Roland Page never imagined that he would be an author one day. He originally found a company called Pearl Gallery Tattoos around 27 years ago and he eventually became a famed tattoo artist in the St. Louis area. Several years ago he was unfortunately diagnosed with Lupus and that’s when things spiraled down for Roland. Since he was stricken with the incurable disease, he experienced depression which impacted both his physical and mental health. Despite his depression and condition, there was a silver lining to all his suffering. As his sons took over the business, he discovered a newfound passion – writing. Roland managed to write a novel as a therapy for his depression.
Fast forward to today, Roland Page has just released a fictional novel called “Eating The Forbidden Fruit“. The plot of the book revolves around a police officer convicted of federal crimes related to his childhood street affiliations. It’s a gritty fictional novel based on true events in his life as a St. Louis police officer who was convicted of federal crimes. It’s a heart-stopping tale of karma, confession, and redemption. In his latest novel, he takes readers on a roller coaster ride of his journey searching for the answer to the big question: “Where did I go wrong?”
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Roland to discuss his latest book and here’s what went down:
Can you please tell us about yourself and how you got started writing your first novel?
I actually started back in 1997 but I never completed the book because my statute of limitations was not up yet. I didn’t want to create any repercussions for myself or any parties involved in my case. It just blew to the wayside. However, two years ago, my mother Fumi Karasawa passed away and I promised her that I would finish what I started. I felt everything was going wrong for me – my mother’s death plus I have Lupus which played a factor in my depression. My family encouraged me to write to manage my psyche. Therefore, it was a method of accomplishing two missions.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
At times I get writer’s block and I have to shift my focus onto other artistic avenues like sketching tattoo designs. It allows my mind to rest.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Truthfully, I don’t consider myself an author as of yet – that’s something I have to earn. We will see down the line where my career goes. I wrote about a topic that would not require much research and one that I’m very familiar with. What better story than my life right? It allows me to archive memories from my past, leave a blueprint for my legacy to be read, and redeem my past sins through confession. It’s something I owe to my wife since she has stood by my side through the storm.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. So, I have no regret nor would I change anything. Besides, during my younger years, I was more of a reader.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
A sense of accomplishment. When I finally finished the book I exhaled and looked up to the heavens and said, “I did it, mama.”
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Stress without a doubt. Especially during this pandemic because I was so paranoid since Lupus is one of the number one targets of COVID 19.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Anytime you self-publish it requires a financial commitment that a majority of indie writers don’t have. In such a crisis where the economy has come to a standstill, it’s difficult to invest when you don’t have money. You get the results of what you put in.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Words are powerful. I learned that during my military and law enforcement years. One’s posture or words can dictate what direction a situation will go. Even during my trial, it was extremely important how I worded my statements.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Funny you ask, during this pandemic my first novel “Eating the Forbidden Fruit” has just been launched on Amazon. The quarantine has provided me with an abundance of leisure time so I was also able to complete my second book called ”Skin Deep” which is based on the drama around the Body Art industry. It gives light to any temptations or comical situations an artist encounters. This is more based on my son’s careers though.
Can you tell us more about your first novel “Eating the Forbidden Fruit?”
It’s a story based on true events in my past profession as a St. Louis police officer convicted of federal crimes due to my childhood affiliations. It’s a tale of karma, confession, and redemption. I classify it as an urban crime fiction to protect the privacy of the characters involved. Several characters in my book have moved on with their lives so I wouldn’t want to open old wounds.
What kind of research did you do for this book, and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?
That was the simplicity of it. Everything flowed so naturally. When a person encounters a traumatic experience, it scratches their soul forever. It was a matter of translating it onto paper. It allowed me to remember some of the good old times from my childhood.
We note that during the pandemic you have encountered depression, how did writing help you manage your mental health?
It’s a method to distract me from my woes. Writing about my good and bad experiences make me realize how fortunate I am to be here. I have fallen from grace more than once. What defines one character is how they rebound. I consider myself a warrior.