Interview with Richard Cadena

When did you first realize that you had a talent for writing?
When I was in 6th grade, my teacher assigned a research project and I wrote mine on "How a Combustion Engine Works" because I was fascinated with the idea that a vehicle could propel people at incredible speeds. So I researched the topic, taught myself about internal combustion engines, and I created a large poster illustrating the key components of an engine to go along with the paper I wrote about it. I loved the entire process because it combined my love of art with my interest in technology.
How do you approach cover design?
I enjoy the process of design because there's something very satisfying about creating art. But it starts with good art, meaning a compelling photograph or design. If I don't have that to start with, then I'll create it using Illustrator and/or Photoshop. Then it's about composing an aesthetically pleasing design that is eye-catching and colorful.
Describe your desk
It's a messy, mess, mess, mess. I used to be the most well-organized person on the planet and then life intervened.
Who helped encourage you the most to write?
One of my high school English teachers once told me that I was a good writer and I didn't believe her. Very early in the semester, after our first test, she took me aside and asked me to help her tutor some of the other kids. She essentially excused me from doing the class work in exchange for tutoring. And in that whole process, she tried to convince me to become a serious writer, but I was far more interested in music and art, which I thought was totally unrelated. I couldn't have been more wrong and she couldn't have been more right. It wasn't until much later in my career that her words echoed in my mind and gave me the confidence to do what I do at a time when I really needed it. Thank you Mrs. Gilliland, where ever you are.
What was your first published work?
I worked at High End Systems when it was a very young company and we did a little of everything. We wrote the sale literature, the user manuals, the ad copy—we even came in on the weekends to build product so we would have something to sell during the week. At some point they decided they weren't crazy about the trade publications, so they started their own in-house magazine called "Show Technology." I was asked to contribute an article or two, so I did. One of the first articles I wrote was about dichroic filters - what they are, how they work, why they're better...The article was published and I got some positive feedback. One day an Australian magazine called Connections landed on my desk, and I started thumbing through it. I turned the page and there was my article, word for word, pictures and all. It even had my by-line. A lot of people told me I should be upset that it was lifted without my permission (in their defense, they might have asked permission from the editor or someone else in the company) but, honestly, I was happy that they thought well enough of the article to re-publish it and I was happy to be able to call myself an internationally published author.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the creative process. It's the only time that I have complete and total control over everything, and I don't even have to listen to the laws of nature or physics. I can create my own world, my own characters, and I can control the outcomes. It's a perfect scenario and it allows me to explore my deepest thoughts and feelings without being judged or persecuted.
What are you working on next?
Interactive books! Combining words, music, video, graphics, and anything else I can think of.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When I really get into a project, I can't wait to get out of bed and dive back in. Sometimes I have to fight the urge to get up too early because rest is a very important part of the creative process.
What is your writing process?
I like to write the first things that come to mind without self-editing, and then come back and read it from a fresh perspective. Sometimes it's nearly perfect as is, and other times I end up completely rewriting it. Most of the time it's somewhere in between.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I rarely have free time, but when I do, I try to find an art museum. It's a great way to be inspired.
Who inspires your work?
I've met some incredible people in all walks of life - famous people, rich people, ordinary people, and people from a variety of cultures and regions around the world. The most interesting to me are the creative people, whether they work in photography, on canvass, in video content creation, lighting, directing, producing, or just doodling on paper. People with ideas inspire me. I would much rather hang out with Michael Fink (lighting designer) than Michael Dell. I would rather have coffee with Howard Ungerleider (lighting designer for Rush) than Howard Stern. There are so many creative people who don't get enough recognition and those are the people that I enjoy exchanging ideas with.
Published 2013-09-13.
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Books by This Author

Lighting Design for Modern Houses of Worship
By
Price: $9.95 USD. Words: 34,650. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2010. Category: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Lighting Design for Modern Houses of Worship is a complete step-by-step guide to lighting design for people of all levels of experience. It covers everything from the basics of lighting, including the McCandless method, to more advanced topics like the "jewel" lighting method, lighting for video, color theory, rendering, visualization, documentation and paperwork.