Interview with Adrian Rogers, author of The Gates of Sunset (Jan 2002)
Q: What is your literary background?
A: I was trained as a music teacher, but began writing in 1989 while teaching in Darwin. During my life I have read most genres of fiction, along with a lot of poetry, but writing was something I had always wanted to do but never got around to doing until that point in time.
Q: The Gates of Sunset is definitely a quest type fantasy, but have you ever written other forms of literature?
A: Yes, I write poetry, which I have contributed to Australian Literary journals, such as Tamba, Core, Sidewalk, Red Lamp, and Centoria among others, and I have a short collection published by Mockfrog Design Press at www.mockfrog.com http://www.mockfrog.com . I also write short stories, some of which have been read on Radio 5UV Adelaide. You can see one of them in the first issue of Winedark Sea, and another in the ghost story issue of SHORTZ.
Q: You seem to know a great deal of Arthurian type history, is researching this a hobby for you?
A: Yes, Arthurian history, and indeed all things Celtic are a passion of mine. Moreover a lot of my research has been prompted by childhood dreams, and the research tends to confirm what I have dreamt.
Q: What first inspired you to begin writing?
A: A career crisis, a period of ill health, and a passion for a kind of fantasy that was approachable to people not accustomed to reading blockbuster size books.
Q: Do think there is a future for e-books and Print-on-Demand publishing, especially within Australia?
A: Yes I do, but I think it will take time to unfold. Much as one might hate to admit it, success in literature does depend to a certain extent on fashion, so when it becomes fashionable to be seen around with a hand held e-book reader, then e-books will become popular. As for print-on demand, I think that is bound to become popular because it is getting steadily harder for new authors to get accepted by mainstream publishers.
Q: Who are your favourite authors in the Science Fiction or Fantasy genre?
A: Tolkien, Stephen Donaldson, Alan Garner, Tad Williams, Jack Vance, and for shorter fantasy Neil Cladingboel.
Q: What would be your top 5 favourite novels from any genre, and why?
A: Tolkein – Lord of The Rings, because it is more than a fantasy, more a mythology for the modern age. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books because they are brilliant fantasies that manage not to be overshadowed by Tolkein. Alan Garner’s Elidor, which I think is the most stunningly beautiful short fantasy ever written. Richard Adams Shardik because it has an almost intimidatingly powerful message, and Jack Vance’s Lioness series because of his incredibly vivid characterisation.
Q: How often do you write and are you working on any projects at the moment?
A: I am either writing of revising something all the time, and I keep a notebook handy so that I don’t lose good ideas. At the moment I am doing research for a historical fantasy based partly on the Cathars of 13th century France, and partly on the Grail quest with a link to 21st century Australia, in particular to four people in Adelaide.
Q: Do you have any advice or tips for new authors?
A: Be in it for the long haul, and when the rejection slips start to pile up, consider submitting to a royalty paying e-book publisher. I know it’s not the same as having a printed book in your hand, but e-publishers — being mostly small firms are often more flexible in attitude than their traditional counterparts, and therefore more likely to give you a fair go. Nonetheless I think we should always have print publication as a long-term goal.
Q: Will you always publish your work as e-books or are you planning some paperback releases in the future?
A: I want eventually to get into print, preferably taken on by a mainstream publisher. However, if I get tired of waiting I will turn to print-on-demand.