Interview with David Rose

Published 2015-04-17.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Skallagrigg, by William Horwood. Winter's Tale, by Mark Helprin. Hello Summer, Goodbye, by Michael Coney. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Why not the big one? Because this lovely adventure is so much more accessible. One more, right? Jennie, by Paul Gallico. I love these books (and authors) because the books tell stories, the stories are about real people and real issues, and the writer inspires you to want to think more deeply about life. I have a serious weak spot for love stories, but can appreciate most good writing.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up all over the place. Let's see: at least six different towns and cities in South Africa, together with some time in Thailand and Namibia, all before I was 18. I got a pretty cosmopolitan view of the world very early on, which has helped me to understand that people and cultures differ - and also to realise that we all have a lot in common under the skin.
When did you first start writing?
Before I was 18. I started reading my mother's James Hadley Chase novels before I was six, so I was a very early reader; later on that meant a very fast and voracious reader. I discovered the unlimited worlds that writing can create, and wrote a (not very good, and unpublished) novel of 200-plus pages at 17.
What life experiences have influenced your writing most?
Some experiences were quite intense. Working in a hospital, in casualty, for example. Active military service. Learning to fly, and crashing an aircraft! Others were more cumulative, like travelling extensively in Southern Africa, Asia (yes, including Japan) and parts of Europe, and meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures. I have also visited Australia and the USA. Favourite cities and places I would love to go back to include London and Scotland, Copenhagen, Perth (Australia), Hua Hin (Thailand), and Yokohama.
What do you read for pleasure?
A lot of SF and Fantasy, also crime, and serious literary novels in most genres. I recently discovered the whole world of graphic novels, where some wonderful work is being done.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating new worlds and life experiences for other people to share.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From life, my own and what I learn about other people's lives. I love watching people. I saw this young couple the other day, just getting out their car and going into a shopping centre with their baby. And I saw how anxious Mum was about the baby when Dad wanted to carry her/him, but allowed Dad to do that; I saw how proudly Dad walked, how tenderly he carried the little bundle, and I saw how Mum went on hovering, just a bit, not quite ready to trust Dad completely. I bet that was their first baby. That's one example. Some people I meet I remember, like the Taiwanese fisherman on a deepsea trawler, who was practically a slave. Like a soldier I once knew, who wrote excellent poetry about combat. Like the couple in Zuurbraak who took me, a complete stranger, into their home when I was backpacking as a young man. Some people I read about and cannot forget, like the blind girl who was raped in her bed in her dormitory at a school for the blind. Sorry, I'm going on a bit.
Describe your desk
My desk is a mess. It has a stack of partially-completed work, loose printouts, a file, usually one or two devices such as a flash memory stick or a walkman. And I can find anything I want within a few seconds.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Do you have any idea of how hard it is to get published through conventional channels? That's why.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Paper. Except for graphic novels, in which case I use my desktop pc. Ok, I admit it, I've figured out how to use my no-name brand Android tablet (which works perfectly and has done for getting on for two years) and I use the Mantano and Kindle readers. But I still prefer holding a book in my hands.
Who are your favorite authors?
Wheeew! Ok, here are some of them, in no particular order: C. J. Cherryh, Mark Helprin, Tolkien, John Masters, Derek Robinson, J. V. Jones, Paul Gallico, Anne McCaffrey, George R. R. Martin, Robert Heinlein, Jan Karon, William Horwood (the serious ones), J.K. Rowling, Elizabeth Moon, David Weber, Iain Banks, Poul Anderson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Michael Coney, Michael Crichton, John D. MacDonald, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. LeGuin, A. E. Van Vogt, Jack Vance, Philip Pullman, Tad Williams, Roger Taylor. I guess that'll do for now!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not going out to work, or have something else that needs doing, I read. I still read a lot, because I still love reading.
What's the story behind Moonlight?
I wanted to create an original reflection of some of the graphic novels I have read, and to do that within an authentic Japanese setting. So "Moonlight" is a Japanese fantasy romance and short enough to convert to a graphic novel.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.