Monday, January 16, 2012

Author Interview: D L Richardson

About the Author:
D L (Deborah Louise) Richardson was born in Ireland and came to Australia with her parents as a baby. She went to a public school in Sydney’s western suburbs and the books she read were given to her or borrowed from the library. However it was music that first captured her creative interest. She joined the school choir at age eight and got her first acoustic guitar at age ten, although she really wanted a piano. In high school she took up lead vocals after the girl she was to sing a duet with failed to show up. After that she told her stage fright to get lost and took up singing with the school band where she performed in many concerts. When she left school she helped form her own rock band where she sang lead vocals, played bass guitar, and wrote all the lyrics. At age 26 she realized she wanted to write novels for the rest of her life or die trying so she sold her equipment, quit pursuing a music career and began writing instead. Since then she has had four short stories published in Australia, the US and the UK. The Bird With The Broken Wing is her debut novel.
She currently lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing or reading she can be found practicing her piano, playing the guitar or walking the dog.

Interview with D L Richardson

What first inspired you to start writing and what do you like most about it?

I have always wanted to write, just like I have always wanted a Palomino horse and a grand piano. I think I must be tapping in on a previous life because growing up I didn’t know anyone with a horse or a piano, and certainly there are no writers in my family. There are many things I like about writing. Getting the millions of ideas out of my head and onto paper is one of them. Imagination is a powerful tool and keeping it trapped inside can send a writer around the bend. Solitude is another. Yet I never feel alone when writing about imaginary people. I think the most important factor would be that nobody else can do the writing for me. I am an independent person who likes to be in control. Life rarely lets any of us be in total control. With a novel I can create dreams, or I can create nightmares, depending on my mood. And I can control them.

Was writing your own novel what you expected it to be? Was it harder then you anticipated?

This isn’t the first novel I’ve written. I’ve dabbled in writing chick-lit and adult horror before settling on Young Adult fiction. None of my earlier books were published, and rightly so. They were poorly written. Along the way I learned to write and edit, but I doubt I will ever stop learning.

There are times when I wish I could just sell my story ideas. Writing is fun but it takes a long time. Editing is harder but it takes even longer. I think it’s important for a writer to do much of their own editing, or they run the risk that the words on the finished page belong to someone else.

Another thing that is hard is finding the time to write because I also work full time. I feel stretched beyond safety limits trying to be a wife, a friend, a cook, an author, a cleaner, a family member, staying fit, maintaining a web and blog…. 

Your book is of the paranormal genre, has this genre always interested you?
I have always wanted to live in a castle. I love such things as candelabras, velvet dresses, black roses, chandeliers. I absolutely adore supernatural, spooky stuff, though too much of it gives me nightmares. When I was young I read fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. As a teen my best friend and I used to watch horror movies such as Incubus, Evil Dead, and Amityville Horror. When I left school and began earning my own money I’d buy novels by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice. Now, as well as reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz, I’m reading Melissa Marr, Maggie Steifvater, Stephenie Meyer.

Who are some of the authors/books that you enjoy reading?

I’m really getting into the Harry Potter series. They’re brilliant. I’m only new to J K Rowling because when Harry Potter first came out I was an adult and reading Dean Koontz and Stephen King, both of whom I still love reading. I also love reading (and re-reading in some cases) classics such as The Hobbit, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, The Onions Fields, Lord of the Flies. Basically I’ll read anything that has strong characters, good story line and is written well. The older I get, the less I like chick-lit and I hate reading non-fiction. Only while I’m doing research for my novels will I open a non-fiction book. Not much of a magazine reader either.

Why write young adult and do you think you would ever venture into more adult paranormal reads?

Well… I started writing Young Adult because the word count was less and I could write a book in six month as opposed to two years. But I fell in love with the genre. You know how you might say yes to a date and not realize till halfway through the date that the guy you’re with is the man you’ve been searching for. That’s what happened to me. I gave writing Young Adult a go and ended up falling in love with it. I’d have to think carefully about what sort of adult paranormal novel I’d write. I wouldn’t want to write an adult novel if the only difference was the age of the characters. That’d be like The Simpsons Movie if you know what I mean. There wasn’t anything you couldn’t get from watching the TV shows; it was just longer and not free.

Did a particular person/ picture/ image inspire the characters you created or the story itself?

Not really, but because I write teenager characters, I constantly delve back into my own childhood. I will freely admit to hating going through puberty and have never wished to go through it again. Hormones are horrible. I guess if I came out of my childhood feeling differently, I would not be able to create believable teenage characters that people can identify with. The funny thing about characters is that they take on personalities of their own. You can give characters similar experiences to your own, or experiences from people you know, but they tend to jump up and down and want to do things their way. So when you write, you start to question whether this character would do that, and would this character say that. When writing The Bird With The Broken Wing, to get an idea of how Ben would act, think and feel, I read books written by soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. For Rachael, I read accounts of people’s experiences with guardian angels. Jet is the only character who has a little bit of me in her. I didn’t have a great relationship with my father either. But that’s about where the similarity ends.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

Read lots, write lots, learn lots and be prepared to do all three for years. Also, be true to your heart and write what you love; it’ll be easier to hold onto the passion if you love your work. Lastly, there is no such thing as an aspiring writer. A writer writes. Imagine if someone said to you they were going to write a book “one day”. You wouldn’t call them a writer, you’d call them a dreamer. So if you catch yourself ever saying “one day”, get on with it.

Any last thoughts or comments?

New authors are eternally grateful for readers who take the risk by buying unknown works and reviewers who take the time to give honest feedback. I am one of those eternally grateful new authors. Thank you.

About the book
Title: The Bird With The Broken Wing
Author: D L Richardson
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
Released: Sept 2011 
Pages: 139 pages
Angels may not reveal themselves to mortals... ...but when the mortal Rachael’s watching over is hurting, how can she stay hidden in the shadows? Guardian angel Rachael becomes trapped with the mortal she’s been assigned to watch over. Unable to watch him suffer, she decides the only way to free him of his inner demons is to break the rules about becoming involved, revealing her true identity, and applying divine intervention. But what choice does she have? Without her help, his soul will be trapped forever. Then a stranger appears, giving Rachael reason to wonder if his is the only soul in need of saving...

My review can be found here: The Bird With The Broken Wing

1 comment:

kimba88 said...

fantastic interview..loved hearing how Richardson came to write paranormal and YA. I added The Bird with the Broken Wing to my list. Best of luck!