Interview with Richard Watkins

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full time as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner, so it's more a case of what else do you do in your spare time besides write. That said, I manage to fit in a family life which revolves largely around the dog, the kids, my wife and then me, in that order, and fit in the things I like to do around it. I have a bit of a grasshopper mind and flit from one project to another. Reading goes with writing, of course, but since being young I have always enjoyed making things. I have a little railway that I am always trying to scratch build stuff for (it will still be an ongoing project when I am on my last legs) and there is always a project that my youngest boy wants to tackle next.
Music is always there too. It is always in my head and any genre that is musically interesting is worth listening to.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything really, so long as the story takes me places. I don't see myself as a genre specific writer, and certainly not a genre specific reader. From fantasy to a whodunit, it is the style of writing that draws me in.
Describe your desk
That is easy, I don't really have one. There is a desk at home with a PC, but it is everyone's. My "desk" is really wherever I am with a device to write with, be it pen and paper or my smart phone.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hearing someone talk about the stuff that has come out of my head, and finding that they enjoyed reading it. It is such a buzz knowing that I've given someone that enjoyment.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has made it possible for me to get my work out there in as broad a way as possible. It is as simple as that. They seem to have gone out of their way to make publishing as easy as possible, explaining every step clearly, so that it just isn't scary any more.
How do you approach cover design?
The first thing I try to think about is how I can convey the feeling of the book what must really be quite an abstract way. I ask myself how I can make an image that hopefully is eye catching and has relevance to the book. Both the covers I have created so far are of ordinary objects, but the images altered to make them appear unusual. It seems to work because they appear simple, yet unusual.
Who are your favorite authors?
Umberto Eco. Ever since I read The Name of the Rose, but it's not just that book, I just like the way he tells me the story. It's much the same with Stephen King. When I first started reading his books as a teenager, I found that he was like a friend talking to me and telling me a tale. Philip Pullman is a genius. His writing is simply beautiful, compelling and sometimes shockingly blunt. I learned not to pull my punches from him.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
His Dark Materials- I loved this from the first few pages, but as it went on it gripped me and drew me deeper into the story. The shocking end to the first book is genius, but the way the concepts develop are unsurpassed. Every time I read it I sink into the worlds he created. It is a beautiful story.
The Name of the Rose- complex and rich in in history, it again is a book that is so much more than a simple whodunit. The world he draws you into is full of intrigue and grotesques.
The Lord of the Rings- I've read this so many times and still find things that I haven't noticed before. I still remember how it made me feel the first time they entered the mines of Moria...
Brave New World & The Hound of the Baskervilles- both these stories have travelled with me since I left home. The Hound is such a solid, well put together story, and just Holmes at his best. Brave New World caught my mind at an age when I started to really appreciate the idea of the "what if..."
The Shining- brilliant if only for the away you are made to invest and like Jack and how you feel when he inevitably descends into evil.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first books I remember reading were the Tintin books. Adventure, humour and drama- what more could a small boy want. I could read them by myself by the time I started school.
Published 2015-02-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Micheal
You set the price! Words: 4,830. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical, Fiction » Inspirational
A short story told by David. Locked within his own body, he sees, hears and feels everything, especially pain. Utterly alone, he is assumed to be brain damaged beyond hope. That is until Michael comes- a very different kind of nurse.
Banten
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,230. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
When her husband returns from a business conference Eve finds that he has brought home more than just a souvenir. The little statue is given pride of place in the house and Eve joins in with the game, offering it Banten, offerings to the gods in return for protection. Too late, she realizes that this is no game... and that there is always a price to be paid.