Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Interview with YA spy adventure author D L Richardson

DL Richardson joins me today to talk about her new YA spy adventure novel, Feedback.

While touring her book with Goddess Fish Promotions, D L will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a lucky random winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

D L Richardson started writing fiction in 1996. It was while playing bass guitar and singing in a rock band that she decided to switch her creative focus to writing. She sold her equipment and hasn't stopped writing fiction since. She is a bookish person, and novels are known to spill out from all crevices of her house, yet growing up her parents couldn't afford to buy books so she was often found in the library on a beanbag with her nose in a fictional world. She still confesses that her favorite novels are those from her childhood: The Hobbit, Tuck Everlasting, Black Beauty. She writes speculative fiction and has 10 stories published so far s in all of the following genres: science-fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, supernatural spy/adventure, horror, thriller/suspense.

Welcome, D L. Please tell us about your current release.
I like to think that Feedback is the book Dean Koontz would write if he wrote for teens. It has all the classic Koontz elements: bad guy chasing good guys, spooky science experiments, strangers coming together and working together to save the world, and compelling characters who go on a journey of discovery. And did I mention they save the world. That’s also typical of Koontz novels and it works for me, I don’t mind a bit of superhero action.

What inspired you to write this book?
While watching a documentary on organ transplants, I came up with the idea that if organs retained the memories of the host, then what if the host was a spy. I had the storyline for Feedback. I then did an assessment to determine what age I wanted my characters, and I decided I wanted teens to star in this book. At the time, I was concerned that teens were working a lot in isolation on their computers and phones (and yes I write in isolation too), so I wanted to write a book that featured teamwork as its core value. These three kids have to work together to save the world. And they become leaders and as such change the mind of the bad guy’s sidekick and convert her to do good.

Excerpt from Feedback:
Wanting to run and actually running were two different things. For many reasons. My legs were like concrete pylons, numb from sitting on the plastic chair for so long. The acrid perfume wafted toward me again like an invisible web, trapping me to the seat. Miss Redkins blocked my exit, and the incessant beep-beep-beep of her phone from texting the encyclopedia acted like a sensor alarm. I’d never liked the sense of being trapped.

I nudged Melanie, and she begrudgingly moved over half an inch. No amount of fresh air would appease me. I should be the one up on stage, not Katrina.

“Sit where you can watch me,” Katrina had demanded during breakfast this morning.

“She’s practiced real hard,” Mom had added, kissing Katrina on the cheek. “She’s always wanted to be a dancer like her big sister.”

The spotlight dimmed. I wanted to cheer and applaud Katrina’s tiny feet in first position, but my heart had sunk to somewhere stinkier than the bottom of the trash can.

I slid down into the chair. If I had to be stuck here, at least I’d attempt to shrink into myself. Hiding behind my fringe would have been a good option, except that clips held my hair on top of my head. I couldn’t lift up the collar of my school blazer. It hung in my locker. I might have used the collar of my white shirt to shield my face from the crowd, but that look was so last year. My final hope lay in covering my face with my hands, but I doubted I’d be able to stop the flow of tears if I did.

Why couldn’t Katrina have been born with a bad kidney? She’d be in the audience and I’d be the one up there on the stage.

But Katrina didn’t have a defective kidney. She had a tutu and a dance coach.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My next story is a series of apocalyptic fiction. It’s serialized, so it’s like a series within a series. It follows the TV series format, each episode is somewhat standalone and forms part of a larger story. When the characters find themselves in a kill or be killed world, they’re tested in ways they never realized. Book One is currently with a publisher for consideration. Book Two is in editing stage. I’m planning four to seven books in total. This is my biggest project yet.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess the first time I got a short story published. Usually what follows the “I’m a writer” statement is, “do you have anything published?” It’s crazy to think that we let others value our success, but I just got tired of everyone asking if I’d had anything published that I stopped saying I was a writer. Then when I got my first short story published, there was no stopping me.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m working towards writing full time. At least I only have to work part time, 3 days a week I work in Human Resources and Payroll, totally non creative, but working in a non creative environment can be helpful because writing is only one part creative – there is also structure, grammar, self discipline, there are rules you must know in order to break them. My other non writing activities are renovating the house and gardening. It’s a slow process because I’m working at getting the novels finished, but I enjoy beign productive, so most of my down time is still work. I rarely do nothing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Sometimes I change the font to make the writing a bit more exciting. Or a design a book cover to keep me inspired. But my main quirk is that nobody reads my first draft. Not even me. I just write and write and then I do a round of edits that means when I read my first draft it’s somewhat polished so I can enjoy it and not want to delete the whole thing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Somebody famous. Mainly a singer or a musician. I used to write lyrics to songs and use cardboard cutouts guitars and convert whatever I could find in the house into drums. I’ve damaged many of my mother’s saucepans as a kid. I still consider music to be my first love, but it’s not what I want to do for a career. I attempted it with no success, but I’m glad I gave it a go.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you like apocalyptic fiction and want to stay updated about my new series, hopefully released later this year, then please follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or sign up to my newsletter on my website.


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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today

MomJane said...

Interesting and unique excerpt. Sort of sad too.

Mai T. said...

The impressive cover is what I like most from today's post.

Karen H said...

Enjoyed reading your interview today.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the interview. This series does sound like quite an ambitious project

Unknown said...

A wonderful excerpt. Thank you

Unknown said...

Thank you for the great interview and excerpt! I enjoyed it all!