Friday, February 25, 2011

Inspiring Person: Stephen Roach: Author

Interview with author, Stephen Roach. If you missed Part One, scroll down to yesterday to see the music portion of this interview.

Long ago when I was part of a small community of artists and dreamers I heard Stephen talk about writing this book. As many of you know, creative people have a lot of ideas, but unfortunately many times don't do anything with them. (I am one of these) Years later, living in a different city with a different life I came across the release of this book and my heart sparked as I remembered those days of talking dreams. I was so inspired to see this book release and to see someone make an idea a tangible reality. And I was even more excited he would talk to me about it!

So thanks Stephen for doing this interview... May he inspire YOU to DO.

What are some of your favorite things in life?
God, my wife & my daughter and a fresh bottle of Sriracha Hot sauce (also known as the rooster sauce.) Any combination of those things make for a good day.
I also add a little Sriracha to everything!
Tell us about the journey of writing this book. How did it go from a thought to something you actually pursued?
The story actually pursued me. I couldn’t get away from it.
What’s this book about?
The story is about this kid named Satchel Willoughby. He’s lost something called Wink Zangley Doo. He can’t sleep at night until he finds this Zangley Doo. He meets an Old Blind Man who tells him there’s a place where all lost things go. So he sets out on the adventure to find this place ultimately in hopes to find his Wink Zangley Doo.
What inspired you to write this story?
I think the primary inspiration for the story was a desire to create a platform for humor and childlikeness to converse with the more deep, mystical elements of my creative works. Usually I can tend to wax serious in music and poetry and this time I wanted to do something fun.
How would you encourage others to live their creative dreams?
Commit to go the distance. Take initiative. Don’t trust in what’s already been done or play it safe. Step out even if it looks like you are stepping off a cliff. You can’t learn to fly any other way. Also, I would say to stay true to who you’ve been created to be. Don’t get overly affected by the praise or the rejection of opinion. Persistence, confidence and a good healthy dose of tenacity will do any artist good.
I needed this advice today.
How did you practically follow this dream into action?
I just continued to write on it until I finally felt it was coming to a close (eight years later). At that point, I began to seek out an illustrator and as providence has it, I met Vesper Stamper at the right time in the right place. She loved the story and I loved her interpretations of the characters so we began the process.
I had to do some fundraising through and raised nearly $5000.00 from facebook contributions and a few public speaking engagements alone. I was pretty blown away at the support I received to do this.

How did you find a publisher?
Currently, the book is still independent though I’ve conversed with several publishers. Surprisingly enough they sought me out having heard of the book.
What is it like fulfilling this dream?
For me it is a great accomplishment just to see an idea grow from a seed to become something you can hold in your hands. It’s a real touchstone that reminds me not to quit no matter how long it takes for something to come to pass.
The blossoming of one dream challenges you to think bigger next time. Next, I want to see Pixar or someone like that pick up the story to make a film of it.
What does your daughter think of the book?
I’ve read it to her several times before bed. Even at two, she’s begun to connect with the characters and even recite parts of the story back to me. I think she loves it. She’ll probably help me write the next one.
Where can we order this book and keep up with all your artistic ventures?
What do you want to do next?
I am currently working on a young adult fiction version of the Lost Things story. I am also collecting and editing a new book of poems. Musically, I am preparing to do an EP in March of several new lyrical songs I’ve written.
Does your art support any causes?
We just recently partnered with “Restoring Eden” to help end mountaintop removal.
In 2008, we contributed a song and performed for “Zao Water” (now called Hydrating Humanity) to help provide clean drinking water in various regions in Africa.
We also have partnered with “The Transformation Initiative” who also work in Africa bringing hygiene training and help in Kenya.

Here is a look behind the scenes of writing this book! Go order it, read it to your children, and ponder your own dream you want to pursue...

or that has been pursuing you...


Dana said...

very cool
thanks for these, great project!

Lil Muse Lily said...

Hi Anna,

I'm Claudia from lilumuselily and it's my first time here.
I want you to know that i really enjoy your blog and your last post was the most inspiring post i read all week.
So much so that i blogged about it myself. Hope it's ok.
Here's where you can find us.
Thank you,

Ima said...

So he is a musician and a writer? Wow he's cool :D

Anonymous said...