Monday, December 19, 2016

Author Interview with Richard Paolinelli

(C) Richard Paolinelli
I have found a new favorite author for sure. I hope you enjoy getting to know Mr. Paolinelli as much as I have. He is an accomplished writer, and has written books in several genres. I was excited to see that he's also written two Sherlock Holmes stories. I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I spent much of my youth reading Sherlock Holmes, and I have passed that love on to my children. I hope you find a book or two that you just have to read written by Richard Paolinelli!


If you could, would you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I started out as a freelance writer and photographer in West Texas in the mid-1980s, was the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics series, Seadragon, and then went to work as a sportswriter in 1991. Two decades later I retired from newspapers and decided to restart my fiction writing and I’ve been pretty busy since then.

How long have you been writing? 

Since 1984.

So, what have you written? 

Two novelettes (The Invited and Legacy of Death), two historical sports non-fiction books (From The Fields and Perfection’s Arbiter), a science fiction novel (Maelstrom), two Sherlock Holmes pastiches (Beyond Watson and Holmes Away From Home) and the first two books of the four-book Jack Del Rio series (Reservations and Betrayals).

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book(s)?

There is a trailer for Maelstrom that can be viewed here:

Where can we find your books?, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

What genre are your books?

Science fiction, mystery-thriller and sports non-fiction.

Is there something about this genre that draws you to it?

I grew up reading a lot of sci-fi and mysteries and I really enjoy creating them myself. With my background in sports I also enjoy researching stories related to sports from the past.

Do you have a favorite book that you've written?

From The Fields. It deals with the history of high school football played in my hometown of Turlock, California. It also touches on some of the city’s history. I learned a lot about my hometown while researching the book and I really enjoyed relating what I had learned to others through the book.

If you could cast anyone to play the characters in your most recent book, who would they be?

I would cast Luke Evans in the role of Jack Del Rio in both Reservations and Betrayals. I think Luke matches the Del Rio I see in my head when I write the character and I think he could pull it off.

Why do you write?

I love creating new characters and new worlds for them to interact with. Hearing from readers how they were touched by the character or the story is the best payoff for all of the hard work.

Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

I’m really not sure to be honest. Two years ago if you asked me if I’d ever be writing original Sherlock Holmes stories I would have laughed at you. But now I have stories in two different Holmes Anthologies that were released this year.

I’m trying not to spend too much time worrying about where I’ll be that I fail to enjoy the journey getting there.

Where do your ideas come from?

A lot of different places. I just finished a book that got its start while listening to a song on the radio. Most start with me asking a basic question: What if? Then it goes from there.

Maelstrom started that way. I was thinking what if a man created a way to prevent an asteroid from striking the planet but when it turns on the device everything goes south?

Some authors use outlines, some just fly by the seat of their pants. How do you write?

Outlines. Some are more detailed than others. From The Fields was very detailed because I was writing about 95 years of history and wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything. My fiction stories have a basic outline and I kind of wing it from there.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I don’t really keep track but I know it varies a lot. I know that From The Fields took two years from start (research) to finish (published). Both Reservations and Betrayals took about two months to write.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

Not really. I have so many other things going on that I am flexible on when I write. The only rule I have is that I make sure I devote at least 2-3 hours a day to either writing or promoting.

Do you design your own book covers?

So far, yes, I have done all of my covers. But I am hoping to have the covers done by someone else from now on.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Yes. An interesting cover will draw the interest of the reader enough to get them to pick up the book and check it out.

How do you market your books?

Social media, book reviewers, radio appearances and sites like this one.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

No matter what marketing plan you decide on, you have to do some kind of marketing every day. You cannot just write it, publish it and sit back and wait for the first royalty check. A successful author is the one who puts in more work on the book AFTER it is released than he/she did while writing it.

Do you have any advice on how to get book reviews?

There are plenty of book bloggers and review sites – many that will review your book for nothing more than a free e-book copy – that are easy to find online. If you go to my reviews page on my website you can find several book reviewers that you can reach out to.

What are your thoughts on good vs. bad reviews?

Both are useful to you if you have an open mind. Everyone loves the 5-star and 4-star reviews. But the lowly 1 & 2 stars can provide you with some useful information that you can apply to your next book.

Not everyone is going to like or love your book, even the big-name authors get negative reviews. The thing is to not dwell overmuch on the bad reviews and never – ever – respond to one. You only come out looking bad when you try it.

The thing I try to keep in mind is this: You are never as great as your best review and never as bad as your worst review.

Who are your favorite authors?

Jack McDevitt, David McCullough, Edgar Allan Poe & H.G. Wells

If you could have been an author for any book, who would it be and what book?

The Mummy by Anne Rice.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If this is what you want to do, if you cannot envision any other path for yourself, then never stop writing. No matter what happens.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

I think the only thing we haven’t touched on is my favorite pizza – peperoni & black olive by the way – but I do want to thank you for interviewing me.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?




Twitter (and Gab): @ScribesShade

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