This week we got to know Kelvin Smith, one of our local Welsh authors with a knack for humorous rhyme, and discover where his inspiration comes from and why he started to write in the first place...
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, I'm Kelvin Smith, I'll be 66 next month, I have two grown up sons and 5 grandchildren.
I live in Cilfynydd, Pontypridd, South Wales.
My two main hobbies are Athletics (watching now!) and of course writing poetry and rhymes.
What first inspired you to start writing?
My first English Literature teacher at Secondary school, Mrs Sheen got me started in writing.
I was just 11 at the time, and she praised me for the poem she asked us to write.
I wasn't used to praise back then in a 60s Secondry school, so I felt quite chuffed and it obviously started me off on my life's obsession with writing.
What made you want to work with Rowanvale and be published?
I had two books published with an American company, and wasn't particularly happy with their decisions about the book price and format etc.
I'd read many good references written about Rowanvale, and soon learned that they were patient and down to earth, with plenty of advice, which gave me confidence and trust.
They were very complimentary about my books and did everything from the editing stage, right through to the printing.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
My favourite Authors are, Dickens, Agatha Christie, and Alan Sillitoe (Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner)
Again, it was Mrs Sheen who introduced these authors to us pupils by reading their stories to us throughout the term. I loved, Great Expectations.
Which work are you most proud of?
The last two books that I've had published with Rowanvale, Why Do I Look Like the Milkman Mam?, and, Poo-etry for Kids.
These books gave me the most positive feedback from readers, especially the children's book.
What’s your best advice for handling writer's block?
I never seem to get writer's block, I can't help looking and listening to my surroundings, especially peoples' conversations, and with my own life experiences, there's always something buzzing around in my head.
What’s one thing you always have with you when you’re writing?
At one time I always carried a note book and pen, but now it's so easy to type any ideas that come to mind on my phone, especially when out and about.
I know only too well from experience, that if an idea isn't written down immediately, then it's forgotten and lost forever.
What is the one book you would take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
I think the book I would take, would be The Essential Spike Milligan. I love his writing and poems, and the fact that he is absolutely crazy, but very very clever.
What is the best part about being an independently published author?
I can write things at my own pace, and use my own ideas whilst still getting all the advice and help I require.
What’s next for you?
Just writing really, I have two more books ready for publishing, a children's book, and an adult poetry book, (I say 'adult', because my books usually contain adult humour).
I love doing a book launch, where I normally get a good crowd listening to my work and antics, but because of the present situation with the virus, and social distancing, it would be impossible to do, so I'm just holding back until such time as it's safe to do so.