Sunday, September 2, 2012

Interview with Richard Stephenson, Author of "Collapse"

Richard Stephenson
Author of Suspense, Thriller and Speculative Fiction

We are thrilled to introduce Richard to you. Readers, if you like futuristic, sitting on the edge of your seat, and a real page turner reads, then you're going to love Richard's books.

With twenty-three 5 star reviews on Amazon, you know it must be good. Here's a few taglines of the reviews.

5 Stars ~ How can this be his first novel? ~ DMartin Jr
4 Stars ~ Collapse had me burning the midnight oil! ~ Errol Barr
5 Stars ~ A Terrifyingly Real Read! ~ California Book Lover

Louise: Hi Richard, welcome to our blog! We’re so excited you could join us for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.

Richard: Thanks for inviting me. Honestly, I just started writing and didn’t even think about publishing at all. I just got that writing bug and needed to find a cure, so I started writing. I was probably five chapters in before I stopped and realized – this is pretty good, I should try to get this published. I did a lot of research on which route to go. Self-publishing seemed like the way to go since I could retain complete control of my work and the process. The higher royalties were also a big plus.

Louise: Please tell us a little about your new release, Collapse.

Richard: Collapse is a dystopian thriller set fifteen years in the future and lays out the downfall of American society. I’ve always loved a good end of the world story, but mostly deal with zombies, aliens, a killer asteroid, a pandemic or that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for any story like that, but I wanted to write a story that was grounded in reality. I wanted to ask the question – how fragile is our civilization? Could a series of unfortunate events destroy our nice, comfortable way of life?

America is falling; ready to join the Roman Empire as a distant memory in the annals of history. The year is 2027. Tired and desperate, the American people are deep in the middle of The Second Great Depression. The Florida coastline is in ruins from the most powerful hurricane on record; a second just like it is bearing down on the state of Texas. For the first time in history, the Middle East has united as one and amassed the most formidable army the world has seen since the Third Reich. A hidden army of terrorists is on American soil. 

This is the story of three men: Howard Beck, the world’s richest man, also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Richard Dupree, ex-Navy SEAL turned escaped convict. Maxwell Harris, a crippled, burned out Chief of Police of a small Texas town. At first they must fight for their own survival against impossible odds. Finally, the three men must band together to save their beloved country from collapse.

Louise: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Richard: A combination of both really. I created detailed character bios but during the writing process, a lot of changes took place. When I created one of the central characters, I had every intention of killing the character before the end of the book. The character grew and interacted with the other characters so well that I decided to keep the character alive.

Louise: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits to share?

Richard: I find that the easiest way of writing is to write what you know, to draw upon your own knowledge and experiences to make the story come alive. That doesn’t mean I didn’t spend a fair amount of time on Google, truth be told.

Louise: What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?

Richard: Again, a combination of both. I mapped out the story with a chapter outline. I knew what I wanted the characters to accomplish at key points in the story. However, the story grew and developed in ways that I didn’t anticipate and changes were made along the way.

Louise: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?

Richard: I still hold down a full time job, just celebrated my fifteenth year in law enforcement. Also, the full time job of husband and father takes up a lot of time. Hopefully, someday, fingers crossed, I can write full time.

Louise: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.

Richard: Not really.  I write when the bug hits me. I might write non-stop during my free time for days, get burned out, and not write another word for a week. I’m not crazy about setting deadlines for myself, I only write when I’m inspired to do so, to do so otherwise takes the fun out of it for me.

Louise: Describe a typical writing day for you.

Richard: It consumes me. I get in the zone and block everything else out. The ideas come faster than I can get the words on the page. It’s very exhilarating.

Louise: Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?

Richard: Collapse is the first book in a series of four. I’m making notes and a basic outline for book two. I’ve just finished my first short story called Spider that will be available for download around the first part of September.

Coming September 4th!

Louise: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?

Richard: Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a sucker for a good end of the world story. I’d say my favorite author is Lee Child. His writing is very fast paced and intelligent.

Louise: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?

Richard: I have an audiobook of Collapse in the works. It will be available for the holiday season.

Louise: Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?

Richard: On my blog, Twitter, Facebook and Readers can find Collapse on Amazon US and UK, and in paperback.

Remember if you don't have a Kindle you can download the Kindle for PC free.

Louise: Richard, thanks for visiting with us this week. Readers, follow Richard's blog and Facebook fan page for updates. Book Two in the New America series, entitled Resistance is slated for a summer 2013 release.

Ebook of Collapse in any format – Nook, Kindle, PDF, etc... to one lucky commenter. Leave your email address so we can easily contact the winner!

If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email address in your comment - you can send me a message through Facebook. Put Richard Stephenson in the Subject Line. Please do comment on here!! Thanks! 
Facebook - Louise James

Author Bio

Richard Stephenson was born in 1975 in Denison, TX and spent his childhood in North Texas. In 1992, he graduated high school after only three years. He then pursued his degree at Oklahoma Christian University, once again accomplishing the task in three years. Richard then married his best friend before going off to basic training to be a military policeman with the US Army. With his new wife joining the adventure, they spent the next four years at Fort Polk, LA and had two children.

Just before his son turned five, Richard and his wife were told that their oldest child had Asperger's Syndrome. Nine years later, Richard's son would become the inspiration for the character of Howard Beck.

After leaving the armed forces, Richard continued his law enforcement career in the federal sector and has been with the Department of Justice for eleven years.

Richard enjoys many things. He reads constantly with the thanks of his trusty iPad. When he can find the time, he can be found playing Mass Effect, Fallout: New Vegas, or Modern Warfare 2. When a friend or a friend of friend needs a computer fixed, Richard is on the case.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Richard,
    Thank you again for visiting with us this week.
    Readers, let Richard know you stopped by with a comment. One lucky commenter will win an eBook of Collapse. ~Louise