© Keith Hoare 2012
As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been an electrical engineer all my life. From an early age, I’d always been
interested in electronics. Whether I got it from my father, who was an inventor, I’m not
sure, except I began to design my own products. I even hold a number of patents in the
leisure industry. So, for example, if you have played bingo, that doesn’t use the ping
pong balls, then you have probably played using one of my inventions.
Over the years I’ve had a number of businesses. At one time I owned a large nursing
home. It was a home for people with dementia and if I look back, the characters I met
and talked to there, besides my employees in the electronic business, who every
morning would try to explain why they didn’t turn up Friday, were late Monday morning,
or why they needed the next day off, taught me a great deal about human life and its
different facets. This for a writer, was a great help in developing my own characters.
What are your books about?
I find I can write in different genres. I write action adventure, romance, fantasy and fairy
stories. I’ve even written what was the most difficult book for me ever, a non-fiction book
on the early life of a supermodel. I say difficult because unlike fiction you can’t
manipulate the characters. These are real people, with real lives and yet they still need
development and brought alive.
Action Adventure - The People Traders is, and always has been, my most popular
book. It introduced a character named Karen Marshall who, after a vendetta between
her father and another man, was abducted to be sold at a trafficker’s auction in the
Pretty basic concept, except Karen was no ordinary girl. Her father always wanted a boy
and Karen was brought up that way. She did self-defence, kick boxing and even went
on weekends with her dad playing war games with other enthusiasts. So when Karen
got a chance to escape she did just that. Her new owner, an arms dealer, wanted her
back offering a massive reward for her capture. In a poor country already ravaged in
war, the reward brings not only the locals out, but the army as well. We follow Karen in
a dangerous cat and mouse game between the arms dealer and her.
This first book moved me on to write three more on the subject of people trafficking. The
books don’t dwell on the hopelessness of the victims, but use the grey world of
trafficking as a backdrop to books full of action and intrigue.
Fantasy - Fantasy was a real departure from traffickers. I wanted a world that children
ran, that didn’t use broomsticks to fly, or magic wands, but gave the modern child a
belief the world exists, so I created Plagarma. The children who go to this world can fly
by thought, can change their clothes at a whim, but most of all they can have adventure.
Although as in all books, there is a dark side of their world known as Dargarma. This is
a world of nightmares and if you stray there, you are lost forever…
Romance - After writing the non-fiction book ‘Catwalk Supermodel’, which was a real
live romance, I wrote the fictional book Gemma’s Whitecliff’. It began as a simple boy
meets girl, except Gemma is nearly sixteen and her boyfriend fifteen years older. This
was difficult enough for her, except her life was about to take a devastating turn for the
worse. Her parents are killed in a road accident and the business they had built up, in
buy to let schemes, falls on Gemma. However, they didn’t buy houses, but land, letting
it out to farmers. Now our Gemma not only has farmers to deal with, but relatives trying
to take over, and a boyfriend she has to hide away. For a young girl, who has only ever
had ten pounds in her pocket and now owns White Cliff Estates worth millions, the
pressures are beginning to take their toll in ways she cannot imagine.
Fairies - I’ve always wanted to write fairy stories. Not the stories where the fairy carries
a magic wand and sprinkles fairy dust, but of little people who live in the wood, or at the
bottom of the garden. Their only difference to humans was the females are able to fly,
have learnt to talk to other residents of the wood, and of course their size. However, as
the woods disappear and gardens no longer have wild areas, the fairies lives are
changing as well. Now they struggle to exist in a world of change and keep their simple
way of life away from humans.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing ten years ago. I was looking at my computer, that for some years had
only been used for accounts and designing electronic systems, which had come to an
end. So I just opened the word processor and began to write. The story wasn’t very
good, but it left me with a sense of bewilderment. I’d lived the characters, became
entwined in their lives and even though they were fictional and didn’t exist outside of my
mind, they were so real. I knew then this is what I wanted to do.
What genre do you prefer to write in?
I don’t have a preference. Except I put so much into my books that a simple ‘who done
it’ played out across thirty or fifty chapters, I couldn’t do. I think my detective would have
sorted the whole lot out in five chapters and I’d be left twiggling my thumbs wondering
what to write next.
What is your biggest writing achievement to date?
When a stranger is prepared to spend their own hard earned cash and splash out on
one of my books, I feel a sense of responsibility that I’ve done my very best for that
reader and they haven’t wasted their money. But when they buy again, that is my
What inspired you to write your books?
I’ve already mentioned how I began to write. Now I can’t really see me doing anything
else. I suppose I’m like most writers. Exactly like the reader who engrosses themselves
in the book, the writer is the book. It’s their world, be it fiction or non-fiction, there is no
other human experience that can better it.
Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord
I loved Enid Blyton as a child. Not the very young books, but more the five books. The
adventures were simple, perhaps very basic, except they had a life of their own and she
really knew how to do that. If I could get close to her skills, then I’d be happy.
What book are you reading now, and would you recommend it?
I’ve just finished ‘Dark Tidings’ by Ken Magee, an Irish writer. This is his very first book
and I must say I’m impressed. He’s managed to bring two very different worlds together.
The time past when wizards were at work coupled with the modern and a computer
hacker trying to take down a bank. I must say if the wizard could actually do spells to
order, it would have been very boring. But this wizard has no idea what will happen till
he casts a spell and very hilarious it is, especially after one such spell catapults him into
the twenty first century. This is a writer to watch; he has a very fertile mind and knows
how to entertain.
What are your current projects?
I receive hundreds of emails asking when the next trafficker book is coming out. I’ve just
completed one called ‘Goin Goin Sold’ which came out last December. My final
trafficker book to complete the set of five is the most ambitious yet. At the moment I’ve
called it ‘The Royal Grandchild’ and this time our heroine of all the trafficker books,
Lieutenant Karen Harris CGC, will be pushed to the limit. I’ll say no more except the title
tells you a great deal.
Where and when do you do most of your writing?
I’ve a spare bedroom, which is really these days the computer room. I live in a 17th
century farmhouse and the windows in my room look out across the valley. In the late
afternoon the sun streams through one of the windows and the sunsets are sometimes
breath-taking. I’m still working, although now semi-retired. But I will often work until the
early hours. Time seems to go so fast.
What would you say was the hardest part of writing your books?
I’m not a planner, like most writers. Which for a ‘who done it’ is essential to bring all the
components together. I write as I think. The story evolves and comes to a natural
conclusion. I don’t have a memory block, but after a large book I like to break away and
effectively get the book out my mind. After ‘Unit T Special Forces’, which was at the
time the ultimate book on trafficking, I took a break before ‘Goin Goin Sold’, to write my
fairy stories. They were simple, 10,000 words, fun and so so different. I really enjoyed
Who designed your book covers – and was the cover something you deemed
I design my own covers, except ‘Plagarma’ which needed more of a fantasy cover. For
me the design of the cover is part of the writing of the book and should depict to book in
some way. I know what I want and play around until I get it.
In the fairy stories I went one step further. All the pictures, and there are forty in each
book, I did myself. Perhaps not professional, but there again I wrote the books for fun,
published them to effectively give away, so I’m happy with the result.
I also do my own movies for you tube to introduce my books. I’ve done nine to date.
You can find them on http://www.raggedcover.com/youtube.htm
Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel
that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?
My very first effort ‘Michelle Must Die’ was published by a publishing company at their
expense. Unfortunately me and a great many other writers, never received a penny in
royalty, the owners ran away with the money, so in some ways I was very disillusioned
with the publishing industry.
However, I’m quite computer literate and already had the programs that the publishers
were using, so there wasn’t any difficulty in typesetting the novel to publishing standard.
For around seventy pounds I can have a book set up in POD with a sample, besides
available across the world. So I don’t need publishers any more.
On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?
For me self-publishing has been successful, with 12,000 books sold last year.
Realistically though the paperback route for ninety per cent of authors is no longer
there. We are down to less than a thousand books shops and the shelf space is tiny for
fifty thousand new books a year. So it has to be accepted, only the very few, with solid
financial backing, will ever see the book shelf.
For most writers the ebook option is the only route to market. It shouldn’t be frowned
upon, because even Amazon is admitting the ebook sales have now past paper book
sales. It will only be a matter of time before the paperback as a fictional novel will be a
thing of the past. Unfortunately printing cost and reducing shelf space, to sell the book,
will see to that.
Where can we buy your books?
My books are available all over the world, both in paper back and for book readers such
as Kindle, Sony, Nook and iPad and may be ordered from any book shop. I also have
an Amazon shop called Keith’s Amazon http://www.keithsamazon.co.uk where you can
buy for your Kindle, or paperback, using your Amazon account. Alternatively off this web
Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?
I have a face book page http://www.facebook.com/keith.hoare1
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Most writers in their heart of hearts become very upset with criticism. You have to
accept that these days, since the coming of the ebook, there are a great many vindictive
people, who seem to take a delight in scathing writers work. You need to be hard
skinned and laugh it off. Only another writer knows just how much work goes into a
novel, and any completed work is an achievement. How good the finished product is,
did it work, was it readable, only time will tell. But do your best to get it right, don’t rush
to publish, make sure the little typos are sorted out and try to get someone, who isn’t a
friend or a relative, to give it a once over. Readers will often see what you don’t, so take
their comments seriously, don’t get on your high horse and ignore advice. Except
remember the first write is the one with passion, don’t keep changing in a belief it
enhances the work. You risk watering down the passion and the story soon becomes
A good example is poetry. Poetry written under stress, such as a death in the family,
difficult illnesses, or financial problems, are often the best poems. They have that little
extra that you cannot often create when life is comfortable.
And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?
I know just how difficult it is to write and hope you have been inspired a little from my
own experience. Writing is a diversion from reality, but unlike the reader, you as the
writer controls the world, the characters, their hopes and their dreams. It is as much as
a responsibility as reality, which is what writing fiction is all about.
Good luck with your writing. Extract from a blog interview site
Interview with Keith