Interview with Rick Noel

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't really remember the first story I ever read, but I do remember being an avid reader (still am) that explored one adventure after another with each adventure giving me some insight into life that I might not have had before the story.
What is your writing process?
The process is straightforward. I start with an idea which evolved as a result of an incident real or imagined. I then think of the idea in terms of whether its story and action would lend itself to a narrative fiction approach. If that works, I begin a chain of events outline and toy with the outline until I have a reasonable narrative path which leads to a satisfying conclusion. That done, I write until the story is told. Usually working my way through 4 or 5 revisions before I am satisfied with the work. Once complete...I hope the story will be read because I always believe the story was worth telling and worth sharing.
How do you approach cover design?
I think the cover of a book should set the stage for the reader. Not necessarily literally, but through a hint of what might come. A suggestion of a theme allows the mind to build its own conclusions. The title should evoke thought. The image should suggest a position for the story (for example: you wouldn't show an image of the desert if the story takes place in the arctic) and invite the reader to discover how the image reflects the path of the narrative.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Dirty Lip, Lumpy, and the Zube--because it was a labor of love for me to write it and tell the story of what it was like to grow up in a small town during the Eisenhower era like I did. But even at that, unexpected and agonizing events can happen anywhere. This story shows how.
Hidden Madness (in final revision at this time)--because it is a story based on one of the most hideous nightmares I have ever had and writing the story was sheer joy for me. Exploring the theme of serendipity and fate was extremely interesting yet an unbelievable amount of work.
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak--This epic tale opened my eyes to the basic theme that all mankind share the nature of humanity no matter when or where they are in time or geography. Life is life and living is a compilation of all emotions and ideals of man.
Carrie by Stephen King--This first book of his told an amazing story of human emotion in conflict with life and the supernatural. One of my favorite themes: People dealing with the unreal with their own realities.
Dr. No by Ian Fleming--The first James Bond book I ever read which set the stage for all that would follow. I love all the Bond books for their adventure, complexity and great characters.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy fiction that has some sort of well-crafted action and adventure within it and which traces the path of the characters as the story evolves through them to some satisfying conclusion.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an iPad and a Nook and I use them both to great advantage.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have just begun the process of marketing my book. I hope to use all avenues available to me to expose my book to readers but it's too early to say which will work best. I just hope for some success at any level.
Describe your desk
My career was in communication, marketing and the visual arts. Because of that, I have both an area for exploring illustration, graphic design and fine arts as well as a computer station where I do most of my writing and most of my computer graphics. Surrounded by paintings I have done, photos I have taken, family pics, a reference library and a source for music, my desk is a clutter of friendly, familiar and useful items. Other distracting necessities such as a fridge and a phone are on the other side of the room.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in central Illinois during the early fifties. Back then, kids were very independent because parents seemed to be so busy making a living they didn't focus so profoundly on the whereabouts of their children every minute of every day. Because of this freedom, kids did whatever they needed to do to get along in their everyday existence. This created a world of possibilities for youthful experiences and adventures. I mostly write from the memories and experiences from that time and hence which led me to become who I am today.
When did you first start writing?
I had a horrible dream in the late 1980s. I told my wife about it and she said "Wow! That would make a great story." I considered that idea for a time and one day sat down to write (I hoped I could do it) the story. Many months and a lot of careful study of the art of fiction writing later, I finished the first draft. Although it was very labor intensive, I enjoyed it and everything else came from there.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to tell a story of a human confrontation with fear. It seemed a sensible opportunity to set the story as a reflection of someone's past. It also seemed sensible to put it in a point of view that I understood-a person with my past with characters that relate to me. The story reflects those things in a presentation of a fairly realistic narrative of that era.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I just see indie publishing as a path to get exposure for the stories you want to tell. Telling your story is important to you, but sharing your story is equally important. Indie publishing is a wonderful opportunity for that sharing process.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I just started in the Smashwords world. I do hope it becomes an avenue for the presentation and sharing the stories I've told and of future stories I hope to tell.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Probably the satisfaction of good feedback. "I enjoyed your story." "Wow. Fascinating." "Where on earth did that idea come from?" "I loved your characters." are the greatest nourishment any writer might enjoy for it makes the labor worthwhile. Financial success is good, too.
What do your fans mean to you?
If anyone reads my book, I become their fan immediately and enjoy their interest and support at all levels.
What are you working on next?
Final revisions of "Hidden Madness" (tentative title). Should be finalized before long and hopefully on the Smashwords site not long after.
Who are your favorite authors?
Most of them. I've read everything from Wilkie Collins to Clive Clusser and enjoy them all. I will say that Ian Fleming, Stephen King, Preston & Childs, and John Sandford rise to the top of my list of favorites.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Usually breakfast. After that, I hope to explore some aspect of the creative arena in a hands on way.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do most of what I do with my wife. We go to movies, the library, casino hopping, eating out, visiting our kids and all that people having fun stuff. In between all that, I dabble in the creative arts.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I surf the ebook sites looking for intriguing possibilities.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was called "Haunts" and it was a story about facing terrible fear from the point of view of the ghost. Published in a small indie pub called "The Raven" quite a while back.
Published 2015-11-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dirty Lip, Lumpy, and the Zube
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 123,950. Language: American English. Published: October 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Halloween weekend 1958 was a time when Richie Nolan and his friends would experience good friendships, odd adventures, and a lingering ghost story. But, they also would face incredible horror. In a terrifying chain of events, the boys must face unexpected and unspeakable, vicious malevolence. Will the boys triumph in the face of this unbelievable terror. Only Richie holds the answer.