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Conclusion of Interview with Erik Paul Rocklin
Here is the conclusion of my interview with Erik Paul Rocklin, author of The Tapestry of Spirit.
When did you realize that you were meant to write?
I don’t remember it being an exact year, age, or specific phase of my life, but I can say that when I realized that my written words could affect people, could move them in some way, writing then became an incredibly meaningful thing in my life. It represented a different way in which I could connect to people. Having that ability -- to stir something within another person with your written word -- is an incredibly profound experience.
Do you ever become bored with what you are writing? If you do, how do you get past that point?
If something that I’m writing feels forced, with my interest in it waning, I take that as a sign that I’m writing just to write and not out of inspiration. That’s when it’s time for a break and a reminder to myself that for me, the story needs to present itself to me, it’s not something that I can (or should) try to manhandle into submission. I’m a huge believer in letting my mind dwell on things, ferret out things on its own. If the story is good and resonates with me, it continues to tell itself. I’m sure many writers have had that experience. There are days when ten pages just flow out and you completely lose track of time. Then there are times when you spend all day sweating out two pages. The difference in the results of the two processes, and their motivations, can be pretty insightful.
What do you look for when you buy a book?
Pictures…lots and lots of pictures! (kidding). Some books I read because they expand my knowledge of my current interests, mostly along spiritual lines. Other books I read because they simply move me, resonate with me somehow. I appreciate books that convey someone’s truth in an inspiring way. I am very moved by real-life stories of people’s perseverance in the face of adversity and change, as I think there is so much inspiration in what real people do on a daily basis, but likely goes unnoticed by most. But I think what I look for most, at the heart of books that I enjoy reading the most, is the human-connection aspect of it; the consideration, compassion and sacrifice that people make for one another.
If you could spend one hour with just one person, whom would you choose?
Someone who passed unexpectedly in 2004, my Ma. I would treasure just one more hour with her to ask a few more questions about her and her life, things never shared for whatever reason, but were important. One more chance to convey my eternal love and respect to her for the sacrifices that she made over the decades of her life in raising my brother and I on her own. One more chance to provide comfort to her in any way possible. And of course, for the opportunity to see the smile on her face as she held my book in her hands.
The Tapestry of Spirit is the only book I can find that has been published by Elucidaré Press. Did you start this publishing company? If so, can you tell us about your experiences in doing so?
I was always intent on self-publishing, as to me, publishing my book myself was the most direct way to get it in print and offered to the world. I honestly never did entertain even pursuing a traditional publishing house. As the writing of my book progressed, I began the research on the self-publishing services that companies out there offer, and in doing so, I came to the unexpected realization that I had the core skills, as well as the time, to act as the publisher myself. I have a diverse set of professional experiences that includes corporate project management and graphic design, along with a perfectionist streak that runs deep, all of which have served me well in the publisher capacity. Doing all of the publisher-related things necessary for the book was a very enjoyable process for me, and it made me feel even more closely invested in the totality of the book, from cover to cover. But for me, probably the most rewarding aspect of being the writer as well as the publisher is the fact that I had complete control over everything about the book; font size and type, page color, cover finish, headers/footers and any associated graphics, everything.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
First off, I’m a huge believer in self-empowerment for everything in life. If others have done it, it can be done. People can do anything that they truly commit themselves to, if they are willing to put in the work, gain the knowledge or skillset, and realize it. That said, I basically see three routes for writers wanting to be published: 1) the traditional, large publishing houses, 2) self-publishing using paid services to take your completed manuscript and turn it into a printed book, and 3) self-publishing completely on your own where you contract directly with printers. Depending on what “being published” means to a writer will point them to one of the routes. If getting published is a passion, keep at it. Be proud of what you write. There have never been more options available to writers today for them to see their work in print.
Thank you, Mr. Rocklin, for such an interesting interview. 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.
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