Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with a wonderful writer and good friend, Kevin Swarbrick. I was fortunate enough to get to ask him a bit about his writing life. Thanks so much Kevin for taking the time to share.
Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?
Hi Belinda, thank you for having me on your tour. I am 38 and that clock is ticking fast. I was in a relationship at the time when writing became an interest to me as my ex-partner heard my stories and suggested I should write them down. She was the kind of person that was filled with big dreams and plenty of vision!! I can honestly say if it wasn’t for the short time we were together, I would never have thought in a million years that I would be capable of writing, let alone becoming an author. All I needed was that one kick in the right direction and something other than typing estimates and invoices.
I won’t go on about it all too much, after all, I have I written three novels about that part of my life, ‘Giggles.’ Really though, that part of my life gave me the drive and the passion to write. It’s funny what life maps out for you. All I know is a talent and a passion to write was born back then and now writing is what I love doing whenever I get the chance to.
What inspires/motivates you to write?
I would have to say my heart inspires me to write; the whole determination and the drive to succeed is all in that one little place. I can honestly say that the readers and also my true friends motivate me and push me forward. I have been in some dark places, and it has been my writing that has kept me going. If I’m happy, then that also shows up in my writing. I didn’t know this, as such, since I just write from the heart, but my good friend, Edie in the US spotted this in my emails and also on my blog tour interviews. I always let Edie be my second pair of eyes, so to speak, on my tour. If the interview is funny, Edie would tell me, and so far I have had no complaints. The blogs have been enjoyed by thousands of readers, but really though, if things are on my mind, Edie can tell right away in my writing. I can say since meeting Edie on twitter, she has been a huge rock to me and a huge support, someone who goes out of their way to push you forward and listens to your rants without judging is a true friend. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just Edie I rant to, I have Jill, Kerry, and Sarah to do that too at this end; lol sorry people, but you know I love you 😉
What message do you hope your readers walk away with after reading your books?
I would hope they would close the book at the end with a positive outlook on life. They should learn that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and no matter what background you come from or how you have lived your life in the past, anything is possible with a lot of hard work and dedication. All I know is a talent was born a few years ago, a talent I never even thought was possible, but it’s clear that I am a perfect example that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
Do you outline/plot or are you a “pantser” and prefer to just see where an idea leads you?
With the stories I have written so far, the plot had already been acted out, the entire story and the dialogue was already there floating around in my head. You can say I was a painter on these stories, you only need to read about Louie to understand that. ‘Giggles’
Has your writing process changed from when you first started?
My writing process has changed dramatically from when I first started. Everyone who knows me will tell you that reading and writing was not my best subject, in fact writing was once a fear of mine, and the only writing I did was estimates and invoices so this was a new challenge for me, much more than I would ever have expected from me.
When I first wrote ‘Louie Has Landed’ I had to go back to the drawing board once I finished it, for the simple fact that the maximum word count you can upload is 150,000 words. I had just written my first novel weighing in at 169,000, around that figure anyway! I then had to go back to the story and change it so I could make the story into two novels.
The first part of the story, ‘Louie Has Landed, The Early Days’ is all about the love and romance and the fun times that any good relationship brings into your life, but then came the twist! I found myself reading that story back many of times and no matter what happened, it always made me laugh at the crazy, fun times we had. ‘Louie Has Landed, The Second Encounter’ is the opposite to that, it’s still a great fun read, mind you, but the story unfolds the truth and the betrayal behind that relationship. I must say it was a shocker, even for a guy like me, and reading it back, I thought, ‘Kevin why didn’t you see that?’ I guess it’s true what they say, ‘love is blind’. I was blinded by love and Louie was no help to me whatsoever, he just made things worse. ‘Giggles’
Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about that part of my life as it has led me to cross paths with some great people, and I’ve made many awesome friends who I’ve learned a lot from. I’ve tried to expel the negative influences that dragged me down over the years and I always try to stay positive no matter how hard it has been.
Anyone who has read, Louie Has Landed ‘The Early Days’ and Louie Has Landed ‘The Second Encounter’ will see I was a guy crying out to be heard and fulfilling a promise he had set out to do. It didn’t bother me what anyone thought, it was my story, my memory and my heart. The story was written with so much emotion, and then along came ‘Passion’ which has combined both books, and allowed the story to flow at a much faster pace, mainly focusing on dialogue, keeping the story just as real, as interesting and funny as the first two novels were. This was a hard task that I never thought was possible. I can remember thinking, ‘how the hell can I make this story back into one read, when there is so much detail in here’? I scratched my head many times, but in the end I got there and ‘Passion’ was born. Not only the story ‘Passion’ was born, but my passion for writing was born, no more fear of my gremlins that I’ve carried around for over 30 years. I had not only impressed others around me with my achievements, but impressed myself as to how hard I could push myself to make all this possible, I know I have a long way to go yet, but I also know how far I have come on this great journey. Sorry I am going on a little here. Next question please, ‘Giggles’
Do you ever get writer’s block and how do you get through it?
I can’t answer that as my mind is blank! ‘Giggles.’ No really, when I get writer’s block, there is always some kind of worry or stress going on in the back of my mind that has to do with my life and my situation. I need to be happy in order for me to lose that block and to make it disappear. We are all different and we all handle situations differently, but I know for myself that being happy makes my writing flow so much better and ever so naturally.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your work?
Now that’s a tricky question as there have been many memorable responses with the readers and my family. One of them would be my Nana, after I gave her a copy of ‘Louie Has Landed The Early Days’. “Whoops”, some of my secrets have now been revealed! My Nana was the first person I handed ‘Louie Has Landed The Early Days’ to, and I never gave it much thought as to how my Nana would react. I was gobsmacked that I had written a novel and all my hard work and energy had paid off. Her words were, ‘There is too much Louie in there and swearing!’ Don’t get me wrong, my Nana enjoyed reading it, however, I guess it was just weird for her to read about her own grandson. ‘Giggles’ Still we are what we are, and you can’t change the past, but you do learn from it, which makes you the person you are today. I would have to say one of my first reviews by a lovely lady named Carolina, was another memorable response. The 5 star review she had written was lovely, and this did touch me a lot. Then more 5 star reviews kept coming in, and I was now touching other people’s lives and hearts. I never knew that my writing could make so many people reflect on their own lives and past relationships in the way it had, and I never thought in a million years that people would look up to me and I would become an inspiration to many out there. All this has been very overwhelming for me and still is!
What books and/or authors have most influenced your life?
As you may know, I have never been a reader or writer back in my day; it was only in the last 3 years that I started reading books again, but I would have to say, Dawn Torrens and her story touched me when I read it. It was a nonfiction story, so for me the nonfiction connection was there. As I was reading it, it made me reflect on my childhood as we had a lot in common especially the nasty mother and the rest; only I had lovely grandparents on my side when I was forced to move out of my home at 14. Dawn had the social system on her side. I thought my childhood was not the best, but reading what this lady went through with her mum, and the struggles in life that she had when she was a child, really did touch me in many ways. ‘Amelia’s Story’ is worth checking out. I do like the nonfiction side of things because you get to know a lot about that author. You can follow Dawn on Twitter @Torrenstp. There is also the lovely, @CharityParkerso who’s writes great fiction stories and on the erotic side too! I know what you’re all saying! ‘Trust him he’s a man and of course he’s going to like it’! You would be wrong to think that, though, as both of these ladies do have huge talent and very creative minds, indeed, and are well worth checking out. Like I said, I haven’t read many books because finding the time to read is difficult for me. There are so many authors that I know and have become great friends with who do inspire me, these authors are well worth checking out from what I have read. There is my lovely cyber mum on twitter @ReginaPucket, and also a great guy who gives awesome advice and true words of wisdom @DenisChampbell; then we have the gentle poet @Helle_Gade, I also have @Vickiemckeehan who is one incredible lady with a huge talent. There is also the lovely spooky author, Emily Hill and you can follow Emily @13GhostTales. I also strongly recommend @Scarlettflame, @Benditmars, @CarlyleL, @Justinbog, @Lahongrais, @Dryadquartet, @Dearharts. @Seumasgallacher, @Srkbear. What inspires me about these authors is that they are not afraid of a challenge and say it as it is; they are really down to earth with the drive to push others forward. Then there’s you, Belinda, your words and support, really do inspire me. You can find these great authors on my ‘Deliciously Scandalous Blog Tour.’ Yes, the title does speak for itself! Be warned. ‘Giggles’
Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?
At the moment I can’t answer what is coming up for me; I have done some work on Salford City Radio with Sarah Jones on her prime time show that she had before she went away to Turkey. Sarah will return to her show at a later date and once Sarah does, I will be sure to let everybody know in my social media world.
There are so many paths you can go down with writing, but it’s knowing what path suits you; I wouldn’t mind doing some screen writing, that was the idea behind Passion when I wrote it. The whole ‘Louie Has Landed Series’ would make a great movie or even a drama, but at the moment I have been taking every day as it comes, with my day job decorating, all my promo for my books and of course my blog tour and the rest, it really is difficult when you’re trying to catch up on everything. All I know at this stage is that I’m concentrating on my other novels that I have started writing. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty happening in the pipe line, but I don’t want to say much more until everything is sorted out and I know myself what is happening.
You can find me here:
Follow Me On Twitter: @KevinSwarbrick @Kmswarbrick
It has been an honour for me to be part of your tour Belinda. Thank you for having me