Each Thursday in 2018 we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.
Today's interview is with ROGER NORRIS-GREEN
Question 1: Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.
I was born in Brighton, England and emigrated to Australia with my parents when I was 13. We settled in South Australia where I attended Unley High School. It was there that my writing career began, writing short stories for the School Magazine. After leaving school, I worked in advertising, finally owning my own agency. I married Elaine and we had four children. I undertook two years theological study at Parkin Wesley College and have been an accredited Uniting Church lay preacher for over 50 years. For a while I was Co-Ordinator of Christian Care and Share, an agency which helped people in need. I have also served as a lay pastor and lately the member of a Lay Ministry team.
Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?
I commenced writing seriously soon after we were married, writing westerns for the Cleveland Publishing Company. Over the years I have written 140 published 40,000 word western novelettes including 2 self-published and one just accepted by Black Horse Westerns in England. In addition, I’ve written four Christian devotional books and six novels centred on the Copper Coast (Moonta, Kadina, Wallaroo) where I retired. There is a Christian social justice element in my novels. ‘Tipping Point’ is about climate change. ‘Redemption’ is about refugees. I’ve also written radio plays (comedies) and one stage play on the Life of Joseph. I enjoy a variety of writing, from early settler romances to westerns. Currently I’m working on ‘Return to Sundown Valley’ then I intend to finish a political thriller titled ‘Betrayed’.
Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
Strangely so, more people have read my westerns than my other, more serious books. I’ve found Christian books difficult to sell to even Christian bookshops like Koorong. In fact, I sell most of my Christian books at markets and through Facebook. Apart from westerns, many people have bought my books from local shops and markets. Like most other authors, I’d like a wider audience!
Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?
I always write an outline first. I learned the value of this writing westerns for Cleveland Publishing who required an outline to approve before I started writing. I guess one of my greatest challenges is to try to enter the e-book market. This is something very new to me. But if the Lord wants my books on the ‘net, He’ll help me. And my dear wife, Elaine, will help me too.
Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why?
Many many decades ago I did a Pitman’s Writing Course. It’s still one of the best Writing Craft Books I’ve ever had. It taught me the essentials of writing that are still relevant today.
Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?
I’d give a shout out to ROBYN FARRELL, my daughter, who edits every one of my books and picks up my mistakes. My grand daughter, Melissa Farrell, has been the illustrator of my last dozen books. I can recommend her to any author wanting a beautiful cover. As far as a Christian Writers Downunder author, I respect and admire ROSANNE HAWKE who writes a beautiful, sometimes poignant story. She is also a fine Christian woman.
Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2018? How will you achieve them?
I aim to finish RETURN TO SUNDOWN VALLEY, my 141st western, then BETRAYED, a social justice political thriller about a man who knows the truth about the Iraq War and is on the run. Then one day the American Far Right, which wants him dead, discover he’s living in Australia. This novel will also touch on Aboriginal land rights and mining.
Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?
Nearly every book I write, even westerns (the one I’m currently writing has the theme of a rich rancher destroying Indians to seize their land), has a social justice theme, either overt or in the background. My faith says I need to be active in promoting what it means to be a Christian in society.
Roger Norris-Green is the author of OUTCAST, SEAGULLS, SECRETS, TIPPING POINT, A STRANGER COMES TO TOWN, SUNDAY AT TEN TEN, REDEMPTION, LAST STAGE TO SUNDOWN, PATHWAYS and THE LONELY SHORE.