Rich is masterful in serving up substantial doses of plot and character development. As such, I became quickly involved in the story, wanting some of my favorite new friends to ‘be okay’, and I’ll leave it as vague as that for now.
Here is an interview with Rich about his book. I hope you’ll enjoy as I did...
Rich: I've been writing for years ... the same novel. 600 pages later I still had no ending. A friend of mine recommended I put it aside and direct my attention in another direction. So, I gave it a try. I had so much I wanted to cover ... the plight of aging, narcissistic and controlling personalities, self-obsessive behavior, religious belief by false prophets ... why not put it all together in a book? But, I wanted it to be in a story. So, I made it a paranormal tale. You've read it. Horror is only its classification. I tried to make it a book about relationships with horror added to spice things up. Somehow, it made sense to me. lol
Fred Cooke was, and in my heart is still a true friend of mine. I've fought for equal rights since protesting in the late 60's. Fred had, too, but in a different way. He used laughter to get inside a person and bring them around. We had a deep kinship that was greater than many that are born of the same parents. He passed away of cancer just before I finished the book. It still brings tears to think about it. Fred was a lover of horror movies and books. The dedication of this book to him is an honor that signifies the bond between he and I, and the bond and love we all should all have with each other. The color of one's skin should never matter. We are all brothers (and sisters) and there is only one race ... the human race. The world would be a much better place if we all practiced believing that.
Maria: You rightfully describe yourself as "Writer, entertainer, announcer, sales trainer" on your book cover. Did your life experience influence any of your book? If so, how?
Rich: As you know, everyone that types a word for others to read is putting a piece of their soul out there for others to judge. Of course, my time as a stand-up comedian helps in some of the underlying humor and sarcasm in the book. There are other portions that are based on my real life experiences, too. I'm going to let the reader guess which ones fit that category.
Maria: You have a gift with character development. As I've told you, horror is not my typical go-to as a fictional genre. Yet, I instantly fell in love with most of your quirky characters- even the ones with a bit of a potty mouth. What do you have to say about this? Either you or your muse are free to answer.
Rich: Since my muse has been in hiding since the book's publication, I'll tackle that question. Studying people has been a habit of mine most of my life. It started as a psychology minor in college, continued in comedy, and kept going in business. I found good and bad in all. That made them real.
It is my goal to create characters that are believable ... real ... folks that one can say, "Why, they remind me of ..." (even those few with "potty mouths"). If the reader relates to a character in one way or another, they want to see what happens to them. They're interested, instead of bored. When that is achieved, I've done what I wanted and hopefully what the reader wanted. Characters make the stories and present the messages, whether in dialogue or in actions. To short-change them is to short change the story ... and the reader. Why write if that's your goal?
Maria: What in the world possessed you to name Millie after your wife, the real Millie? I'm still grinning about that one.
Rich: It was actually a mistake when I first started writing and I decided to continue it as a joke to her. There is actually a little bit of me in "George" and in writing his beginning segment, Millie began as a fill-in name until I figured out the best name for his wife. I typed it so often, it seemed to fit. So, I left it that. My wife is nothing like her. Millie in the book is a much quieter person.
Maria: What's next in the book department and when can we expect it, no pressure, of course!
Rich: First, I need for this one to start selling well, which means I've got to concentrate on marketing for a while. However, I have just finished the first draft on my next book and am revising and editing it now. It's a coming of age tale about the life of four youngsters during summer vacation in 1966. There's an abusive relationship to deal with, the topic of pet desertion with a pack of man-eating wild dogs, venomous reptiles, a young couple's first kiss, and other surprises. I plan to have it out towards the end of June. No title decision as of yet, but it will have a much broader audience appeal. I'm thinking of calling it Campaign for the Presidency: 2020. Sorry, you know me, I've got to leave an audience smiling!
Readers can get their copy of Horror Across the Alley by clicking on the following links...
Until next week, take good care. Hugs, mar
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