Interview with Karl Rock

What are some of your favourite books?
1. Shantaram by Gregory Roberts - I read this after going to India. Usually, people read it before. It's an amazing adventure that inspires and entertains you.
2. Jessica by Brye Courtenay - One of the first fiction books I ever read and enjoyed. Usually, I read non-fiction; biographies and business.
3. The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson - An entertaining autobiography of a rock star.
4. The Red Sari by Javier Moro - The incredible true story of an Italian women's rise to the top of Indian politics.
5. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau - Want to start a small business? This book is the place to start.
6. No Easy Day by Mark Owen - The great story of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and what it's like to be a Navy SEAL.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the creation process. When I'm writing and lost in my focus.
Do you remember the first novel you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Jessica by Bryce Courtenay was the first novel that had an impact on me. Before reading that I had not been interested in fiction at all. But Jessica made me realise the power of a novel. How when done right it can to transport the reader to another place and allow them to feel real emotions in a story.
What is your writing process?
First I go to my list of ideas and choose one. I'm always writing down new ideas. Then I begin writing a rough chapter list and start making notes under each chapter. Once I have a rough chapter list, I start writing each chapter, one at a time. I give myself a set amount of time to write each chapter, 2 or 3 days. Then I go back and proof-read and improve until I'm satisfied.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. But it didn't influence my writing at all. I was only inspired to write once I began travelling. I'd never thought of writing until I arrived in India and became inspired by it.
Describe your desk
Very minimal and clutter free. I have on it a laptop stand to bring my Macbook Air to eye-level, a keyboard and mouse, and a speaker to listen to music while I work on my next project.
How do you approach cover design?
When the book is nearly complete, I start thinking about the cover. At some point, I'll become inspired by some art or imagery that I want to use as a theme for my cover. The India Survival Guide was inspired by the beautiful Indian truck art you see when you go on a road trip in India. Once I've found my inspiration I create a terrible looking mock up of the cover in Photoshop and then hire a designer to make my ideas come alive.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Amazon Kindle. I can't live without it!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote the Indian Survival Guide (Quick-Start Safety Guide) because I heard about too many tourists having bad experiences in India. India is an incredible country but to enjoy it fully tourists need to learn how to survive in India and deal with the chaos. I wrote this short book to organise the chaos for travellers.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm inspired to get out of bed every day to live, enjoy, and create. I get out of bed to make art!
Published 2017-02-28.
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Books by This Author

India Survival Guide (Quick-Start Safety Guide)
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 9,770. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: March 24, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
In India, there are two types of tourists: prepared and unprepared. Prepared tourists will be able to enjoy India in all its majestic glory. They’ll have a safe trip, step confidently out of the airport, save money, and avoid sickness and scams. Unprepared tourists, well, you’ve heard all the stories before. Prepare to enjoy incredible India with the India Survival Guide!