Veronica, Queen's Square | August 11, 2020
Authors are truly remarkable; they can create phenomenal worlds within their books that often leave you wishing you were there. Authors also create extraordinary characters in their books that you laugh, cry, and fall in love with. I cannot remember the number of times that I have cried over the death of a beloved character or felt embarrassed because of something a character just did. It always amazes me that a person can write a book that can bring out these strong emotions. I love books, and when I get a chance to meet authors, I get excited.
I was lucky enough to meet Richard H. Stephens, a local writer a few months ago, and I was struck by how much he wants to be involved in our community. Richard is an epic fantasy writer. He has written three trilogies Legends of the Lurker, The Banebridge Companion Novels, and The Soul Forge Saga. If you are interested in learning more about these series, check out his website.
Richard was kind enough to answer some questions, so we can get to know him a bit better:
Q: Tell us about yourself
I began writing circa 1974, a bored child looking for something to do. As my reading horizons broadened, so did my writing.
A trip to a local bookstore saw the proprietor introduce me to Stephen R. Donaldson and Terry Brooks. My writing life was forever changed.
I worked in a warehouse for 22 years, supporting my family, before I re-attended school to complete my education. Graduating with honours, I joined our local Police Service.
In 2017, I resigned from the Police Service to pursue writing full-time. With the support of my family, I have finally realized my boyhood dream.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
During summer vacation at the age of 9, I was bored and looking for something to do. I loved reading Hardy Boy books and I thought to myself, “I can write one of those.” And, so I did.
Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
When I was 17, the song, ‘Run to the Hills,’ by Iron Maiden came on the radio one night and it sparked the idea for my original fantasy story, The River Styx. From that point forward, the lore that is created during the writing of each book fuels me with amazing new ideas about what to write next
Q: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Not sure if I have a quirk, per se. I love to write with a few packages of PEZ at my disposal, but I try not to buy them for obvious reasons. I have a writing song playlist and for every book I write, it seems a new song becomes the go to song to start my writing day.
Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?
Facebook, without a doubt. I use Facebook as my main social media platform to connect with readers and announce the developments in the Soul Forge Universe, but I get sucked into scrolling mindlessly, looking for something meaningful with regard to writing or cover design. It’s amazing how time flies when you read meme after meme.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I try to stay physically active. My wife and I kayak, bike, go for walks, and swim in the pool. I also play Dungeons and Dragons online with friends a couple of times a week. On the odd occasion my evenings aren’t preoccupied with writing related events like live reading on Facebook, I like to kick back in our 3,000-book library and read a good book.
If you are interested in reading any of Richard’s books, you can find them in our collection: Richard H. Stephens Books or you can purchase a copy through amazon. Listen to Richard read from his novel Reecah's Flight in the video below.
Richard is also one of our vendors at the 2020 Cambridge Comic Arts Festival. Be sure to check out his virtual vendor booth next week!
Here are some amazing resources for our writers out there:
- A video series on how to write great fiction, Writing Great Fiction
- Gale has lots of free, online courses dealing with all aspects of writing from grammar, learning how to write fiction, to publishing and selling your work
- Suffering from a severe cause of writer’s block? Watch this video tutorial Conquering Writer’s Block by Jessica Brody
Meet Our Neighbours series is all about introducing you to local businesses, makers, and performers, as well as some additional resources from our collection.