Hi, Michael Rowland, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website!Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
My name is Michael Rowland, and I am 69 years young. I also write under the pen name Daniel M Warloch.
I started work in the printing industry at the tender age of 15 in 1964, as an apprentice hot metal compositor. The apprenticeship lasted 6 years and from then on until my retirement, I held many senior positions in the printing industry, such as Production Manager to Operations Director, working closely with a number of ‘blue chip’ customers, such as Avon Cosmetics, British Telecom, British Gas and the BBC, to name just a few.
I am now retired, living very close to Liverpool in the UK with my wife, June. I have two grown up sons and two teenage grandsons.
My hobbies are writing, going to the gym, and cycling on the coastal roads, which overlooks the Welsh mountains and Liverpool.
When did you start writing and why?
They say that there is a book in everyone? Well I was 60 when I began writing 9/11: Official Complicity by Michael Rowland.
My children’s novels and short stories are written under the pen name of Daniel M Warloch (anagram of Michael Rowland). The reason for the pen name is because I didn’t want to associate a serious novel with my children’s work.
I was made redundant the day before 9/11, and during that day and the following months I thought there was something not stacking up. So I spent a few years researching that tragic event and I eventually published the second edition of 9/11: Official Complicity in 2010, after it was edited by a librarian – Elizabeth Woodworth, co-founder of The 9/11Best Evidence Panel.
After that I was hooked in writing. My first children’s novel was Leap Year, then Christmas Presence, The Key to Survival (A Jake Hollywood adventure) and then the Holly KissKiss short stories.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
I would say Leap Year, due to the fact that the boys in the story are my grandsons. The story is about an abandoned Orphanage, which comes back to life at one minute passed midnight on 29th February, and if the boys don’t solve the riddle before sun up, they will be trapped in the creepy hall until the next Leap Year. When I was growing up, I used to live close to an abandoned Orphanage and that stuck with me until I wrote the book in 2010.
Having said that, the 9/11 novel was a challenge and I have had a great deal of positive feedback from the 9/11 fraternity. In fact Dr. David Ray Griffin has endorsed the novel. DRG is the leading exponent on 9/11 and has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace prize.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
For Leap Year I had the idea about the orphanage, but I was struggling to find a way of making the book interesting. Then I came up with the riddle and being trapped.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did your design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
The cover for Leap Year was a joint affair, between my son, Lee and myself. The 9/11 cover I designed. My brother Andrew Rowland has designed the cover for The Key to Survival and some of the Holly KissKiss short stories.
What are some of the themes of your story?
The Holly KissKiss short stories have been written to make children aware of what is happening in the world today, also for children with learning difficulties and on the spectrum. Stranger Danger; Child Poverty; Bullying; Homelessness; Autism; Friendship, plus a few charming little stories with animals for the younger children to enjoy.
It was when I was doing a workshop at the local school; I met a young boy who was on the spectrum. He was sat at the back of the classroom, with a teacher, and at the time, I didn’t know why, and it was only when it was question and answer time, I was told the young boy was autistic. But I did notice during the workshop, that he gradually made his way towards me and began to take an interest in what I was reading and saying.
He actually came out with a great question. I mentioned to the class that I write things down when I am outside, and he asked me if I took pictures on my cell phone of things as a reminder, to make sure the description was life-like.
Great question, don’t you think? Anyhow, the boy left a lasting impression on me, so over the next few days I wrote him a short story … The Snowflake Trail. And he, along with his siblings, and his parents may I add, loved it.
It was then I decided to publish it on Amazon.
Shortly after that I read an advert in the local newspaper asking for people to come to a open day at the Autistic Society, adding that they were recruiting people who wanted to make a positive change to people’s lives.
The job appealed very much to me, but I didn’t have the necessary experience or qualifications, working with people on the spectrum.
I knew nothing about autism, yet I went to the open day and met the friendly staff at the society. And when I told them about my background, and more importantly I was a children’s author, they welcomed me with open arms. They encouraged me to go for an interview, which I did the following week, and I was offered a post. I then spent three months training to be a Service Provider.
Michael Rowland’s List of Books:
- 9/11: Official Complicity by Michael Rowland
Daniel M Warlocs’ List of Books:
- Leap Year
- Christmas Presence
- The Key To Survival
- Rudolph’s Little Helper
- A Little Bird Told Me
- The Show Must Go On
- A Puppy Dog’s Tale
- Holly Jolly Holiday
- Tricky People
- Color My World
- A Heart of Gold
- Sticks and Stones
- Stories Paint Perfect Pictures
- The Snowflake Trail
- Are You Sitting Comfortably?
- One Good Turn Deserves Another.
“In the eyes of a child, the world is an magical place, and that is the reason I never grew up.” DMW
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book and do you have a system?
You may be interested to know, but in most cases I have the ending before the start. When I am asked about the way I write, I reply by saying I write as though you are painting a picture. In layers. The book will probably start as 60-80 pages, and then I will go back to it, and add more detail until I’m happy with it.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
Apart from my grandsons in Leap Year, I would say Alex Monroe in 9/11: Official Complicity as IT’s me.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
WOW, where do I start? Stephen King, Tolkien, Lee Child, Blair Howard, James Herbert, Scott Mariani and Tad Williams.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
I’m in the process of putting the finishing touches to the manuscripts to volume 2 and 3 of the Leap Year series and volume 2 and 3 of the Jake Hollywood series (The Key to Survival).
50 years ago this year, I along with six friends set off to Africa in an old van. One of the friends made a diary. I am turning the diary into a book. I know it won’t be a best seller, but it’s just a bit of fun.
If you could have any superpowers what would they be?
Who would not want to control the nature of time; to go back and change things that went wrong or to travel to the future to see what would happen if you made a given choice.
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I have been to New York and Japan, which are both magical, but if I could choose, it would be Japan.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
My aim is for ALL of the Holly KissKiss short stories to be made into picture books. Rudolph’s Little Helper is the only one at the moment.
And to become a successful children’s author.
I know there are literary thousands of other indie authors out there hoping to be offered a book deal. I’m one of them.
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“Never before have I read a children’s book quite like this one and I am going to type a bold statement, but this is by far the best children’s book I have ever read… The Key To Survival, however, has everything I wanted and so much more. It has excellent writing, poignant moments, action-packed scenes to keep my children entertained and a great in-depth look into a moment of history that nobody will ever forget. The inclusion of history in this book is what makes it so brilliant, of course the literature is the star but the fact that this book is based on such a poignant event that children should all know about makes me love it even more…”
“…Jake Hollywood, is utterly convincing as a youth caught up in unexplainable circumstances, while superb descriptive prose brings this tragic piece of history to life for readers both young and old. Fast-paced, complete with a riveting storyline and a shocking twist at the end, makes for a captivating history lesson that will leave eager young minds yearning for more…”