Friday, July 25, 2014

Interview with Author K. J. Rollinson

Kathy June Rollinson (K.J. Rollinson)
The Costa Blanca, Spain

Good morning, Kathy!  Welcome to Vision and Verse, The Place for Art and Authors. What have you written?
The Fallyn Trilogy. 'Fallyn and the Dragons,'  'Fallyn in the Forbidden Land,'
'Fallyn and the Sea Dragons'. A fantasy trilogy for anyone who likes fantasy books. Published on Amazon as soft books and kindle versions.
'The Rode to Justice', (John Rode, 1st grade detective, murder stories). Available from Amazon, only on Kindle. In one of the stories he quotes, 'This is a Court of Law, not a Court of Justice.'

What is your favourite genre to write? 
Although you may think that as I have written three fantasy books, and I am publishing 'A Twist of Fairy Tales' shortly, a modern twist of classic fairy tales, that fantasy is my favourite genre, but it is not. I enjoy writing in any genre, eg my crime book.  I am busy writing 'A Man Called Ian' at the moment a very adult book following the life of a young man, who goes to Africa.

Favorite food?  
Like my books, very difficult to categorise. I enjoy lots of things, depending on, as an example, the weather – here in Spain when it is very hot I tend to eat more salads.

Tea of coffee?
Weak tea, no sugar, but occasionally I like a coffee – weak and no sugar.

Pizza or ice cream. 
Again dependent on weather. Try to avoid both really.

Where would you like to visit?  
I used to think it was Australia but on 'Googling' about Africa for my new book 'A Man Called Ian,' particularly about Eritrea on the Red Sea, I would like to visit this part of the world. Especially as my favourite hobby was when I was younger was sub-aqua diving, and from my research I have learned this area is fantastic for diving. Going back to Australia I would want to dive on the great barrier reef. I just snorkel here in Spain.

Favorite musical artist.
I do not have one. Again, like my books and food, my music is varied. I like classical music, musicals and some pop, I line dance which keeps me in touch with the music scene. We recently learned dances to 'The Killers' and 'Lady Gaga' songs. 

Do you listen to music while you write
No I don't. I live on my own, so I have peace and quiet. Usually I get up at 5 am and after going through my emails I write for a few hours, leaving the rest of the day free for my other hobbies.

What makes you laugh?
  A humorous play, a book, a good joke. I don't like what I call slapstick humour, eg a programme on UK TV a few years ago 'Some Mothers Do Have Them' showed a young man doing everything wrong, and his patient wife, Betty, putting up with it – I'd have strangled him!

Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I am very fond of the paintings by Sherree Valentine Daines, a modern impressionist artist. Also I like classic impressionist artists such as Monet and Manet.

How old were you when you started writing?
I must have been about eight. I remember my first story was about a great big yacht, at least 20ft long!! I also remember writing my first poem called 'Pictures in the Fire' – that was when we used to have coal fires.

Describe your perfect evening.
That's easy living in Spain. A good open-air restaurant with a view of the sea.  Warm, relaxed company with friends, good conversation and lots of laughter.

Where do you get your inspiration?
A bit like the Martini advert really – anytime, anywhere. It can be a picture, a quotation, a book. I used to go to an art class and a friend painted a very proud dragon which inspired me to write a 500 story for her. From that it inspired me to write 'Fallyn and the Dragons.'  The second chapter in this book is more or less the story I wrote for my friend. From that it grew like Topsy and I went on to write the Fallyn trilogy.

What do you when you get writer's block?
I don't think I have experienced this. Usually I write every day. It can be 500 words, 5,000 words, depending on my mood or commitments. Quite often when I am swimming in the pool, or walking, my mind is thinking what the next chapter will be. I usually know the beginning and the end of the book. Once I start writing the characters seem to take over, and write their own story (with a little bit of guidance from me!).

What is your favourite author?
 Oh dear! Again, my answer must be like the answers I gave to food, music. I have no favourite author. All the books I read are usually by male authors, Wilbur Smith, Clive Cussler, James Patterson, Michael Crichton, Lee Child, etc. There are a few female writers I love, they include Tess Gerritsen, and Sharon Penman.

Best Book you have ever read. Again, sorry, I don't have a favourite. If you had asked me this question as a child I would have said without hesitation 'The Bondsman,' written by Hall Caine, a 19th century author, which my father had given to him as a Sunday School prize when he was a youngster. I have since re-read it, and I thought it old-fashioned and a bit maudlin, but at the time I thought it was so beautiful, it made me cry. Ah, the innocence of childhood. 

Last book you read. 
Another favourite author, Ken Follett,              
'The Hammer of Eden,' a suspense thriller.

What would you do for a living if you weren't a writer?  
I am retired. I used to work in administration, mostly in the NHS in the UK.  I suppose if you were to ask me what would I have preferred to do for a living I would say anything to do with animals. I don't mean a vet because I can't stand the sight of blood, but perhaps I could have worked for the RSPCA (Royal Society of  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). I suppose in the end you choose a practical job - what will pay the mortgage and such.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?  
This a hard question to answer!  There have been many people consciously and unconsciously may have influenced my life, but one person sticks out in my mind. I don't know her name. She was a friend of my mother's and she wrote in an autograph book I had as a kid. She wrote, I quote below.

 Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever,
 Do noble things, not dream them all day long.

First two lines of the second stanza of a poem written by Charles Kingsley, 1819 – 1875.

These lines have influenced me a lot. Not that I have done noble things but because I am a dreamer. After all I get my inspiration for my books because I am a dreamer.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with one person, living or dead, real or fictional who would it be and why. 
Rupert Brookes, the poet, 1887 – 1915.  I love his poetry, and he was so handsome.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
You only have to read, as an example, Writing Magazine,which can sometimes give endless advice and how to write, ranging from where to write, when to write, what to write and read.

My advice would be practise, practise, practise. OK you must have a natural talent which has motivated you in the first place to write, but what works for one doesn't work for another. I write every day which may not appeal to everyone. When I first started writing seriously I used to put on paper whatever came to my mind. I didn't worry about editing until after I had written the piece. But, again, others may prefer to edit as they go along. Horses for courses I suppose.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kathy, for being with us this morning and sharing a little about yourself and your work. We at Vision and Verse wish you continued success in all your writing endeavors.