Interview with R. D. Blake

What are your five favorite books, and why?
One of my favorite authors is Neil Stephanson. In particular I enjoyed Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Series (a classic and must read for everyone). Another author is Tad Williams. His Otherland and Shadowmarch were intriguing from start to finish.
How do you approach cover design?
I prefer to select a scene from the later episodes of the book--one that includes some level of interest or suspense and that will perk the reader's interest to reach that part of the story. It's not always an easy decision when you have a multitude of key characters within a novel.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading a wide variety of subjects: science fiction, biographies on past presidents and other leaders in business and politics, and almost anything on WWII.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After selling my interest in a promotional products e-commerce business I wanted to branch off in another direction. Even as a child, I possessed an active imagination and having suffered somewhat from insomnia from my teen years and onward I made up stories in my head as I tried to drift off to sleep. I suppose its a skill that had been enhanced over that period of time and I don't find it all that difficult to tackle these kinds of projects.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Simply having someone else enjoy the story and discover themselves living the lives of the characters I have created.
What are you working on next?
There are two books that should be published later this year: "Suppression" and "Unvanquished: The Tale of Two Sisters". The first is a science fiction novel wherein the teenage protagonist discovers his past is something else entirely and is helped or "manipulated" to determine what that is through the assistance of a mysterious and enigmatic college-aged woman. The story line may sound familiar or overused, but I believe the readers will ultimately agree with me that the novel is truly original in many of its aspects.

"Unvanquished" is story a medieval fantasy in which Kara Jolivet sets out to rescue her sister Margaux who has been kidnapped by the black dragon, Darkspur. Not only does Kara struggle to overcome the many challenges that she must face during her odyssey into unknown lands but also in the attitudes of her male companions who deem that women have no place on the battlefield or in any other military endeavors.

Currently, I'm working on detailed outlines for an English murder novel and another science fiction trilogy. And of course, the seven book series on the Saga of Michael Liddle remains on-going.
What is your writing process?
Generally, some ideas will strike me and I'll let it percolate in my mind for several weeks. If the notion still contains some merit I'll begin a file and jot down more ideas over the following months, even a year. Then I'll sort them into some kind of chronological order and spec out the main characters in the story. From there, I just start writing and let the Muse take me where it will.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Michael Liddle: The Rise of the N'uru is my most recent published book. This is the third in the series that will ultimately be seven books. At the conclusion of the second book, Michael and Alowyn determine that the "Gift of the Ideema" is hidden on Earth. This third novel follows the deepening relationship between the Tylani princess and Michael as he goes through the eighth grade back in his home in Cantonville and also their struggles to locate this gift that appears to be some sort of device that will save Alowyn's home planet and its adjacent worlds from the Elhadra, a merciless and expanding empire from another part of the same galactic arm of the Milky Way. All the while, Michael finds it growing impossible to hide the secrets about his true identity and powers from his mother and friends in Cantonville.
What were your motivations to write the Saga of Michael Liddle?
Even though this would be my first series of books, I wanted to write something of significance, that would be a narrative dealing with many of the issues humanity faces: faith and hope versus distrust and despair, good versus evil, free choice versus destiny, love and hate--and how these opposites both define and either cause us to stumble or rise above them. The Saga of MIchael Liddle starts off simply enough but as the story unfolds book by book and the characters grow older from eleven years of age to seventeen by the seventh book, they have grown more complex and diverse and the dilemmas and situations they face become more complicated. There are many other themes running through the series: a father's influence and the heritage they leave for their children, the importance of family, spirituality and alternate realities, loss and recovery, a boy and his dog, a girl and her cat, friendship, betrayal, and secrets and the misunderstandings and the unforeseen consequences that arise from them.
What other interests do you have?
I've been avid canoe enthusiast and camper since my teenage years. Most years since then find me in Algonquin Park in Ontario canoeing and camping for several days. I also enjoy hiking and have traveled the entire Bruce Trail, a tract that winds through Southern Ontario, a distance of over 900 kilometers. And I pull out the bike every chance I get to travel here and there about the community I live in.
Published 2016-04-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Between The Crosses Row On Row
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 130,540. Language: English. Published: April 24, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Even before David Hutchings and Clare Edwards arrive in St. Milborn-Under-the-Hill, they discover there are secrets within the precincts of the village, secrets despite its bucolic setting that speak of long-held animosities, secrets that have obscured the truth behind the death of one of the villagers.Yet it is their own secret and sinful pasts that goad them to the solution of the murder.
Prodigium: Ascension
Series: Prodigium. Price: $3.99 $2.00 USD. (50% off!) Words: 111,540. Language: Canadian English. Published: August 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
More than four millennia ago, humanity was freed to spread out across the Milky Way, its future set firmly on a new course—or so all believed. Yet that greater liberty revealed itself as only a chimera until two teenagers, two prodigies from the world of Galileo, discovered each other. It was from those juvenile and inauspicious beginnings that they ascended—and brought us with them.
Suppression
Price: $3.99 $2.00 USD. (50% off!) Words: 64,740. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
Ryan Nielsen felt he was cursed, on a never ending, swirling descent into the gutter, simply struggling for existence, and suppressing his hopeless love for the girl down the street. Then someone else came into his life who asked "Is this all you want?" There was only one answer to that! Soon, he had the girl of his dreams but discovered there was more to him than he could ever have imagined.
Unvanquished: The Tale of Two Sisters
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 103,060. Language: Canadian English. Published: August 9, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fairy Tales, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Princess Kara stands in the fulcrum of what is to come. Her world is changing, reverting, once again facing threats and creatures once believed to have been obliterated. Her father, King Jolivet, agreed to her training but is unaware of what ultimately will be required of her, in the dark as much as she is. And now, her sister, Princess Margaux's life rests in the claws of the dragon, Darkspur.
Imprisoned: The Princess and the Stable Boy
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 66,090. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Ever since Princess Charlotte had ordered Broderick to ride with her to the old mill, his life had been turned upside down with no one granting him the right to choose his own future. With every new situation that befell him with the princess, Broderick only felt the cell door in the castle dungeon looming that much closer and the hangman’s noose appearing more and more a sure certainty.
Cursed: The Tale of No One, Nobody, and No Where
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 87,240. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Historical » Medieval
“As long as she lives, may she turn uglier each day… be less fair, less desirable and that it continue until her death.” Black, evil, merciless words spoken by one whom Ilena, in all of her innocence, believed loved her. What then can oppose such a foul curse? What act of man or greater power can overcome it? There is a way and that, my friend, is the great need of No One and No Body in Nowhere.
Michael Liddle: Rise of the N'uru
Series: The Saga of Michael Liddle. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 222,040. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
The means to find the Ideema Gift fail and Michael believes the search had become hopeless. And the prophecy now includes references to "The Lost" and "The Forsaken." What that portends is lost in the midst of Alowyn's sudden disappearance. And despite his growing powers, Michael cannot find her. Adding to his troubles is a new warning: Beware the N'uru, an ancient Yeddura word meaning "Death."
MIchael Liddle: Search for the Bastion
Series: The Saga of Michael Liddle. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 191,510. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
It’s bad enough that Michael and Alowyn are expected to find the "Gift of the Ideema," a device that will save the princess' worlds from the dark threat of the Elhadra. Now the Procifi are naming him the “Arribahur” — “the one who opens the bridge,” located somewhere in an unexplained and mysterious "Bastion," to their home world. And it seems there is danger lurking in every direction he takes.
Michael Liddle: The Portal of Prophecy
Series: The Saga of Michael Liddle. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 136,160. Language: Canadian English. Published: April 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
An ancient prophecy concerning the Chosen and the Cast-Out and an approaching dark force that threatens many planets out in the galaxy turns eleven year old Michael Liddle's own world upside down. Secrets begin to define his entire life, not only with what he begins to discover about himself, but in how he must hide the truth from his mother and his new school friends.