Rick has been married to his wife Patti for thirty years and they have two children, Scott and Caitlin. His first novel The What If Project was written in November during the 2016 NaNoWriMo event. The book is now available in paperback and multiple ebook formats. Recently, he released a collection of poetry A Head Full of Random Thoughts. He is currently working on a new novel and finishing a previously begun young adult tale. Two other novels are in the revising and editing stages.
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About the Book
A Head Full of Random Thoughts is a collection of accessible modern poetry inspired by the people and memories of an everyday life. Although a handful have been posted online, most are being seen for the very first time! The book features over 80 original poems grouped into five sections. A handful have been published online, but most have never been shared before now.
In “Observations on an Everyday Life,” the poet takes a look at a variety of common, ordinary situations. “People” includes a series of tribute poems about family and friends. “Social Commentary” contains poems about politics and current events, from the view of a Christian conservative. “Memories of Days Gone By” looks at childhood memories, or fragments of the past. The final section, “Just the Way I Feel,” contains the odds and ends, those introspective pieces that come late at night.
Written over the last two years, these are the random thoughts that bounce around inside the head of a poet. Some are serious, some are whimsical, but all are honest and heartfelt.
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Keep reading for an interview with the author:
Why did you decide to be a writer?
I am a retired educator and I have always loved to write. Following my retirement, my son encouraged me to look into NaNoWriMo and I wrote my first novel in 2016 just to see if I could do it. Since then, I have written two more novels and my recent book of poetry.
Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?
After I completed my first novel, I had a very easy time sharing it. I gave it to a few close friends, did some revising and editing and found myself eager to publish. It was a little scary waiting for reactions, but overall, I was excited to be able to share my stories with other people.
Do you have a "day job"?
I spent thirty-five years in education, teaching English, coaching, and eventually going into administration. After retiring in 2015, I have committed to investing time in writing.
What genres do you write?
Up to this point, I have written mostly fiction. My latest project is a collection of poetry, but I have already begun work on my next novel.
Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?
I have an idea for a science fiction novel, but it is somewhat out of my comfort zone and I have not yet worked up the courage to begin. What attracts me, and scares me, is that it is not like anything I have written before.
How often do you write?
When I am in the middle of a project, I try to write at least something each day. Revising and editing are much harder for me and I tend to write much less when I am doing so. I also blog weekly.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
Two of my three completed novels were done during NaNoWriMo and completed in 30 days. That doesn't count the revision process which obviously adds to the time devoted to the novel. The third novel took about two and a half months. Once I have begun, I tend to get the first draft done fairly quickly.
What authors/books have most influenced you?
My favorite author is Stephen King, but I also love John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Lee Child, and Gillian Flynn.
When did you first consider yourself an author?
Probably when my first book was published and I actually held the first printed copy of the paperback in my hands.
What are your goals as an author?
My current goals are to publish the next two novels (which are already written) and complete at least one more that is in the planning stages. Beyond that, I want to keep writing and try to get my books out to a wider audience.
Are you a pantser or outliner?
I am a little of both, but mostly a pantser. I have a very broad outline in mind when I begin, but the story often takes its own course once I start. As I write, new characters appear, and new situations pop up that I never anticipated, and I go with the flow.
Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?
My first book was entirely fictional, but my latest is almost all based on my experiences in education. Although I am writing it as fiction, most of the stories are based on actual events. I am changing the outcomes and combining different locations, but most of the experiences really happened.
Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
The book I hope to publish next is a fictionalized memoir about my experiences in education. Most of the characters in the book are based on real people. Fortunately, as a work of fiction, I can combine characters and their actions and even make them nicer (or meaner) than the real people on whom they are based.