Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#168 : Online Talk! In Conversation with James Eric Richey

Q:  Congrats on your debut novel! What or who inspired you to write?

A:  Since I was twelve, I’ve being reading fiction, which I love to do.  I started writing essays 
and term papers in high school and college.  In law school my writing changed to motions and
briefs, which was extensive.  In 2009, while browsing through a Barns and Noble, I stopped to
read a book on writing fiction, which I had never done before.   Part of the joy of writing for me
is doing a lot of research.  I love to read and study about new locations, or facts about things I include in my story like guns, bullets, and airplanes.  Before I started writing fiction I never realized how much research was involved in creating a believable story line.  So, what inspired me to write?  Before I started writing fiction, I already loved to write.  Since I love to read fiction, and after reading that book on writing fiction, I thought I would give it a try.  Two Hearts is the third book that I’ve written.  My first two attempts are still sitting on my shelf where they will probably stay for eternity.

Q:  How does it feel to have published your book finally?

A:  Pretty awesome.  It took me about two and half years to write the story, which was a long
process of writing, re-writing, editing, and proof reading.  After putting the finally period at the end of the story, I wasn’t actually finished.I gave my book out to be read to about thirty or forty people.  In every case it came back marked up in red.  Back to the editing table.  I spent about six months writing and rewriting.I then sent Two Hearts out to be edited—more writing and rewriting.  Then the publishing process, which took about four months.It feels totally awesome to have Two Hearts finally published.  Looking back over the whole experience, it has been challenging, with its ups and downs, but it has also be completely fulfilling, knowing that I started and finished the goal I had set out to do.

Q:  Your story features mining and mines prominently, that is a rather unconventional set up for a romance tale, any particular reason?  Or any personal experience?

A:  A mine or mining in general does not seem to be the premier backdrop for a romance tale.  The story is really about Jaxon’s undying love for Annie and that nothing will ever distract him from his devotion to her.The opening scene is of Jaxon digging for gold in the abandon Western Pleasure mine on his ranch in Montana, which helps sets the tone for his strength and character.  Jaxon’s father could have paid for Jaxon to purchase any size of ring for Annie, which he tried to do, but Jaxon wouldn’t let him.  The setting of the mine allowed for Jaxon to prove what kind of man he was.  It also just so happens that one of the nicknames for Montana is “The Treasure State,” because of the numerous mines located there.  Unconventional for a romance tale?  Probably yes, but the end result worked well. 

Q:  Being a lawyer or real estate appraiser or a writer, which excites you more?

A:  I love being a writer, which allows me to learn new things practically every day.  I’m not
perfect at it, but I love to research and research to make sure I understand how something works. Also, there are so many different types of story ideas.  My mind is allows thinking and planning new scenes-just like daydreaming, which I than get to put down on paper.  It is definitely more fun to write fiction than being a lawyer or an appraiser.  But, of course, that is just me.

Q:  Tells us about your writing process.

A:  I have a very time consuming day job.  Fortunately, I am self-employed, so I try to stop
working at a reasonable hour to allow myself time and energy to write. When I am heavily into writing a story, I try to consistently stop my day job at six.  I take a one hour break for dinner.  I start writing at seven and I will usually work until ten.  I will do this four to five days a week. I don’t work on Sunday and I usually will only work half a day on Saturday.  So, if the moon aligns with all of the stars, and everything is in place in the Richey family universe, I will spend anywhere from twelve to fifteen hours a week writing.  This doesn’t happen every week. I try, but things come up. To break up the stress from work, I take my wife and two daughters out faithfully every Friday night.

Q:  Any pearls of wisdom for inspiring writers?

A:  Persistence.  Don’t give up.  Keep trying.  I recently read a writing tip from an internationally bestselling author.  To be a writer, you have to study and write.  First you study techniques, styles, and other writers.  Then you write.  Don’t be afraid of failure. Study and write.

Rapid fire questions:

Q: Coffee or Whisky?

A: Chocolate Rocky Road milkshake, please.

Q: Given a chance to be reborn, would you choose to be a male or female?

A: I’m definitely not perfect at it, but I think I have a handle on being a male.  I would choose to be a male again.

Q: One thing the world doesn’t know about you?

A: I’ve climb the highest mountain in the United States continent, Mt. Whitney, seven times.

Q:  Given a chance to learn—Dancing or Boxing?

A: Dancing—my partner, my beautiful wife, would not be out to kill me.

Read the review of his book here!


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