Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Author Interview – Richard Stephenson  Marching With Caesar-Civil War

Tell us a bit about your family. I’ve been married for over sixteen years to the love of my life and best friend.  Our marriage gets stronger every year.  We have a fifteen year old son who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism.  My son’s condition became the inspiration for one of the main characters in my debut novel, Collapse.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My intelligence and problem solving skills.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “Time is a violent torrent; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by an another takes its place.”  Marcus Aurelius
One of the three quotes I have at the beginning of Collapse.  I find this quote sobering in the face of arrogance and conceit.  Empires fall, civilizations crumble, it’s only a matter of time.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? My sixteen-year marriage.
What is your favorite color? Black
What is your favorite food? Steak
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Any beach that looks out onto an ocean
When and why did you begin writing? I’ve always been a sucker for end of the world or survival fiction.  I read anything in the genre I can my hands on.  The problem I had was most of the books I came across had zombies, a killer plague, nuclear war, or some sort of cataclysmic event.  Don’t get me wrong, I totally dig those types of stories.  I could never find a book that was grounded in reality, something that could feasibly happen outside of one horrible tragedy.  I figured I’d give it a try and see if I could write one myself.
How long have you been writing? Less than a year.
When did you first know you could be a writer? About the fifth chapter into my first book.  It was then that I realized I had something really good that people would read.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Dystopian.
What inspired you to write your first book? I’ve worked in law enforcement for fifteen years.  Part of the job requirement means that I can evacuate during natural disasters.  In 2008, Hurricane Ike laid waste to my neck of the woods.  For the first twelve to fourteen hours after the storm passed, we were completely cut off from the rest of the world.  No cellphones, landlines, internet, cable or broadcast television, even radio stations on the dial.  It was terrifying to realize how easily comfort and security could be taken away.  I distinctly remember thinking aliens could have landed on the White House lawn and we’d have been none the wiser.  I thought of our situation happening on a national level and came up with the idea for Collapse.
What made you want to be a writer? I feel that effectively communicating an entertaining story is the best way to flex the muscle that is my brain.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Editing.  I hate it.  It’s like doing homework.

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