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Interview Q&A with Roger Turner
We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Roger Turner, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of December 2018.
- What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
Being selected as author of the month is a huge deal. A huge deal. It isn't so much being recognized as such because titles mean little to me. It shows that I have struck a nerve or am on the same level as those who voted for me. Whether they agree with my views, like my stories, characters, or just enjoy my writing for taking them on a journey. It shows me that what I am doing is not just wasted time, and that it is part of the fabric of others' lives as well.
- How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
My writing is not influenced by friends or family in a way that is noticeable to them, but, to me, they give me ideas, memories surface in conversations and from there characters gain life.
- What inspires you to write?
I am inspired to write by other writers. They had a story to tell, I feel I have stories to tell as well. Financial success is not the goal, but, getting people to read, share the tales and thereby, maybe to start writing their stories as well. That inspires me, to grow the population of writers and storytellers and to make sure the next generation of readers learn from our experiences.
- What was your writing catalyst?
I have always written, in school, at home, always. I have written for weddings, funerals, retirements, for fun, but, the true catalyst I would say would be when my heart specialist Dr. Larry Fitzpatrick told me "Don't keep anything in". Stress caused me to have a heart attack and he told me to let it out, whether I write it down, sing it, or in his words "go and yell at a tree...don't keep it in".
- Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
My process is simple. I need quiet. No background noise. I may get a thought, a line, or a character idea in my head. If it rolls around up in my brain for a few days, and I still remember it, then it may be something that someone else will remember as well. Then, and only then do I try to flesh it out. I always treat what I write as a journalist would by asking who, how, when, why as I am filling out my tale. I want to know who my characters are, why they act this way, what situation they are in, how did they get there? That's when I can start to fill a page. There is always something on the page, I just have to scrape away the blank parts and fill it with words.
- What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
Fulfillment in writing comes from the responses. Whether I get one or a thousand and one, the fact that someone has taken the time to comment, send me a photo or just a thumbs up drives me to continue.
- Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
The images you add may help grab people to read my work. But, to me, it's the words. The words paint a picture in the mind of the reader. That is what I strive for. A gallery full of pictures that are different to everyone. For example, my one character "The Blues Man" is never described physically, but, I have been told many, many, times what readers feel he looks like. Until someone puts a picture of him down on paper for me, I may never know what he really looks like.
- What is your favorite reading genre?
I read all genres. I like biographies a lot because it tells the true tales of people's lives. Fiction, Non-Fiction, war, historical books. I read them all. It helps me learn where we came from, escape for a while and maybe, just maybe, it shows me certain influences that have crept into my writing that I am unaware of. I have been compared to some writers, and if I don't know them, I read them. To have someone compare my writing to another in a positive way is humbling.
- What human being has inspired you the most?
My biggest inspiration is my wife. She is honest about her reviews of my work and tells me so in no uncertain terms if something is crap, or if I have done it before. If I can get her to read my work and enjoy it, then, I feel others will too.
- What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
My message to those who voted for me is thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate the support and the fact that they took the time to not only vote, but, to read my work and appreciated what I tried to relay in my words. Hopefully, they will also take the time to read the work of others on here.
- What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
I don't know that I would say legacy. I just want people that read my work on here, or have purchased my books to be able to smile when they read them, or think on what they are reading. I only hope that it sticks with them enough to share with friends and family members longer than an article in People magazine would for example.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
In conclusion, I only wish that when people read the work on spillwords.com that they take the time to appreciate the time and effort that all of the contributing writers have put into it. It takes a few seconds to click on the star to rate it, comment on what you have read. We grow as writers from what you tell us. If you like it, let us know, but, let us know if you don't. Criticism and open dialogue is what we need to show us our strengths and weaknesses as writers. Reading and moving on shows us nothing, and since this is all done in anonymity we don't know how many times somebody read our work and without some sort of feedback, we doubt at times whether it is worth contributing more. So, please, accept my thanks again, and share your thoughts. Readers are the ones who keep us writing. We all know the words, writers just put them down in a different order than others.