Today I am welcoming indie author Rolf Richardson into the Indie Spotlight.
After pilot training in the RAF, including Britain’s first jet fighter, the Meteor, Rolf joined BOAC, which later became British Airways, finishing on 747s.
Staying with the travel theme, he then took to freelance photography, supplying stock libraries around the world, which in turn led to destination lecturing on cruise ships.
In 2015, with over 110 counties in his portfolio, finally becoming more of a home bird, he started writing ‘Easy Reads’, thrillers set in some of the places he has visited.
Hello, Rolf. Welcome to my blog. What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
Most unknown authors have no choice.Traditional publishers will only take work from agents. And agents will not even look at stufffrom unknown authors unless they are famous in another field. Fortunately, self publishing is now relatively inexpensive and probably more efficient than the ‘normal’ route.
My No.1 Indie book in 2015 was ‘The Last Weiss’, set in Germany and Norway during the final 12 months of WW2. I was fascinated by how the Third Reich was actually run and why it carried on until total destruction.
No 2, ‘Coffin Corner’, is set in the 1960s and explores the rise of the airlines business and how Singapore went from a no-hope little island to arguably the best run country on earth.
No.3. ‘Bear Bugger Cruise’ is a jolly in the Caribbean, with vanishing customers, mystery, mayhem and strange characters.
No. 4. ‘Night Watchman’ is a political thriller set in London. Written before Covid, it forecasts a pandemic, but I get the response hopelessly wrong.
No. 5. ’Road to Mandalay’, is about cyber warfare, China versus the West, a topic that has got even hotter.
No. 6. ‘Stasiland’ is set in present day Germany, where the old Communist east still casts a long shadow.
No. 7. ’Letter from Galapagos’ is about two yachties on a round-the-world trip, who vanish in the Pacific.
No. 8. ‘Tea with Rasputin’ starts in Alaska, when an airline pilot vanishes, and ends in St.Petersburg, Russia, having Tea with Rasputin.
No. 9. ‘Nile Sleeper’ is set in 1980s Middle East with assassinations and conflict – problems that are still with us.
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
You write about what you know and are interested in. I call mine ‘Easy reads’, designed purely as entertainment, nothing fancy: They are international thrillers, with a mix of humour, romance, politics and travel.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
I read a lot of history, in fact many of my books are set in ‘recent history – WW2 until the presentday. In current fiction, I love Lee Child, further back Cornwell’s Sharpe and the Flashman series – the last two historical fiction, which is what I try and do.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
On TV there’s been overkill of police dramas, which now all seem set in gloom; I prefer the quirky old Inspector Frost series. For the rest, again I go for anything historical.
As for music, with the honourable exception of Lloyd Webber, Abba and Les Mis, ‘music’ for me ended in about 1945: Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Puccini, names that, for most people, seem to have vanished in the mists of time. I used to go to a lot of opera and have just written a Rigoletto reference into my current book – Who was ‘Rigoletto’? Go Google!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just write, but don’t expect many people to read your masterpieces.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
Book number ten is currently at 36,00 words, roughly the halfway stage, provisionally called ‘The Freddy Files’. Again, an international thriller with a couple of murders (so far), centred around the people trafficking of migrants. Hopefully ready next spring.
Thank you, Rolf for taking part in my Indie Spotlight, today. I wish you well with your book sales and finishing your current work in progress.
Being accused of a murder he did not commit is not a good start to Ed Blake’s holiday. After a messy divorce, he is trying to forget the past by driving around Europe in his silver Porsche, but gets no further than a small town on the river Elbe when he hits trouble. Although in what is now a united Germany, this is the former Communist East, once ruled by the feared secret police, the Stasi. This is STASILAND. The past had not gone away. Germany’s tectonic plates shifting and maybe heading for the sort of chaos last seen in the 1930s. Ed finds himself pulled into a whirlpool of violence as right-wing extremism starts to shake the foundations of Europe. This is a story about the here and now. What happens to Ed Blake could happen to you.
The Cairo-Aswan flight is full, so Ben and Sophie have to take the the overnight train south, the Nile Sleeper.. Where they find themselves plunged into the terrifying world of Middle East terrorism.
After Egypt the focus moves first to Israel, then Lebanon and the interminable problem of Palestine. We are in the turbulent 1980s, a fictional story set within the framework of real events.. On every side passions run high, so readers of a sensitive disposition should steer clear. Having said that, this aims to be an entertainment, the complex history and mayhem being spiced with humour and romance.
This is a story of Civil Aviation and Singapore, both born in the immediate post-war years, The fictional ‘Straits Airways’. was founded in 1960, when the airline business was a promising teenager, even if it didn’t quite know where it was going and had a safety record which today would be considered appalling.
In 1960 the outlook for Singapore was dismal. An over-populated tropical island, ravaged by the recent war, it had an explosive racial mix, no natural resources and apparently precious little hope.
We follow the fortunes of Singapore and Straits Airways through the eyes of a young pilot, Archie Staples. These were the years when aviation battled the elements with equipment that still struggled to cope. And when a young firebrand called Lee Kuan Yew began the long journey that would take Singapore from an ungovernable slum to arguably the most successful nation on earth.
The action moves from Karachi through Calcutta, Singapore and onwards to Darwin, Sydney and west coast USA. With a colourful cast of characters. So please fasten your seatbelt and prepare for take-off
Tea With Rasputin
The year is 1992 and Greg Wilton, a First Officer with British World Airways, fails to turn up for his flight after a layover in Anchorage, Alaska. He has disappeared without trace.
Back in London, Mr Halford, the airline’s Head of Security, can’t spare any of his regular team, so he scrapes the bottom of the barrel and tells a recent recruit, Terry Jackson to investigate,
Terry’s quest appears to be hopeless, because Alaska is huge, but he does not give up. The action moves to Hong Kong, Miami, Ls Vegas, Oxford (England) and finally St. Petersburg for Tea with Rasputin. A ten year globe-trotting saga with many twists and turns.
Join Terry in his investigation, where intrigue, suspense, mystery, humour and even romance all lie in wait.
The Last Weiss
In the spring of 1944 an RAF bomber is shot down over Germany, the sole survivor being Per, the tail gunner, who finds himself on the run in a country whose citizens he has been trying to kill and who view all allied airmen as ‘terror-flieger’. The only thing in his favour is his nationality: Norwegian. Can he avoid a POW camp by passing himself off as one of the millions of foreign workers now keeping the German home economy going? This is a story of the final twelve months of the Third Reich, first in German then in Per’s native Norway.
Who is next on Indie Spotlight?
Kyra Robinov is a Manhattan-based writer who works in many genres—fiction, non-fiction, musical theatre, and children’s literature. She draws much of her inspiration from the incredible stories she heard growing up about her family’s remarkable experiences. For more information about her and her work, please visit KyraRobinov.com.