Interview With Simon Rose, Author of Science Fiction Fantasy For Children

Carma: I thoroughly enjoyed The Heretic’s Tomb and I liked the way you got Annie into the past and out of the walled up room at the abbey. What was your source of inspiration for The Heretic’s Tomb?

Simon:I’m pleased you enjoyed the book. It was inspired by my own love of history and I have always enjoyed time travel stories. Many novels have medieval settings, but to me some historical periods, such as the era of the Black Death or the mystery of the Princes in the Tower depicted in The Sorcerer’s Letter Box, for example, are the most fascinating and the most suitable settings for a good adventure story.

Carma: What are your writing habits? Do you work on an outline before starting the actual story?

Simon: Yes I do. I always work extensively on an outline, determining all the twists and turns of the plot, before beginning the actual novel. This outline is usually at least one paragraph for every chapter and can be up to 5000 words.

Carma: What goes on inside the mind of the fantasy writer?

Simon: All kinds of things – ancient mysteries, the unexplained, the paranormal, science fiction themes, time travel ideas, parallel universes, alternate realities, weird and wonderful characters and a whole lot of ‘what if’ scenarios.

Carma: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who are trying to break into the fantasy genre?

Simon: Try to be as original as possible and not copy something else, even if it has been popular. Write about what interests you in this particular genre rather than jumping on any bandwagon.

Carma: Who is Simon Rose? Describe an ordinary day in your life.

Simon: I’m not sure there is an ordinary day. If I’m not traveling or at a local school or library, I do spend much of the day working on the current book project, as well as on marketing, correspondence and so on, but also have children to take care of, pets to feed, household chores to do and so on.

Carma: What type of books did you read as a child?

Simon: I became immersed in science fiction as a boy and read a lot of science fiction novels and collections of short stories, as well C S Lewis, Tolkien and other fantasy writers. At high school, I studied a great deal of history and have retained my interest in the subject up to the present day. I also read a tremendous number of comic books as a child. Pure escapism perhaps, but comic books were great for the imagination. On TV, the original Star Trek series springs readily to mind, along with many other influences.

Carma: How do you set about promoting your novel? How many hours a week do you spend on book promotion?

Simon: I do some form of promotion every day, whether for the books or for myself, usually online though the website, blog or via e mail correspondence regarding author visits, summer camps, writing services, festivals and other events.

Carma: How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?

Carma: There are lots on resources on line and elsewhere with regards to publishers, but a good thing to do is to research which houses are publishing the same type of material that you are writing. If you are writing fantasy for ten year olds, see who is doing that and then check their website to see if they are accepting submissions, Similarly, if you are writing teen fiction, see who is doing that and again be sure to check out their submission policies. There are also publishers who only deal with non fiction, prefer to specialize in regional issues, those who only do picture books or who do picture books, but don’t accept stories about animals and so on. It can be a long process, but is well worth it.

Carma: What type of book promotion seems to work the best for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

Simon: All authors have to be prepared to do as much as they can to promote their own work. Get a website or blog or both, even before your first book is published, forge a good relationship with your local bookstores in order to secure book signing events, look into ways to talk about your work at festivals, other events and especially at schools and libraries. You may produce the greatest book ever written. However, no one else is going to see it if your book doesn’t become known to potential readers.

Simon is available for presentations, workshops, Author-in-residence programs in Canada and the United States. Simon’s upcoming book due in Spring of 2009 is Doomsday Mask.

Thank you for this interview Simon.

Are UFO’s Fact Or Fiction?

UFO is an abbreviation of Unidentified Flying Object. There has been quite a lot said and heard over the years about sightings of possible or actual alien spacecraft, many of these sightings may include objects like meteors, disintegrating satellites, flocks of birds, aircraft, lights, weather balloons, or just about anything moving within the visible band of electromagnetism. However, so far, it would appear that everything which has been said about these sightings has turned out to be a just gossip or fiction. This is because our senses and science require logics and proofs, and so far, no one has been able to produce actual proof that could help to positively identify any UFO sighting as an alien spacecraft. No one has been able to produce any physical evidence to support of their claim that they have seen alien spacecraft or actual aliens. Ofcourse, the possibility of some government agencies having proof of such things is a strong one. If any government agency anywhere in the world does have such proof it is highly unlikely that they would share this with the general population.

Are UFOs Science A Science Fiction?

Well, we are not in a position to say anything for definite as of now. If we study the history of the sightings related to UFO, we would come across many things that indicate a whole world of unknown truths. Still, nothing can be said for certain. If we talk about the evidence, well, we have an huge array of such evidence, but none of this is very reliable.

Take for example the large number of photographs which have been published of UFOs. They all appear blurred and many of these are quite obviously forgeries. Again, many people talk about physical evidence, such as alleged debris from alien crashes, or scorch marks on the ground apparently from alien landings, or implants in noses or brains of alien bodies, etc. But, when science does its job, most of these alleged physical evidences turn out to be terrestrial and or just forgeries.

Reasons Why People Believe in UFOs

Despite there being no reliable proof that we know of to support the existence of UFOs, most of the world still believe that there are such things. Well, the main reason why people believe in such objects is the testimony of people who claim to have been witness to alien events. They claim to have seen things of alien origin and their questionable interpretations of visual experiences force us to rethink. However, there are of course many other reasons for this. For example, mankind has a typical nature and it will not be an exaggeration that most of us are unable to distinguish science fiction from science fact. Because of our human nature, most of us have an overwhelming desire to contact other worlds, and this gives us cause to believe in UFOs. This desire is so strong that we are quite open to suggestion and are quite willing to trust incompetent people who tell us fantastic stories.

Overall, one of the most important facts which should be noted is that those people who claim to have watched the UFO are mostly untrained sky watchers. No professional or amateur astronomer has ever made such claims. This is the reason why UFOs would appear to be sheer science fiction instead of being science fact.

Family Discount Cruises, Fact or Fiction?

Many people believe Family Discount Cruises are nothing more than a myth. This group tends to be more likely the inexperienced, infrequent traveler. If you are interested in booking a family vacation cruise you should disregard this popular myth. Believing that family discount cruises do not exist could cost you a lot of money.

Dismiss the myth. Family Discount Cruises do indeed exist and are saving families thousands of dollars while enjoying fantastic, fun filled vacations aboard some amazing luxurious cruise ships.

No matter the economy, people look for discounts, deals and other ways to lower the cost of their vacation. Today, wise shoppers use coupons and other special offers to save money on goods and services. These same shoppers seeking to save money on groceries and other retail goods can save a good deal of money when booking a cruise vacation.

When booking a family discount cruise, there are a number of different options. Before deciding on your next cruise you should investigate every one of them. You’ll be surprised at how many cruise ship discounts are out there.

The most popular and easiest way to find discounts on a wide range of family cruises and vacations is only one click of the mouse.

Simply do a Google search for “Family Discount Cruises” or “Discounted Cruises” and you will find many resources.

Caveat Emptor!

Don’t make a hasty decision. Delay any bookings until you exhausted all options available. There are different resources at your disposal and you should take your time to investigate all of them.

Discount travel websites are popular for finding discounts on cruise and other vacations. Some well known travel sites are Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to name a few. With regard to travel websites, you are encouraged to exhaust your search completely before providing them with your personal information.

Some people feel comfortable contacting the cruise line directly, particularly if they are looking to take a last minute cruise. One word of caution here. Be aware that the cruise line will not book your cruise. They will always refer you to contact a professional travel agent..

If you belong to a membership club, you should investigate any deals they may be offering. In addition to roadside vehicle assistance, auto clubs provide special deals on a wide range of vacation travel. Another well respected membership club regularly offer great deals to senior citizens.

One alternative to researching Family Discount Cruises is to work with a professional travel agent. Travelers that work with professional agents do so for the personal attention and service not available with travel websites and membership clubs. These professional travel agents operate locally and online.

Another travel myth is that travel agents rates are higher than their online competitors. This is not true.

That myth is totally unfounded by experience. The professional travel agent industry control a large block of travelers and because of their tremendous buying power they do indeed get preferential treatment from every travel vendor.

Cruise lines rely on the profession agents in order to get more of that agents customers. In fact, some well established and well respected travel agencies receive unbelievable deals that are not available to the general public.

With a small amount of time and research or professional assistance you can easily find many low cost cruises.

Why miss out on the fun and excitement of cruising, when you now know there are plenty of Family Discount Cruises available.

You just have to know where to find them.