Monday, August 1, 2016
Guest Blogger: Rocky Rochford
Amazon Author Central Page:
Please tell us about your latest book?
My latest work is Scars & Souvenirs, a collection of emotional thrillers that mostly revolve around the life of John, a lover, a fighter and a loner, too afraid of the light to ever leave the darkness that follows him. He has watched his friends leave him and he has watched them die and the memories will never leave him. Scars are the mementos of the life our soul has lead. If you are looking for a book that has some swearing, that focuses on depression, guilt, suicidal tendencies, and anger, than this just might be the book for you. But if you’re expecting to see the story run in a linear sequence of events, you may want to throw that thought out of the window, I did a Memento with book and honestly, it is the best way, because it makes it a lot harder for you to work out where the story is going to go and which emotion you’re going to be made to feel next. And I will be biased and admit Say You’ll Haunt Me is my favourite story in the collection, but Ghosts and The Future that Never Was was two of the hardest to write.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now I am desperately trying to finish A Work In Progress. It’s the story of Sam Snider, an author who walked away from the author life when his parents died. He went off the rails, dragging his younger sister with him, until eventually he snapped out of it, but she continues to live the life. He now live a near isolated existence, he may go out into the world to deal with clients as he now acts as an agent to his artist sister to make them both money, but he has no friends, no hobbies that bring him joy and the closest thing he has to a girlfriend, is the prostitute he paid to be his therapist. It is a story that can go anywhere and is writing itself, but admittedly the writing has slowed down. I intend to speed up again soon.
How do we find out about you and your books?
You can find out about my books on any of the following links, but my Facebook pages is without a doubt the best way to go about it:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IamRockyRochford?fref=ts Twitter: @RockyRochford
Personal Website: rockyrochford.wordpress.com
Working a few hours a day in a dive center on the desk provides me some luxuries. I may not be able to write, but I can access my Facebook page and provide updates when needed and send the occasional tweet!
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Honestly, as much as I can get away. I have lead an interestingly life and sometimes there were things I did and things I wish I had done, some of the stories I have written do find themselves featuring those wishes coming to fruition and as for my characters, each protagonist probably has three things in common with me. Be it blonde hair and blue eyes, having my height, or share the same interests. In London Calling, Lewis has a penchant for Ducati motorcycles and drives a Ducati Monster, which is my dream motorcycle. In Phoenix Rises, he lives on a boat, and I stayed on one for a few weeks but wish to live on a boot. (We also have the same music tastes.) As for Jack, my bad man from the Don’t Trilogy (aka Wait and Bleed,) although I’m not a murder, which he clearly is, we both have this way of saying things, a type of honesty that can be dark at times, but funny and light. And we both have a history in construction. So like I said, whatever I can get away with.
When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
Honestly, I have always loved it and that’s why when I was 13, I finished my 312 page long novel The Rescuer and submitted it to a publisher. They told me the writing was terrible and that I had no future in the industry. For one year I didn’t write and then I thought stuff them, I’ll try again. So I rewrote the story, I edited it and tried submitting again at 16. Still no luck. At 18, although I could have written another book, I was dedicated to seeing The Rescuer published, except now it was Mayhem in the Med and edited once more. Finally when I was 21 it was published, but under the name of Phoenix Rises, although the book just wasn’t as good as it should have been, as it was purely edited (also by this point it was over 600 pages.) When its contract expired I didn’t bother renewing it, because there is more work to be done to it and now that London Calling is out with London Falling on its way (prequels to Phoenix Rises,) I intend to make some changes to better connect the three before resubmitting for contract.
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Short stories, I can whip out in a single day, novels, I once wrote three within two months, which I never bothered to publish. But really it depends, if I am feeling the story, I will do 100 pages a week, but that requires time, and desire, so now I would have to say around 4-12 months depending on what is going on.
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
For the last 7 months I have been working pretty much 14 hour days, so no, I don’t have a time schedule, instead I either have a social life that day for all of two hours, or I choose not to sleep and write whatever I can, when I can.
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Plan it. Do your Research. Write the first page. Write the last page. Finish the first Chapter. Write the last three chapters and then go from Chapter 2, write it until you finish it.
What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
Some days I think writing in the middle of Grand Central Station might be simpler (not to mention quieter.) Family and Friends have been known to interrupt me a lot and if they do it enough times, that’s it, I’m done for the day because I just can’t get to that place of creation in my mind.
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I will go scuba diving, or I will fill the bathtub up with water, close the bathroom door for darkness and slip in. It is just so peaceful, so relaxing and gives me time to think, to form ideas and then when I get out, I just feel so much better.
Do you feel humor is important in horror and why?
YES! Wait and Bleed would not be as good as it is, if Jack wasn’t funny. Yes it’s a dark kind of funny, but it will still have you laughing at times and in A Work In Progress, humor is playing more and more of a bigger role, but then that’s a “fictitious memoir.” But humor is good for every story and unless you have one character in each work providing the laughs, books just wouldn’t be the same. Every genre needs humor in some way and even my soon to release (August 26th) Scars & Souvenirs has some humor, but admittedly not a lot. The protagonist has too dark a sense of humor so you’ll only laugh there if you get his type of jokes, but even there, in the very emotionally raw and serious setting the collection possess, there are some laughs to be found, but not as many as there could have been as I actually took a lot out.
Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre? I’d actually like to try my hand at every genre I can, just to prove to myself I can. Every genre is different, they have different rules and provide a different experience for the writer and I just really want to experience those differences.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
Yes actually, because then I actually get to read it, to enjoy it and when it is in print, feel it in my hands. When you’re writing it and editing it and proofing it, you are constantly scrutinizing your own work and for me, it sort of feels like you can’t enjoy it. It’s only when it is finished can you sit down, breath, read and enjoy. For me that is the best thing about the WHOLE process, being able to enjoy the delights of your creation at the end of the road.
Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Right now, I would have to say Wait and Bleed. I know Jack is a psycho. I know he kills people in a lot of ways, but the voice! The way he talks. The way he thinks and the way he interacts with the reader. I have never written a character who didn’t feel more alive than he did. He got under my skin and I was happy to keep him there and when I wrote the final page, ending his story for good, I felt truly sad. By the end of it, he had become a friend, a friend I had laid to rest and I was just sad. But at least I can always pick up Wait and Bleed and have a murderous adventure with him, whenever I felt like it. One of my biggest worries about him though, was would I ever be able to write another character like him, but Sam Snider is easing those concerns because I am having great fun writing his character. He’s funny when he wants to be. His serious and he is human. You can feel that when you read him. He is human and he is quickly approaching Jack’s level of realism.
What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
Right the hardest is A Work in Progress, it is nothing like anything I have written before, what with being a comedy at times, but also a bit nitty gritty the next. The most fun would be Wait and Bleed, Jack is brilliant and that pretty much wrote itself so it was also easy, but The Rise of The Elohim is very easy to write. It’s all fiction and fantasy so I can do whatever I want and make the rules up as I go. Different solar system, different way of doing things.
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting? What are the elements of a great romance for you?
Honestly, depends on the work. London Calling is a two parter, but I only came up with that because of a single idea I had. “What if I wrote about an assassination in the Alps?” So then I pictured how I would write it, but then I needed a character for it, who would be perfect? Naturally having already wrote Lewis, he sprung to mind and it was a great way of writing him as a younger version, so now I had my character, my hero, I just needed a reason why he would do it. So for LC and LB (London Burning,) a single idea came first, then character and then story, but it doesn’t always work that way. For A Work in Progress, the story came first and then characters and setting followed but with Scars & Souvenirs, it was characters, setting, story, so for me it depends on what I want to work on.
What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?
Starting it and finishing it is easy, but the hardest is just finding time. When I write, I want to write for hours on end, not one or two hours that will be spent constantly interrupted, so definitely finding time to write.
Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
Well I actually tend to have about 2 or 3 books on the go, so if I feel one getting stale (losing desire, or slowing down,) I just swap to the next one and put in some hours working on the next one and then swapping again when that one gets stale.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Being able to read the fruits of your labor when all is said and done and hearing someone else say they enjoyed it.
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
Well as someone in the 20’s living in the south of Spain, I would probably be out enjoying the summer, scuba diving more, wakeboarding more and hanging out with friends and family more often, but I also live to write, it is part of who I am and who I want to be. I want to create worlds for others to enjoy, to create characters they’ll love and hate. There’s plenty of time for me to “live” in the next life. I’m happy doing what I’m doing. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Everyone gets rejected and I mean everyone. If you’re going to let multiple rejections stop you from writing, than maybe being an author is not for you, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from writing and sharing your stories with those you care about. It’s not easy, it’s not a free ride, but being an author can be rewarding, especially when you remove the ideology of money and fame out of your head. I write because I enjoy it, because I want to write something better than I have already written and because I want to write something that will make people say “Where did that come from?” And if I find some success in the process that is great, especially since I would love to see a film made based on Wait and Bleed. It would be like American Psycho but for the next decade and that is what I am striving for. To make a film version happen, but first there is plenty of work to be done and I am ready to do it, no matter what it takes, so if you’re an unpublished writer, you might want to think about changing your goals, and let the journey take you where it will.