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As a boy in wartime Britain, George attended one of Britain’s famous public schools but he was a bored student and it showed in his poor academic performance. He spent much of his time shooting rabbits in the fields and woods around his home to help feed the family. He enjoyed shooting and during his lifetime he became a champion shot, winning numerous cups.
His interest in writing originated right at home from his father who wrote histories of the local area. George enjoyed hearing his father’s stories of local life. But writing, for George, took a back seat as he entered national service in Libya, then attended law school at the University of London. He married and moved to Canada and re-qualified as a lawyer and qualified as a registered patent and trade mark agent. He opened his own practice in 1967. His work involved writing on a daily basis as he wrote long documents, and legal arguments. But it was all facts. It became mechanical, a formula which he repeated over and over.
George is also interested in sailing and has sailed in various events. While in college he received his first job offer through a random meeting aboard a sailboat, in France. His University Professor thought he was not up to it. “Too intellectual,” he said. As usual, bored George’s marks had been poor. But he declined the Professor’s advice and took the job. Another interest was skiing and as an adult he became a ski instructor in his spare time. He is a long time member of the Canadian Ski Instructor’s Alliance.
George would write during his vacation time on the beach. He didn’t want to just read, so he would buy some school exercise books and pens and just write. He found working as a lawyer just didn’t satisfy him and he longed to create something with his time.
“Ideas are all around you,” says George. “Just read the newspapers, truth is stranger than fiction. Just pick your news item and turn it into fiction. Lie under a palm tree, in the Caribbean, close off the left side of your brain and let the creative side take over. Then just scribble down what comes out. Trouble is, I scribble very fast and the hardest part is trying to read my scribbles later to dictate the text.
He taught himself how to write dialog as it suited his style more than the narrative approach. “Listen to people talking,” he says. ”It takes practice copying the phrases, but don’t be afraid to try something different. It sounds more creative.”
George once sent off a query letter to a dozen publishers. He was actually surprised when only one accepted his spy novel’s outline. But he never finished it. He has published numerous legal papers in Canada, the U.S.A and Britain. “The Ticket” is his first published fiction novel.
George Rolston still resides in Canada and is father to four children. Still practicing as a patent agent at the age of 85, and finally seeing his first novel published, he has this advice for writers. Don’t discuss your plots with anyone else, ever. They will always discourage you. Read good authors and read bad authors. Compare. Then try it yourself. Try my book. If you can do better, go ahead. It’s fun.”