Today’s author with his newest book is Kevin Cooper. Many of you may know ‘Kev’ as not only an author, but a blogger, songwriter and a wonderful promoter of other author’s books on his own blog KCBooksandmusic , where he interviews authors, reviews books and even offers FREE book covers. Kev is an all round nice guy who gives of his time so willingly to help promote others. But today it’s his turn to be interviewed here. We’re going to learn a little more about Kevin and his latest book, Caboodle and the Whole Kit.
Kevin Cooper is an eclectic author and song-writer. His works are multifarious with books in genres ranging from Fantasy & Sci-Fi to Memoir/Drama with something for all ages through the medium of novels, novellas, short-stories, poetry, and music. Some of KC’s major influences in literature are JRR Tolkien, Philip Pullman, C.S Lewis, Terry Brooks, and J.K Rowling.
Kevin was born in Hull, England. At 21 years of age, he moved to the USA where he first attended Western Kentucky University, but transferred to Asbury College where he graduated with a BA in Psychology. He then attended Asbury Theological Seminary for a couple of years studying Christian Counselling & Psychopathology, and Biblical Languages before moving to Arizona where he enrolled at the Grand Canyon University, obtained a research fellowship and eventually graduated with M.Ed.
KC’s career in education spanned from tutor to teacher, to college lecturer. He later changed careers and went into management working for The Hertz Corporation. After almost twenty years living and working in the USA, he returned to England.
Finding suitable work in England was difficult, and KC eventually had to settle for an office job as a dispatch officer working with patient data services for the NHS. Seven years later, he gave it up to care for his wife and focus on his writing and music. He has since become the author of several works, and released his first music single in November 2015 and now focuses on releasing his first full music album and completing other existing book projects.
Caboodle is filled with relaxing episodes of life, family, love & romance, faith, and even the odd, inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavory characters.
The wonderful collection of short stories, poetry, and songs has been grouped together to bring a variety of tales that are mostly based upon true events, people can easily relate to.
The whole kit is designed to ignite a mixture of emotions to bring smile, laughter, and moisture to the eyes. There is something for everyone in Caboodle.
Now let’s get to know a little more about Kevin!
Kev, can you tell us about what inspired you to write your latest book, Caboodle and the Whole Kit?
I had a few finished short manuscripts lying around and a few others that still needed a bit of work that I had no real plans for when I came up with the idea of grouping them into topics best I could, and putting them together to form some kind of a short anthology. That’s how Caboodle & The Whole Kit all came about. I actually struggled more coming up with a title for the collection then I did putting it all together.
You’ve authored quite a few books in different genres, do you enjoy writing one genre more than another?
I’ve always loved writing songs. That’s my first love of writing and always will be, followed closely by poetry as they are somewhat related. Even some of my very short stories are more or less free verse poetry.
My first memoir was written more out of necessity than anything else. I needed to work through some serious problems I had locked away in my closet. It was mentally and emotionally draining to say the least. This was my first serious attempt at actually writing a book. My second memoir simply continues the story up to my leaving for America.
The Devil’s Apology which I view as a Christian/Religious Fantasy was fun to write as was The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn… A Childrens’/YA Fantasy. I definitely prefer them over my memoirs. They were by far easier to write.
I love to ask authors how they juggle their time. How do you manage to write books and music, read and review so many books, and run a blog with promotions simultaneously?
You’re after my secrets aren’t you? It’s rather challenging. As far as my writing goes, whether I’m writing music or books, I simply follow my muse which is rather chaotic. Seriously! Anyone would think we were related or something! Like… three sides to the same coin. The third side is when I’m living on the edge… Didn’t see that one coming did ya! Ha ha! (See what I mean.)
Reading and reviewing go hand in hand. I read everything on my kindle fire which allows you to post a review direct to Amazon and Goodreads when you’ve finished a book. This is why I prefer to buy the books I read or opt for a free kindle download when it’s available rather than accept pdf/mobi copies. I simply copy my reviews to my blog and add the book cover and links.
I read almost every day. I speed-read an awful lot, so get through quite a lot of books. I only review the books I finish though. If I can’t finish a book, it’s not worth my time writing a review. Certain books however, demand my attention, and for those that do, I slow down my reading to savour them.
I don’t run a whole lot of promos because I don’t do this for money or fame. I do it for enjoyment and self-edification. I usually promote on special occasions or when I have a new release out. This is probably why I find it easy to promote for others. Anyone who wants to promote their new book release through my blog are always welcome to do so and I always try my best for them.
4. Is there something new you’re working on you’d like to share with us?
I have several works in progress with no real timetables. (I write in a leisurely sort of way) I’m still working on putting together two full albums. Both are distinct in musical styles. I’m still working on the sequel to The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn. And, I’m slowing working through my final memoir which recounts my life in America… I’m doing a pre-edited version on my blog that folks can comment on.
I know you run a book of the month on your blog, and I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my own books listed there earlier last year. Can you tell us what criteria you use to evaluate your choice for book of the month?
Congratulations for making it, Debby! It’s harder than you think. It takes a little bit of research on my part; I go over the stats for previous month’s book reviews I’ve posted… give or take a week or so (depending upon when the reviews were posted within the month.) and the book review most popular with other visitors, (e.g. comments, retweets, other social media sharing, reblogs and likes etc.) wins the spotlight.
So it’s actually my readers/followers as a whole that influence the book of the month spotlight and who becomes author of the month based on their book review. I try to be fair. If it was just me who decided, that would be too biased. This is also why I chose to have a panel of judges for The Diamond Book Awards.
Do you have any advice you can share for new writers?
I’m probably not the best example for those who have timetables and deadlines strung to their book projects. But what I think is most important is, authors not try to be too like other authors. There’s a lot of this, “I write like…” business going on these days. Stay true to yourself. Strive to be unique. Those authors before you whom you crave to be like, got where they are through their own uniqueness. Moreover, ENJOY your writing.
Now please tell us a little about your new book and share an excerpt with us?
Caboodle & The Whole Kit is filled with relaxing episodes of life, family, love & romance, faith, and even the odd, inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavoury characters.
The wonderful collection of short stories, poetry, and songs has been grouped together to bring a variety of tales, some of which are based upon true events, people can easily relate to.
The whole kit is designed to ignite a mixture of emotions to bring smile, laughter, and moisture to the eyes.
There is something for everyone in Caboodle & The Whole Kit!
Excerpt from, Interview with the Phantom
…After the show, I was minding my own, as you do, and decided I’d have a nice stroll back to my hotel when upon passing a dark alleyway around the back of the opera, I heard a strange sound and that’s how I ended up interviewing, The Phantom of The Opera!
Kev: Hello. Is someone there?
Phantom: Psst (a shadowy cloaked figure beckons Kev to follow him)
Kev: Are you sure this is wise, it’s rather dark and cold down here?
Phantom: Fear not, I am your Angel!
Kev: Really? Oh well that’s all right then.
The Phantom leads Kev down through a labyrinth underneath the opera house. It’s cold, damp and there are candles and broken pieces of glass like shattered mirrors everywhere. They stop by an enclave in the cave. There is an old bust of a woman wrapped in a rather old and shabby wedding dress and what is left of the veil.
The Phantom motions Kev to sit.
Phantom: Are you Kev?
Kev: That’s right, but you already know that ’cause you’re an angel, right?
Phantom: Ah yes, quite right.
Kev: So, what can I do for you?
Phantom: I need you to interview me, of course!
Kev: Ah… Well it just so happens I brought my trusty pen and have a pad in my coat pocket. (Kev produces the pen and pad to show as evidence)
Phantom: Excellent! Let us begin!
Kev: Well what I normally do is start by saying, in a generalised way, tell us a little about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family life, education, and how you got to where you are now, but being an angel, I’m not sure that will do for you.
Phantom: Oh no, that just will not do! I do not wish to go into my childhood… it is full of horror and pain! I was abused and beaten because of my facial deformity, you see… hence the mask!
Kev: (The penny drops) Hang on a minute… Where are we?
Phantom: In the catacombs beneath the opera house. This is my lair!
Kev: You’re no angel! You imposter. You’re, you’re… The Phantom! Aren’t you?
Phantom: I am an angel. Ask Christine, she’ll tell you! She even said as much when she followed as I coaxed her to my lair. She sang only for me. She was my angel of music! She loved only me.
Kev: Can’t you see, that only proves that you seduced her?
Phantom: I loved her! And she would have loved me too if it wasn’t for that meddling Raoul!
Kev: (He sounds like a villain from Scooby Doo now!) But didn’t she love Raoul rather than yourself? (Kev sees an object in the cave and picks it up) Look! Is this not her engagement ring?
Phantom: How dare you! I should run you through for your insolence! I have my sword!
Kev: And I sir, have my pen! (The pen is mightier than the sword and all that… wink, wink.)
Phantom : Trait de plume !
Thank you for visiting here today Kev and sharing your insights on writing and promoting. I look forward to reading some of the many books I have of yours awaiting me on my Kindle! Wishing you much success on the new book!
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https://lovelifetearsnlaughter.wordpress.com/ (Personal Blog – Pat & Kev)
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