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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?
When I was a kid, I’d sit under the big tree in our backyard, staring up at the stars in the summer sky. Sometimes I would day dream about living on one of the distant planets overhead. Other times I’d entertain my little nephews with stories of pixies living in our tree. I’ve always had one foot in my own fantasy world. It surprised me to find that other people enjoyed listening to my stories as much as I enjoyed making them up. I decided to write them down, so I could continue to share them with other whimsy enthusiasts.
How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?
Knowing when to transition your writing hobby to a tangible piece of literature is a tough decision. Those secret stories you’ve written are part of you. Sending them out into the world is like exposing your inner most thoughts for public judgment. You should prepare yourself emotionally to face the hardships and negativity along the way.
Or you could do it like I did and say, “I’ve got nothing to lose. Out it goes!” I’d written the Heart of the Warrior series (six books in all) from beginning to end, never really thinking about the publishing part. It was a far off dream I’d kept at the back of my mind for several years. The Universe, however, has a way of giving you little pushes in life. Feeling stuck in a job I hated and not getting any happier, I decided it take stock of my life. What brought me the most joy? The answer was simple. I love writing. It fulfills me in ways nothing else does. What good is art or literature hidden away in a note book? I knew it was time for me to be brave and to share my stories with others.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Despite focusing on the darker side of human nature, I try to encourage hope channeled through the character who stands against impossible odds. This character might not be a pillar of civic pride, but they continue to strive for good no matter the hardships. My message is simple. One person can be a catalyst of change. Through their actions and attitudes, the catalyst can spark others toward a positive direction.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I love the moment when I’m wrapping up the first full draft of a book. This story idea I’ve been bouncing around in my head finally has legs. I still have a huge amount of work left, but I know who the characters are and what’s going to happen to them. It’s in this draft I can let my creativity run wild and I can still have fun with it.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
I started writing “The Heart Of The Warrior” series (The Lords of Valdeon is book one) back in 2004. Taking the entire series from beginning to end, I didn’t stop work until the drafts of all six books were finished. Ten years later, I’m hard at work rewriting the drafts. The hardest part of the writing process is cutting out your “pet scenes” or what I call “the author’s meanderings throughout the world.” It’s heart breaking sometimes to cut scenes or characters that just don’t make sense anymore.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
I’ll pass along the best writing advice I’ve ever gotten. This comes from a workshop taught by Joseph Finder, NYT Best Selling Thriller Author. “Write the crappy first draft!” His point – most new authors get stuck rewriting the same chapters over and over again as they receive critiques. They never finish the book.
Taking his advice, I focus on the story in my rough draft. I don’t worry about grammar, character development or ambient details. I sit down and finish the crappy draft. Then I let it sit for a few weeks. Returning to the manuscript with fresh eyes, I can go back through the story to fill in the gaps.
If you are able to finish the book from “Once Upon A Time…” to “The End” you are already way ahead of the game.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I’m obsessed with ghosts and hauntings. Once a year, I take a vacation to new historic (and hopefully haunted) hotels. My favorite ghost hunting playground is San Antonio, TX. The River Walk and the Alamo are excellent places to go paranormal sightseeing.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Official Website: http://crrichards.com/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.R Richards Biography
A huge lover of horror and dark fantasy stories, C.R. Richards enjoys telling tales of intrigue and adventure. Having began writing as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper, Richards has worn several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. She has now published a handful of novels, including Phantom Harvest – book one in The Mutant Casebook Series – which took home the EPIC eBook Award for Fantasy in 2014. Richards beat out entries from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and other English speaking countries.
The youngest of five army brats, Richards was born on a military base in Utah. She spent much of her childhood in the back of her family’s sky blue station wagon on trips to see her grandmother – who would show her how to spot faeries in the backyard. “Sometimes she’d put candy in small silk slippers and tell us the pixies had done it,” says Richards. “She’s the one who gave me my love of fantasy creatures.”
Her most recent literary projects include the horror short story, Lost Man’s Parish and the newly-released dark fantasy thriller, Pariah. She is an active member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Horror Writers Association.
In January, Richards releases her epic fantasy novel The Lords of Valdeon, the first installment in the Heart of the Warrior series. Through her storytelling, Richards aims to reach lovers of fantasy who are exploring alternatives to the traditional status quo. Her message is simple: One person can be a catalyst for change.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Lords of Valdeon – January 7, 2016
A new series from award winning Author, C.R. Richards: The epic tale of two men begins. The first – a man of honor trying desperately to turn his country from civil war. The other – a boy struggling to discover his destiny before agents of evil find him first.
Coveted by two ancient enemies of a long forgotten age, the continent of Andara holds the key to victory in an endless struggle for dominance. Eight hundred years have passed since the god-like Jalora struck a bargain with the first King of Valdeon. The Lion Ring, symbol of the covenant and conduit of power, gives its bearer incredible abilities. The ring’s borrowed magic protects the people of Andara from covetous evil, but there is a price. As with most predators, the Lion Ring must feed. Only the blood of the D’Antoiné family line will satisfy its hunger.
A rival for Andara’s treasures, the Sarcion has waited impatiently for its time upon the land. Whispers of treason in the right ear aid its treachery. The King of Valdeon mysteriously disappears, leaving his lands in danger of a civil war by the hand of a murderous usurper. His Lion Ring is lost and the covenant is broken. The Jalora’s power begins to seep away from the land. Evil’s foothold grows stronger. Can the Lords of Valdeon, Sacred Guard of the covenant, stop the tides of war? Or will Andara fall into chaos? The future rests in the blood of a boy…