Author Interview: Michael Ross

Tell us something about your book.

My Fairy Garden is a book that I had written to help and inspire children, particularly through lockdown. I invited young children to draw me fairies and name them and I put them in my book. I thought I may get 10 tops? In fact I ended up with 72!

Who is the ideal reader for your book?

Everyone. Particularly children but also the teens and parents and Grandparents who love to read fairy stories to their children

What inspired you to write it?

I started to write a series called The Big Fairy Adventures at the start of the Covid lockdown last year. So for the children and myself I built a fairy garden. It became very popular. Then towards the end of the year someone complained to the council that it was ‘Inappropriate?? I was ordered to take it up. They said I need a license to keep it where it was, but even if I did buy one, they still wouldn’t allow it because the rules state no water features (which it has) and no fairies!?? Anyway I am rebuilding it in my front garden. They can’t touch it there and it will be bigger and better than  before.

What message would you like readers to take away from your book?

That there are things in life that are magical. As children, we all loved fairies and fairy stories then, as adults, we grow away from them. The good news is that one day, an adult will be old enough to start reading and enjoying fairy stories again.

Share an excerpt from your book.

It is a known fact that there is evidence

of fairies all around us.

“Where?” you say.

Just watch a large black and yellow striped bumblebee

on a warm sunny day.

Have you ever noticed how it looks a little sluggish?

Have you ever noticed how the bumblebee keeps bumping into things?

Like flowerpots and flowers, but then off

it goes again, in a squiggly line, as if it has

had a little too much nectar?

Ah! That is because fairies are driving them!

They sit on top and nudge the bees with their little knees

in the direction they want to go.

This all helps the young fairies to learn how to control flight.

Did you dare to believe that your book will be published when you started writing?

Oh yes. I am an indie publisher anyway, and have already written 18 books. But this particular book has given more a thrill and satisfaction that any of my previous books

How long did you write the first draft? And how long did the editing and re-editing take?

I am a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. I rarely write drafts…the stories come out of my head and onto the page. I have some bestsellers, so this works for me. I do have an editor who tells me off all the time, but with this book, because of its simplicity, myself and a program called Grammarly professional  sorted the editing

Can you share your writing rituals/habits/process?

I don’t like anything too structured. If there is a hint of a normal day, I will get up, catch up on emails, have a coffee, go for a power walk then write. I can write for 5 hours or more. I write until something tells me I need to eat, but similarly, there are days I don’t write, I go out for a long walk and breathe in lots of fresh air.

Who was your first literary crush?

It has to be Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. Love that book. The power of the English language to convey and whole plethora of emotions. How poor Lizzie struggled to deal with Mr. Darcy and how she couldn’t believe she was falling in love with him.

Did you imagine yourself as an author in your teens?

No. It was only 10 years ago I visited a clairvoyant who suggested I write. So I did, and I haven’t looked back

What was the first book that made you fall in love with reading?

As a school boy, it was all the books, sci fi books by Michael Moorcock. They were not big books but he was prolific.

Did a book ever make you cry? (Which one?)

Sad to say none made me cry, however, some were very emotionally troubling for me, like Mila 18 by Leon Uris. I hate to read about injustices performed by humans on other humans

Which literary character did you want to take to bed as an 18-year-old?

It wasn’t a literary chartacter, it was a film character. The voluptuos Racqel Welsh in ‘One Million Years BC’ OMG! When my teenage hormones were going AWOL, she would have been the one for me.

Do you sing under the shower? Or to your plants?

More like I talk to my plants. I can sing, but the weather has a nasty habit of raining when I do.

Do you like to cook? What is your specialty?

Oh yes, love cooking. I lived in the far north of Nigeria from the age of 1. And there was one dish loved by all ages, it is called Groundnut Stew. A little like an indrian Korma consistancy. It is made wth peanuts and chicken, and served on a bed of rice, with ‘side dishes’ ranging from fried onions, plantains, to orange, tomatoes. Oh heck, my mouth is watering now!

Do you have a pet?

I have two, a Cockapoo called Ruby and a French Bulldog called Bella. I have always had dogs

What is the most romantic thing you ever did?

I had a girlfriend who was staying with me. She had had a horrible stressy day at work. When she arrived home I cooked her a nice meal, then I sneaked upstairs in my house, poured a big hot bath, put essence of lavendar in and literally lit a 100 tlights and placed them everywhere in the bathroom, and told her there was a surprise. When she went in, she went, „Ohhhh! I didn’t see her for a couple of hours!

What is the most romantic thing someone did for you?

I am also a muscian and actor, patrticularly the piano. Played since I was 4. My partner at the time took me away for a weekend break to a lovely hotel. And that night at the evening meal in this ballroom. The curtains of the staGE Part4d and there , with a grand piano, was my hero of classical piano playing, John Lil ( winner of the Tchaikovsky competition)

Do you believe in love?

Yes, of course, and in it’s many forms

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