Maria: Please describe yourself to someone who is meeting you for the first time, Rolly...
Rolly: First I would like to thank you for inviting me to share a little of myself. It is always a pleasure being associated with such talented people such as you Maria and your readers.
A recent personality test pegged me as being an INFJ. (✥For those not familiar with the Myers - Briggs Type Indicator, this stands for ‘Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judgment’).
Apparently I belong to a relatively obscure group in the grand scheme of things. Ranked in the 1-2% of the population. I would have to say I lean more into being an introvert. I can spend long periods of time alone and be comfortable. On the flip side I can adapt well in a crowd. I can be engaging when called upon to do a task. But I do need my alone time to recharge and debrief so to speak.
As you know Maria, I spent a great deal of time alone with my rescue dog living in the wilderness of the Yukon here in Canada--250 miles from the closest human would be considered isolated. A friend with a helicopter would hire me for a few hours working as a spotter flying in close proximity to microwave towers. Wes would land at my cabin. We would lash the canoe and gear to its pontoons. After a few hours work he would drop me into any location I chose. The thumping sound of the chopper’s rotors would be the last sound I would hear as he was leaving. We would have a prescribed period of time and he would come back out and pick me up.
A man comes to know himself very quickly in such a remote location. It was an experience I would enjoy several times each summer.
Maria:When / how / why did you start your writing journey?
Rolly: It was suggested I should write a book of some of my experiences. My journey has been a colourful one in many ways. Addictions of all sorts plagued me throughout my young adult life. Alcohol, prescription and near any kind of street drug had been a part of my past.
One book led to another, then another. The first series I wrote on my life became 7 books. Many people invested in me and they became an integral part of who I have become. I called the series Quiet Reflections.
Once I completed them I changed genre into what I would call Christian/Fiction. I became a Christian much later in life in the year 2000. I was ordained as a Pastor in 2007. Much of my life had been without faith. I write of real life situations and sprinkle Christianity throughout what I write. I believe I have found a way to write and not be judged as being religious. I have since written 19 more full-length novels and have another six awaiting my editor, whom I keep very busy.
Maria: Your Book Shoppe is impressive. Is there a book / series you'd recommend to someone just meeting you?
Rolly: That is a hard question as there are a few. I think I am rather partial to the Arctic Island Mist series. It takes the Main character Todd, once a very successful airline owner who loses everything in life and starts the long slow recovery. The setting is in the unforgiving northern Arctic. It is a testament of the long slow journey in harsh conditions.
The story is of a personal struggle many face in today’s society. Life is great until your world comes crashing down all around you. How you handle the challenges will determine the outcome.
Maria: Describe your muse. How do find inspiration for your writing?
Rolly: My muse can be anything. I think it is mainly the people whom have come and gone in my life. Those who have planted seeds of wisdom into my life and in return my desire to do the same for others. Often they are the characters in my books; of course I have changed their names.
For years I had maintained journals of all of my ventures from that isolation to travel the full 1200-mile length of the Great McKenzie River that runs through two northern Territories and one Province. When possible I would attempt the same trail of the Goldrush of 1898 from Skagway Alaska to Dawson City in the Yukon. It was a gruelling journey but the rewards were many.
Sadly all of my journals and photos were stolen from me so all I write about has come from memory and they are precious. It is from those adventures I often write from. I have been very blessed to have them recorded in detail through my writing.
Maria: How can my readers check out more of your work?
Rolly: Through my website of course, Fireside with Rolly, as well through my author’s page on Amazon. I’m also fairly active on Facebook. For a few years, I wrote for HubPages, too, where a few hundred of my articles are published.
Maria: What project(s) are you working on these days?
Rolly: I have a few novels I have been developing. These are destined to be single novels rather than a series.
I am also starting to learn SEO and all the tricks of promoting my work. I think most Indie writers will agree marketing and selling yourself in today’s marketplace requires a fine balance as there are many writers out there who are great.
Maria: What wisdom can you impart to us fellow writers?
Rolly: If I had any advice it would be believe in yourself and your capabilities. I often think most people limit themselves in how they portray their skills. I adopted a saying years ago, “Limits exist only in your mind.” They are what we have been taught to believe and often they will hold you back.
The next piece of advice I would pass along to people is, “Write from the heart.” If it is important for you then it will be important for others.
If the reader can connect with the writer, understand him/her they are more likely to come into a relationship with you. I know that is a difficult concept for some forms of writing such as technical writing. As you grow your audience, you will slowly brand yourself… No matter, write from the heart and your passions.
Thank you for allowing us to get to know the man behind his writing, Rolly.
I’m looking forward to savoring your entire reading list and hope my readers will be inclined to check you out as well.
Until next week, sending you all hugs and smiles,
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marcoujor, Virtual Buskers' Guild
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