Kevin Cooper

Age 50

Where are you from? Hull, England.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc

I was born and dragged up in Hull. (I couldn’t exactly call it “raised.”) I came from a blue-collar working class family. My father was a typical Docker. My mother died when I was two. I had four sisters, three elder and one younger. The family was split up after my mother died. My two eldest sisters and I ended up living with our grandparents until our dad remarried a few years later. My other two sisters were (informally) adopted by my grandmother’s sister. We were never reunited as a family unit.

Our great-grandparents were really well-off, one of them was a solicitor in Beverley, but nobody would have guessed it. My grandfather had squandered his wealth in Canada, came back to England poor and ended up working on the Docks in Hull. His sisters migrated to Africa and stayed there. We didn’t even see the dregs.

I left England in 1985 and went to university in the USA. I decided to try and make something of my life. I was successful and obtained both BA and M.Ed degrees. I am the only one in my immediate family to have gone to university and obtained degrees and the only one to have lived and worked abroad. I lived in America for over nineteen years, teaching in high schools, lecturing in colleges, managing for the Hertz Corp and dreamed of becoming a writer.

When I came back to England I worked for the NHS for several years before coming out of work to care for my wife. Her condition improved somewhat after a couple of surgeries and I began to focus on writing and fulfilled my dream of becoming an author.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I have just started a sequel to my debut novel The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn and I’ve created a music blog. I also have two of my works on special offer.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started to enjoy writing in high school but I enjoyed reading much more. I didn’t really begin writing anything until I was about eighteen. I began by writing songs.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It is only as recent as last year that I considered myself to be a writer, after I published my first work, The Devil’s Apology. It was then I really started to focus on Miedo.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I had been dabbling with the idea of presenting a different perspective to the conflict between good and evil and how it all started. So I would say stories of the conflict between god and the devil inspired my first work.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to play with verb tense. Most things you read are in past tense. For me, it gets old. I want the reader to be a part of what is going on in “the now.” So I favor the present active tense and save the past tense for flashbacks and recollections.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Sometimes a title just presents itself. Like with The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn. The story is actually about all three things. However, I struggled with Miedo. I wanted to get the subject of fear across to my reader. Miedo is Spanish for fear, or afraid and that’s the name of my main character. It’s also what he lives and feels. I added, “Afraid” later due to most of my readers being English and then added (living beyond childhood fears) as a subtitle. I really wanted it to be just, Miedo, but felt people didn’t grasp it. It’s frustrating.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In Miedo it is that children’s fears are very real to them and parents shouldn’t just wave them aside. Be there for your children, listen to your children, console your children. The other is that abuse and neglect have devastating consequences.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

The Devil’s Apology is complete fantasy as is The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn. Miedo, on the other hand is a true story. The things Miedo experiences are very real to him, even though they may seem improbable or imaginary to the reader.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes.

Fiona: What books have influenced your life most?

I have read so many it’s hard to say. For my fantasy novels I would say Terry Brooks Shannara series, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and CS Lewis’ Narnia.

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

CS Lewis

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Few Are Chosen by MT McGuire

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

MT McGuire is new to me

Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’ve just started to write Elyysa and the Shyde of Darkness which is my sequel to The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

In high school we were asked to write about our summer break. I enjoyed writing it and the teacher was really impressed with my work. That was the first time I ever enjoyed writing anything.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Elyysa and the Shyde of Darkness is about another entity that wants to wrest power from the land of Geo. In this sequel, Elyysa has become a young woman who is now the shepherd of Geo. It is up to her to dispel or destroy the Shyde.  The Shyde is a much older and more powerful adversary than the shadow that previously tried to take over Geo.

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I sometimes have two or three projects going on at the same time and can think of nothing to do with any of them. Other times, I have things going on in my head simultaneously for all of them and have to decide which one first. It’s not easy. For example, besides Elyysa and the Shyde of Darkness, I’m also working on a memoir of my life in America.

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

CS Lewis. I love Narnia, the characters, the dilemmas, the magic, it’s wonderful.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Unfortunately, I’m in the UK. I publish on Amazon and Createspace. I’m limited to what I can do. I wish I was back in the US now. There is so much more I would be able to do with my books.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I do my own covers.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Organizing my thoughts is hard. Sometimes my mind is jumping all over the place in a story and I like to do things chronologically. It’s very difficult.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Writing is not easy. It’s hard work. Sometimes I have to stop writing to research something after realizing I don’t know enough about it. Other times I find myself rewriting because I’ve mentioned something that doesn’t really fit or I’ve had a new idea that requires more background and research. When I wrote, Miedo, I researched those things about Hull that I wasn’t absolutely sure about even though it was my home town.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Writers may not like this, but it has to be said. If you’re an indie-publisher like me, please, above everything, don’t rush your work. Don’t go publishing something half-cocked just to get it out there. Research rather than BS your story and edit. If you can’t afford an editor, download an editing program. Bad writing not only hurts you as a writer, but lends a bad name to others who actually write well and are proud of their work. There’s a tsunami of crap out there. At least have the pride to know that you have done your best to stand out from the rest.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I appreciate all the love and support I have received from my readers and will continue to do my best to keep you all entertained. For those of you who left reviews on Miedo, my sincere thanks. For those of you who are enjoying my debut novel, The Wizard.., watch out for the sequel!

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Robinson Crusoe, I kid you not.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I’m a musician. I write my own songs, play guitar and try to sing.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Shows: Grimm, Dr. Who, Benidorm, Once Upon A Time. Movies: Underworld, What Dreams May Come, LoR, Narnia… I don’t watch a lot of TV shows but I love movies as much as I do reading, especially if the movie is a story I’ve read.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Most kinds of food/ all colours/most kinds of music

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Be a Pro-musician.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

http://kevs-domain.net/

Links to my books can be found on my author page with Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00EWFEYKQ