About Richard Stockford:
I grew up in the state of Maine at a time when it didn’t raise any eyebrows if you carried your rifle through town on your way to target practice in the gravel pit, and most people didn’t even know if their front door lock worked. The US Army and the University of Maine occupied most of my time in the 60’s, and I was a member of the Bangor Police Department from 1970 to 1991, retiring in that year as Chief. I spent the next ten or fifteen years sailing off the Maine coast, doing graphic design work and learning the craft of custom knife-making. Writing for work and my own enjoyment was the background constant over all those years, but around 2005 it became a major focus as my grand children were beginning to read.
I still live in Bangor with Cindy, my companion of nearly fifty years, and continue to divide my time between writing and knife-making.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always written for my own entertainment, but when my grandchildren started reading, I began writing seriously to entertain them, and it grew from there. Now, I write to refine my craft and help them develop theirs by providing a real-life example. Participation in a small writer’s group and poetry competition with my granddaughter keeps me motivated.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve never been much of an outliner. I’ve tried, because the process makes sense to me, but no outline I’ve ever made has survived more than a couple of pages of writing. For me, writing is a constant balancing act between where I want the story to go and how it’s going to get there. At each new twist or turn, I jot down the changes it may engender in what I’ve already written and the new ideas it opens up for the rest of the story. Every few chapters, I edit for consistency and continuity and then carry on. I write with Microsoft Word and create a separate calendar of events and cast of characters as I go. For me, one of the best parts of writing is seeing where my stories take me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I view my characters the way Elwood Dowd saw Harvey the invisible rabbit. They are very real to me and become my friends, neighbors and adversaries over the course of a book. I don’t do formal character sketches, but I do spend time thinking about my characters’ pasts and their aspirations for the future. Even if not specifically mentioned in the story, I try give my characters hobbies and phobias, morals and pet peeves, likes and dislikes, and I think about how these things will color their thoughts and actions. I find that the more consistent I can be in portraying my characters, the more I can depend on them to lead me through the story.
What advice would you give other writers?
First; read, read, and then read some more. You cannot write effectively if you don’t read. I read and reread my favorite authors and allow their skill and productivity to stoke my own enthusiasm. I let them remind my that I have to work to develop my own style and my own niche, and I am reminded that imagination knows no bounds.
Second; write, write, and then write some more. ‘The worst thing you ever wrote is better than the best thing you never wrote’ is an old saw, but true nonetheless. Writing can be exhilarating, but it is a solitary task that requires the payment of dues in the form of boredom, self-doubt, self-denial and rigid self-motivation. No one will make you sit down to write, and there will always be other things to do, but sit down and write you must. Establish a schedule and stick to it, and when the inspiration just won’t come, write something anyway. A poem, a letter – anything to train your mind and body that this is a time to write. Don’t worry – the inspiration will return.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Self-publishing is becoming very easy, and was my first choice because I wanted my stories in print quickly, while my Grand kids were still showing the interest. The folks at Smashwords were very helpful in getting the e-books out, and later, Amazon made both e-books and printed versions easy. The two problems I see with self-publishing are that the new author does not receive the confidence boost of acceptance by a publisher, and also has to to one hundred percent of the marketing of his books.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
As much as I love printed books, I have to believe the future of publishing lies in the virtual arena.
What genres do you write?: Crime mysteries, children stories and a little poetry
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Richard Stockford Page On Amazon
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.