Oliver Phipps is an author, entrepreneur and adventurer. He served as a Paratrooper in the United States Army and studied at MSC.
In the late 1980’s through mid 90’s Oliver pursued his love of music. He enjoyed travelling, playing percussion and writing lyrics for popular bands. During this time Oliver also began writing short stories and articles.
After playing for thousands through the fall and winter of 1996 Oliver’s band abruptly disbanded. In early spring of 1997 Oliver, along with a good friend and guitarist got together with the intention to form a new group. But rather than form a new band the two put together an expedition plan for travelling to Northern Canada and Alaska in order to prospect for gold.
Leaving in April of 1997 Oliver and company travelled up the historic AL-CAN highway. After exploring the Yukon and Northwest territories of Canada as well as the Arctic Circle the team travelled over the Top of the World highway to Alaska.
1999-2000 Oliver travelled through Asia, visiting Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan among other countries.
In 2004 Oliver published his first book and continues to write books, articles and short stories. Currently Oliver and family reside happily in the U.S.
It’s a pleasure for us to be interviewing Oliver and we hope that you’d enjoy reading this post while getting to know him better.
Describe yourself in five words.
Laid back, multi-tasking, adventurer.
How long have you been writing?
Well, my mother has a story that I wrote when I was around ten years old maybe, I’m not for certain on the age. Anyway, she tells me the story is great. I suspect it’s more of her being my mother than the story actually being that good. Nevertheless, it is a reference point for how long I’ve had an interest in writing and put forth an effort to do so.
As for the story, I’ve decided to take my mother’s word on it being great, rather than reading it again. I figure in this case, what I don’t know won’t hurt me.
Why do you write?
It’s a creative outlet for me. When I was younger I played drums and wrote lyrics in a number of bands. As I began to do that less and less, writing filled the void. I suspect we all have an artistic nature of some sort. For me, writing satisfies a need to be creative.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose it was after The House on Cooper Lane hit the best-seller list. Even then it took a while to sink in. But, to see it as a best-seller gave me a sense of confidence that I could write and that people were interested in my work. Up to that point, I felt that I was a writer, but perhaps without any external justification to base it on. After my first best-seller, I knew it was for real.
How long does it take to write a book?
Generally, I would say a year to complete the first draft. I seldom work on one story at a time though. I’ll move back and forth from one project to another. A reason for this is that it helps me resolve plot issues or improve storylines. If I get to a point that I need to think about something for a while, I’ll put that story aside and work on another one. As I’m working on it, I’m also considering what to do on the previous one. It’s a system that works well for me. But it can also stretch things out. For example, the first novel to be released in 2017 has been three years in the making.
What writing are you most proud of?
At this time, the story I’m most fond or proud of would be A Tempest Soul. The story is not an overly complex plot. The main character doesn’t save the world or defeat a master villain. Yet, in her small universe, she overcomes almost impossible odds, and rises to impressive heights.
A Tempest Soul has been a number one best-seller in its category for almost a year now. Its not dropped below the top ten all year. So, I feel it’s special for a lot of other people as well. And, it is, as of yet, the most organic novel that I’ve produced.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Third person omniscient. It’s likely the only style I’ll ever use. I’ve tried several other techniques, such as first person POV. But there seems to be no other method that enables the freedom of third person omniscient. Though it has its drawbacks, it’s my style of choice and I’ll stay with it unless I absolutely have to change in order to relay a story properly.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I try to review the positive things in my life rather than negatives. It could be the idea of taking a look at how far we’ve come every once in a while, rather than always looking at how far we need to go.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family has been great in regards to my writing. My younger brother has given me a lot of valuable feedback over the years. Everyone in my family has been supportive on some level. My mother has expressed some concern about content. But she’s not what you would call a science fiction or paranormal fan either, so that is to be expected I suppose.
How do you write – lap-top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Well, in the light of modern technology, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I wrote my first book by pen and paper. My wife then typed it up on the computer and began the editing process. I would also like to mention that was fourteen years ago. I could use a computer and word processor at the time, but the writing had more flow as I hand wrote it.
Since that first book, I’ve moved to a computer and would have difficulty considering any other way. I have several desktops as well as a laptop that I use to write. On occasions I will even use my tablet. I generally write at a desk or at times sitting at our dinning table with my laptop. I consider it a type of work so I don’t get too relaxed or I would end up falling asleep mid-sentence.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
I’ve found a place in my writing that success means enriching other people’s lives in some small way. Certainly, as writers we must have some form of financial success in order to continue in our art. But, I feel that setting the first goal as producing a quality work of art, intended to enrich the lives of others, is a pure and respectable endeavor for any artist. If I can achieve that on a broad level then I’ll consider my writing career successful.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
Some of my fans may not know this, but I’m a gamer. I do watch some movies and read, but I have a number of games that I play to help me relax. I’m telling ya, after killing a few dozen monsters in an alternate reality, I’m feeling pretty good! My oldest daughter is a gamer and we have a lot of fun watching each other play or discussing tactics for a certain game.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone, dead or alive, who would you ask?
Oh, I would certainly ask George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla would get an invite, though I would need to keep them in separate rooms…. 🙂 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.R.R. Tolkien and Mark Twain without a doubt. And, to give it some class, I think Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker and Goldie Hawn.
Check out these links below to get to know more about Oliver or to buy his book.
Amazon author page: