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When I read a book I like I want to know something about the author and there’s a very specific reason for it--we’ve been intimate. I don’t think there’s an art form out there that allows one person to commune more directly with another than writing. If I paint a picture, that picture may have a different emotional impact on you than it did for me, or a different meaning altogether, but you still see the same thing I do. It’s right there in front of you. When you read something on a page--a description of a kitchen, say--you don’t see the same room I see, not exactly. Your kitchen may have a white ceramic sink, whereas mine could be stainless steel. Your own mind adds to the picture, changes it, owns it. We share in the story’s creation. When I read a book, I want to know a little about who’s been in my head. Or perhaps you’d like to know a little before you invite me to starting mucking around in your head.
Don’t worry, I don’t bite.
Fact is, I’m gentle to a fault most times in spite of the dark ink that fills my well. I had a nice middle class upbringing in a suburb of Washington, D.C. Mostly I was safe and sound throughout my childhood, but I did get a look at some evil along the way. That darkness got into the back parts of my mind and never let go. I’m fascinated not so much by the things that go bump in the night, but by how everyday people might react to them--even if they do a little bumping of their own. To be honest, the things that go bump in the night scare the hell out of me. I’ve had terrible nightmares my whole life. Maybe that’s some of my motivation for doing this in the first place.
I started writing when I was eight-years-old and even then my fiction was full of monsters and murder. I got distracted for over a decade after college when I fell into a decent sales job for The Washington Post, but I always wrote. My wife and I have since moved to Brattleboro, VT. Now, I get to write full time and work at the arduous business of getting a book deal.
What I’m learning pretty quickly is that if you don’t have an “in” or a know someone in the business, it’s damn hard to get published. A few people still manage to succeed through the query-letter-leads-to-agent-leads-to-book-deal route, but for most writers (even solid ones) that’s like winning the lottery. Don’t get me wrong, I still write at least one query letter a week, but in the meantime I figure I’ll help myself stand out a bit by putting my fiction out there on my own. That’s part of what this website is all about. If I can show an agent or publisher that I’m less of a gamble because enough people like you have already taken an interest in my work maybe I can game the system a little.
If you want to help, read and then talk! Tell your friends you like John Richmond’s novels, check out my FanPages on FaceBook, publish a review on Amazon, Lulu, or even Yelp. You can buy one of my books and give it to a friend. Someone out there knows someone who will see my work and want to give me a chance. And if you do know someone, shoot me an email and we’ll see what we’ll see.
Hell, shoot me an email anyway. I’m at johnrichmondbooks (at) hotmail (dot) com
Thanks for your interest and thanks for reading!