Featured Interview With Neil Rochford
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in Ireland almost thirty years ago, at about three in the afternoon. I was raised in an area that was so small, it had to be joined onto another parish to exist. That’s probably as big an influence as any in my decision to take off around the world as soon as I thought I was ready. I wasn’t, but that didn’t stop me.
First off, I lived in Estonia for a while, then back to Dublin, then Brazil, France and as I write this, Spain. After about six years away, I’m planning to return to my native island and see what has changed more: me, or the country.
On my travels I’ve been lucky to have experienced a crazy amount of unique experiences, and most of them were positive. I’d advise anyone that has the chance to live abroad to do it. It changed my life for the better, and if I hadn’t gone through with it, maybe I never would have written my first book.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Growing up in a small, semi-rural town/village, and not being hugely interested in sport, I turned to fiction and entertainment as an escape. My parents taught me to read at an early age, and the house was always full of some type of novel. Westerns, romance, science fiction, pulp and horror. Authors that I couldn’t remember now if I tried, and others that stuck with me through my reading life. Stories that I read over and over again filled my waking hours as I played them over in my head, reliving the fantasy worlds that they created.
These influences started to show early on, especially in the creative writing assignments for English class in school. My stories would sometimes be read out at the end of the week as a treat for other classmates, and letters from teachers would sing my praises and future as a writer.
Fast-forward to about three years ago, when my partner encouraged me to start a blog. I used the online venue as a repository for stories and ideas, which eventually blossomed into my first novel.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I found Tolkien and Stephen King early on, so their influence on my style and genre selections is the greatest. I also enjoyed Grisham’s legal thrillers, which rounded out the categories quite nicely. I also like to take inspiration from TV shows that approach storytelling in a novelistic style.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
The Blue Ridge Project is my debut novel and the first in a planned series of books tentatively titled ‘The Project.’ In this first installment, we’re introduced to detective Andrea Nox and journalist Robert Duncan as two unrelated deaths set things in motion for each of them. They are flawed, broken people who have tried to do what was right in the past and suffered for it. The other main character, Frank Mortimer, is the son of a wealthy and influential family who has his own dark history, as well as a terrifying present. They are all connected through differing channels to a secret organization known as The Project, who among other things are conducting fringe science experiments on people, including Frank.
The book takes us from the present day mystery through the recent events of their lives that have led them to this point, culminating in a confrontation between them all.
The book took about a year to write, and another year to self-publish. Between editing and rounds of beta readers, it took a lot longer than expected. Now, I’m ready to get my teeth into the next book in the series, which will hopefully be even better.
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