Roland Moore is an award-winning series creator and scriptwriter who works in a wide range of genres for film and television in the UK, America, and China. We’re so excited to welcome him to the HaperImpulse team and work together to bring his brilliant series (and personal favourite of ours) Land Girls to the page.
2. Place and date of birth
Redhill, Surrey. 7th April 1974.
3. What was your first ever job?
I worked Saturdays in a supermarket on produce for a bit. It was great fun until the day I found put my hand in a banana box and found a live Tarantula. The spider ran away and hid in a crack in the warehouse. Worryingly we never found it. Now I try to avoid jobs that involve live Tarantulas.
4. Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to write – and always written. Writing consumed all my spare time whenever it could. In fact, in my first ever interview – for a job in a pensions company – I was asked the standard question of “where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” to which I replied “Writing for TV”. It wasn’t the answer they wanted to hear. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get the job!
5. What inspired you to start writing?
As a child, I happened to watch some re-runs of episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and I loved the idea of a short story set up so that it had a massive twist at the end. So I started writing my own Twilight Zone episodes as prose in an old accounts ledger book (I think it was all that I had to hand). My Nan – the avid reader – would read them, so I felt I had an audience for my work. From there, I started writing comics for my friends and eventually a full-length horror novel. And then more TV.
6.When did you realise your potential as a writer?
Showing my early stories to my Nan and getting her honest feedback about what worked and what didn’t was a massive step forward for me. I think your potential is something that grows and changes with each new piece of writing – and I view the whole process of writing as a learning experience, trying to improve as a story teller with each new project. Anyone who thinks they have nothing else to learn is misguided in my opinion.
7.What was the inspiration for your novel?
Land Girls was inspired by one image – a photograph showing two elderly ladies in their seventies trying to look over a high brick wall. One was standing on the other’s wheelchair to try to see. Beyond the wall were the rectory grounds where they had been billeted as Land Girls during the war – and they’d gone back years and years later, one final time, to see it.
It was this image showing both indomitable spirit and nostalgia that started me on the course of creating the TV series and now the novels.
8.What is the best advice anyone has given you about writing?
Don’t worry about making mistakes as you only have to show the writing to other people when you’re happy with it. If you believe that the process of writing a first draft is for your benefit only, then it will really take the pressure off.
9. Aside from writing, what is your favourite thing to do?
I love country walks, reading, cinema and theatre. I would watch films all the time if I could!
10.What are your top ten favourite books?
Not all my favourites and not ten, because that’s an ever-changing list, but these ones have left an impression for one reason or another:
Things We Have In Common by Tasha Kavanagh. A creepy and twisting tale of obsession told by an unreliable narrator.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. It’s a classic – obviously – what more can I add?
The Magic Cottage by James Herbert. One of the first books I read that had a genuine gasp-out-loud twist in it. Before this, I didn’t know that twists could be so effective in written form.
Misery by Stephen King. A beautifully tense two-hander and it’s about a writer too, which gives added interest.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. I liked how this took the diary form and gave it a fresh twist for a new audience.
Till We Meet Again by Judith Krantz. The first time I’d read an epic saga novel – and it covered a huge time period in three women’s lives so it was interesting to see how that all developed and played out.
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut. I love how this book sets up two stories and interweaves them, until you’re desperate for the characters to meet – and then the meeting is so cursory and thrown away so brilliantly.
11. If you could ride off into the sunset with a fictional character, who would you choose and why?
This isn’t going to cause any problems at home (!) I think Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair would keep me on my toes.