I sat down with Author Richard Stephenson and learned about what makes him tick as a writer and his Science Fiction Thriller, Collapse.
Where are you originally from?
I grew up in the North Texas area in the suburbs of Dallas.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I have been a voracious reader since I learned how to read. I have been in law enforcement for the last fifteen years and have to right reports various memorandums detailing a wide variety of things. My writing skills have always impressed my supervisors and co-workers. I just sat down one day and starting sketching out an outline to my first book. A week later I started Chapter One and have been writing like mad for the last two months.
What is/are your favorite genre(s)?
A little of everything I imagine. If I had to narrow it down, I would say Science Fiction, Espionage, Thrillers, and most of all Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Are you currently reading anything?
Kill Shot, by Vince Flynn
Who or what is the driving force that keeps you going?
Keeps me going in life or keeps me going in writing? My wife and children are the driving force that keeps me going. I'm not kidding, if I were single with no kids, I would either be a hermit living on top of a mountain, or that crazy homeless guy outside the library shouting conspiracy theories and stealing books to read.;
How do you balance your personal life with writing?
Well, being in law enforcement I have never enjoyed the typical Mon to Fri 9a-5p job. My "weekend" is usually in the middle of the week. I have an empty house while my wife is at work and the kids are at school. Can't ask for a better writing environment.
Tell us about your book.
Collapse is set fifteen years in the future. Our country is falling apart. The Second Great Depression is crushing the spirit of a nation. The Middle East has united into one terrifying army of jihadist warriors. The most powerful hurricane on record has destroyed most of Florida. Basically, really, really bad stuff is going on. The book centers around three men, all from different walks of life, and how they manage to survive on their own. In the end, they band together to hopefully save the country.
What made you decide to write your book?
I have always been a sucker for disaster movies and end of the world type of stuff. Not because of the science fiction aspect of it or the edge of your seat action. Its much more than that. I have always been fascinated with the survival aspect of it. How ordinary, unremarkable people are truly tested in the face of destruction and find out exactly what they are made of. If you take away all of our comforts, our fast food, our addiction to the internet, what would happen? How fast would we descend into chaos? Four years ago our region was hit with a category three hurricane. Working in law enforcement, I had to send my family to stay with friends and I had to stay behind because of my job. After the storm passed, we went at least sixteen hours completely cut off from the rest of the world. No cell phones, no internet, no radio stations on the dial, no cable tv, no broadcast tv, absolutely no communication of any kind outside of building a fire for smoke signals. When I say nothing, I mean NOTHING. I remember thinking that aliens could have landed on the White House lawn and we'd have been none the wiser. We were completely and totally on our own. It was then that I imagined an entire country living like that. It was terrifying.
Do you have any upcoming events or book promotions?
I have a sneak peek of the first seven chapters available for free available on my website.
Where can people find you and your work on the web?
Be sure to check out Richard Stephenson's Website and catch a
sneak peek of the first seven chapters of Collapse!