What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Richard Stephenson, born in Denison, TX, live in Beaumont, TX
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Never knew I had it in me to be honest. I also did well at writing in college and at my job. When I started writing my first book, my abilities shocked me.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I released a sneak peek of my first book and included contact info at the end of it. On the FB page I created, a man named Eduardo Sanchez replied and it shocked me that a perfect stranger had actually read it.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Nope. Self publishing is fast and painless.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I've been in law enforcement for sixteen years.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Collapse. A realistic look at the future downfall of America.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I wrote Collapse in five months, start to finish. I'm not sure if I could ever do that again because it consumed every minute of my free time.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Collapse was book one in a three part series. Book two, Resistance, is scheduled for a June release. If I can swing it, I'd like to have book three out by November.
What genre would you place your books into?
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
It's my favorite genre. I like end of the world survival fiction. It's the true test of any person.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
My favourite character to write is Howard Beck, he is just a lot of fun. My favourite character on a personal level is Maxwell Harris as he is the closest to my personality.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
All three of the characters are different facets of my own personality.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Absolutely. My wife and close friends read and give input. I also send advanced copies out to book bloggers.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I can't help it, I check it many times a day.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
Toughest was the first critical review, it got my blood pressure pumping and my stomach churning. I had a lot to figure out in terms of accepting negative reviews. The best ones are the ones that compare me to Stephen King or Tom Clancy, which floors and confuses me. Hard not to let that kind of praise go to your head.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
I've only asked one time and it was a review that completely spoiled the ending.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I'm so bad at Draw Something that I deleted it from my phone. I have no artistic talent. Laura LaRoche at www.llpix.com does all of my covers.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Naming the characters is a lot of fun. The overwhelming majority of the names in my book are taken from friends and family.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I make a chapter outline that includes a few sentences describing each chapter. I know how the story flows when I sit down. The story does take on a life of its own and I make adjustments to the story on the fly.
How do you market/promote your books?
Every possible way I can think of. Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and paid advertising when my royalty checks hit the bank.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
It has to appeal to everyone. Writing a specific genre is fine, but make the story about the characters and not the genre. Make the characters realistic and most importantly, flawed.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I wouldn't call it writer's block. I don't sit down and write until I know I have something to put on the page. I don't write by a schedule like some authors "I need X amounts of words a day to be on schedule." That takes the joy out of it for me. I only write when I'm inspired. Sometimes I write non-stop for days, then I won't come back to it for weeks.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I don't know about hidden, I've made it very obvious that the point of my books is this: civilization is fragile. The security and comfort that we think is a right can be taken away.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. Lecter is the perfect villian.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
Absolutely, I'm writing a screenplay for book one. Favourite would have to be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Very well done. Worst is anything that so completely changes the original work that you can't recognize it.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman. I'm such a Walking Dead fan that I can't get enough. (ebook version)
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Not completely, but I think as each year goes by, we will see more and more ebooks sold than print books. Brick and mortar stores are closing all around us, the proof is clear.
Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Stephen King, well, my favourite as a teenager. Having more than one reader compare me to him is something I never dreamed of.
Where can readers follow you?
Your Blog Details?
Your Facebook Page?
Your Goodreads Author Page?
Your Twitter Details?
Any other links or information to share?