Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with debut novelist Bobby Richardson. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Bobby. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Bobby: Hello, Morgen, it’s my pleasure to have this opportunity. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, but currently I live in a small borough about a mile outside of Philly called, Yeadon, PA. I’ve been told since high school by various teachers that I had a knack for writing and perhaps should perhaps it. However, it was never a serious interest to me until around 2006.
Morgen: I’d not had a clue it was an option until I went to a creative writing evening group in 2005 so I’m only just ahead of you, although it’s only really kicked up a notch (or three) the past couple of years. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Bobby: Generally, I write in what is termed “Urban Literature” yet I prefer to call my style “Afro-American Studies” because these first editions deal with exposing a lot insight into the cognitive nature of my characters, in hopes that my readers will feel a deeper understanding of them, which I hope makes them more interesting to read about.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date?
Morgen: Yay, congratulations. You’ve self-published – what lead to you going your own way?
Bobby: Good question! I self-published this book after many years of trying to gain the attention of the major publishing companies, without success. Thus, to my way of thinking, a self-published book might be used as a prototype to demonstrate my potential.
Morgen: It’s the way a lot of authors are going. If your books were made into a film, whom would you have as the leading actor/s?
Bobby: Denzel Washington would play the main character.
Morgen: What a great choice. I have his ‘Man on Fire’ in my ‘to watch’ (again) pile. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Bobby: At the moment I am tweaking the final chapter of the third volume of “The Neighborhood” and at the same time I begun the first chapter of my upcoming project that I have for the time being titled “Brice”
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Bobby: I usually begin with an ending in mind because what I’m trying to do, if I’m successful, is to guide my reader to a specific inspirational conclusion that glorifies the higher qualities of life, such as: wisdom, cultural responsibility, self-confidence, education-appreciation, ambition, generosity, and of the other so called “Old-School” values that are so under-served to readers today who read contemporary urban novels.
Morgen: Do you have to do much research?
Bobby: I do a lot of research! But I’m fortunate in that I love researching different subject, because I love to read and learn… I squandered a lot of youth in trivial pursuits.
Morgen: Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Bobby: Not yet. But I’m certainly open to such projects.
Morgen: I’m no poet, and the only non-fiction I write is about writing but I’ve written hundred of short stories (although mostly flash fiction) and would recommend every novelist have a go because you never know when the idea for a short story has longer legs. It’s also great practice for keeping your writing ‘tight’. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Bobby: Morgen, I’m so glad you asked that question because my answer may encourage other writers who may have been rejected by publishers and my answer is this: Keep Writing! Keep Writing! Keep Writing! Never accept a publisher opinion of your work! You are unique and your style is unique. So keep going, keep writing and if you receive a rejection notice don’t get discouraged, go out and buy yourself a nice frame and frame that rejection letter on you wall AND KEEP WRITING until you receive an acceptance letter! Oh, please don’t get me started with rejection and determination that’s what my books are all about: overcoming objections and such obstacles to success.
Morgen: It is just finding the right person for that item. Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Bobby: An agent, more often than not, play a very important role in an author’s success. However, they also hold very powerful positions with the power to make or break a writer’s career, thus they must be approached like royalty. That said, if any literary agents are out there please contact me. Please!
Morgen: 🙂 What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life?
Bobby: I love the writing part, but I’m so frustrated with my many errors in grammar.
Morgen: There are in traditionally published works too. It’s amazing what can slip through the net. A computer’s spell / grammar check can only go so far and humans make mistakes, even with many involved in the chain. Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Bobby: Wow. That’s another question I’m so glad you asked because it gives me a chance to share with you and your readers a phrase I love to remind people of and it goes like this: “Every breath we take is a gift from God!”
Morgen: I often wake up and feel grateful that I’m alive. I love my life. 🙂 What do you do when you’re not writing?
Bobby: Actually, I like to oil Paint in my “down time”.
Morgen: How lovely. I have some art equipment (I love cartooning) in my loft for when I have some time… which I should just make, shouldn’t I? Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Morgen: Especially agents. 🙂 Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Bobby: Well, I would like to mention that I’m honored to have an opportunity to talk about my book with someone as busy as you obviously are, my dear.
Morgen: That’s really kind of you. I know I’ve said this a lot (apologies to those who read these interviews regularly) but my blogs really wouldn’t be what they are without all my guests so thank you, Bobby. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Bobby: Yes, I like to ask you to maintain a close relationship with your doctors, so that you may maintain good health in order to keep up this good work you are doing for so many people. Please don’t get so busy that it jeopardize your health.
Morgen: Oh dear, you’ve found me out. No, actually I’m very lucky health-wise. I do have sciatica and when it’s really bad I can’t walk straight (I mean stand up straight, nothing to do with drink!) but <touch wood> it’s not been that bad for a few months… helped by regular dog walks and an automatic car. Thank you, Bobby. I’m delighted you could join me today.
I then invited Bobby to include an extract of his writing and he suggested reading excerpts from The Neighborhood, at the Authorhouse.com’s Bookstore. Simply click on the Bookstore tap, insert Bobby Richardson or The Neighborhood or ISBN NUMBER 9781449053130. You will then be able to enjoy several pages of excerpts. You can also watch the video on http://youtu.be/_JlCN8rolo4 and read part of Bobby’s book at http://www.book2look.com/vBook.aspx?id=U2MULNGSs4. 🙂
I asked him to tell me a little about his book… “First and foremost, it is an entertaining story that’s fun to read, after that, it’s an inspirational story about overcoming environment, and educational obstacles, and turning adversity into triumphs. It’s also about transformation of character and glorifying “Old-School” values
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on the mixed blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog, https://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups, and their associated Facebook groups, listed below:
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Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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