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My Interview with Erik Paul Rocklin
Erik Paul Rocklin, author of The Tapestry of Spirit agreed to answer some questions for me. I hope you find his answers as interesting as I did.
What made you decide to write an allegorical tale of a boy on a spiritual journey?
My instinctive answer would be that the story chose me. It was my own inner voice articulating what it wanted me to write. Having said that, I will then say that my own insights, observations, and experiences in life all contributed to the content and context of the tale to varying degrees. But also, I think the story represents the type of journey that we all go through to different extents. One of choices and consequences, tests and rewards, all in an effort to evolve as people spiritually, to live in truth to ourselves, and to live in harmony with others in the world around us.
As for the allegorical format, well, I suppose thatís just my voice. I can read and write in excruciating detail, which I find enjoyable at times, but Iíve always been fond of the stories with meaningful yet subtle undertones that draw the reader to the edge of seeing the messages, without directly laying them out in front of them. Iím a believer in the ďless is moreĒ approach. Itís also why I use so many metaphors and symbols throughout the book, as Iíve always appreciated books myself where my brain does some of the work to complete the interpretation of the writing in order to see what is nestled within it.
How long did it take you to complete this book?
The insights, observations, and experiences that form the backbone of the story have been over a lifetime, but when they all began to coalesce into something cohesive in my head for me to write, I spent about seven or eight full-time months on the writing, editing, and re-writing of the book. Throw in another couple of months on iterations of the cover design, as well as all of the publishing- and printing-related aspects of it, and it turned out to be close to a full year from start to finish.
Do you plan out the entire book before you begin writing? Or do you just sit down and write?
I did not have a complete outline of sorts that detailed everything I wanted to have happen when I began the writing of the book, but since there were a number of key messages that I knew I wanted to convey in the story, I wrote them out as pieces. And as each piece became detailed enough and eventually able to stand on its own I then was able to create the bridges from one to the other in the most appropriate and meaningful sequence so that the total of everything then became the journey that takes place in the book. Not having a firm outline for the entire book allowed the storyline to breathe a bit as I was writing it, to be flexible for additional insights to be included when they were ready to reveal themselves to me.
Do you have a set time that you write each day? Or do you wait to be inspired?
I appreciate and respect both approaches, as both have worked for me. There were days when I didnít feel creative or inspired, but in an attempt to stay disciplined, I went ahead and sat down to write, and discovered that just putting yourself in the chair to write sometimes opened the gates. There were other days when I didnít attempt to write unless I felt inspired, and that worked equally as well for me also. But Iíd say generally, for me, the writing flowed better when I let the story continue to present itself to me.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
I chose to use only a single proper name in the entire book, a name that happened to be shared across several of the characters throughout the book. I did this to further convey an aspect of the broader message of the story; that, at times, our universal connectivity consists of, and can be illustrated by, something as simple as a shared name across strangers.
I chose to refer to all other characters simply with basic descriptions, as I wanted readers to focus on their attributes and what bigger groups of people and mindsets that they represented.
How much research, if any, did you have to do for this book?
A lifetime of experience of trying to live with my eyes open.
If you would like to purchase your own copy of The Tapestry of Spirit to read and enjoy, I have provided an Amazon link for you below.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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