An Interview With… Rocky Rochford & “The Spirit Of Iris”
As I mentioned before in a previous post about the Internet being a powerful entity than can bring people closer together from all around the world. It allows us to connect with others all over and share our love for the same things (i.e in our case, our love for Nintendo) Well today I have had the privilege to talk to Rocky Rochford, an aspiring young author, about his fantasy novel The Spirit Of Iris.
Mike – Thank you for joining me for this Interview Rocky. It is fantastic to be able to talk with you. I do enjoy reading your books and I even have a couple them at home including The Spirit Of Iris. You are an aspiring Author of several novels and have a fair few eBooks under your belt. You also known for helping other authors find their feet in the literacy world.
Rocky – Well I like to do what I can to pass on the things I have learned in such a small space of time, be if informing fellow aspiring writers of short story competitions such as one taking place now, from Solstice Shadows, or working with a great group of authors on Facebook, Get Down with the Awethors! On a massive anthology project, where we are all collaborating on a huge, multi-genre fictional work, which we plan to release near the end of this year and is free to download by all.
Rocky – Well In one word, yes and in more than one: I wanted to be a video game writer working with the Nintendo Zelda team, and I spent quite some time writing Zelda parodies, purely for my overwhelming love for this iconic video game series, but despite my love for Zelda, my desire to create something new, gripped me tightly, I would still love to write Zelda, but creating my own stories, with a world much like Zelda, one where anything can happen, but all ties in, a story forever retelling itself. But as a huge Zelda fan, I have tried to differ it as much as I could, whilst also keeping some of its finest qualities. Qualities such as the story, the characters and that romantic quality that made the gamer full in love with the Zelda world.
Mike – Are you a fan of Nintendo as well or of Gaming in general?
Rocky – Nintendo is my number 1, but I can’t deny saying Capcom made two of my favourite games, Dino Crisis 1 and 2, and then of course there’s Final Fantasy and the awesome, awesome game of the entire series, Final Fantasy X. I would just spends hours and hours ditching homework, just so I could play game after game of Blitzball, which even to this day, is still the best videogame sport I have ever played, but other than those two great game series, I’m all Nintendo.
Mike – When was your first experience with Nintendo?
Rocky – My first experience would be back in the late 90’s when my older brother got a Nintendo 64 for his birthday and allowed my sister and I to play, we soon got properly acquianted with Ocarina of Time, Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye (as in the proper Goldeneye) and Smash Brothers! And ever since then, despite playing PS1 and PS2 for a few years, I’ve always been a Nintendo fan and I wouldn’t swap my Wii U for any other console, unless there was one made, where I could play both Zelda and FF.
Mike– Do you prefer Home Console or Handheld consoles?
Rocky – Home console for sure, I’ve played both, but for me, handhelds just lack that special something, which consoles just capture ever so effortlessly. Plus it’s much more fun effing and blinding at the tv because you just got green shelled and lost 1stplace, when the bugger that shelled you is sitting right next to you, plus if you’re playing Zelda game, Big screen is best!
Mike – Do you take inspiration from any other stories or videogames?
Rocky – Well, Spirit of Iris, Book 1 of my Rise of the Elohim chronicles, also takes inspiration from Lord of the Rings, with regards to scale and such, console for sure, but I have a lot of inspiration from Final Fantasy, which is the grounds to a future series I wish to write, in the scenes of a chaotic futuristic world, filled with magic and more, but I also draw inspiration from stories such as James Bond and Dirk Pitt, a pairing that paved the way for John Lewis, a Navy Captain who is tasked with a simple mission, identify and take out the unknown persons responsible for the immediate downfall of MI6, an outing that will see its release this year, London Calling. I’m also a huge fan of lore and myths and try to incorporate them into my works whenever I can, such as the story of the Jack o’ Lantern, which I used in The Devil You Know, a new twist of right and wrong.
Mike – This is the first book of the series, is the series a trilogy or do you plan to extend on that?
Rocky – I always saw the series as a four books, but now, with so many more ideas and character plans, it’s looking to be more like 5-6 books, with the potential to have a spin of series and a patter of shorts here and there, to further explain the world of Oceania.
Mike – Could you tell our readers a little bit about the book to give them an idea of what they can expect from the book?
Rocky – The series is set in a world, at the end of the universe, on a solitary planet, with realms that originated on Earth, including Atlantis, but ever since there has been life, there has been darkness and in a bid to control the entire universe, shadows have given way to cruel, evil forms to walk the 11 realms of Oceania and to lay siege to the entire planet, devastating it all, but the darkness found themselves face to face with a foe that refused to surrender, a gathering of humans, elves and various other creatures, warriors in their own right, that fought bravely to defend their home. The gathering were successful in their mission, but in fear of a return, the Watchers were formed, to forever keep watch, defend and pass on the story of the Shanzi, but after centuries, the Watchers are dying out and so few remain. Worse yet, the Shanzi have returned and are quickly gaining control of the planet, so close to losing altogether, the entire hope of the planet rests on one boy, Zach. From the day he was born, he was raised to do one thing, to be the light that casts back the dark and now that day has come. The Spirit of Iris and the works after are the chronicled adventures of his teachings, his journey and his struggles.
Mike – The artwork looks amazing and has a dark yet somber feel to it. What made you decide to go with that idea for this book and who is the artist that provided this unique illustrations?
Rocky – Well when the main villain of the story are creatures born of complete darkness, it’s only natural the illustrations would reflect that and as the series go on, the illustrations will only get darker, as the climatic war draws closer to its impending end as darkness almost envelops the entire world. As for the artist, oh just some largely talented illustrator I’ve known for a long time, by the name of Ashleigh Longman, An artist who before Iris, had no experience in this type of work before, but has since taken it in her stride and made it her own. We recently just put out a video on Youtube as to just what and how much goes into each illustration, entitled Behind the Eye of Mares – The Artwork. In Spirit of Iris alone, she drew 74 illustrations, 2 for each of the 37 chapters, however to differentiate the books, the ebook version and print edition, each have a unique set of 37 pictures.
Mike – The Spirit Of Iris is a part of “The Elohim” Series, what exactly is Elohim?
Rocky – Elohim, is actually a Jewish word, for Watcher, the shining ones and in the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles, first novel the Spirit of Iris, the Watchers are the guardians of Oceania, against monsters of pure darkness and the Elohim were the skillful Watchers, who were a race in their own right, revered as the Shining Ones. Believed long dead, the series follows the adventures of Zach and the reawakening of the last Elohim in a final bid to win the war of light and dark.
Mike – If our readers are interested in your book, where can they expect to find it for purchase?
Rocky – The Spirit of Iris can be found on both my publisher’s website with this link: http://solsticepublishing.com/the-rise-of-the-elohim/ And of course on Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00NP58LEY as well as Create Space, Barnes & Nobel and a few others. Spirit of Iris is also joined by Hour of Darkness, an extract of the continuing story, in the form of a short story, a spoiler for any reader they wants to see how the story continues, whilst waiting on the next edition.
Mike – Are you working on the second book of the series now and when can we expect it to be available for purchase?
Rocky – As of this very moment, the continuation work, The Eye of Mares is already written and currently undergoing edits with my publisher, Solstice Publishing, while the last batch of illustrations are also being finished, so as far as release goes, in all likelihood, The Eye of Mares will be available sometime within the next couple of months, either as a new end of Summer Release, or in the Back to School Autumn and then the third installment will be released in the following year.
Mike – What is your key demographic for this book is it for children, teenagers, adults?
Rocky – The book is classed as a YA, Young adult, but in all reality, anyone over the age of 10 can read this, because there really is something for all aged readers, the allure of adventure, the age old debate of good and evil and the inner turmoil of the soul, overcoming your own inner demons.
Mike – Other than this series you also write short stories and poems for the more mature reader, is that an easy or difficult transference between Novel and short story?
Rocky – Yes and no, there is quite a substantial difference between the two, because with a novel, it can run on for well, as many pages and time you’re willing to put into it, but with a short story, you have a 7,500 word limit and pace is everything. In a novel, you can use quite a bit of word filler, describe the surroundings, clothing and people in all manner you wish, but with short stories, such descriptions can actually take away from the story and slow down the pace drastically, short stories, but at the end of the day, the principle is still the same, beginning, middle and an end that will bring the reader back. That and as far as short stories go, story is literally everything because if you pen it just write, you’re reader will remember over and over and if I had to pick any of my shorts that have come closest to this, I’d pick Don’t Turn Around. My horror/thriller is about a warped killer who is all too happy to share his adventures with the reader, whilst spouting his own brand of philosophical wit. Those I’ve known to have read it, still voice how unnerved they found the entire work, chilling their spines and causing nightmares.
Mike – As regards to you mentioning the anthology a little earlier, let’s go back to that. What are your ambitions with this type of project and how will it benefit you all?
Rocky – With regards to the anthology, as far as my ambitions for the project go, I don’t want it to be a standalone thing, I want it to be an annual event, a work filled with all sorts of adventures for readers of any genre to enjoy. To be a book, a family can take home and each member of that family and an ebook that we’d really like to be available for nothing at all, because the work isn’t about monetary gain, but just a large group of writers doing what they love, sharing our crazy worlds and imaginations, with all of those willing to travel them. Now as for how it will benefit us? I’ll be honest, it will help a few of us get our names out there, I’m not going to deny that, because with so many able to get this work, our own styles and stories run higher risk of being seen, and maybe interesting some readers to read some of our other stuff, but all of us involved, we write purely because we love it. We don’t need to be world renowned authors with millions in the bank, we’re happy just being a bunch of people with more than one story to tell that all are welcome to.
Mike – Rocky it has been an absolute pleasure to talk with you today. I very much enjoy reading your works and I wish you well in your career.
If you would like to know more about Rocky Rochford’s works and his Spirit Of Iris Series or even his short stories and poems please feel free to check out the links below.
Personal Website: rockyrochford.wordpress.com