Here is my Awesome Gang author interview: http://awesomegang.com/roger-hardy/ and for those who can’t be bothered to click on the link:
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a Brit living in the Algarve, Portugal, having lived all over Europe since 2002. I spent my working life in Aviation as pilot, designer and safety regulator. I took early retirement a couple of years ago to concentrate on writing but spend the rest of my time running my small guesthouse Casa Luiz (www.casaluiz.com) in Carvoeiro. I’ve written five novels, all in different genres. The first was ‘Miracle in Carvoeiro’ a light tale of expats in a conservative Portuguese village. This was followed by its sequel, ‘The Eye of Sayf-Udeen’ a Da Vinci Code-genre treasure hunt. Then a complete change with ‘Artcore’, a dark serial killer story, set in Amsterdam’s gay world. Then came a literary work, ‘The Zarathustra Principle’, set in Germany in 1925 which marries Nietzsche and Nazism in the context of a coming of age story of a Jewish student. Finally comes Flight Into Darkness….
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Flight Into Darkness. I spent the last few years heading up the safety regulation of light aircraft for the new European Aviation Safety Agency. This work inspired me to write a story based on the idea of the world’s safest aircraft that mysteriously crashes. The investigation starts out like any other but the deeper James Hayward digs, the more he discovers until he finds himself pitted against a new kind of middle-eastern terrorist with a new political agenda; a United States of the Middle East. It’s set in a post Bin Laden Middle East and ends in Sicily. You really need to read it!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. If I have an idea, I sit down and write. I often throw 50 pages onto paper as a brain dump before doing an assessment; is it worth continuing with? Mostly the answer is no! I annoy friends and family to get their views but basically do what I want then leave it to my editor, the wonderful Debi Alper, to tell me what works and what doesn’t. I can write very fast and do the research whilst I’m writing because it’s too easy to put off the writing to do the resesarch and procrastination doesn’t write books. When I’m enthused, I can write ten pages a day; around 3000 words.
I find that boredom is a great motivator! But hunger is better.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I try not to be influenced by other writers but admire Ian McEwan very much. The writers I really like are those who I know I can never emulate! I suppose my overall style is a bit Ken Follett although I can be both lighter and more literary when I’m in the mood. I love historical fiction but do not write it because it needs too much research. C J Sansome is very good.
What are you working on now?
I like the idea of retelling early biblical stories, in particular Enoch and Noah. The idea is for the retelling to be rational, ie, no God, as such. I’m also interested in the ‘new age’ ideas of Rudolf Steiner which have influenced Louise Hay and others. However, every time I try to put these ideas together, I find I’m boring myself.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Book promotion is new to me but I’ve found that Amazon KDP Countdown Promotions are good because it gives you something to tweet about. Twitter is massively useful. Then there are the Goodreads review groups where you get 16 writers to download each other’s books then leave reviews on at least 4. You get downloads and reviews all in one fell swoop. I maintain an active blog, connected to Twitter and Facebook and have found that all of these activities together have a really noticeable affect on downloads. When you self publish, you have to do it all yourself but you’re not alone!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write for the pleasure of it, then try to get some enjoyment from the promotion. Promotion is harder work than writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Elmore Leonard (I think): ‘If it reads like writing, I rewrite it.’
What are you reading now?
One of the books from the Goodreads review group list: ‘Irrefutable Proof’ by Abby Vandriver. Next is F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned’ and ‘Weimar Vibes’ by Phil Rowan.
What’s next for you as a writer?
The next great idea. I’m still waiting but whilst I wait, I promote! My muse…where are you?
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
This list would be different every week but this week:
Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
The Road to London – Ade Bulla
War and Peace – Tolstoy
Crime and Punishment – Dostoyevsky