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15 June 2012

Welcome special guest: author C.R. Richards/Thia Myles Vincent ( @CR_Richards @TM_Vincent #FF )

Today we have author C.R. Richards/Thia Myles Vincent visiting. She says, "I write under Thia Myles Vincent (Horror and Suspenseful Romance) and C.R. Richards (Urban and Dark Fantasy). My literary career began as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper. I wore several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. A co-author of horror and urban fantasy novels, my first solo fiction project is scheduled for release from Whiskey Creek Press in 2013.

So, C.R., what inspired you to become a writer?
When I was a kid, I’d sit under the big tree in our backyard, staring up at the stars in the summer sky. Sometimes I would day dream about living on one of the distant planets overhead. Other times I’d entertain my little nephews with stories of pixies living in our tree. I’ve always had one foot in my own fantasy world. It surprised me to find that other people enjoyed listening to my stories as much as I enjoyed making them up. I decided to write them down, so I could continue to share them with other whimsy enthusiasts.

When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
I wrote a short story with illustration done in colored pencil for a writing competition in third grade. The main characters were mythical creatures from the Zodiac. My story won first place. Some of my critics were convinced my drawing of Cancer the Crab was actually a rotten orange with hooks. Unfortunately, the story was the victim of flood damage in my parent’s basement.

How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
Prior to my first publication, I wrote an epic dark fantasy series with five plus books. I pitched the first book in the series for three years with only mild interest. After a few publishing successes under my belt, I took a hard look at the dark fantasy series I was writing with an objective eye. Now I can see the weaknesses and the strengths of the series. Currently, I’m revamping the stories.

What genre(s) do you write in? What drew you to write in it/them? What’s your favorite genre of all to write in?
When my co-author asked me to work on the horror romance novel Devil Music, I was a little hesitant. Not familiar with either genre, I wondered if I could produce the work. I decided to keep an open mind and take a chance. It worked out well and gave me the confidence I needed to explore other genres outside my comfort zone. I decided to push myself and integrate my love of mystery/suspense into an urban fantasy story, Phantom Harvest. The book is scheduled for release from Whiskey Creek Press in February 2013.
   Though I enjoy writing horror, suspense and romance, my favorite genre to write is definitely fantasy. I'm fascinated by speculating on what would happen if a supernatural or magical element was introduced into ordinary everyday situations.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
The best writing advice I’ve ever received was from New York Times Bestselling author Joseph Finder at a writer’s conference. He told us in the writing workshop, “Just write the stupid draft. Don’t worry about grammar or form. Just get the draft done. Then go back and edit it.” Someone telling me it was okay to just have fun on that first draft, made all the difference. People ask me how I kick out the first drafts on these 90 to 100k word books so quickly. I can do it, because I make it fun. I don’t make it a chore or worry about my grammar the first time out. Just enjoy the ride.
   The worst writing advice I got was from a freelance editor I hired to edit the first book in the dark fantasy series I talked about earlier. She did a great job copy editing, however, she told me that my book really should be a YA novel and some of the subject matter I had added wasn’t appropriate. Rather than listening to my gut, I followed her advice and went down a rabbit hole for several years trying to make the book something it wasn’t. I’m working on going back to the way I originally had written the novel. It took me a few years, but I’ve learned something important. I don’t write YA novels. I know who I am as a writer and what my stories are about. While it’s important to listen to the advice of experts in the industry, you were given that story to write. Be true to the story and the characters.

How do you celebrate/deal with acceptance/rejection letters?
I like to celebrate each acceptance letter, contract and book release by doing something special I normally wouldn’t for each book. For Phantom Harvest, I bought tickets to Wicked and had a great night at the theatre.
   Rejection letters I treat like scrubbing toilets. They stink, they’re no fun, but they’re a part of life. I scrub what I need to scrub and then flush the rest. On to the next one.

In regard to the book you’re promoting, which actor and actress do you envision playing the roles of your hero and heroine? If there’s a villain or other characters who are pertinent to the story, who would play those parts?
When I picture Eddie Setzer, I imagine a young Eddie Van Halen. James Franco could play them both without a hitch.
   I think Megan Fox would be a good Page Montrose. She’s stunningly beautiful and has a proven record as an action star.
   Raven Santana (aka Satan in high heels) could only be played by Eva Longoria.

The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
My co-author E.C. Stacy and I kept Devil Music as a standalone novel. We started with the classic theme “Good versus Evil” and then began asking ourselves questions to flesh out the story. How would a man keep his life sane and his friends out of jeopardy, while he’s forced to experience the deaths of innocent souls? We went a step further and put our character in the limelight. Would the seductive nature of fame make it impossible to win his freedom back?

*** Now for some fun info… ***
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Coldstone Creamery’s Sweet Cream with caramel is my Kryptonite.

Are you a cat, dog or both kind of person?
I have a fifty pound lab mix and a ten pound orange tabby. Kitty has taken over control of the house and we bow to his every whim.

Are you a morning person or night owl?
I’m a morning person. If I sleep past 7:30 am on the weekends, you know I’m sick. And if I’m not asleep in bed by 9pm, I’m a very cranky girl.

*** About the book… ***
Devil Music was my first venture into the Romance genre. The story takes place in a rock musician’s world. Doing research was a blast. I picked up some great ideas for guitars, etc from Wendell Sherman, the drummer for the “Code Whiskey” band. After the book’s release, we were honored when the book and cover art were both nominated in the 2012 EPIC Ebook Awards. Devil Music is available for purchase in ebook and print formats from Amazon or directly from Whiskey Creek Press.
Tagline: Horror, Sex and Rock n’ Roll
Fame has its price.
   Page Montrose’s new relationship with Eddie Setzer is threatened by his horrendous out-of-body experiences. He dies for other people. After each terror, he returns to his normal world of guitar hero and prays that the spells won’t demolish the careers of his fellow band members. Although Page does her best to love his plague away using Tantra, the deaths become more gruesome and frequent. When an old blues player warns them about the true identity of Eddie’s music producer Raven Santana, Page and Eddie uncover a dark force that’s using the virtuosos to damn innocent souls.

***Find C.R/Thia here***

Thank you for joining us here today! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.

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