The Santa Monica Pier has been here for more than a hundred years. There’s an amusement park with a Ferris wheel and the historic carousel. There’s an arcade for the kids. There’s even a trapeze school. But today I bring author Kevin Swarbrick here to browse through the aquarium where we can talk about his books.
One of the things I noticed about both books, Louie Has Landed and The Second Encounter, is your ability to write openly and honestly about a personal relationship. Whether it was the sexual encounters or the hilarious dialogue at times, most people are reluctant to share those kinds of personal moments, was there ever a time when you said, “Whoa, I’m not sure I can go there?”
I didn’t give it much thought to be honest when I was writing them. They came from the heart and I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve. Honesty just comes naturally. I didn’t give much thought to whom I had to impress or what critics I would run into. I just typed until my heart was content and the story was finished.
It had to be somewhat cathartic to get all of it off your chest, so to speak, because we’ve all had our hearts broken at one time or another, were you ever tempted to write it as a fictional account instead?
I was tempted to write my story as fiction but I think it would have lost something, that being the true me. From my perspective, there’s nothing as honest as the truth.
We’ve talked about the dating arena before and how easy it is for both males and females to run across a person that tends to manipulate the other in a relationship. If they aren’t savvy enough to pick up on a few red flags, they sometimes fall for that manipulative personality and find themselves being dragged into a lot of drama and simply can’t break free for whatever reason. How did writing about what happened to you change your attitude about your future relationships?
I think my attitude has changed hugely. I’m not as trusting as I used to be, seeing and reading what I chose to go through, has made me a tougher person. There were rights and wrongs on both sides of my relationship with Tracy and Sarah, but I have lived and learned from that and moved on, but the word relationship scares me. Sad I know, but that’s just me at this point in my life.
I know Louie Has Landed is a great build up to the second book. Did you get a sense from readers early on they would connect the way they have with the story and the manipulative Sarah?
Yes. I had a sense that people would connect to the story as it’s based on real events. True events. These things that actually happen in our life on a day to day basis, but know one speaks up about it in the same content as I do. I have changed the names and some of the places to protect the ‘innocent’ as I’m sure a lot of writers do. I really was surprised the amount of people, who came forward that could relate to this story.
I had not only written a story, but I was now an inspiration in other people’s lives. I think speaking about it made a lot of people reflect back to their relationships. I’ve had emails and DM’S on twitter and Facebook wanting to thank me for making them look at life in a different way, a way where he or she won’t behave in that manner anymore. I made a lot of people think about what they have and what they could lose with these stories.
Exactly. So Sarah basically got you into writing?
Sarah was both the cause and the reason I wrote my story, I wanted a future, a new change in life, a new career and a future together, we both wanted the same so I thought, the hurt that I had been concealing from a young age was being written down, with the drive and positivity Sarah had bought my way, but I knew before I started writing ‘Louie’ that my relationship wasn’t making any sense, I suppose I tried to work at keeping us together, which, in hindsight it was probably not the best idea in the world, but at the time it worked for me and it was what I wanted. This story was too raw and the pain was much stronger and greater than the story I was working on. I needed to express all the hurt and joy that I felt the best way that I could. There was a lot of doubt with many people including family and friends, but my passion for expressing myself grew and opened my eyes to a new world, a whole new outlook towards life.
It’s amazing that you took all that hurt and raw pain, wrote about it, and turned around your life. Who influenced you the most to take that fire in the belly and become a writer?
That’s easy and I will keep it short and sweet, Sarah did, the main character in my books.
Somehow, I knew that would be your answer. 🙂 It’s a good answer. If you had a magic wand though, what’s the one thing you would change about your life now, at present, not deep in the past, but more the moment, if you could?
I would have to say security. The peace of mind not to worry and life and just write sounds like heaven to me.
Did you always have the confidence to put your work out there for the public, or did you build slowly over time?
No. Not at all. My confidence in my writing grew as the story took shape. I could see the words and feel what they meant in every way. It was a revelation to me that I could do this and I wanted to share it and express how I was feeling, hoping someone out there could feel the pain and the joys I was concealing inside me. It took a while, but I made the right choice and was very surprised with the outcome and also surprised with myself improvement as time went on.
Do you pay attention to negative reviews or criticism at all?
Yes. I have to. If the review is constructive and not destructive. If people are just insulting for their own amusement, then I will ignore it. I’ve learned this along the way as, at first I took negative reviews very personally, but I now understand that for every artist, there’s going to be a critic that’s good and bad, including family and friends. That’s life.
On the flip side of that, how do you handle praise when people gush over your work?
I handle praise a lot better now than I first did when I started writing. I think reality takes some time to sink in, but with so much support from my peers and friends, I began to accept my talent for writing and to push that talent further. I really have learnt so much on this new Journey in life and the support and praise, it’s all been overwhelming. I have become great friends with many wonderful people including yourself from all parts of the world. I still pinch myself at times, even I can’t believe how far I have come with my writing. As for the people gushing over my work ~Giggles~ I wanted the reader to feel what I was feeling including the hot scenes.
I believe we felt the hot scenes just fine, thanks. 🙂 If you could sit down with one author and ask one question, which author would it be and what would you ask?
It would have to be the Master of Storytelling. Stephen King, my question to him would be… How do you come up with the idea for the titles of your books?
I noticed that you asked this question to the great author Dawn Torrens and I do feel honored that Dawn would even think of me in her blog post. A fantastic lady who was one of the first people to spot my talent. When Dawn first read my book, I was thinking ‘God what is this lady going to think of me after reading this’ I was very surprised indeed with the response. A great lady and a great friend.
I do feel obliged to answer the question that Dawn asked me in her interview, I hope you don’t mind Vickie, of course you don’t you’re just as awesome. Anyway moving on to Dawn’s question. ‘How has your experience with love changed you as a person?’ I have answered this before, but I will add more. What I am is a writer! Yes, my prospective in life has changed a lot. I saw a picture on Facebook with a man pointing a gun up in the air at cupped who was on the other side shooting his bow and arrow with a heart on the end of the arrow, the quote said ‘Don’t touch me’ I read it and thought this was me. Even though I have moved on from that part of my life, my guard is constantly up. It already was before, but this did have an impact on me.
People will come in and out of our lives for one reason or another. Some will be friends and some won’t, but no matter what these people will make some kind of impact in our life in some even if it’s just a memory of a time that was. It makes you look at life in a different way and it does make you a stronger person.
Are you ever tempted to write outside the genre you’re best known for and do something entirely different?
I have tons of stories. Non-fiction and fiction inside me. I have also written a short story in an awesome ebook by the wonderful author Charity Parkerson. Charity was the very first person to discover me on Twitter along with Dawn Torrens and not once did they stop believing in me or my writing. We are all great friends and I have a special bond between them. My little family I call them. Sorry where was I? Oh yes, I was on about writing outside my genre, well the four whips who are known best as Melissa Craig, Dionne Lister, Amber Norgarrd and of course my Sister Charity Parkerson, presented and stared in ‘Turkey Slap’ 2012. It was a compilation they had done so this gave me a chance to write a short story ‘erotic fiction’ and won 5th place in there with my story. Yes I did say its an erotica ebook so be warned!! It’s a very funny hot read and trust me there are many other great awesome new authors in there such as, Ben Ditmars, Kate Davison, Ava Leongard, Helle Gade, Amber Norgard, Bobbi Jo Star. Authors you might want to check out and keep an eye out for. Don’t take my word on that, have your say, too. If you haven’t read ‘Turkey Slap’ it’s free to download on Smashwords. A little sample how my fiction mind can work at times and how all my stories are different. I don’t want to say too much, but you’ll all know soon enough and I can’t wait for that moment to happen, but in the mean time please check out all the above authors. They’re wonderful people with an awesome imagination.
What do you do to quiet those voices inside your head? I know writing is the outlet, but do you talk it out, do you act out any part of the stories, do you go over a scene that’s troubling you with another person you trust to listen?
The voices are there no matter what. It may sound crazy, but we all talk often. I don’t have a need to act as the acting has already been done. I’ve 30 years of stories within me and I have to find a way to quiet the many voices down. It helps that I can write about them as they all have their own story to tell.
Anything you can tell us about your next projects?
I’ve just finished one project and I’m in the process of amalgamating the two ‘Louie’ books into one story, but concentrating on the dialogue. This idea was put to me after I had written them by a great guy Denis G Campbel. Editor – UK Progressive Magazine and also the Host of ‘World View Show’ plus many other wonderful things. This guy sure knows his stuff and at the time I thought this was a task I didn’t think was possible for me to do, due to the word count being far too long, but Denis taught me that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. An inspiration to us all and one fantastic guy.
It’s been a laborious task but now, thankfully, it’s in the hands of a good friend who I can’t thank enough ‘Edie Mosback from Connecticut USA’ who is kindly doing the proof reading and any edit that is required to finish this story and to make it perfect the way it should be.. I know before it wasn’t, It was a story that healed my pain and going back to it was a nightmare relived, but one that would be worth it, I wasn’t a writer back then, I was but not like now. I lacked the knowledge and the experience. I was a learner that wasn’t going to be beaten and I’m happy to say that Louie Has Landed ‘The full story’ has been reborn to perfection and will be completed and available soon.
I’m also currently working on my new story which is loosely based on events in my past. My childhood upwards to be precise. It’s a big story and a deep story and again, I’m finding a way to deal with my demons and put a lot of aspects of my past to rest forming great stories along the way.
One last question and we’re done. Where can people find your books online? Get in touch with you?
It’s been a real pleasure as always chatting to you Vickie and I must say I do love the questions. Thank you for taking the time out and doing your research. I feel it’s a huge honor being a part of your blog and more so an honor even knowing you. You’re a wonderful person Vickie and a great author and friend who I’m proud to have you in my life. I would also like ditto that to you Dawn Torrens and all the other wonderful friends I have in my life.
You’re both amazing Ladies as well as authors, thank you for the opportunity to express myself.
I do wish everyone a life filled of happiness and success. I could go on with the thank you’s, but I won’t as that wasn’t the question ..! Back to the question….My books are available at:
You can contact me at: