A Peek Into Your Life- Richard Hughes

A peek into your life, is a segment spotlighting authors, specialists, and friends who brave my countless questions day in and day out. It's the best way I can share with you all, the many people who taught me the bizarre things I know, who satisfy my thirst for knowledge and adventure, and who keep me motivated.

I met Richard via an on-line writing community. So technically, I've never physically met him. He could be a cat with great smarts for all I know, but he's a great friend, feline or not. We just love to gab about everything from writing to life. Just by reading his interview, you'll see what I mean. He starts a discussion on blogs, on life, and on writing themes with just a few words. He's full of brilliance, and his writing explodes with voice. But best of all, he has amazing patience with my endless questions. Everyone needs a friend like this.

His site; Writing and Living was one of the first ones I followed and he forever keeps me intrigued with his incredible ideas and stories. What a a fun place to visit. I learnt some fascinating things over at his place.

Among the things I leant was how to e-publish. Richard let us peek into his life while he learnt the process first hand. Fun, I know! 
His collection of short stories
is available on Amazon.com.
 The voice in each one is unique. But, really, the only way to appreciate great writing is to read it for yourself. I wish I could tell you which one of his stories was my favourite, but honestly, I can't choose. I liked each one for different reasons.
The bizarre tension in "A Very Happy Man" had me on the edge of my seat, and I was sushing everyone so I could hear the voice in my head as I read. Which is rare for me, I'm used to speed reading. I know a story has incredible voice when it slows me down.
The theme from "Battles" gave me goosebumps, and "The Initiation" was just a fun read I plan to share with my son in a few years. He's going to love that one! 

So grab a hot chocolate and stay for a chat while I fine-tune my out of practice journalistic skills. I'd offer you cookies, but like usual, they burnt.

  Richard, what are you currently working on?
        I’m finishing a family saga/historical novel set in the first half of the twentieth century (pre WWI through the end of WWII). I finished the first draft last year and my reading groups are currently reading it, and I’m making the necessary changes. They should be finished reading it in about five weeks. It’ll be somewhere over 100,000 words.
        I’m also working on a sequel to that book, which is about 80-85% written. I’ll focus on finishing it after the above book is completed.
        I’ve also completed drafts of a couple of other books in the saga. But that’s too far away to get into right now.

Let's talk about your collection. It has three very different, yet intriguing tales. Tell us something about each one.
The three stories in the collection are very different from each other. The first story—“Battles”—was written about twenty-five years ago. The next story—“The Initiation”—was written about fifteen years ago. The third story—“A Very Happy Man”—was written about ten or eleven years ago. (Since then I’ve been working on novels.)
All three stories reflect a different period of my life and what interested me at those times.
Tell us a little bit about the theme from "Battles". “Battles” reflects the strong interest I had in the religious life and monasticism when I was in my thirties. I was married and had children, but I was nevertheless fascinated by those subjects. I was also an insurance salesman at the time, a scrupulously honest one, which causes problems in the real world of business. I had a lot of internal conflicts about what I was doing. Many of the people all around me were basically dishonest or unscrupulous, and they were very successful, and I wasn’t. I couldn’t understand why God would allow these “crooks” to succeed and not me, when I was trying to follow his will, and they so obviously couldn’t care less. As odd as that may seem, that was somewhat at the heart of my story, even though it’s a story about WWII.

Your blog is one of my fav places to visit. Your writing there speaks for itself. How do you decide what to post?
I began my blog last year and I enjoy it quite a bit. What I find is that most writers’ blogs are about writing, and that’s pretty much it. I’m trying to figure out how to write posts that will interest the general reading public, not just other writers. It’s hard to do. What I know best is writing. Of course, I know other things. But they’re not as easy to write about. I doubt the general public is much interested in the writing process. But what do they want to know? That is the question.

Short stories, sagas, blogs, what else do you write?
I’m a life-long writer. I began writing stories in high school and have never wanted to do anything else. I wrote my first novel when I was about nineteen, and quite a few others during the next ten or so years. But I never really brought any of them to a professional level of writing. I kept going from one book to the next after one draft, my imagination running away with me. It’s not until now—the past ten or twelve years—that I’ve begun to concentrate on one novel at a time and polish, polish, polish. Hopefully, I can start getting them published.
I’ve also written poetry, but I do not consider myself a poet. As much as I love poetry, I’m much happier writing fiction, and I hope to continue writing fiction, and some non-fiction, for the rest of my life.

Thanks for letting us peek into your life Richard!
All the best, always.


Richard said...

Tanya, as I've said several times, you're amazing. Thanks for the wonderful things you've said. I feel like a real writer now.

Vicki Tremper said...

Richard, you were a real writer long before anything got published! You are quite prolific and obviously ambitious. Good luck with the historical saga!

And Tanya, he's right. You are amazing! Great peek into his life and his influence on you.

Deana said...

Tanya, Richard sounds like a great guy...cat or not:) Thanks for letting us get the chance to know him!

Richard, you should check out Alex J Cavanaugh's blog. He is amazing at being a writer and blogging about those things and more:)

Tanya Reimer said...

It's always fun to interview other writers Richard. You know, get inside their heads. We're such a rare breed. hehe

Thanks for stopping by Vicki, glad you enjoyed the interview.

Oh what a great suggestion Deana. Alex always has something for everyone! I love his site. http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog! Looking forward to more.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great interview!

I enjoyed learning more about Richard and his writing. :)

Pk Hrezo said...

How nice to meet Richard and learn about him. I think it is hard to post on things other than writing, since most bloggers out there are, well, writers. It is good to change it up a bit tho.... nice to see the blogger's personality and not just craft all the time.
Off to visit Richard's site! Good luck on your WIP! And fabulous interview, Tanya! :)

Tanya Reimer said...

I agree, PK, that it's easy to write for other bloggers. They are the ones commenting, because they are out here to be heard, and they share our miseries, or successes the best. We need this support as writers.

Richard is right too, bloggers aren't the only ones reading what's on the Internet. A search can bring up a buried post now until the end of time.

I have readers who are not bloggers. (yay! I love you guys too!!) They do not comment on the post itself, but in person or by email. They only stop in when I discuss something they find interesting.

As Richard says; what do they find interesting? I asked. The answer? They know when they see it. hmmm. Have fun.

Margo Kelly said...

Great interview! :)