Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is John R. Rogers and I write under the name J.R. Rogers. I am 60.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I have lived in Orange County, Southern California for the last 30 + years.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was born and raised abroad by American parents and lived for 18 years in Antwerpen, Paris and Kinshasa, DRC. I have a university degree in French literature but also studied short story writing for a year at the University of California, Irvine, Continuing Education Div.I was a productivity consultant for many years before retiring from a large defense contractor in Los Angeles. My partner and I have a basset hound who rules our life and I am a dog lover. My interests include art and architecture, culture, gender equality, indie film, scuba diving, photography andresort travel.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just self-published my seventh novel of historical fiction, The Italian Couplein April of this year. It is an atmospheric historical thriller of subterfuge and illicit love set in Mussolini’s 1938 Italian Eritrea.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Very early, in high school, but not seriously until I graduated from the university. I was especially enamoured of short stories and I wrote those on and off for many years before transitioning to novel-length fiction. Six of my stories have been published to date. I was always a voracious reader—as were my parents—so I suppose my love of writing was a by-product of that interest.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Somewhere between my second and third novel when I realized people were actually buying and reading them.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The Counterfeit Consul was loosely based on events that occurred in my grandfather’s life who moved to New York City from Germany in 1912.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title sprung unheeded in my mind as I was writing. I wastrying to reference the protagonist by a description other than his name.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing style had been anecdotally described as “easy to read.” Imagining my character’s emotions is always a challenge inasmuch as I usually embroil them in situations I have never experienced. My strength is dialogue.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
With reference to my latest novel it is pure historical fiction though some of the events and people were real.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’d love to travel to all of the faraway locations I set my novels in but this has proved to be impossible.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
All of my covers have always been a collaboration between myself and my graphic designer. I usually either bring him a concept to execute or he comes up with something.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Obedience to the rule of law is paramount, especially for an army officer.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I recently read Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh set in British-ruled Kenya in the 1950s. I greatly enjoyed it. I don’t have a favorite writer; there are simply too many excellent ones. I will mention Hemingway, Paul Bowles and Malcolm Muggeridge, all dated authors, which I will often re-read. What attracts me is primarily the language.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
It would be my uncle, a college professor of English and Shakespearian studies who was encouraging.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’m a bit old for that.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Perhaps, but they would be minor changes; dialogue most likely.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I always learn more than I need to know when writing historical fiction as I research extensively. And in my latest novel I hadto grasp a basic knowledge of Italian as many of my sources were in that language. I speak fluent French so I was able to manage somewhat.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
There so many interesting male and female stars.
However I like the idea of Jason Done for the male lead and Kristin Scott Thomas for the female lead
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep reading and writing and don’t give up!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Writing for a pastime is difficult but richly rewarding even if nobody buys your books. Write for yourself and not for sales.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but it was probably The Hardy Boys series.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Good news and bad news, the passing of friends, little moments of levity playing with my dog, hearing from a friend I gave up on, etc.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Author Paul Bowles who lived his life writing novels in Tangiers. I love all of his novels and the settings mostly in Africa.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Cooking and gardening.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch a lot of TV but lately I’ve become caught up in Billions.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Indian and Mexican foods, color would be red in all shades and in musicI have many different tastes, many foreign, including Demis Roussos, Juan Gabriel, Sarah Brightman, KateySagal, Lana del Rey, and Neil Young amongst others.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
He enjoyed every minute of every moment he had.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2zgdXoe