S4 Ep 5 – New Rock New Role

Richard Sparks has been successful in so much of his work from writing The Schoolmaster, performed by Rowan Atkinson, to aiding an opera singer to launch her career. The one area he couldn’t seem to get into was fiction writing, until now that is. On today’s episode, I am so excited to have writer and author Richard Sparks on the show to discuss his prior pieces of work as well as his new fantasy novel! Richard shares what it was like to work with John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, and others. At the end of the episode, we hear a clip from his new fantasy story, New Rock New Role that talks about a man who gets sucked into a video game and is trying to understand how he got there. This is Richard’s take on how it would feel to be a character in one of the games that he frequently plays.

The clip we hear is from early on in the book and series, and there is more to come! Grab a free audio book chapter and ebook chapter or buy the full novel released December 12 on his website – www.richardsparks.com!



  • [1:37] Richard tells us about what he’s been doing and the work he’s done with John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and others.
  • [6:38] A clip from The Schoolmaster by Richard Sparks and Rowan Atkinson.
  • [10:14] Richard tells us about his experience in the music industry.
  • [11:58] Richard shares about his new project, a fantasy, and how it was inspired from real life.
  • [19:45] A clip from New Rock New Role read and written by Richard Sparks.



  • Richard doesn’t take credit for launching people off into their careers, he says they are all a collaborative relationship, where both sides are needed to be successful.
  • Comedy is fear and pain and misery and disasters and things going wrong and people falling into puddles and betrayals and miscommunications and what good adventure isn’t full of that.
  • Richard struggled to become a fiction writer because he couldn’t connect with the content. He has now finally embraced fiction writing now that he can use his own voice.


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Fiction and Schoolmaster Credits:

Excerpt written by: Richard Sparks

Excerpt narrated by: Richard Sparks

Schoolmaster Clip performed by: Rowan Atkinson

Schoolmaster Clio written by Richard Sparks



Born in England, and a graduate of Oxford University (Exeter College, where, like both JRR Tolkien and Philip Pullman before him, he read English), Richard started out as a writer of stage plays, comedy revues and TV, for such shows as Not the Nine o’clock News. Rowan Atkinson performed his Schoolmaster sketch in John Cleese’s The Secret Policeman’s Ball. UK TV credits include The Famous Five, The Flying Kiwi, The Optimist, The Worst of Hollywood, and a lot of script editing. On being hired by Columbia Pictures TV, Richard moved with his family to Los Angeles. His lyrics have been recorded by talents as diverse as Dom de Luise, Eric Idle, Vanessa Williams and Plácido Domingo. He has written libretti for several new operas composed by Lee Holdridge (TV’s Beauty and the Beast, et al.), produced by the LA Opera, as well writing new English versions of German and Italian classics. His non-fiction books, Diary of a Mad Poker Player, and its sequel, Getting Lucky, chronicle his adventures in the poker boom of the 2000’s. Along the Cherry Lane is his biography of the music producer, Milt Okun. “High Adventure Spiced with Low Comedy,” inspired by his love of online role-playing games, New Rock New Role is the first of four volumes Richard has written so far in the New Rock fantasy series, and is his fiction debut.

Richard Spark’s Website

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Buy New Rock New Role Fantasy Novel Today!

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