20 Questions with S.C. Richmond


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We start off today’s 20 questions with a message from Stephanie:

Hello, I’m Steph otherwise known as SC Richmond, it’s a pleasure to be here to share a little of my writing life and experience in the process. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Don for his interest in my experiences. You should check his work out https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/

Please enjoy this installment of 20 Questions


 

Q1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Ahhh I came to this conclusion later in my life, when I was younger I always loved playing with words but it never triggered a need to write until I was older and as I grew up I played with the idea but never did anything about it. I suppose I must have been 45 before I actually put the label on what I wanted to do, proof that you’re never too old to realise your dreams.

Q2) How long does it typically take you to write a book?

It has taken me just under a year to write my books, nine months to create it and three months to polish, correct and rewrite.

Q3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Oh how I would love to have a writing schedule, I’m not so organised but I grab a few minutes here and there when work is quiet and maybe half an hour after work and the occasional free evening. I did try structuring my time but it didn’t work for me, I just write when I can. If I tried to sit down and write at particular times I found I was too easily distracted so snatching a little time when I can makes me appreciate the writing time.

Q4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I sit at an 1840 antique writing slope with my hand made leather note book and a fountain pen to write my first draft… pass me the candle and another lump of coal for the fire. 😉

It’s part of the pleasure for me, I think if you make it an experience it’s more enjoyable. My second draft is organically edited as I transfer it to the computer.

writingQ5) How are your books published?

Indie, I chose this after I received an acceptance letter and started looking into publishing for new authors, I heard from people who had problems with the traditional route, I decided I wanted total control over my work. I wasn’t prepared to hand my baby over to someone who would treat it as just another book, it deserved better.

Choosing the Indie route wasn’t the easy route either but it was very rewarding to see my book come to fruition as I wanted to see it in its finished form.

Q6) Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Wow, good question. So far it had been a single item I have seen somewhere that it totally out of context, that starts the process of why is it there, how did it get there? That’s where the germ of the story starts.

Q7) If you don’t mind sharing, when did you write your first book and how old were you?

I don’t mind sharing one little bit, in fact I’m so pleased that I ever got around to writing books that the age I did it sometime shocks me…. I didn’t think I was that old!

My first attempt at a book was written when I was 47 but I didn’t believe in it enough and certainly didn’t have the skill to structure it properly, I put that one down to a learning curve, it’s still sat on a computer waiting to be rewritten but it taught me a tremendous lesson.

The first book I published was written when I was 50, I saw it as my half centenary present to myself.

Q8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

My long suffering husband and I run a business in Somerset UK in which I work seven days a week so it doesn’t leave me much spare time but the other thing I try to find time for is learning the Thai language, it’s a challenge but it’s fun too.

Q9) What is your favorite book?

Tough question, there are so many. Overall I would have to say Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier a gothic novel of epic proportions, the emotion that runs through it is spot on, it’s timeless. I can only dream of having an opening line as famous as that one too.

Q10) What do your family and friends think of your writing?

I think they’re pleased and surprised in equal measure. They’ve all enjoyed my debut novel and having a Mom that has been an avid reader all of her life meant I had a good sounding board. I would hope she is proud.

Q11) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

What sheer hard work it is, I thought the writing would be fun, it was. Beyond that I’m not sure I thought it out much. Formatting, editing, rewriting, covers the list is endless, when all of that was done I thought that’s it I can sit back now. No! Then you have to get it known, I have pulled in favours from everywhere to get seen. Would I change anything…. Not a moment of it.

Q12) What do you hate most about the writing process?

Simple…. Smart phones, fantastic for doing my research on, wherever I am but the pull of social media when I should be writing… Distractions, everywhere.

The actual writing is a pleasure, there are no downsides, I love every moment of it..

Q13) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written three, published one and the second is close to being published, My first The Community will always be special but as I’m coming to the close of Pictures of Deceit I think this one is my favourite, I already know my characters, Alex is back and this time they go on a far flung adventure, a pleasure to write.

I’m also working on a book of short stories but that could be years in the writing.

Q14) Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?

I’m no expert; I learnt a lot when I published my first book. One suggestion is if you want to write, do it, it’s fulfilling, it’s a challenge but don’t be scared just start writing.

My main irritation about the writing world is the writers that have already made it telling new authors what they should and shouldn’t do. They tell us not to use certain words and clichés and that we should edit everything down to the bone. I don’t believe this, if we want homogenised works well go ahead and listen to them, but what will make you stand out? Nothing if you follow their advice. Write your work, allow your voice to be heard. Top tip… read it out loud after you’ve written it, you’ll know if it works or not.

Have fun and relax.

Q15) Do you get feedback from your readers much? How and what kinds of things do they say?

Yes, I’ve had a lot of feedback from my readers and luckily enough it’s all been positive. One lady even drove from her home (two hours away) to come and meet me to tell me how much she loved the book and would I sign it for her. I felt like a superstar that day.

I’m very proud of my 5* reviews on amazon and have many great reviews sent to me personally, I’ve been very lucky. Most of my readers love the interaction between my characters and that each chapter is written from a personal perspective of each character. They also seem to love the twist in the tale.

Q16) What is your preferred reading audience?

I’m not sure I have one, when I close my eyes and imagine my readers I just hope they are curled up on a settee or stretched out in the open air and entertained. Originally I thought my reader would be similar to me female, middle aged, avid reader but I soon found out that men liked my writing as much as women and there doesn’t seem to be a specific age group that prefers them. So I suppose the answer is my preferred reading audience would be anyone who can read.

Q17) What do you think makes a good story?

I love a story teller, not just a writer. I like a story to weave and dip and to leave something to the imagination. I don’t like to read books where the descriptions are too flowery and deep and meaningful, I don’t want emotions forced upon me, the reader should have their own input into the story. I like to feel a character but I don’t need to know everything about them.

Q18) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Age 7 I wanted to be a dog beautician. Age 9 I wanted to be Barbra Streisand and when I discovered numbers I wanted to be an accountant. I was disappointed on all three counts.

Q19) Where can we find your books?

The Community is available from all of the below links.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Community-S-C-Richmond-ebook/dp/B016F8F3DE Kindle Edition UK

https://www.amazon.com/Community-S-C-Richmond-ebook/dp/B016F8F3DE Kindle edition US

It is also available for you Kindle worldwide, please check your own countries Amazon page.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Community-S-C-Richmond/dp/184914785X Amazon Paperback edition

https://completelynovel.com/books/the-community–3 Completely Novel – Paperback edition.

Man, Myth & Magik, Glastonbury, UK  01458-835533 Personally signed copies available here (can be shipped, P&P extra.)

Dicketts Stationers, Glastonbury UK.

Q20) Will you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite works?

It would be a pleasure. This is from The Community

556


Allowing himself to think too much about the old times had been a mistake he felt like he had a bad case of the blues setting in. He pushed himself out of bed and stretched his aching limbs and attempted to touch his toes, which was normally easy but today he would have to make do with just looking at them, he straightened himself up and looked around him, he was in the same room that he’d lived in for almost 50 years, it was no more than a cave.  13 x 27 feet with a camping toilet in the corner, which he had to clean daily surrounded by a shower curtain for a little privacy although other people rarely came into his room. Old cracking brown and white lino on the floor and a small rag rug, a present from the children for his last birthday they said the bright colours would make him smile every morning when he got out of bed, they were right, even today he found himself smiling at the thought; and an old army bed with a homemade mattress. The stone walls were painted yellow in a vain attempt to brighten the room, no windows, all his light was supplied by a battery lantern when he could get batteries or candles for when he couldn’t. His luxuries were books and they were stored reverently in a handmade book case which his oldest friend Peter had made for him and carved so beautifully, this was probably the only truly beautiful thing he owned except of course for the empty round bottle that took pride of place on top of the book case, ‘Chance’, Mary had given this to him years ago as a joke, so he would never forget her, it had worked, he never had.


About S.C. Richmond

I’m Steph AKA SC Richmond, I am married and live in Somerset, UK. Together with my husband we run a business and work in it full time, writing started off as a hobby but after a while became much, much more. I spend most of my time working but when possible I love to travel as much as the business allows, I have a passion for experiencing other people’s cultures and lands, I have a special place in my heart for Asia, which is also where I do much of my writing. I also love to read (what writer doesn’t) with Stephen King being one of my preferred authors and I have recently discovered the joys of blogging which is addictive, it makes me look at the world a little more carefully

The Community is my debut novel that was released in 2015 and Pictures of Deceit is due to be released in autumn 2016.


Get in touch with S.C. Richmond

https://scrichmondblog.wordpress.com/  Blog page

https://www.facebook.com/scrichmond3/  Facebook page

@sc_richmond3  Twitter Page

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14341694.S_C_Richmond Goodreads page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01C6Q0O1K Amazon Author page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Community-S-C-Richmond-ebook/dp/B016F8F3DE Kindle Edition UK

https://www.amazon.com/Community-S-C-Richmond-ebook/dp/B016F8F3DE Kindle edition US

It is also available for you Kindle worldwide, please check your own countries Amazon page.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Community-S-C-Richmond/dp/184914785X Amazon Paperback edition

https://completelynovel.com/books/the-community–3 Completely Novel -Paperback edition.

And if that isn’t quite enough you can always check out my 5* reviews

https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/184914785X

Please enjoy The Community

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “20 Questions with S.C. Richmond

  1. I’m all for reading your own work out loud and following your own guide. Too much of what I’m reading today is same old stuff somebody wrote yesterday. The writing is getting dumbed down and I don’t like that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: 20 Questions with S.C. Richmond | S C Richmond

  3. Pingback: 20 Questions with S.C. Richmond | S C Richmond

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