Author Interview With Ant Richards

Friday, 25 March 2016
Next up to go under the author spotlight is Ant Richards, author of In Your Dreams which is available on amazon now.

If you use a Pen Name, why did you choose it?

I think initially, I wanted to separate my writing persona from my real self. That way, if I do get famous one day, I can safeguard my privacy, alternatively, if I don’t or I become notorious they won’t be able to track me down.

Why do you write?

I’ve always considered myself good at storytelling, and I find it easier to express my ideas on paper than verbally. I guess due to my creative nature, writing was a natural progression for me as an ex-sound engineer and failed bassist.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Probably about eight years ago. I had my first shy attempts at writing a novel back then until I struck the idea for what would become my first novel back in 2011.

What genre are your books?

My first (and only published one so far), you could class it as a dark thriller. Although in my forthcoming collection of short stories I do explore different genres; romance, crime, humor, historic fiction and the paranormal, the common denominator in all of them is the incorporation of a dark element. If at the end of the story I can leave the reader cursing and hating me, then I’ll consider it a success. 

What draws you to this genre?

It is a style that comes easy to me, I guess. Maybe, I also feel the need to exorcise the odd demon or two.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

In the case of IN YOUR DREAMS, it was actually a dream; Mr Wong came up to me while I was queuing to board a flight in Singapore and…well, the rest is in the book.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Unfortunately, part-time for now, although I hope that will change soon.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

Being a part-time writer, it is difficult – I have to balance my 9 to 5, family responsibilities and so on. Funnily enough, I tend to write easier away from home, either at my local pub, cafĂ©, or when on holiday, or travelling.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Trial and error. Getting crudely bashed by my dearest and nearest when I’ve written absolute crap. Reading from the best. Making many mistakes and learning from them. When I consider my initial draft for IN YOUR DREAMS, I cringe and even feel embarrassed at what I’d written! 

What have you written?

Besides IN YOUR DREAMS, I have written a few travel reviews. I am currently pulling my hair with the second novel and I’m also completing a collection of short stories.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

A bit of both.

How do you market your books?

As an indie writer without the support of a Publishing Company, it is quite challenging. I mostly rely on Social Media. Lately, it’s been twitter where I’ve been concentrating most of my efforts; my author’s Facebook page to a smaller degree, but mostly, word of mouth. Extortion and violence I believe is still illegal in some countries.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Work hard on your idea, follow your dream, never give up, don’t get discouraged by criticism, learn from your mistakes – you will make many – and just believe in yourself.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

Jack Parsons. He is a bit of a mixed bag. At first, he seems a regular bloke. Then he reluctantly discovers he’s developed a disturbing gift. He enacts his dreams, so to say. This opens up a Pandora Box for him, and he has to learn to deal with this new discovery. He is a very likeable person; down to earth, clumsy at showing his feelings, a loyal friend – if you don’t screw with him –, however he can have a very short fuse if you touch the wrong nerve, but deep down he is dark and Machiavellian. Like a lot of us, he has his little demons that need dealing with.

Where do your ideas come from?

A mix of a very wild imagination, some personal experiences (I won’t tell which is which) and simply watching the world around me. 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

In my case, finding the time. Also, when I get an inspiring idea but can’t write it down straight away, and forgetting what it was when I reach my laptop or notepad. Sitting in front of your laptop and either hitting a creative blank, or getting distracted by things around you.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Developing a plot, write 10-15 pages to later discover, it was going nowhere and having to discard it. Finding the time to write when inspiration came banging at my door. Letting go of your moral precepts or social guilt and having to really be mean to one of the characters. 

Which writers inspire you?

Peter Robinson, JK Rowling, Stephen King, Iain Rankin, Dan Brown, Jack Kerouac.

What do you do to get book reviews?

Remind the few closest who have ready my book to kindly leave a review on Amazon or B & N. Sadly, many of my closest and dearest are a bunch of lazy gits. Again, we come back to the illegality of violence and extortion.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

So-so to be honest. Reviews have been positive – many have come from unknown sources, which is encouraging – although small in number.

What is the current book you are promoting? 

My debut novel IN YOUR DREAMS.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

It has to be the main one Jack Parsons – see my answer above. Besides him, Clive Wong. You can’t really pin down what the hell he is. Parsons for one just gets impatient with him. Monika on the other hand, is absolutely hot!

Who is your least favorite character and why? 

If I say so, I’m giving away too much. But there are a couple of really despicable elements.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast? 

In my ideal world, John Sims would be perfect for Jack Parsons. Sir Michael Caine could be Brian Rifkin, and Kristin Kreuk as Monika. For the other characters, I have an open mind.

What is your next project? 

I am putting together a collection of short stories, which I’d like to publish soon. I have started work on my second book as well, but that is still in its very early stages.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? 

Benjamin Franklin – he was a great thinker, author, inventor and a rather quirky character.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

Promote more tolerance between fellow humans, especially as far as religion is concerned.

Who is your favorite author? 

I really can’t narrow it down that easily. I do enjoy different genres therefore I have a few different type of writers I follow; currently I’d say Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Karin Slaughter among a few.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

To never give up, no matter how many hurdles come your way. Obstacles, difficulties, writer’s blocks, simply make you more resilient and sometimes, even help fuel your inspiration.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

Hardly anything to be honest.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

By visiting my website, following and liking my Facebook page, and of course on twitter:

Twitter: @AntRichards2014


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