Although always an artist and having tried just about every type of art and fine art by the time he was seventeen–painting, drawing, singing, acting, guitar, piano, sculpting–writing as a form of self-expression only came much later in life.
Rick’s favorite movies are comedies, romantic comedies and fantasies; although his favorite books take a darker turn into the chiller, dark-fantasy and science fiction genres. His favorite movie, bar none, is Avatar.
When not writing, he makes a living as a computer-programmer with one leg in Germany and the other in the UK. He moved to Germany six months after meeting the love of his life on an internet dating site (before the boom of Facebook and other social networks). The two of them continue to live happily together since 2007. Rick believes this to be the perfect romantic story; but one he will never write.
The pseudonym R. D. Raven was influenced, in part, by the poem, The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe.
What inspires you to write?
I tend to work off Stephen King’s philosophy of “not waiting for the muse.” I sit down and say to myself, “Zero books equals zero sales, so start working!” But it also depends on how far I am with the current book. Once I’m deep into a story, I’m inspired to write all the time until I get it all down on paper–at least that first draft. It’s as if I’m afraid the story will evaporate through my fingers if I don’t get it down fast enough. But when I’m still plotting the book out in my head, inspiration only comes with sweat and hard work and digging around for ideas (oh, and research).
Tell us about your writing process.
I try my best to outline the story beforehand and don’t start writing until I at least have most of it worked it in my head. But it almost always changes by the time I get to the end of it. So then I give it another thorough work-through on the second draft, then the third, etc., until I’m comfortable that the story itself is OK. Then I work on fixing up little points of style and minor details. That can go for another two or three drafts (even more sometimes).
Ultimately, I don’t like starting to write until I know my main characters–everything from their shoe size to their greatest fears and strongest loves. That and a setting. Once I have those two nailed down, I can pretty much wing the rest of it.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try and talk to them, I almost always end up listening.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write write write write and write.
Listen to your reviewers and readers. You are not trying to please everyone, but if the group you ARE trying to please is making similar complaints about your writing, then work to improve on the points they mentioned. No one is ever so good that they can’t get better.
Learn humility most of all.
Read into that last line whatever you want to. Humility is always good no matter in what flavor it comes.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I never even bothered to try and get published. I know that, if my books are good enough (crosses fingers and wishes really hard), then a publisher will approach me. It’s what happened to E.L. James, Colleen Hoover and countless other self-published authors. I don’t really care either way. I just want to write and get better at writing and tell people stories that will make them laugh and smile and cry. And so long as I can get my books into people’s hands, I’m happy. With self-publishing, this will always be possible for me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m a storyteller, not a fortune-teller. My sole interest is in writing and having people read my stories and having them be entertained by them.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Dark Fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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