I've followed his journey for the last few years on Youtube. Watching his channel grow has been amazing, he's constantly trying new things, making sure his content doesn't get stagnant and while sticking to solid and interesting content.
He's the baddest bitch on Youtube, his honest reviews have caused "stirs" in the past throughout the #Booktube Community. The sassy, hilarious and most importantly genuine attitude that comes across through Richard's YT videos and comments on Twitter are what his followers appreciate so much about him...
For me, it's the dance moves 😉
I would never have dove back into middle grade fiction without Richard's recommendations on his YT channel, not because it wasn't a genre I thought I wouldn't enjoy, but because I'm not close to that age demographic. Richard helped to reinforce, "READ WHAT YOU WANT".
He's an incredible writer, a talented Youtuber, and is genuinely honest about the downsides of #Booktube and Youtube.
1. What inspired you to write your debut novel I’m In Love With a Zombie?
I wanted to do something different with a genre, so I took the YA Zombie trend that was happening back in 2010 and started writing a YA novella about a girl who’s high school crush is now a zombie and she still has feelings for him while he’d prefer to eat her face. It did extremely well for being a debut and people loved how original it was.
2. Why did you choose the path of Self-Publishing?
I’m an incredibly impatient person and I don’t mean that lightly haha so when it came to the publication of my first book I already knew about self-publishing and I knew it wasn’t as popular as it is now. So I sat there with the decision to either find myself an agent or do it myself and so I decided to do it myself and do not regret it at all. If I hadn’t decided to self publish who knows if A Girl’s Guide to Falling in love with Zombies would’ve been picked up but I chose to take another route and it paid off.
3. Do you have any advice for other writers looking to pursue Self-Publishing?
Don’t think about it. Just do it.
4. What inspired you to become an author & has it always been your dream?
I didn’t start reading until I was in Middle School and even in Middle School being a writer never really crossed my mind as something I could do, even though I did like writing. My main dream was to be an actor/singer and after numerous auditions and call backs and failed attempts at getting my name out there, I decided to put that dream to the side for a while and just be “normal” in a way but then I started writing more and more and figured “Hey! I could do something with this” and that’s pretty much how I began my adventure to becoming a published author. It took trying out my main dream and letting it go to find out what I really wanted to do. But that’s life haha!
5. Where’s your favorite space to write?
My room at my desk. I’ve tried writing in public but I get too distracted and nothing will get written, so I prefer a private setting.
6. What are your top 5 must haves for a writing space?
1. Something to drink, whether it be water or coffee. 2. A comfortable chair, because if your booty aint comfortable you’re writing won’t be. 3. Movie scores playing softly in my earphones, it helps with inspiration. That’s pretty much it. I only have 3 must haves, I know, I’m boring.
7. How many hours a day do you write?
I don’t really set hours. I set word counts for the day. So every day I try to write 5K.
8. Are you a Plotter, a Pantser or a Plantser?
I used to be able to write without an outline when I first started writing, but that messed me up so much and ruined my work. I’d forget what a character’s purpose was or a huge plot line that I wanted to explore. It was bad. So now I outline first and then jump into a world and have a ball with the characters.
9. Because I have a pretty Type-A personality, I’m always curious about other peoples scheduling methods. Do you use a schedule to plan out your life / writing & if so, do you use paper or electronic planning?
I don’t really plan things, which is a thing I hate about myself haha I wish I did because everything would flow much easier but “I’m gonna write right now” seems to work for me than writing it down and setting it up in my head. But I need to get into planning because it would help me tremendously.
10. What is your favorite part about the writing process?
Using my imagination. In school that is something I was always complemented on in classes by teachers. They loved how I could take something and turn it upside down and make it awesome. In English class, my teacher was always excited to read what I wrote for the period because she said she loved my writing and how I built things. So using my imagination to create a universe and characters and story lines is my favorite part.
11. What is your least favorite part about the writing process?
Writing haha but seriously having this huge story you want to tell and then sitting there with the document open to page 1 with your fingers suspended over the keyboard is so horrifying sometimes but once you get to work, things get much better.
12. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That actually depends on what story I am telling. If I’m writing a fantasy, I’d need about a 6 months to a year, for something like What Lies Beneath I wrote that in 3 months. So it depends on the story for me.
13. What’s your biggest internal obstacle in getting your writing done?
I don’t think I’m a great writer. That’s a huge obstacle for me because it will hinder my writing process sometimes and I hate it. I will sit there and go “This isn’t good. It’s gonna be a pile of crap and no one will like it.” and that’s something I have to work on every day, to take that inner ugly critic and say “shut the f— up!”
14. What’s your biggest external obstacle in getting your writing done?
The internet. Since I’m so easily distracted, if I’m writing and something pops up on Twitter or YouTube, I will go and check that out and spend a couple of hours on that when I know I’ve got to get some work done. It’s a daily battle.
15. Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I do to a certain extent, I feel like moods are a huge thing when it comes to writing. Sometimes you may not even realize that you’re just not in the mood to write, but you take it and turn it into writer’s block and then you’re screwed until that mood kicks in. I feel like it’s different for everyone though, writer’s block to you may not be what it is to me. But I think it is a thing and it sucks.
16. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?
For me it is energizing because once I’m in a world I’ve created, it’s like I’m high on writing and my fingers are flying all over the keyboard. The only time I get exhausted while writing is if I’m in the editing or revising mode.
17. Best piece of advice for other writers?
Don’t EVER question your ability to write. Just write. Don’t sit there and wonder if you’re a good writer or not or if you can even write. Just open up that document and let it rip. You will be surprised at the magic that happens.
18. What is your Favorite quote about writing?
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” – Stephen King
19. Which authors are your biggest inspirations?
John Bellairs, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling, of course.
20. What are you currently working on now?
I am currently working on a Middle-Grade fantasy and it’s my favorite thing I’ve written so far in my career. I actually have a video series that will chronicle the writing of it called #RICHARDWRITES on my YouTube channel.
Thank you so much for having me, this has been a pleasure! - R.D.
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