Name: Colin R Parsons
Where are you from: Rhondda Valley South Wales
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m born and bred in Wales. Married to Janice for 30 years in (2015). I have two sons: Kristoffer and Ryan. I’ve no degrees or any fancy letters behind my name. Did get a grade 3 in English and a City and Guilds in IT.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m going to be a grandfather for the first time in March 2016, if everything goes as planned.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written little ditties. When I was a kid, instead of writing the normal greetings on cards – I would write on Birthday, Christmas or Easter cards with little stories – a couple of lines. Who does that but a writer? I felt I needed to get stories out there.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Recently actually, when I was invited to festivals and children’s book events.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I used to write short stories for an online publisher (now de-funked). My sons English teacher would proof-read and edited them. She called my wife and I to school for a parent and teacher meeting. Ryan was falling behind in his English, because he wasn’t reading enough, at all if I’m honest. She said my stories were so good, why didn’t I write a book about wizards, and maybe my son would read my stuff. Ryan graduated uni with a first, so it must have worked.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My only style is that I don’t know the end of the adventure until I get there. I don’t do much planning. My work is fast-paced and exciting.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I always look for titles that are different, to make my books stand out. For example; The Curious World of Shelley Vendor. The title entices.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Mostly that evil doesn’t always win. And if you help each other, you can get out of a situation.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I’m a fantasy author, my work is fiction.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As a writer you pick up ideas from different places. I will base characters on friends and family sometimes.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Definitely, Stephen King on Writing. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman really struck a chord.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Skulduggery Pleasant – Last Stand of Dead Men.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m impressed by new self-published authors who don’t want big publishing deals, with major publishing houses. The new young writers want to do it themselves and make more of a profit.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m collaborating with another author, on a novella. I’m writing a detective series with a difference. I’ve a novel in production. And another publisher is reading a manuscript of mine too.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Catrin Collier (a successful welsh author) is my mentor and a close friend – who has always supported me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’m a full-time author. My other job is running 50 school workshops a year.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have nine books published, but I’m never totally satisfied with any of my books. If I go back and read them, I always want to alter the text. I guess I’m a perfectionist.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes, reading CS Lewis in school. I had to stand up in class and read; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That fired me up so much, it made me want to write.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It’s a Private Investigator adventure series set in the future. The protagonist has a robot sidekick and the cases are supernatural. Android’s are only used for domestic use in 2050, but Simon is different to all other robots.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I hate writing fight scenes. They are necessary, but I find that they are really difficult to choreograph. It’s got to be done in a painstakingly long process.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Derek Landy. He’s just so good at producing magnetic characters. You feel that you know the people in the story. It’s authors like him that made me want to read in the first place. He writes well crafted adventure with fantastic characters and great plots.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Oh yes…I run presentations and workshops up and down the UK, and hopefully soon overseas. Thousands of miles every year.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publishers mostly, but in the early days when I self published, my best friend is an artist.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Multiple drafting – Editing and proof-reading…I hate it!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’m a lot better at editing and redrafting.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Learn how to sell your book. It’s a product after all, like a toilet roll or a bottle of perfume. Publishers these days expect authors to promote their own work.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please, please, please – when you read my work…put up reviews, anywhere and everywhere. Authors thrive on reviews; good, bad or indifferent.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C S Lewis.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
An act of selflessness always makes me cry or brings a lump to my throat, and comedy without the bad language.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
J RR Tolkien. I’m a fantasy writer and this guy is a god.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Here lies Colin R Parsons…an author. I just want to make a mark in this world as a writer.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love movies, and would go every week if I could. Walking is another favourite of mine. I also love visiting Laugharne in West Wales where Dylan Thomas the poet lived.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The list is endless. Entourage, Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory, Under the Dome, Justified, Unforgettable, Frazier, I Robot, Dr Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Revolution, Falling Skies…just for starters.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Steak, chips, onions – Steak Pie – Spag/bol. Blue is my one and only colour. Music varies: Coldplay, Kraftwerk, Elvis Presley, Anastasia, Russell Watson…like I said it varies.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Tennis player or a Formula One driver.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?