Roger A. Price author of Nemesis and By Their Rules (and others) answers a few questions for the blog.
Is the writing full time? If not, what is/was the day job?
I retired from the police in 2008 as a detective inspector and worked as a private contractor for a while but knew I had to write. I now had the time, so no more excuses. I started writing my first novel in early 2011 and by 2013 I was writing full time.
What’s your typical writing schedule?
I take my wife to work in the morning and arrive back to an empty house around 8.30 am. To me this is like walking into the office. I usually spend a couple of hours downstairs dealing with social media and other online stuff, before heading to the loft where I have an office and I get down to my current work-in-progress. I leave to collect my wife around 4.30pm and then may do some online marketing in the evenings.
Do you insert family, friends, and colleagues into your characters?
Never. Too dangerous and too restrictive from a point of view of character development. If you base a character too much on a known person it can restrict you in what you have that character do. Plus there is a little thing called libel to consider. I do however construct my characters as a composite of various factions, some real and some made up and mash it all together. The characters naturally develop anyway as the story lengthens.
Are you a plotter, or do you make it up as you go along?
Bit of both. I start off with a loose premise and direction and then plot the next five or six thousand words into a skeletal premise. I then write it up and let the story meander from the skeleton whilst adding flesh to the bones.
Are there any subjects off limits?
I tend to write from my experiences as a detective, or at the very least, I allow those experiences drive my fictional ideas. Of all the harrowing things I have had deal with some subjects for me are out-of-bounds as too painful, or immoral to utilise. Offences against children, the disabled or involving incest are the main ones. Fact is worse than fiction.
Can you tell us a bit about your published books so far, four to date I believe? Is there one you are more proud of than any of the others? Which and why? Which would you press into a reader’s hand ahead of the others?
What’s been the most satisfying moment of your writing career so far?
Another toughie! The journey as a writer is a continuing one with many highs and lows along the way. I suppose when you first realise that a complete stranger has read your work and simply loves it, it is very rewarding. It is a high that recurs interspaced by the not-so-highs and continually keeps you motivated.
How difficult is it to attract a readership?
Very difficult in today’s crowded marketplace and adding to your readership is a constant area of work on a daily basis. Being invited onto blogs such as yours Col is essential to emerging and established voices alike. So thanks for the invite, it is much appreciated.
Any unpublished gems in your bottom drawer?
Ha ha, no I’m afraid not. If you believe you have created a “gem” then you should put everything you have behind it. I work on one project at a time, but if I failed to place what I believed to be a gem I would try self-publishing rather than abandon it.
What’s the current project in progress? How’s it going?
What’s the best thing about writing?
Typing the words “The End” for the first time. (You’ve reached that ultimate goal of finishing the first draft of your manuscript).
Typing the words “The End” for the first time. (You know the hard work of many re-writes/edits etc. starts now).
What are the last five books you’ve read?
Takedown by Stephen Leather,
The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly,
Silent Scream by Angela Marsons,
The Witness by Simon Kernick,
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Who do you read and enjoy?
Any of the above and none of the above. I love to try new writers as well as my old favourites.
Is there any one book you wish you had written?
Too many to list, there are so many great reads out there.
Favourite activity when not working or writing?
Seeing my grandchildren or riding my motorcycle.
What’s the last film you watched that rocked you?
Twelve Years a Slave – so powerful and hard to believe it was a true story.
TV addict or not? What’s the must watch show in the Price household?
I love any and all TV drama, thrillers and cop procedurals in particular.
In a couple of years’ time…
More novels published and if I can’t get one of my own works optioned for TV I would love to have my own script commissioned. I am currently putting the finishing touches to my own adaptation of Nemesis and working on a new original drama. Just got to attract a producer’s attention. No pressure there then .
Many thanks to Roger for his time.
You can catch up with him here at his website.
Facebook - here.
Twitter - @RAPriceAuthor