Post by James Lindorf
More than 100,000 guests are expected at the Colorado Convention Center for this year’s Denver Comic Con. The three-day event begins Friday June 15th and runs through the weekend. Attendees will be able to enjoy 200+ celebrities, artists and authors, tons of comics and collectibles, and the more than 600 hours of panels and programming including a canine cosplay contest. I was lucky enough to be able to talk with a few of their featured authors and I hope you enjoy learning about them and their work.
Cynthia “C.R.” Richards’ was a co-author of horror and urban fantasy novels, before Whiskey Creek Press published her first solo project in 2013. Richards, born on a military base in Utah and spent much of her childhood with her grandmother who trained her to spot fairies in the backyard giving her a love of fantasy creatures. Her first novel, Phantom Harvest, book one in her The Mutant Casebook Series, took home the EPIC eBook Award for Fantasy in 2014. Richards beat out entries from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia among other English speaking countries. She is an active member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Horror Writers Association. For more information about her and her books, visit www.crrichards.com.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer and when did decide you were going to make that dream come true?
The moment I won my third grade short story competition, I knew I wanted to write. I’d spent many afternoons under the big tree in our backyard telling stories to my young nephews. Story telling has always been a big part of who I am.
Sometimes life has a way of suppressing childhood dreams when you reach adulthood. I found a “practical” career and stopped writing for a long time. It wasn’t until I ran into a hard patch in my life, I decided to start writing again as a type of stress relief. In 2004 I began writing an epic fantasy tale. I fell in love with the characters and the story. It was for the love of this tale, I knew I had to keep writing. I committed to see the story through to publication.
What was the moment like when you found out your first book was going to be published?
It was a long, long road to getting my first book published. I was elated! It was a type of vindication. So many people told me publishing a book was next to impossible. I held onto the faith I have in my dreams. It worked out well in the end.
When you are ready to start a new story how do you approach the project, do you write a detailed outline or sit down and see where the keyboard takes you?
My first draft of an idea usually involves free writing. I don’t worry about details, grammar or spelling. Once I start this lazy draft, I don’t stop until the idea is completely on the page (usually this happens at 3am). Then I begin the detailed outline and go from there.
Your stories tend to have fantasy and or swords and sorcery type elements, what draws you to that style of story?
I love the possibilities available in the Fantasy genre. For example, my novel Pariah was about elves and other fantasy creatures interacting with humans on the Vegas Strip. You can explore all sorts of what if scenarios in Fantasy. While there are rules to the genre, I feel I’m not as constrained as I might be writing other genres.
Is there anyone you would compare your style to or is it something that is uniquely your own?
I think my style is uniquely my own. You’ve gotta be you. I tried adopting J.K. Rowling’s style when I was a newbie with horrible results.
Your first novel Phantom Harvest won EPIC’s eBook Award for Fantasy Fiction. What was that like and did it put you at ease going into your second book or double down on the pressure?
It was a very humbling experience. I entered the contest on a whim, never expecting to win. Accepting the award was a special experience. I had my friends and family with me in San Antonio for the event.
Each book has its own set of challenges. I’m working on number six and still feel that pressure to make it better than the last book.
Your most recent novel was the second entry into your Heart of the Warrior series, what traits do you think are necessary for a compelling hero? I enjoy writing and reading about characters who – despite their flaws – have the courage to keep trying. They must be relatable (not perfect).
For people who are just discovering your work how would you sum up your Heart of the Warrior and Mutant Casebook series?
Heart of the Warrior is about a young man trying to find his destiny and the man of honor who – despite losing everything – sees his duty done.
The Mutant Casebook follows the story of two very flawed characters, trying their best to survive in a world meant for only the strong. You will be attending Denver Comic Con this weekend, what do you enjoy about the con experience?
I look forward to chatting with my readers and interacting with fellow fantasy fans. Seeing the detailed and imaginative cosplay is wonderful.
If you were going to attend the convention in cosplay which character would you choose and why? It can be one of yours or from all of pop culture.
Great question! If I was going to do cosplay, I think I’d trying coming as Gracie the Seer from my book, Pariah. Don’t know how I’d pull off that third eye in her forehead though.
You have probably attended many conventions at this point do you have a favorite moment or encounter from your travels?
One of my favorite moments happened when I was attending HWA (Horror Writers Association) conference and the Bram Stoker Awards in Atlanta. Bram Stoker’s grand nephew (I think it was grand nephew) gave a lecture on Dracula and Bram Stoker. We rode in the elevator together and he asked me about my books. What a great experience and a great honor. Dracula (the real one not the sparkling version) is one of my all time favorite characters.
What are you currently working on and do you know when it will be available?
I’m working on Creed of the Guardian, Book Three in the Heart of the Warrior series. It will be available in Spring/ Summer 2019. My goal is to have it ready for DCC (Denver Comic Con) 2019.
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