Friday 13 December 2019

DL Richardson Unleashed: A Look Behind the Scenes

D L Richardson is one of the first friends I made online as a writer. She asked my opinion of one of her books, a sci-fi apocalyptic novel called Welcome to the Apocalypse. If you haven't read it, treat yourself to it.

Even as a psychic entertainer, I never dreamed I would one day interview her about her work.

D L Richardson is the best selling author of science fiction and supernatural fiction. Her books have received starred reviews in Readers Favorite, Chick-Lit Cafe, and She has walked to the rim of a volcano in Vanuatu and snowboarded down its ashen slope, skied in Canada and Alaska, and often goes on camping and hiking trips to the lakes and mountains.

She has held jobs at  Festival Records and Paramount Pictures, and once owned a second-hand clothing store.  She is also a former singer/songwriter/bass player who gave it all away to write novels. She regrets nothing! To quote a Lita Ford song, "Rock and roll made me what I am today".

​When she's not writing she is reading, watching Netflix, renovating the house, playing her piano or guitar, or walking the dog.

What was the defining event that made you start writing? 

I was playing in a band and I went to rehearsal one night. I was probably twenty, and the other band at the studio were in their forties. I had a light bulb moment where I didn’t want to be trying to make it as a musician in my 40s. And it wasn’t looking as if we were finding any success soon. So I had a long, hard think about what I could do for the rest of my life. I loved reading, so I chose writing. Today my writing motivation often comes from watching shows on TV, and I sit there and think “I don’t  want to just watch this, I want to write this.”

What other writing have you done? 

I started writing in the horror genre. Then I broke up with a guy and started dating another. I was big into watching Sex and the City at the time, so I wrote a few chick-lit/romance books. I also wrote a kids book featuring dogs and cats as the main characters which was inspired by a dream I had.

What’s the story behind your book title? 

Earth Quarantined started off with many different titles. It has also undergone a few changes. Major changes. So I could never design the cover until the story was complete. It was while I was designing the cover art, I was explaining to my houseguest at the time what the book was about. After babbling on and trying to explain the story, I just said, “Earth gets quarantined by aliens” and that was how I finally agreed upon a book title.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Black Beauty. Made me the first time I read. Made me cry the second I read it. It is the type of book that will always make me cry.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Music would be my Kryptonite. I read that many authors have music on while they’re working. Every time I do that I get into party mode. So I write in solitude. When they say that writing is a lonely business, in my case it’s because I have to work in silence.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I definitely try to be original. Possibly to my detriment because it can be difficult to market a book that doesn’t fit into a neat pigeon hole. Thankfully, readers are now becoming used to the cross fit promo, such as “It’s Hunger Games meets Jumanji”  so it gives me some way of explaining what a book is about. I have received very nice reviews about my books not featuring the usual tropes, and that I don’t rehash them. I think this is because I also like twists in my books. A good twist is something the reader should never see coming. That forces me to come up with invevtive ways to tell the story.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have 3 unpublished books and about another 3 half-finished books. I plan to get back to finish these. Yet whenever I open up the manuscript,  I think “this will be a quick fix” and I’m disappointed to discover it is not a quick fix. It needs more work than I can commit to, due to my current writing commitments. But I recently discovered that one book I wrote in 2006, a children’s book, is absolutely finished. I think I held off doing anything with it because I’m not a children’s author. But I like the story, so I will do something with it.

What’s the best way to market your books?

I am finding that series, or bundling books is an effective way to market. I have 3 young adult paranormal books. They are standalone titles. But I am able to bundle them in ads because they have something in common. Same with my supernatural thriller novellas. They’re all standalone but I’ve given them an overarching series titles. And then there are my serialised fiction works. I only have 1 complete trilogy, but I’m working on 2 more. The “market” seems to work for series.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Ah, research. I love doing research. Always have. I loved school projects. Research is essential for my books, because I haven’t experienced these things myself – apocalypse, space travel, organ transplants, astral projection.  My aim is to provide speculative fiction that could be possible, but I don’t want to take away from the story so I sprinkle in facts as part of a conversation. I often do the research after the first draft, because I don’t know exactly what will end up in the boo. This method saves me a lot of wasted time. I would probably spend about a week or two weeks in total gathering research over the course of writing the book.

Does your family support your career as a writer?

Yes. I have an amazing family. My sisters, my brothers, my mother, they all read and buy my books. Yes, they buy them. They don’t expect them for free because they know how hard I work. My mother even BEAT read one of my young adult books and provided helpful advice.

Quick quiz:

Favourite food: hot chips, in fact anything made from potato
Favourite drink: diet coke
Silliest saying: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing”.  What a cop out. Foresight is a wonderful thing.
Best holiday spot: Canada in the winter
Favourite song at the moment: My Immortal by Evanescence
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? Plotter.
Star Wars or Lord of the Rings: Star Wars
Best superpower: shape shifting
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: I saw Joan Jett and the Blackhearts live for the first time, so that pretty much ticks off everything. I’d like to see more of the bands and artists I loved as a younger person, but they are all in the US so only if I win the lottery.


 Earth Quarantined by DL Richardson
Book title:  Earth Quarantined
Genre:  alien occupation / dystopian
Synopsis:  ​
They came from space. They came to save us. 300 years later, Earth is still under alien occupation but we are also at peace. How? We abide by the strict rules imposed by the aliens. In exchange, they let us enjoy carefree lives without poverty and hunger.

Except we are lying to them. For hundreds of years, we have locked people away in hidden cities, people who will become humanity's salvation, out of sight of the aliens in defiance of their strict population control laws.

But the aliens are lying to us too. They promised us interstellar travel so we could get off this dying planet, yet they refuse to deliver it.

Kethryn Miller is a high-profile celebrity caught in a web of lies when someone escapes from a hidden city. Revealing the truth will destroy millions of lives. But keeping the secrets will destroy the truth. Whatever path she takes, one thing is certain. The privileged life she once had is over.

Publish date: Nov 15, 2018
Publisher: self published

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