Author Interview – Richard Long

When and why did you begin writing? I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was younger I thought of myself more as a visual artist, and I drew and painted constantly. But there would always be words. Cartoon speech bubbles. Random thoughts. Narrative.

How long have you been writing? I started writing more seriously in my twenties. Poems. Dialog. Eventually, I dabbled in playwriting and screenwriting. I made a living as an art director and a copywriter in advertising. Then I became a Creative Director. But it wasn’t until I tried the long form that I found my voice. I like to tell looooooong stories.

When did you first know you could be a writer? I always knew I could write clever lines, which is the epitome of creativity in advertising. I had a good ear for dialog as well. So does my son. He writes the most incredible dialog: kids, adults, men, women…he just nails it all perfectly. I was insecure about my narrative writing when I started. I guess I knew I could really write when my narrative didn’t suck.

What inspires you to write and why? My curiosity is unquenchable, so I never run out of things I want to write about. Having a curious mind is the greatest gift any artist can have. Otherwise, you can easily get stuck in your own ego. When you enjoy looking outside yourself, there’s always something interesting to see.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I write fiction. Though, now that I’ve embraced the sordid world of social networking, I write a lot of blogs and posts and tweets that could be loosely termed non-fiction. In my case, very loosely. With The Book of Paul, I’m writing in a baker’s dozen of fiction genres: horror, occult, dark fantasy, erotica, humor, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, sci-fi, mythology, philosophy, religion. My reviews usually start with: “Wow! That was…different.”

What inspired you to write your first book? I pictured a character – he had been so traumatized as a child that he had completely cut himself off from his emotions. I wanted to explore whether someone that damaged and flawed, who had done all these horrible things, could possibly find redemption through love. The first line of The Book of Paul is: He practiced smiling.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? I like crazy Irish and British playwrights. Enda Walsh. Martin McDonagh. Jez Butterworth. They are so courageous, go so far out on a limb, never play it safe, or write to be “liked” – at least it feels that way to me. When I see any of their work, I know I’m going to be taken for a ride. A wild ride. That’s what I want my readers to experience.

“Everything you’ve ever believed about yourself…about the description of reality you’ve clung to so stubbornly all your life…all of it…every bit of it…is an illusion.”

In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure “beyond all imagining”– an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will…and attaining eternal life.

When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book’s occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.

The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul’s clutches and Martin’s destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul’s sinister legacy.  Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn’t be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe–the Maelstrom.

The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly.

Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Thriller / Dark Fantasy

Rating – R

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