Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A Work in Progress by Rocky Rochford


Hi there, I'm Rocky Rochford. Author of Wait and Bleed, London Calling, Scars and Souvenirs and the writer behind the fantasy series of The Rise of the Elohim Chronicles, which Ashleigh Longman illustrates.

Today however, I would like to tell you about my latest and greatest work. I know that comes across as being a bit braggy and oh so vainglorious, but A Work in Progress is a whole different ballgame compared to my previous works. Sure every protagonist I write is flawed, thoughtful and even philosophical in their own way, but Sam Snider is all that and more for he is truly alive.

Every page of his story and yes it is his story, just reeks of life as he is so much more than words on the page. Snider is living possibility himself. He is the person we did not become, but the person, the voice that exists inside us all that calls out when we're alone in the dark, afraid of life and sad. But I've said all that and I have yet to talk about the book, so let's correct that. Only because Snider is so real and opinionated as you will find out should you read the book, I'm going to let him tell you why you should read the book, but first, here's an extract:


Half-empty glass of rum to my right, begging to be drained as a swirl of smoke drifted upward. The only light on in my dingy piece-of-crap shack was the light emitting from my computer screen, illuminating my average-looking mug.
Death is a funny old thing; sure, she does, in fact, affect us in different ways, but there are still a few things that are always the same: loss and change. Whoever says death changes nothing, they’ve clearly never lost anyone in their life. Death can change our entire world; the trick is to not let it.
I never learned that trick.I used to be someone.
Well, someone who was about to become someone.
I never really thought that much of myself as a writer. I did it because I enjoyed it, and then when the first book was published and started to sell fairly well, I really enjoyed it.
So much so, I worked on my second book.
Then on a third.
But then everything went wrong. Just as my dream of becoming an international best-selling author was within my grasp, it all slipped away.
Sure, I could have tried harder to grab it with both hands, but the truth is, I threw it away.
I was a twenty-one year old on the verge of having it all, and despite my increasing success, I still lived at home with my sister and our parents.
Our older brother used to live with us too, but he moved out, met a girl, and things got very serious. Then they moved away.
Far away.
And due to not having seen him in months, our parents decided to pay our brother a visit. They could have driven to his place in France (rather, should have driven), but they wanted to fly out and surprise him instead.
The plane never arrived at its destination, and its demise was broadcast on every news channel on TV.
That whole day I felt like something was wrong, but I never acted on it. Instead I said goodbye and let them go on their way, and now they were being reported as dead.
No survivors.
That was the day my parents died.
The day I had to sit my eighteen-year old sister down and tell her what happened.
The day I had to make the worst phone call of my life, to my brother.
And the day everything changed.
I bid farewell to success and allowed myself to be another author whose name became lost to the ages and sent myself into the bottom of as many bottles I could lay my hands on.
That was almost three years ago, and I look back to that moment every day.
But what’s the point in thinking of what-ifs and wishing to the change the past? The past is set, and there’s bugger all anyone can do to change that.
Mind you that is all a bit too much information too soon for just the first chapter, but then some people have their way of doing things and I have mine.
And I’m the one telling this story.
So here I sit in shadowy squalor, a heavy-drinking, failed writer, living in London who spends half his time looking after his sister and the other half worrying about her.
My name is Sam Snider and this is my life now.




So, I'm guessing this is the part where I take over? Okay, I suppose I can do that. My name is Sam Snider and like it says above, I am a heavy-drinking, failed writer living in London who has had his fair share of family issues, what with my parents dying in an accident and all, but hey, I didn't let it affect me. Okay that's a lie, I let it affect me a lot, but life is like-wait I just realised children might be reading this so I shan't swear and use the analogy I was going to, so instead we'll use this one instead, "when life makes lemons, make lemonade." Anyway, like Rochford said, A Work in Progress is my story, I am the titular work in progress as the novel is about my redemption. My choice. My life. The story of a broken man who acts more like an ignorant foul mouthed boy who gets himself involved in a lot of sticky situations shall we say? (In case it's not obvious I am referring to a lot of sex. I am something of a man-nope, can't say that either because of the kids. I'm a lush.) So yeah, I'm no stranger to trouble, and apparently I don't very much care about women who are in a relationship as I do a whole lot of nasty with a married woman.

But yes, I am a very emotional and fragile wreck, but thankfully I have the ever beautiful Rosy by my side and because I can't really be arsed to talk about the book because I'm not that kind of an author, I'm going to tell you about the characters who are in it instead. (If you haven't quite realised it yet, I am quite the character who has a certain bluntness to him and has a rhyme about that, but it involves using a terrible word that I shan't share here today.) So let's talk about the women in my life.


Gabby: 

Gabby is my younger sister and I love that girl to bits most days but she is a real handful, but that's my fault. I'm not responsible for our parents dying the way that they did, but I'm responsible for making her become the person that she did. I dragged her into the depths of despair with me and turned her into a booze hound who believes the only way to live and feel connected to someone is to go out all night partying.
If I'm honest, we have a terrible relationship, made worse by the fact I pretty much force her to paint just so I can make her have something of a career and cash to live on, but one day we'll sort things out. (I hope.)


Taylor:

Taylor is Gabby's best friend. An "actress" who never acts (yes you read that correctly,) and she is a total freaking nightmare. She might be fine around other people, but I am torn between punching her or shagging her, because she has that kind of effect on me. She also brings out a side of me that I tried to leave behind when I moved to London, but I just flat-out don't trust her. There is something about her that isn't right and come the end of the novel, you too will know exactly what it is.


Miranda: 

Ah Miranda, a beautiful human being with a beautiful behind! Back when I was an author, she was my publicist and she really did help my career take off and took my pants off. I was an inexperienced boy and when she opened her legs up to me, so did the world. I had believed our story had ended and yet, thanks to certain circumstances she is back in my life and yet despite all my experiences and knowledge, in her presence I am still just a child, crying in the dark.


Rosy: 

My darling Rosy. My saviour and the love of my life. Due to a troubled childhood that forced her to runaway, Rosy had to take to life on the streets and do what she could to survive, including sell herself. Yes she is by definition a prostitute, but she also has a soul like no other. If it was not for her, I would still be where I was nearly three years ago, or at least two years ago. She was the woman I paid to act as my therapist because I was too cheap to go see a real one and it is hard to picture a life without her and yet, it is the very thing she keeps driving me towards. Such a beautiful person, even with all her flaws, but the biggest is the fact she tries to use every little thing to separate us, only I won't let it.



Those four women all play a special role in A Work in Progress, not because I shag half of them, but they are the reasons as to why I am the way I am and why I try to do better, become better and you know what, they also helped me write the best ending my book could ever have, so if not for anything else, it is for that I am thankful.  Anyway, I really hate talking about myself so here's an extract of my choosing (it's the cleanest one I could find that is somewhat funny. Does involve swearing but none of the erotic stuff you can expect.)


I waited two additional minutes after Taylor asked such a thing before checking up on Gabby. Imagine my surprise when I found her spilling half the contents of her stomach all over what was once a blank canvas.“
Look Sam, I’ve finished the DeMichaels piece. They won’t notice the difference. Most of the artwork they collect looks like sick anyway,” she remarked, wiping a bit of vile drool off her chin with her wrist
I know I like to think I can sell most things.
But selling a piece of art that is literally vomit?
Even Lucifer would have a bit of trouble with that.
I’m just messing. We could both sell the shit out of it, but that would be letting Gabby get out of this the easy way.
“No way kid. I am not presenting that to them. You can start anew tomorrow. Now I’m going to whip you up something greasy to settle your stomach. Clean yourself up and be quick about it. We’re late.”
“Yes, Dad.”
And that was how I left her. Twenty minutes later we were strolling around the party and I was feeling a little bit pleased with Gabby. Out of the many different types of attire she could have donned, she went with the classic rock chick and with her stomach lined with a bacon and egg sandwich, she hadn’t felt the need to throw up since.
However, had we arrived on time, Mr Benjamin Smyth-Jefferson would have been at the door to personally see us in. Instead I had to settle for the butler, who took one look at my entourage and was ready to call security.
Why wouldn’t he?
Sure I was dressed to the nines, but Gabby and Taylor stood out like a sore thumb.
Pure commoners.
Like the prick was trying to keep us out.
The only difference between people like him and us, is he’s allowed money to corrupt him. He’s just like us, except he’s under the personal employ of rich snots, and has allowed such illusions of grandeur that he thinks he is in fact better than us, when in reality, he fucking isn’t.
I was sorely tempted to tell him all of that.
Would have gladly done so.
Instead though, because he put his hands on me to push our crowd back, I called him a jobsworth and gave him my name.
“Firstly, lay your hands on me again and I’ll break every bone in them. Secondly, the name is Sam F. Snider. F being short for Sam Fucking Snider. I think you’ll find my name is on the list, under ‘Guest of Honour.’”
He wanted to punch me so bad.
And I really wanted him to.
Still I may have sworn and got rash, shall we say, at least I kept my words between us and him and not shouted them like most people would, so everyone inside would look at us with their judgmental gazes.
Scowling, he looked at the list and found my name.
“Sam Fucking Snider? Not on the list. There is a Snider though and one plus one. So Sam, which one is it going to be?”
“You’re right, I am confronted with a choice. What should I choose? The left or the right? Because I can knock you out with either hand.
”I didn’t doubt it for a second, he was going to kick off and I would have enjoyed the ruckus, but I was being foolish. I was letting all the anger and hate that consumes my very soul bubble and froth at the surface.
How very professional of me.
Fortunately though, Manny arrived and took care of things by whispering a few choice words to the doorman before waving us in.
Gabby stuck her tongue out at the prick as we passed. Taylor and I however were united as we gave the tosser the finger.
We soon stopped though when we realised we had the same reaction.
“Attending the Jefferson’s private party, you guys are moving up in the world,” Manny quipped.
I noted the jealousy.
We were guests.
He was being paid to serve drinks.
Speaking of, I pinched a tray of champagne glasses from a young, eye-catching server.
There were four glasses and I shared them out between us.
Manny didn’t even pretend to put up a fight.
As soon as she downed hers though, Gabby punched me in the arm. “So what was that back there? Getting all badass of a sudden?”
“Yeah Agent, what was that about? Picking fights with bouncers is usually my thing. Copycat.” The final word was mumbled under her breath, but being closest I heard it all the same.
“Something came over me, I guess,” I replied.
“Something? You mean someone. You reminded me of your old self. Where have you been hiding him? I’ve missed that guy.”
I didn’t even want to respond. I wasn’t quite sure if I should. Instead I looked down at the untouched glass of champagne in my hand and really pondered whether or not if I should drink it.
All signs indicated it was going to be one of those nights.
I could do with one.
But then again, drinking never solves anything.
I gave it to Manny and went off looking for the Jeffersons.


So yeah, I'm Sam Snider, my life is a rollercoaster and I'm inviting all of you to read it. Are there any questions? Ah bollocks, Rocky Rochford has one last thing he wants to say in a bid to get you interested in the book:




This is A Work in Progress.

On August 1st it will release on a varied number of websites. It will be available in digital and physical form and while it does have some similarities to other books and TV shows previously seen, the characters who drive the story are anything but normal. They're raw. In pain and their life is a bizarre one, especially that of the titular character Sam Snider, a work in progress on the path to redemption in a story that will make you laugh, gasp, cry and even get a little too hot under the colour.

If you want classic British put downs, A Work in Progress has it.

If you want a protagonist who takes no shit from anyone and speaks whatever comes to his minds first, A Work in Progress has it!

It also has a wide array of erotic scenes, a romance story that plays a huge role and so much humour that there are times you will not be able to help but piss yourself with laughter.

Its title may be A Work in Progress, but this work is my Masterpiece and soon, the whole world can read it!


A Work in Progress: The Life of a Disgraced Author

Snider was on the way to having it all—family, success and a movie deal. Then his parents died and he was never the same again. Fast forward a few years and Snider is a man who takes pride in punishing himself, forcing himself to live in squalor, as his sister lives it up in a luxurious apartment and enjoys the London night life.

With no drive and no ambition to take himself out of the rut he resides in, things are soon to change as the disgraced author will be forced to do things he swore never to do, whilst landing himself in some of craziest antics that are both comical and highly sexual.

My Review:

This book is an emotional autobiography of a figment of the authors imagination... or is it a biography?

The author delves into Sam's mind and transcribes his thoughts and actions onto the pages of the book.


Sam and the rest of the cast are well-fleshed out, flawed and unique individuals, making this an interesting and humorous read.






About Rocky Rochford:

Having lived by the coast my entire life, I am a water boy through and through who loves to scuba dive, wake-board and photographing animals in their underwater environment. As a writer, I am a self-proclaimed student of everyone and master of nothing, devoted to sharpening and challenging my skills of story-telling whenever possible, stories such as London Calling, Wait and Bleed and the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles. Every read of one of my typed works, is another trip into the imagination of my mixed up, crazed and deranged mind. Welcome to the World of Rochford.





Other Works by Rochford:



London Calling
(Espionage Thriller)

England, a nation under attack. The Prime Minister has been kidnapped, the Deputy PM murdered and MI6, the epitome of Intelligence, is descending into chaos. With moles leaking state secrets, M16—and the country—are being destroyed from within. All the tinder needs now is a match—and London will surely burn.


Wait and Bleed
(Horror)

First he will kill you when you are home alone and eat your chocolate cake, then he’ll slaughter your family as you sleep and even then he is just getting started. A psychopathic murderer is bad enough, worst still when they lose all sanity and desire nothing more than to build a body count higher than Everest as he drags you along with him for the ride, but sometimes even the Hunter becomes the Hunted. With the promise of death at every turn Jack wants to play a game, will you play with him?



Rise of the Elohim: The Eye of Mares
(Illustrated YA Fantasy)

Nearly four years have past since Zach drew blade against the Shanzi Shimay and now the time has come for him to draw his sword once more. The Realm of Mares has fallen victim to invasion as three terrifying beasts of darkness, seek to destroy the world around them, as they await the inevitable arrival of their King.
With dark times ahead, the numbers of the Watchers on Iris has grown, as Zach is joined by seven fellow students, all too eager to prove their worth. It's not long before the students are put to the test facing off against the Nein Navy and uncover a dark secret.
The stage is set and the Battle for Mares is under-way.



Scars & Souvenirs
(Collection of Emotional Thrillers)

Every scar tells a story, tales of loss, tales of regret. The scars on my arms an echo of when times were hard. The scars on my eyes of the dreaded horrors I can never unsee. The scars on my soul, a lasting memory of the sins that tore my soul apart. The scars on my heart caused from a love forever lost. And the scars on both my wrists, the end result of a failed attempt to end a life of woe. Some scars should never be open, but mine are and they refuse to heal.


The Invisible Man
(Short story Thriller)

When you're a bona fide nobody who no one pays much attention too, it's easy to get away with most things, but when you're the Invisible Man, well that's when you can get away with murder. This is the story of how the Invisible Man got his name.

All works are available on all Amazon sites, for Kindle

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