Authors Interviews

My conversation with Author R.M. Ridley

me standardTell us a little more about yourself?

Well, I’ve been alive for just over forty years and spent more than half of them married to the same patient woman. Our children are all the furry, or feathered, kind. Ten years ago we moved from the city to the middle of nowhere, in farm county Southwestern Ontario Canada. I’ve been a vacuum sales man (poorly and briefly) a portrait photographer (successfully and for more years than I had planned) and a sandblaster (because it’s fun). But in my heart, I’ve always been a writer.
I’m bipolar, severely enough that I am on disability. I’ll be able to stop that once I make my millions as an author however. As we all know, that should only take a year, two at most. I have been open about my mental health issues from day one, because I believe myths should be kept for archeologists and novelists. It is hard to relate to the ‘real’ world as one who has any sort of mental health challenge. It is harder for those who have to live with us, if they don’t know what it is we go through.

Quickly, tell us about your upcoming releases?

I have a new short story set in the White Dragon Black world called ‘Charon’s Obol’ coming out this fall in Xchyler Publishing’s annual paranormal anthology.

Do you have any specific inspiring incident that turned you out as an author?

No, what I have is a lifetime of reading, mixed with an imagination that won’t quit, and a slave driver of a Muse.

Who designed your cover art? How did you choose the image?

Luke Spooner of Carrion House, designed the cover, and he did an amazing job. It was the first time my publishing house had thought of using Luke and they asked if I was interested. I took a look through the art on his website, and just knew it was the right way to go. The final result is from my describing, poorly, what I had envisioned and him creating something better than was in my own mind.

Do you outline your work before you write?

No, I am a completely ‘organic’ writer. What grows out of my story is the result of trusting my Muse. I have, more than once, had points where I wrote something in a story, with absolutely no idea why. Chapters later I find myself writing those points back, only then seeing how they tied in, and see how important they were to the plot.

How do you like spending your leisure hours?

If I’m not writing, or reading. I love working in my gardens. Growing plants is calming and rewarding for me. I do enjoy spending my evening cuddled with my wife on the couch, watching movies, or good TV shows. I’m not one of those people who thinks TV rots your mind or imagination. I keep a notepad beside the TV so if any interesting thing is mentioned in a show, I can jot it down and explore it more later. Often that small fact will play a part in creating a new tale.

Which genre is far more appealing to you as a reader?

I confess, I write what I love. The real world, but turn the corner to find that spark of magic which you follow, walking down darker, and darker, alleys, until you find yourself alone with the monsters.

What inspires you to write? Is there any level of similarity with the events or characters in your book and real life?

My real life is a small flock of sheep and too many fowl, a woman who has stood by my side for over twenty years, and fields as far as the eye can see. But I have lived in cities most of my life, so I’m not unfamiliar with the heart beat of the urban life. My inspiration is an image, or scene, playing out in my mind. A short snippet of dialogue between my ears. Even stumbling across an article on a myth I didn’t know can do it. I latch on these things and let them percolate in the back of my brain until the story starts to spill out of my fingers onto the screen.

Which is your current read?

I’m currently working through the entire collection of Raymond Chandler’s short stories, and looking forward to opening Melissa Marr’s, ‘Graveminder’.

What, in your opinion is the toughest part while carving your book?

For any story set in White Dragon Black world, and I am writing book five and have a number of short stories completed, it is introducing the world, and characters. The balance needed in explaining it all, as fresh concepts for new readers, while not bludgeoning those readers who have followed Jonathan since his debut in ‘Shades And Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology’ – that’s a challenge. I want each novel, and short story, to be enjoyed and consumed as stand alone, which becomes more deeply enriched if you have read others before. It’s a fine line and walking it can be tricky.

Share a word of advice with our readers and authors, if any?

For readers, don’t be afraid of authors. We are just like everyone else and we love touching base with those people who enjoy what we produce. For authors, and those on the road to getting there, I think the absolute best advice I can give is – Learn to Love Editing.  When you can enjoy edits, and see them as a creative process much akin to the original writing process, your lives will become easier, and greatly enriched.

Share one of your favorites from your music band collection, if any?

The first one that comes to mind – ‘I’m Deranged’ by David Bowie

If you’re a foodie, tell us about your favorite dish?

I’m not really a foodie, I don’t even think about eating all that often, but I find it very hard to turn down a well done steak with mashed potatoes

List any giveaways or surprises in mere future?

I’m trying to work with blogs to get e-versions of my novel out to people. As for surprises, if there are any out there, they are going to be surprises for me too. So, I can only hope they are good ones.

Where can we find your books?

The novel is available in e-format and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and iBook.

We would love to reach out to you, please share your social media active platform

I’d love to hear from people who have read any of my words so I’ve tried to be very accessible:

Twitter:  @RavenMRidley





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