Monday, 13 May 2013

Author Interview - Richard Long



Tell us a bit about your family. I live in New York with my wife and two children. My wife, Ariane Zurcher, is an incredibly talented jewelry designer and writer. She’s also an activist and advocate for autistic people, like our daughter Emma. She’s doing incredibly important work to connect other parents of autistic children with autistic adults who can help mentor and guide them. Her blog, http://www.EmmasHopeBook.com has a huge following and she speaks at autism conferences around the world.

Emma is probably the happiest girl on the planet. She loves to sing and dance, a born performer and budding rock star. Our son Nic is just hitting his teens, but he’s already planning a career as an artist, writer and video game designer. We’re in the early stages of writing a book together - the ultimate zombie/vampire/werewolf epic. We’ve come up with a really cool explanation of how zombies are created. I can’t wait to get that out in the world!

Can you tell us about your main characters? The main characters in the book are modeled to some degree after my own family. The protagonist and narrator is a geeky teen named Chris. He’s trying to connect with his autistic sister Daisy, who is able to speak perfectly in the dream world. His dad is also geeky and teaches Chris how to dream lucidly, which essentially means retaining your waking consciousness in the dream world. The mom is somewhat skeptical about their dream adventures, but eventually gets drawn into the mystery and action.

Will you write others in this same genre? The Dream Palace is the first volume in a three book series. The Book of Paul is the first volume out of seven. Paul has a BIG story to tell.

How much of that book is realistic? I lived in New York in the East Village and Alphabet City where the story is set when it was still very rough. Lots of scary abandoned buildings occupied by squatters. It was like the Wild West. You really had to watch your step. I was also into the occult during that period of my life, and the narrator’s experiences as a tarot reader mirrored my own. Everything else is completely fictitious, though well-grounded in extensive research, which hopefully makes it seem very realistic - and frightening.

How important do you think villains are in a story? I think that any thriller is only as good as the villain. If the villain is weak, uninteresting, poorly developed, and has very little “face time”, then the story is really going to suffer dramatically. On the other hand, if the villain is charismatic, intelligent, formidable, threatening and highly motivated, you’ve got plenty of fuel to feed the dramatic conflicts. From my perspective, Paul is the central and most important character in The Book of Paul. He’s the straw that stirs the drink. The puppet master. He’s despicably evil, yet smart, charming and very funny. The villain you love to hate and hate to love.

What are your goals as a writer? I want to reach a lot of people with the stories I write, so I’m very ambitious that way. The Book of Paul has a massive scope, spanning thousands of years from the megalithic culture in prehistoric Ireland, to the present day and beyond, so it’s tailor made for an HBO or Showtime series (hint, hint). I’d also like to finish the dozen or so screenplays I’ve started and write for the stage as well, since theater is one of the big loves of my life. Creatively, I want to keep honing the craft of writing, a never-ending process.

What contributes to making a writer successful? Writing a good book, I’ve been told. Then making people aware that it exists.

Do you have any advice for writers? Write only what you want to write - exactly the way you want to write it. If you can’t get an agent, or your agent can’t sell it, go Indie - though be prepared - being a publisher is almost a full time job in itself.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? I want to thank all the amazing book bloggers out there who have almost single-handedly transformed the culture of reading, especially with young people. All the naysayers, including a lot of big brand authors, have been whining for years about how reading is dead and books can’t compete with the internet and video games and blah blah blah. They are all being proved 180ยบ wrong. I think book bloggers deserve the lion’s share of credit for this revolution - and resurrection. Hats off!

What do you do to unwind and relax? I love NYC because I’m into all the arts. My idea of a great day is to go to 50 art galleries, meet my wife for dinner and go to the theater – plays, not musicals.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I have this amazing group of fans who totally get what I’m doing and are so supportive and enthusiastic. What more could a writer want? Oh, yeah, lots and lots of $.

If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Be nice. Find something positive to say about an author’s work. If you can’t, don’t say anything. There is no bigger jerk on the planet than someone who anonymously one-stars a book on Amazon and they haven’t even read the whole thing. Find a book you like and review that instead. You have to be honest about your feelings. If you hate something and you have an obligation to review it, so be it. But at least read the whole book, before you drop the guillotine. Writers have a hard enough time finding an audience and making any money doing what they love without critics stink-bombing them with one or two star reviews of unread books that drag down their rating average like a ten ton anchor. Just sayin.

When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? End my career? Not going to happen. Have you read about the Singularity? We’ll all be aging in reverse soon. Ben Button here I come. But if I miss the immortality boat, I can tell you one thing: when I’m on my deathbed, I won’t be thinking about success or awards or reviews. I’ll be holding hands with the people I love most in this world. Because in the final analysis, the only thing that really matters about a person’s life is how well they have loved.

Buy now @ Amazon
Genre - Paranormal Thriller / Dark Fantasy 
Rating - R
More details about the author & the book
Connect with Richard Long on Facebook & Twitter
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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