Interview with Rowan Kohll

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Wales, UK, and always loved reading books. Some of my favourite reads as a child were Asterix, Tintin, Star Trek and Star Wars novels and Roald Dahl. When anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say that I wanted to be an author. as I grew up and learned about publishing, I put this dream away, feeling that it would never be possible for me. but now, thanks to e-readers, Amazon, Smashwords and in particular the wonderful books written by Mark Coker, I am able to fulfil my dream at last!
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in school, sometimes for school work and sometimes for myself. Poems, short stories and articles. My proudest moment was when my English teacher gave me an A+++ grade for a story I'd worked on all summer long!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, 1-Minute Chinese (Part 1) has been a big part of my life for the last two years. Ever since I came to China in 2003 I have wanted to learn Chinese and have worked hard at it. But although I made some slow, stumbling progress in speaking Chinese, reading and writing characters were something I never even dared to attempt. Too difficult, I thought, and hardly worth the trouble - I'd have to wait years before I was good enough to even read a newspaper! But this thought always nagged at me, and made me feel like a bit of a cheat.
And then one day the thought came to me: if Harry Lorayne (whose book on memory techniques I had read and loved) could learn words by mnemonics, why couldn't I use mnemonics to make Chinese characters easy to remember? And words! And those frustrating Chinese tones! And so 1-Minute Chinese was born, a title that I chose because I wanted to show how, with mnemonics, hours of boring study could be replaced by simply reading and remembering!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I would like to thank Smashwords very much indeed, for many reasons. It was Mark Coker's books which guided me through the process of writing, publishing and marketing my book, as well as offering lots of useful advice and encouragement. Thanks to Smashwords my book is now on sale at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and many other places. And Smashwords also allows me to publish my book for free, this sharing the message of 1-Minute Chinese with the whole world!
What are you working on next?
1-Minute Chinese Book 2 is being written and illustrated now, and will be available Christmas 2014! As well as teaching even more of the most useful Chinese characters - thirty-five instead of fifteen this time! - it will also have more useful tips and tricks, as well as a phrasebook for Essential Chinese and free gifts for the student of Chinese.
Who are your favorite authors?
Robert Jordan, author of The Wheel of Time; Katherine Kerr, author of the Deverry books; Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld Novels; and Bill Bryson, a travel and history writer.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Juggling and balloon modelling (maybe another book there!); reading, websurfing and watching movies; spending time with my family.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
A kindle. I did have a kindle 3G, which I was very happy with, but I gave it to my mother as a present, and now use a Kindle Fire.
Published 2014-10-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Monkey King
Price: Free! Words: 1,280. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / Other, Nonfiction » Language Instruction » Mandarin
(5.00 from 1 review)
A retelling of the classic Chinese fairy tale of magic and monsters! Lovingly illustrated, and written in both English and Mandarin, this latest addition to the 1-Minute Chinese series is perfect for children of all nationalities.
I Want to Speak Chinese...Now!
Price: Free! Words: 2,250. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Language Instruction » Mandarin
(5.00 from 1 review)
Have you ever wanted to learn Chinese? Well, now you can! No waiting, no spending weeks studying, no expensive courses. Using the revolutionary new methods of mnemonics, this book will help you to speak! Do you want to speak Chinese NOW? Just download this book, and you will.
1-Minute Chinese: Volume 2
Price: Free! Words: 19,600. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Language Instruction » Mandarin, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success
In 1-Minute Chinese a new way of learning Chinese was introduced with the intention of giving tools to make Chinese easy to everyone. Now, in this next volume in the series, the journey continues to present Chinese as it should be learned: simple to understand, and easy to remember.
1-Minute Chinese: Volume 1
Price: Free! Words: 7,390. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Language Instruction » Mandarin, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
The Revolutionary New Method to make learning Chinese fast, easy and fun. Say goodbye to hours of dull studying because now, with the publication of 1-Minute Chinese, anybody can learn Chinese, quickly and easily! Using the amazing art of mnemonics this ground-breaking new book shows you how to effortlessly remember Chinese words, characters and tones, as fast as you can read them!