Moonlake: Hi, I’m Moonlake Ku and welcome to the 5th episode of Writer’s Awakenings. Today, we have author Richard Fisher with us. Firstly, tell us about yourself and your journey into writing, Richard.
Richard: Hi! Thank you so much for inviting me!
Moonlake: My pleasure actually since I get to hear stories about how authors start.
Richard: My journey actually began long before I began the actual process of writing, only I was unaware of it. My imagination has always gotten me into various degrees of trouble, especially when I was in elementary school.
My mind wandered and meandered so much! So, I jumped into reading to keep it busy and I was hooked on the written word! It began with C.S. Lewis actually and by the 6th or 7th grade I was reading James Clavell and his Shogun novels.
Moonlake: Ah, I think I’ve heard the same before from other authors, very natural for a child whose mind is creative in a completely unhindered way. And yes, we all tend to be book lovers!
Richard: I believed everyone’s imaginations were just as active. I just hadn’t found the outlet yet.
I then jumped to wanting to pursue illustration, but sadly my skills in artistry were lacking…. and that was one of those hidden blessings. Thankfully!
Moonlake: Well, we can’t all be jacks of all trades. I also can’t draw.
Richard: Nope, I’m horrible at guitar, too!
Moonlake: Ditto on music. So when was it that you first decided to pursue writing in a serious way and what was the circumstances associated with it?
Richard: Actually I wanted to give it a try about 25 years ago, but was discouraged from it by my then girlfriend, who wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer. So I just headed back to school for a little while, and learned that I didn’t want to chase either of those and quit and began “kind of” learning how to properly outline a book.
Moonlake: Learning through what means?
Richard: Back in those days it was via the libraries. Just read what I could find, but there really wasn’t much out there on the topic of writing, so I kind of gave up.
Moonlake: Oh, I see, reading self-helps.
Richard: I then discovered Writers’ Digest! I loooooove that magazine!
Moonlake: Ah, the turning point. Where to next?
Richard: Then life got in the way. The only thing I wrote seriously was a short story on a dare in 2000. I had an individual who worked for me tell me that I couldn’t, so I wrote a story called “The Huntress” for her.
I actually have that one on my blog as a reminder for me.
It was the only story I wrote until recently, since I was busy working and couldn’t figure out how to work in a social life, job and everything else life throws at us.
Moonlake: A bet as a start, that’s interesting, but any start is a good start. So the ball started rolling from that initial short story?
Richard: Not really. I put off writing for keeping up with life, actually. Then came Feb 2016. I got laid off from the oil and gas industry, where I was working and decided that it was the perfect time to write my Great American Novel.
Moonlake: Ah, a stressful happening financial-wise and if you are like me, mentally. But an opportune development for your writing.
Moonlake: So what prompted the focus back into writing?
Richard: Kind of a weird path. I began writing “Reapers of Souls & Magic” in April of last year and completed it this past May.
Moonlake: You’re very quick. This novel went very smoothly for you? What is it about?
Richard: I love epic fantasy! This story explores the premise of “fallen” dieties and how they become fallen. I gave the gods a desire, they gave my creationist race a purpose, and they totally messed everything up! LOL
Moonlake: So you think it’s basically the story coinciding with your own reading interests that made it a smooth sailing?
Richard: Oh absolutely! If you’re an avid reader, I’m sure you will see hints of the authors that impacted me!
I think CS Lewis, Michael Moorcock, L. Ron Hubbard, R.A. Salvatore as well as Asminov, Bradbury, Clavell and Lovecraft.
Moonlake: Well, I love epic fantasy myself and LOTR. But I must admit that deities is a bit of a trope that I don’t enjoy in fantasy series. Basically sick of every epic struggle being ultimately a divine struggle and mortals were the pawns in this divine game. I mean, can’t humans get into trouble fighting each other without divine interference?
Richard: The Gods here just started the ball rolling…and it follows the Greek Myths in that those in my realm give them power over the other Gods. But they are not heavily involved.
Moonlake: Okay, I like that type of divine involvement in fantasy series.
Richard: The book is mostly about the choices, good and bad, and why we make them, or those that circumstances force us to make. Only in a fantasy world where they have more impact and repercussion.
Moonlake: Yep, love books that explore such a theme, that’s one of the reasons why I love fantasy.
Richard: I wanted to explore the “human condition” through “non-humans”.
Moonlake: Ah, so that’s your own new twist on fantasy, is it?
Richard: Kind of. I also use it to explore the “what ifs” of science….multiverses as well.
Moonlake: Okay, I see. So this work also has part sci-fi elements?
Richard: There is a VERY TINY amount of sci-fi so I can introduce the characters from our world into theirs. But the impact travels throughout ALL of the multiverses.
The “butterfly effect” throughout existence! LOL
Moonlake: Okay, the multiverse concept reminds me of Moorcock certainly who you mentioned were one of your inspirations.
Richard: Yes. Absolutely!
Moonlake: So when is it due out?
Richard: It’s scheduled for a September 30th release date. We are halfway through the formal editing process now.
Moonlake: Now, if you were to look back, would you have done anything in your writer’s journey differently and if so, what?
Richard: I would have ignored everything and everyone else and started doing it way back in my teens…. I think I would be much further along in my knowledge of the writing craft itself.
Moonlake: Right, you would have less life experiences back then but to make up for it, more time to learn and experiment. Is that the only regret?
Richard: I think I’m very lucky to have gotten this far this quickly, frankly.
That’s very true! Absolutely…but as one gains experience in life, is one able to write about it freely without worry of “the other people”? Or does that stay with us forever?
I believe that even the young have valid things to say. Will they say it in a relatable manner? Maybe, maybe not. Kind of depends upon each individual, don’t you think?
Beside, my youth was pretty dramatic…LOL
Moonlake: Well, I think there are two sides to this. That’s the emotion side which tends to cool as time goes on from the initial happening of an event, an experience. But writing is also about perspective, and while a young perspective is as interesting as an elder one with more life experiences, I think that the wisdom that comes with ages potentially allows you to dig deeper into things. But yeah, like you said, depends on the individual really.
Richard: I agree with you 100%!
Moonlake: So overall, how far do you think you have progressed from your initial point?
Richard: Tremendously! I actually finished a book! Not a lot of people can actually say that, so that was like a journey across country. LOL Long and arduous…lol. But very satisfying!
Moonlake: Yep, agreed.
Richard: I’ve been asked to get another ready for Oct and then the sequel to Reapers comes out in Jan/Feb timeframe, so I’ll be very busy the next few months! Continuing my journey, but going globetrotting now! LOL
Moonlake: Sounds like exciting prospects publication wise. Now, if we want to follow you, how can we do that?
Richard: Thanks for asking! I have an author’s page on FB, a WordPress blog, and I am active on Twitter as well!
Moonlake: Okay then, our interview today’s drawing to a close and I would like to thank Richard for your time today.
Richard: Thank you so much for asking me to share with you! I hope you enjoy the read when my book comes out!
Moonlake: Sure, and thanks to our readers today. Till next week!