Interview with Ross Richdale

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the small city of Wanganui in New Zealand. I guess the time I grew up rather than the place influenced me. It was a formal time when children were not encouraged to give an opinion but rather just do what they were told. Schools were strict with rules and teachers who were often intimidating.
When did you first start writing?
I started mainly to relax from my occupation as school teacher. After I moved on I began writing full time.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, The Druid's Daughter is an historical novel set in Roman Britain. I wanted to write an historical novel set in a time not usually written about. After thinking of several places and times including South America in Inca times, I settled on a story based around Hadrian's Wall in Northern England and life when druids reigned. Also, I wanted to have a story as presented from 'the other side', not just traditional religious views of the period.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords moved that extra step by accepting all my ebooks without being exclusive. I could send a book to Smashwords and have it published within an hour or so as long as my manuscript and cover were in as good a condition as I could make them before submission.

Also Smashwords distributes my ebooks to all the major distributors.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Lack of any progress with traditional publishers. Fifteen years ago ebooks began with several small companies offering to look at manuscripts and if interested, publish them electronically. These were placed on their site and if you were lucky, a few were sold.

POD (print on demand ) followed but tended to be superseded when ebooks became more mainstream. Now with tablets , mobile phones and so forth they are accepted as a wonderful way to f read novel.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I can take my mind away, be anyone and do anything. Half my novels are science fiction and the other half contemporary or historical novels. I enjoy writing about real life, mainly in my own country of New Zealand but also enjoy science fiction or fantasy where I can be original and hopefully, exciting.
What are you working on next?
After writing a contemporary novel about a school teacher in New Zealand, Wisps of Cloud and my historical novel, The Druid's Daughter, I have switched back to a science fiction story Acid Air about Earth with poisoned air.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ken Follett and Arthur Hailey
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The events of the coming day whether it is something i am about to do or just getting to my computer to form the words for my novel that I thought about.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I mainly spend time with my family including my four, soon to be five, grandchildren. I enjoy walking and creating covers for my novels
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was actually a fantasy story project I had for my class of eleven and twelve year olds. I became engrossed and started to write my own story. It has faded into history as I never bothered to keep a copy.
What is your writing process?
Think about it, write my ideas down, review what I've written and revise or add it to my novel.

I like to develop my characters and think of the action or whatever as through their eyes. When a chapter is written on my computer I print it out to correct with a biro, bring up the computer copy fix the errors and make side notes about events in it. e.g. new characters, places or things .

On completion of my novel (about six months for 60 - 70,000 words )I reread it right through, editing as I go.
When finished I read the chapters out of order to concentrate on the structure, grammar etc and finally make it ready for publishing.

After computer edits I again re-read the whole novel before sending it to Smashwords for publishing.

As well as the text, I design and produce my own covers,
How do you approach cover design?
I have always been interested in art and design my covers using photographs from sites that offer them with no restrictions. I cut and paste on Photoshop. For example a character's face may come from five or six pictures all blended together. My first covers were awful but over the years I have become more sophisticated and, hopefully now have better covers.

I find the text font and styles are as important as the pictures themselves and use several programs to make striking words.

Like my novel itself, I often upgrade my cover before coming to a final version. Also, I have replaced most of my covers on earlier novels with better ones.
Published 2013-08-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Golden Oldies
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 303,750. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Adventure » General
Four boxed earlier contemporary novels by Ross Richdale. Catalyst, Eagle's Claw Lake, Like Twigs in a Storm, Long Valley Road
Wisps of Snow
By
Series: Wisps Trilogy Series, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,630. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2014. Category: Fiction » Adventure » General
Karla Spicer is called in to help as a Change Principal at Tuckett Area School in a remote New Zealand district. This school takes pupils from Year I to 13 but has a falling roll, an apathetic principal, Don Trow and a divided board of trustees. Karla finds that the school is in debt because Trow is faking accounts and is betting on a Russian casino. However, they want more than their money.
Acid Air
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,930. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 2, 2014. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Does fate bring Greg and Shontel together on a decommissioned Russian nuclear submarine with acid air on the surface of a future Earth? Aboard is Nedda, an advanced living-species who metamorphoses into a human with extra abilities. Also, who is Lilad, a human from a cave village with no children? Why is Nedda attacked and will evil forces stop them from finding the truth and returning home?
The Druid's Daughter
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,590. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Historical » Ancient
It is 320 AD and Hadrian's Wall separates Roman Britannia Inferior from the free lands to the north where the village of Darbarri is located. There, Jelena is asked by her father, Druid Floyd to travel south of the wall to help the people in the small village of Bramfield. It is a dangerous area for the new Roman emperor has declare that everyone should be forced to become Christians.
Wisps of Cloud
By
Series: Wisps Trilogy Series, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,290. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After leaving a city school, Karla moves to become a principal of a remote country school where her partner has a farm. Tensions arise in the district with a marijuana plantation discovered near the farm and a local bikie gang being suspected as the growers. However, nothing is as it first seems, potential enemies become friends and the trusted, untrustworthy.
Embrace the Fog
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,410. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: July 2, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Travis Crichton and Jacey Roden's weekend orienteering contest in a vintage Mark 4 Jaguar car becomes a journey through a belt of fog and into a strange village called The Valley that is not shown on any map. The people there appear to be living in the 1950s, a time when the car was new. Jacey realises that this is more than random misfortune and that they are caught up in something more sinister.
Like Twigs in a Storm
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 72,690. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2012. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
While converting a closed country school into a summer batch near Wellington, New Zealand, Steve Garnet meets neighbour, Lavina Ryland. Their friendship soon develops into a romance that hurtles them into danger and changes their lives and the life of Lavina's daughter, Cathy forever when they are abandoned in remote bush country to fend for themselves.
Terra Incognita
By
Series: Terra World, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,330. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
In this sequel to The Truth About Terra, Zorell, Evan and Anneke are pulled through to an unknown world in their hovercraft. Enter a world where the line between computers and humanity is blurred, electronic butterflies compete with intelligent bees and the way home to Terra seems to be all but impossible.
Eagle's Claw Lake
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 85,630. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
In the remote Eagle's Claw Lake, Reid and Kate use their amphibian airplane to help Lorie escape from a commune led by a fanatical leader, Peter Littlejohn. But that is just the beginning of the terror as the truth about the commune is revealed and they desperately try to get help. Why has Erika, Lorie's elder sister, returned and is found savagely beaten in the commune's cabin cruiser?
Liberty & Opportunity
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 117,060. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » General
In 1898 Amanda elopes with Jack and develops a publishing empire. Daughter, Dorothy falls in love with a soldier about to be charged for desertion from the trenches in WW1. In World War 11, Cindy becomes a Land Girl in war torn England and tragedy strikes the family. Each period has drama and sometimes tragedy, but vividly illustrates the determination of each woman to enrich her life through
Omega Seed
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 88,460. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The search is over. Computers aboard Starship Omega find a planet that can support humanoid life. It is over populated, polluted and has another problem; forty eight percent of the human population are males, well beyond that needed to maintain the sperm banks. It is time to prepare and awaken Pazz . Alone, with only an armlet computer for company, Pazz lands in the Australian desert.
Into the Wormhole
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,300. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
A wormhole sucks Talya into in a world where the primitive humans are pursued by hexalimbs, six limbed creatures, for food. Along with Gavin, also stranded from Earth, they rescue and befriend Kysum, a tailed humanoid who can metamorphose into other beings, from a hexalimb spaceship. The three transverse time-space in this far off universe in an endeavour to reach Earth but does it even exist?
Crystal Souls
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,900. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
When Jasmin is caught in the terrorist attack on the London underground in 2005, her terrified thoughts help her, as do similar thoughts for Katherine in the year 1310, Trudie in 1874, Giselle in 1945 and Zarine in 2374. They are all awoken in 2341 and find that they are identical in appearance. But are their lives being controlled by something else in the universe that transcends time and space?
Armlet
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 80,070. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The armlet Kolina is given by her dying grandmother has been handed down through her family for countess generations. The armlet connects her to Eboff, a computer with news that she is the descendant of a starship crew that crashed on the planet a millennium before. All the armlet bearers are needed to use technology to stop the the impending nuclear holocaust. But is it already too late?
Anu Factor
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,860. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Anu is the last Blue, an advanced humanoid race living in an hallucinatory world that works well. This is until a car accident causes Talbot to discover that his real existence is an empty, derelict township. Also, the dozens of friends and acquaintances he interacts with don't exist. Anu and a pregnant Erin are the only real people in the town. But where is the man who impregnated Erin?
Generation 7
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,320. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
On the planet Delpe, 1300 human settlers, descended from a stranded starship crew, have been at war with the crucnon, the native insect creatures, for seven generations. When a flying female named Jaddig Qarte crashes in human territory she is befriended by Holly Jurjevics, Generation 7 Leader. Holly finds her a compassionate creature with high moral values, not the ruthless killer expected.
Wind Across The Playground
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,940. Language: English. Published: February 3, 2011. Category: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
In this romantic saga, Neil Overworth arrives to take charge of a two teacher rural school in the South Island of New Zealand with his partner, liberated Lisa. She is one of the five women who has a profound affect on his life through the next quarter a century. There are tragedies along the way, changing attitudes and the profound love that keeps him going through good times and bad.
Shadows Behind
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,310. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2011. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » European
In 1999 Kosovo, refugee Niana Bolsa is abandoned by the Serbs to fend for herself in the mountains. In freezing temperatures, she finds two abandoned children that she takes to Albania. With all records destroyed, nobody queries her right to the children and they emigrate to New Zealand. There she meets Matt and love follows. But the terror so prevalent in her past surfaces with a vengeance
Time Portal
By
Series: Time Ripple Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,680. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Rhett and Shelley travel through a space-time portal where they are met by Dee, their twelve-year old daughter that they never knew existed. Dee is desperate for her brother, Corwin has been caught in a trap set by the girifa, the reptilian equivalent of humanity. However, the enemy are not the girifa but humans living a parallel world from their ancestors' time. But who is really in control?
Blemished Jewel
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,980. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Gail Fernhill, principal of Queen Anne's Girls' School is haunted by her past but befriends property manager Neil Goodall. Neil pierces her reserve and discovers that as a teenager, she killed her abusive father in self-defence. The case is reopened after the discovery of her father's rifle. An undercover police officer and new teacher at the school, Tania Brogan is directed to find evidence.
Time Genes
By
Series: Time Ripple Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,680. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
On Earth in our present time, Lara is involved in a road accident that leaves her as a quadriplegic. She is helped by going through a portal to Havenseed where technology not even discovered on Earth, is used to restore her to a normal life. But does it? Her time genes may allow carnivore plants and reptilian species destroy humanity throughout the known worlds of the 24th century.
Long Valley Road
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 75,830. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2010. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
This fast paced novel combines human emotions of love, empathy, revenge and greed with the sheer force of Mother Nature. The inhabitants of Long Valley Road in New Zealand have their lives changed forever by the events happening around them. Join them and see how an American immigrant family surmount the problems about to descend upon them all.
The Truth About Terra
By
Series: Terra World, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,460. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Terra is a divided world with its history classified. After receiving and ancient script, Zorell and her companions set out and find a secret base containing a hovercraft left by their ancestors. With help from intelligent bees they set out on adventures and problems. Not one but two worlds are changed for ever by their discoveries and fortitude. But is it too late to save humanity?
Azure Sea Gold
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 71,330. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2010. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
In April 1945 U-boat U-2072 carrying Nazi gold heads to Argentina. On board is Kapitanleutnant Friedrichand's fiancée, Kristin Dassmer. The U-boat is sunk by American torpedo bombers off the Bahamas. Kristin finds herself in a lifeboat with Bern Munkelt, the man she is to spend the rest of her life with. They are rescued by Danardo Rolle and taken to a remote island where her adventures begin.
Emerald Eyes Pyramid
By
Series: Emerald Eyes Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,790. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2010. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
In this 3rd adventure, the emerald eyes wizards are sent a millennium back in time. Xentrix the dragon is with them and they rescue a flying girl, Kondel who is about to be sacrificed by priests on a pyre in front of a pyramid. These priests are determined to eliminate all flying creatures from their land. Birds have already disappeared and Kondel is the last of her species left. But is she?
Emerald Eyes Mist
By
Series: Emerald Eyes Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,590. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2010. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
When Cindy and Sylvia are ice skating, a strange mist carries in a little bird with a message on his leg. Through a magical void they meet Gikre, a dwarf who is with Tulco, a girl with emerald eyes like their own. She is caught in a bear trap set by human invaders trying to catch her. They help Tulco but must cope with strange mists; a white one helps them but a red one is a terrible enemy.
Emerald Eyes Destiny
By
Series: Emerald Eyes Trilogy, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,350. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2010. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Teenager, Cindy Meikin has a strange experience that puts her in contact with Sylvia, a girl her own age from another world. After taking Sylvia home she discovers that her mother, Natasha and herself came from this world. The trio visit this war torn land through a void where Cindy finds that she is an Emerald Eye Wizard with strange magical powers that come to her without being called upon.
Catalyst
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 69,650. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2010. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
After a cave-in at Misty Depths Catacombs Wyoming, Renee finds herself stranded with a broken ankle and two strangers, Lem, a business man and a runaway teenager, Courtney. They must trust and depend on each other, not knowing whether they will survive the ordeal. The cave is the catalyst but the events depend on the new catalyst, Renee, who finds herself drawn into the lives of her companions
Time Ripple
By
Series: Time Ripple Trilogy, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,750. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Aari can save Earth by placing it in a time ripple. However, because of the space-time phenomena it may or may not happen. If it doesn't, her world does not exist. But she is on Earth, now, with no memory of what has, or will happen. Can cosmologist, Nareen O'Grady help or is she too involved? Follow them through space-time with two Earths, carnivorous plants and hostile aliens.
Cosmos Quest
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,310. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Starship Human Dawn is the second starship to evacuate the last residents from a dying Earth in search of a new world. The first went missing generations earlier. 5000 humans are in suspended animation while the vessel travels through post-light speed infinity drive under control of computers. Commander Sophie Copland awakens in deep space because of a drop to sub-light speed. But who caused it?
Broken Silence
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,290. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Before his death, Ivan Biermann tells his granddaughter Kim about his arrival in New Zealand as a pilot from a German raider in the last days of World War Two. Mysterious containers were unloaded in Fiordland before his ship was sunk. Even after sixty-five years, danger still lurks for Kim as terrorists are also interested in finding Ivan's secrets and will stop at nothing to obtain them.
Alien Hybrid
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,200. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
When an assassination attempt fails to kill Kali, she discovers that her mother, Jade was abducted and impregnated by an alien. Kali also has an identical twin, Lesha who arrives on Earth to help her escape the assassins. These assassins are not human but androids who are about to supersede human life in the cosmos. Only Kali and Lesha's genetically enhanced telepathic powers can stop them.
Transmigration
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,520. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Four humans find themselves in a village without knowledge of where they come from or who they are. Memories of a war and a different life flash into their minds that are unrelated to their lives ... that is until they meet a farmer who isn't even human. A bombed out city is on the other side of the hills is reached though a railway tunnel. However, the city was destroyed a millennium before.
Arising Magic
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,610. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2010. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
In the days of old, Kyla Kiro does not want to marry the evil Sir Edwin O'Hane. She persuades Shane Wynex the man she really loves to escape with her into the surrounding forest. She has friends there who can help, from Sliver a transman, half human and half tree to the forest dwarfs and talking birds. The prophecies from The Great Book of Everything That Will Be are about to be played out.
When The Longships Came
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,110. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2010. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
In 865AD, Vikings attack the female Bramingham Monastery in the Kingdom of Northumbria. The building is looted with everything of value taken by the pagans. Abbess Jane and senior nuns are slaughtered and the younger nuns abducted into slavery. Maiden Kendra, minding the monastery sheep on the top plateau during the attack survives. This is her story.
Jana Adrift
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,340. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2009. Category: Fiction » Adventure » General
Jana and Kelsie along with artist Rowan and an elderly couple, Hank and Denise are passengers on a container ship Konstellation on a three month Pacific Ocean cruise. Terrorists attack the ship and strip it. The five hide and later make it to an atoll. Problems arise when they attempt to live together.

 A month later a boat arrives but it is from North Korea. How does Jana cope?
Mud Mafia
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,710. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2009. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
The Mud Mafia are three ordinary teenagers; Kelsie, Laura and Jason who have two extraordinary adventures on offshore New Zealand islands. They are on a bike ride through a pine forest when they are abducted and held for ransom by environmental terrorists. In the second story the trio return the following Christmas holidays. and are forced into a submarine for further adventures.
Claire
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,420. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2009. Category: Fiction » Romance » Adult
The liberated 60s have not reached the shores of New Zealand when Claire, a single pregnant girl is sent up-country to have her child, which is to be adopted out. The Sloane family are strangers who offer to board her through this time. But are they?