The tests starts at the start of the summer of ‘88, Alex Clayton was desperate to find his place in the world. Bullied at school and reeling from the recent loss of his mum, he sought friendship from local girl Sheryl Denton, and her colourful group of friends, Ben, Janette, Corkscrew and Gavin. But to join their group, Alex first needed to undertake four notorious initiation trials, known as the tests.
That year changed everything for Alex and shaped his entire life. The events that unfolded during that long summer would haunt the group forever.
Own The Tests Now!
Meet The Author
The Big UK Talk Radio Interview
Robert Kirby revealed to UK Talk Radio that;
“One of the first books I read was The Fighting Fantasy novels by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. I spent more time reading/playing these than I did doing my school
Who is your favourite writer and why?
“I would have to say Irvine Welsh, as I love the wicked, jet black humour
in his novels. I’m also a massive fan of Bernard Cornwell’s books
(especially the Richard Sharpe series) Stephen Leather’s fast-paced
thrillers and the late David Gemmell’s heroic fantasy novels.
Can you remember the first thing you wrote and what it was about?
A TV script called The Hit, which centred around a Private Investigator
who gets embroiled in a plot to murder his client’s abusive husband.
The hired hitman mistakenly kills the target’s brother, and the
protagonist is then pulled into a murky criminal underbelly. When I ran
a detective agency myself, more than one client blatantly asked me if I
knew anyone that offered such a service! Obviously I didn’t, but it put
me on the idea of a TV drama based on such a scenario.”
Tell us about your current book and when you wrote it;
“The Tests also started out as a TV spec script, that I wrote in 2009 and
submitted to several UK based production companies, including the
BBC, who at the time offered an open submission to unsolicited writers.
It received plenty of encouraging feedback, and I was offered to send in
further ideas/scripts to some of the companies afterwards, but I was
unable to get the project off the ground. (believe me, I tried everything!)
All these years later, when lockdown all but closed down my current
business, I had a lot more time on my hands; so my wife suggested I
write a novel based on one of my scripts. The Tests seemed like the ideal
story to work on, because I had plenty of feedback and suggestions to
incorporate into the manuscript; plus there are elements of the story that
work so much better in the book, and in all honesty, I have enjoyed the
experience of novel writing a lot more.”