I am separating my book sales site from my blog folks. Click on any of the pictures to visit my sales site HERE.
I was recently asked by my publisher Fountain Blue Publishing to complete a brief Q&A session. Here’s the result. Visit Fountain Blue’s website here.
What inspired you to write your book?
I have always loved reading and I suppose my writing was inspired by that. The Seer of Albion started as a short story, no more than a thousand words in length, but I was inspired by entering the National Novel and Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to transform it into a complete novel.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have several, all of them very different. J.R.R Tolkien for the wonderful world and characters that he created. Thomas Hardy for the powerful descriptive prose that he used and Jack Kerouac for the wonderful grittiness of his books.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
I try not to get stuck in one genre although I do try to make my stories very character based. I do use science fiction and magic in some of my stories although only in small doses. I suppose most of my stories could also be described as love stories to some extent.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to surprise readers. I enjoy exploring the dark side of life also.
What books have most influenced your life?
Books by my mentors mentioned above. The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy and On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Also Isaac Asimov’s’ Foundation series.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Great idea. I am presently doing that with the Seer of Albion which I hope will become a trilogy. No more than that though. You CAN have too much of a good thing.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
There are two main characters in my latest novel. Gerros who is one of them has the ability to almost melt into the background. Not invisibility as such but more stealth. Very handy for passing enemies by.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
How long is a piece of string? My first novel took 4 months. My recent novel? About 2 years but that was with lots of breaks.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I never really suffer that badly from this but if I do find myself a little stuck I will move on to another part of the story. I often write the ending before the middle of my novels. Also if my storyline seems to be stuck I will try changing the storyline totally. My first novel had three (at least) totally different endings before it was complete. My latest novel had at least two different endings.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
I am afraid not. Finding an agent or publisher would be best. I have found social networking sites to be of limited use. Authoring a blog as I do at stanmrogers.com would probably be better.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Any reviews are better than no reviews. Bask in the good reviews. Learn from the bad ones.
My latest novel THE SEER OF ALBION is available from my publisher Fountain Blue here.Or it can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.
My latest novel is available from December 7th. Pre-Order your copy now at http://www.fountainbluepublishing.com/
This was written in the Summer as a poem and I suppose as an aid to self examination. Since then I have used it in The Seer Of Albion but greatly changed. See what you think and I will put up the transformed version when it is fully edited for The Seer.
I like to watch the moon and stars
And all the time he fought
Fear was the worst protagonist, in most ways.
And also self doubt
It appeared constantly…showed no remorse
As a lover. As an angel.
And he reached out for that angel.
Embraced her willingly
Even as claws of solitude raked his back
And arms….steely locked around his softness
Drew out his feeling….replacing it with dark desire
“Forget Love.” She whispered in his ear.
“That is weakness and human. It is of little consequence.”
“It makes no sense.”
Slowly he nodded his head and searched himself
Searched so deep. Inside spirit and dreams.
And small words came through but were beaten back
I love you……. became I use you
I care…… became I abuse you.
Sweetness became saccharin
The voice told him and the angel smiled.
This soul was hers now. And she knew
Raking his cheek with a talon
He saw soft fingers stroking…dripping his life blood
Not sharp hate filled blades of steel
But as he lay….spread-eagled. Drugged by uncertainty
He saw. The way things are
This angel was nothing more than human
Turning green shoots to brown withered falling leaves
Carcasses of spring growth thrown away
Healthiness turned to sickness
And he fought back
He raised his prone body
Faced the angel
“You dismiss us, our love, and our feelings.”
But she beat him down again. Leathery wings unfolding
A hiss of poisoned breath
“Fool.” She sneered. “By showing feeling you show weakness, you show care. So wasteful”
But the man laughed weakly…. shook his head to smile
“I know you are me. And I can always fight me.”
“You are no more than the negativity within me.”
And she rose above him. Knowing she had won.
“Of course I am negativity. You call it that but it is realism. It is above all HUMAN. Why care about people. They will hurt you without a second thought.” She grinned. A sweet smile to him. A sneer to others.
“Forget compassion…it is the weakness of the poor. Use people. Use their weak friendship to further yourself. They are easily cast away. Others will offer you the same. It doesn’t matter.”
Dark leathery wings turned to garments of silk as she smiled at the man.
You are mine now she thought. Weakness is within you.
And he felt weakness.
And he knew sadness.
But he felt strength.
And he sat up.
“All you say is based on weakness. Your weakness, not mine. You find pleasure in pain. You are the evil within me but although I have inherent evil I chose to rise above it. I choose to care, to love and of this I am certain. You are wrong.”
The angel thought. The angel sighed; she could break this man so easily. His body was frail. No more than a breath would break him. But that would be defeat for her. She would lose.
“Yes I am human, a callous smile, look before you…look at this world. Look at people. “
“People are shallow. They make promises but promises are worthless. They mean nothing. Puffs of smoke in the wind. Make them. Break them and make more.” She settled down beside him stroking his arm with false gentleness.
And the man pushed her hand away and replied. “They may be your promises. And yours are worth nothing. But I believe in truth. A promise broken destroys the promiser. Slowly and surely each broken truth destroys the soul. Each one made and kept brings strength.”
Her soft blue eyes flashed red. And she felt pain and possible loss.
“Join us and I will release you from pain and doubt. No more worry. No more shame. You can use people with impunity. You will see. Be strong. Have courage. Peoples softness betrays them and they pay our price.”
And he was tempted. Such satisfaction at living life for the moment and again….self doubt. Why couldn’t he accept this? Why couldn’t he believe this?
And he fell again trying to absorb his own utter failure.
To believe in himself. His lack of perfection. How easy to give in. To take….Not to give. Just life for pure pleasure. Such hedonism. Such great heights. So very easy.
And angel purred. She could see his doubt. Impurity within this man.
He lay before her. It would be so easy to take him now. To have his soul. To join the others.
She felt such pleasure. Another one taken in. Another to join her harem of wasted souls. It had been so easy in the end. Another man.
But then suddenly she knew pain herself and her mind felt fear. Something was wrong. All her certainty dissipated as the man rose again. She knew as he looked into her eyes that he had made his choice.
And his face set in a look of pity. His hands outspread….he stood.
Weakly at first, but he stood and looked down at her. And as his strength grew…hers weakened.
And he said. “I reject you totally. I am a man. I am strong.”
I believe in myself. I believe in others.
I forgive them their weakness, their base desires as I hope they can forgive my own
I see goodness in life, and love in people although it is sometimes hidden
Yours is the weakness. Not mine. For you mock. You use
And from that comes contempt and weakness of the soul.
Strength is in trust and belief. In love and understanding.
For that takes effort. To dismiss and be cruel is too easy…
And the angel cried and shrunk away from him in fear
Never before had she lost a soul and in that humility she learnt
From weakness comes fortitude
From understanding comes enlightenment
And from unquestioning love comes pure joy.
From death……………….comes rebirth.
©2009 Stan Rogers
Well it has been a few months since I have updated this blog but I intend to start using it more from now on.
Firstly November is/was National Novel Writing Month otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. I did enter in 2008 from the Seychelles but that one was never finished.
For those of you that don’t know what NaNoWriMo is… well it is a competition where you have to complete a minimum 50,000 word novel from scratch during the 30 days of November.
This year I entered again and I am a winner. My novel ‘The Seer Of Albion’ was completed in 29 days and I feel very proud of the fact that I managed to complete it, especially with things happening this month. One was my daughter giving birth to my first grandson last week and another was the time spent trying to acquire a visa for the USA. I even had to pay a visit to the US Embassy last week in London.
Although it is complete for NaNoWriMo purposes the novel is far far from publishing ready. That will not be till next year but I will put the occasional teaser on here if anyone would like a look.
Take care everyone. My life is changing.
Stan Rogers. 29 November 2009.