Dugoni is the author of three successful series, the first two yielding New York Times bestsellers, the third reaching No. 1 on Amazon with its first title. In 2018 he published an award-winning literary standalone. His roster of awards, nominations, best-ofs, and starred reviews takes up an entire page, though you’d have to look it up because he won’t offer it in conversation. He has sold in the neighborhood of six million copies of his novels thus far, with no end in sight.

His story gets even better, if not more intimidating. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, where he wrote for the school’s esteemed newspaper, which led to a nomination to intern on the crime desk of the Los Angeles Times. From there he received a law degree from UCLA followed by a 13-year run as a practicing criminal attorney.

What came next reads like a plot twist from one of his thrillers, minus the criminals.

You left the practice of law in 1999, after 13 years, to write fiction. Were you tired of the suit-and-tie 80-hour work weeks, or were you just chomping at the bit to write a legal thriller?

That decision tracks back to the years right after college. At the there was no real mentoring, I

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