· Tell me, what do you like to write, and why?
I love paranormal and SF&F romance the best, but I also love suspense, historical, epic fantasy, and some women’s fiction. My tastes run all over the map, which turned into a similar writing taste. I started out writing romantic suspense with paranormal elements to writing fantasy romance to contemporary YA with a light supernatural element. Any story I write will have a romance because I must have a happily ever after for my characters. Now I’m working on a YA SF and an UF. Can you tell I have a problem sticking with one thing? My mind is a strange, mysterious place. It’s best not to dig too deep. J
· When offered your first publishing contract did you
B) Jump out of your seat and run around flailing your arms chanting OMG OMG OMG
C) Pee your pants
D) B & C
E) None of the Above You’re lying if your answer isn’t B If not A-D , what was your reaction?
It was a little of A & B. I squealed a little and said very quietly, “Holy crap. Oh. My. God.” I had actually just arrived at my day job office and it was ~7am and only one other person was in. I ran to her cube to tell her. There “might” have been some arm flailing, but I’ll never tell. J
· After how many published titles do you think it’s appropriate to write your own autobiography?
I guess it all depends on how exciting or profound your life is. Could be 1 book or 100, but you must have something fantastic (whether good or bad) to say that doesn’t happen to the ordinary person or why bother? Autobiographies aren’t for everyone. It’s certainly not for me, or I’d have to make it up and call it fiction!
· How important to you are the names of your characters?
Their first names have to be perfect, at least for the main characters. The names of my main characters usually come to me before I even conceive of a book. My muse is weird like that, first the character, then her/his story. Minor characters get the dregs, names that I probably wouldn’t use as a major character. I use a surname reference website to create my character’s last names based on their family origins.
· How do you go about nabbing that perfect title for your books?
Titles are nebulous. Once I get a book idea a title comes to me right away. But it may not be the perfect title. I research it on Amazon, Google, and Yahoo to make sure it hasn’t been used. During my research, I jot down words and ideas then put the right words to the theme of the book. The latest title to my YA SF book came to me from a song title while listening to the Octane channel. I guess I could write-off my Sirius/XM subscription as a business expense now!
· What are the occupational hazards of being a writer?
I hate to say it and so indelicately: butt-spread. Seriously, writers spend a lot of time sitting. I totally need to learn to write on the treadmill. LOL! Another hazard is being in my characters head in real life. Yeah…I’ve caught myself using words & phrases I wouldn’t normally use in real life. Nothing bad, just not me.
· Do you have a quote or slogan you try to live by?
“Never give up, never surrender.” If I had not listened to that, I wouldn’t be published right now. Look it up. It’s in the acknowledgements of Vigilante Nights.
· Have you ever taken the writing to the bathroom with you? Sometimes for me it’s the only place I can find that elusive peace and quiet. Until my 5 year old sniffs me out.
Not yet! But I might have brainstormed ways to put my characters in peril from the bathroom. Just don’t tell them.
· Pantser or Plotter? I’ll have you know how proud I am that I just used these terms. Since I’ve just recently learned what they meant. Go me. Always keepin’ up with the author slang. I’m so proud of you, Harley. I take that to mean you’re a panster. Come on, fess up. J I started out as a panster, until I learned about GMC charts (goal, motivation, conflict). Now, I do a high level plot outline and a GMC chart for my main characters before I start my first draft. However, my muse isn’t a 100% sold on the outline process. She usually throws in subplots of subplots so I start to veer from my outline. She’s a feisty wench, that muse of mine.
· What do you like to write in? (i.e PJ’s and stompeez, a prom dress or perhaps a bathtub?)
I write in whatever I’m wearing or in whatever room of the house I happen to be in (except the bathroom as we’ve already established, or the closets. That would be a little too weird). I use my long commutes to the day job to write scenes and brainstorm in my head. Anyway, I don’t discriminate. I play no favorites with my clothes or my writing spaces.
· How do you react to a bad review?
I bang my head on the desk, curse like a drunken sailor, and stick rusty pins in a voodoo doll. Just kidding (a little)! No one likes getting bad reviews, but it’s par for the course for all writers. Not every book is for every reader. After a short period of situational depression (where I might eat something fattening and sweet), I brush that review off my shoulder and read a good review. The good reviews make it all worthwhile, to know that I’ve entertained or touched someone with my stories. Or I read the bad reviews of one of my favorite authors. It makes me feel better to know even big-time bestselling authors get bad reviews.
· Do you feel like a complete dumbo (like I do) when people ask for your autograph? I tend to get stuck on stupid and fublerooski all my words when someone asks me for mine.
Yes! Friends of mine, a husband and wife couple, were the first persons to ask for my autograph. They had purchased my first novel in paperback before I even got my author copies from the publisher. They surprised me with it one night when I was at their house and then asked for my autograph. In my head, I’m freaking out. I’m like, what do I write? I had never signed a book before. I hadn’t even practiced. Then I was paranoid I’d spell their names wrong or screw up something. My hand shook the whole time. But I did it and it came out great!
· Have you ever been a character in one of your books?
No. Never. Nada. Seriously? Why would you ask that? I’m trying to hide in obscurity. LOL! In all honesty, there’s a little bit of me in all my main characters. For instance, the heroine of my first novel, Chasing Shadows, is a financial planner from my home town, with blonde hair. I’m my own financial planner with a good head for accounting and investing.
· Have you ever gone a little REDRUM after a few days shacked up in the ol’ writing hole?
Not really. I actually like being alone in the writing cave…with my characters and my muse taunting me. Sometimes they go a little REDRUM and drive me out of my writing hole.
· Do you do research for your novel? Me... I could totally walk into the Bio Buzz pick up a bong and be like..It’s for research dude! Lol
Oh, yeah. I wonder what someone would think if they saw my internet history. I can just hear it now. “Crazy lady was researching gang activity and switchblades. Oh, look, she even researched dark witchcraft and spells.”
· Speaking of bongs. Have you ever written anything while high on the weed, drunk on the wine or chill from the pill? I have...I’m on bottle number two.
I pass by a smoke shop on my way home from work. Does that count?
· Do you laugh at yourself ever?
Oh, hell yeah! I like to crack myself up. Laughter keeps me sane.
· How do you like these questions so far? Anything striking your fancy?
Love them. You have a lot of fun and different from the norm questions.
Ok, moving along…
· How do you feel about being interviewed?
Your interview is the bomb and you bring out a little of the mischievous Erin (or maybe that’s my muse?) Geez…some would think I had multiple personalities the way I talk about my muse. “Shut up, Erin.” No, you shut up. Wait, what was the question, Harley?
· How do you feel about global warming?
It exists. But I don’t let the increasing ill affects stop me from driving two gas-guzzling muscle cars that might contribute to pollution and global warning. Sorry…I just can’t let go of the hotrods. At least I telecommute a lot so I’m not flagrantly “emitting pollutants into the atmosphere.” Oh, yeah. I know the lingo. I got a ticket for doing just that when I was in my twenties driving my first gas-guzzling hotrod.
· How do you feel about Antonio Sabato Jr.?
I’d like to “feel” Antonio Sabato Jr. and have since I first saw him on General Hospital and Melrose Place. Yum.
· Are you jealous of other writers?
Sure, sometimes when I’m feeling down. Jealousy is a healthy and normal reaction. When I see a new author get a deal for six or seven figures, I can’t help it. But I also feel happy for them. They deserved it. I know what it took for them to get there. Writing and getting published is a tough job. You really must have a thick skin to weather the ups and downs in this business, along with a lot of patience.
· Vacation or staycation?
A little vacation and a lot of staycation. I’m not a big traveler, but I like to get out of the house now and then, when my muse allows it.
· Fancy Schmancy wedding or a Vegas wedding?
Vegas all the way, baby. I think the money from a fancy shindig has better uses for a new couple. I once got married in a Nevada casino town. I’m all for it.
· Favorite season? Mine’s football :P
Football? What is this football you speak of? And when did it become a season? Guess I’ve been living in the writing hole too long. Seriously, I've banned sports from my house. Spring is my favorite season. I love the new growth of the plants and the budding trees. There’s something appealing and energizing about a brown winter turning into a colorful spring, like the world is coming alive again.
· Did you enjoy this interview?
Yes! You are a lot of fun, Harley, and I loved your questions. I hope you enjoyed it, too. Maybe you ought to do this for a living?
HJ: Ha!! I would do this for a living but ya know Im a reallly nosy person, I'd just start pissing people off left and right. ha ha ah
Thanks SO much for being here on Between a Book & a Real Place Erin. It was great to get to allow reader know that much more about you.
Keep reading to find out all about her newest release, Vigilante Nights.
After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren’t identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.
After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he’s crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver’s former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver’s death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver that can be accounted for by mere chance.
Title: Vigilante Nights
Author: Erin Richards
Genre: YA contemporary
Publisher: Merit Press/F+W Media
Release Date: July 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover and eBook
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository
After lamenting the lack of young adult books to read, Erin wrote her first novel at the age of eighteen hoping to shift the tide. Then everyday life took its toll on her writerly dreams until 2003 when she couldn’t ignore the writing bug any longer. By then, she had immersed herself in reading adult fantasy and romance novels. Writing paranormal & fantasy romance was a no brainer. Erin has published two adult romance novels: CHASING SHADOWS, a paranormal romantic suspense (EPPIE award finalist and Night Owl Romance 5-Star Top Pick) and WICKED PARADISE, a fantasy romance released in August 2012. Erin finally realizes her lifelong dream of publishing a young adult novel with the debut of VIGILANTE NIGHTS in July 2013.
Erin Richards lives in Northern California. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and American muscle cars.