Here at Olympia, we love hearing from our authors, getting an insight into their lives in writing and asking them what their advice would be to future authors. This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Richard Cridland about his book.
How old were you when you first wrote something substantial?
English lessons at school were one of my favourites especially when the teacher gave us the title of our story to write for homework. Thinking back, what images entered my mind when the title was, say, The Face at the Window. Where could your imagination take you with that? Is the face looking in or looking out? Man or woman? Old or young etc. etc. My mind was filled with countless ideas and I wrote my most descriptive piece and hoped for a good mark. But as I entered my middle teens my yearnings were more for sport and maybe my aspirations to write a good story were forgotten or rather put on hold. However, I did get a story printed in the school magazine, General Fruttleworth and the Snake, if I remember correctly.
Did you ever have aspirations to become a writer?
So, it was many years later when personal computers arrived in our lives to make writing so much easier that I wrote a short story about “a golfing duel”. Funnily enough, this story made it into my recently published novel. Well that story filled a chapter but as all authors know unless you are running at about 100,000 words you haven’t got a book. Faced with that fact, the work began to get ideas down in writing. For those who haven’t tried to write it is not an easy task. Some days the ideas flow and your fingers fly across the keys others are less active but I found that if you just keep going, get some words and thoughts on paper, regard that day as a success.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
It is important to have an idea for your plot, twists and turns are optional but add interest for the reader. A timeline is important too if your story covers many years. And think about your story, which you will if it’s exciting for you. Even when you are sitting watching TV, on a bus or driving you will find you are building a character or another plot change. You might need a notepad to jot down ideas as they come so that you remember them later. You will revisit and polish when you reread as I did many, many, many times. So just keep going is my motto.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Three important points here-
Number one, in the writing of my book I was fortunate that my wife had a wonderful real-life back-story for me which I developed the book around. Number two, I was lucky enough to lose my job and go to live with one of my daughters in Ibiza for three months. Peace, solitude and a creative cloak descended upon me and I finished my book. Sort of.
Number three- I was lucky to meet a successful published author over there, a friend of my daughters, who told me, “it’s not what you put in the book, it’s what you leave out that’s important. Make the reader want to find out where this story is going”. So helpful and so true.
What did you find easiest and hardest about writing?
Yes, I was rejected by several publishers, but it brought a tear to my eye that day when one of the editors at Olympia wrote to tell me that he thought my book had something and wanted to see my work in print!
What was your favourite part of your book to write?
A lot of memories are wrapped up in my novel and many parts made me a little emotional when re-reading but after about 12 months of rewrites, changes and alterations, the box of books arrived, it all seemed worth the struggle. A published author, I felt so proud of myself, as did my family.
Do you have any plans to publish more work?
As I left the ending of the book open-ended, a number of my readers have asked about the next book. Well, that is happening, I have about 12,000 words down but unfortunately, I have a job now so it may take me some time to complete.
If you could review Olympia Publishers in just a few words, what would they be?
Through the process, Olympia has been very supportive and helpful. As a first-time author, I needed their undoubted professionalism and guidance to achieve my goal. Thanks, Olympia, for giving me the opportunity.
This may amuse you, it made me smile.
Not long after I received my box of books, my wife and I are in bed reading one night. I am reading a novel written by Ken Follett and my wife is reading a novel written by her husband. Me, Richard Cridland, now who would have thought that.
Get yourself a copy of Richard's book here! https://olympiapublishers.com/books/balancing-the-scalesBack to Blog