Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hello everyone. My name is Richard Paolinelli and I am 54 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Turlock, California but thanks to my Dad’s drilling business and then my own career I’ve moved around a lot and pretty much lived all over the western half of the United States.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a father of two, grandfather of two as well and just celebrated my 26th anniversary with my wife, Cheryl. When we aren’t spoiling the grandsons we’re spoiling our 12-year-old house hound, Waldo. Education-wise I was in college when I got my first job offer as a writer, so I left school. One of these days I should probably go back and get my bachelor’s degree in something, especially since my wife is about a year or so away from getting her doctorate. But I am so busy with my writing career I literally don’t have the time to even do a online course right now.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
There’s a lot to tell. My novel, Escaping Infinity, won several awards and was a finalist for Best Sci-Fi novel last September at DragonCon’s Dragon Awards. I have several short stories that will be coming out in anthologies this year. I just released a western I co-wrote with Jim Christina, The Last Lonely Trail. I will have a new sci-fi/fantasy novel released on September 4th, When The Gods Fell, which I will have copies with me when I attend DragonCon in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. and I am working on a five-book children’s sci-fi series, The Timeless, which was inspired by and co-written by one of my grandsons.
I’m a co-host on The Writer’s Block, which is aired by LA Talk Radio, an internet radio station based in Los Angeles. I am part of a group that is creating the Science Fiction & Fantasy Creators Guild. And I recently accepted the position as Managing Editor at urban-fantasy.com which focuses on books, short stories, movies and other news of the Urban Fantasy genre.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Professionally, I started out as a freelance writer in West Texas in 1983-84 covering sports events or, in one case, writing features on things like a small meteor crater located just outside of Odessa, TX. But I had been writing small stories while in the back seat as we were driving to the next state my Dad’s business was taking us to. I’ve always had this drive to create stories of new worlds and adventures.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got my first freelance assignment that I actually got paid for.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone after so many years of writing articles for magazines and newspapers and trying my hand at writing a full-length novel. Could I do that and create something others would actually want to read? I had to find out.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The first book I wrote was Maelstrom. And given what the main character was thrust into that one word seemed to really sum up the entire story. He really gets thrown into a violent storm of his own creation and passes through to the other side a changed man.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Aside from focusing on creating good, believable characters and telling an entertaining story, I really don’t have a specific style. A lot of how I approach a book/project is dictated by the story I’m trying to tell and what voice I decide best suits it (first person or third, etc.)
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some books, like Reservations, I used my knowledge of having lived in the area where the book is set for several years. Others I’ll occasionally drop in an experience of mine if it progresses the story.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. Traveling is hard on me as I’ve gotten older so I tend to do as little as I can. The beauty of the internet is that so much information is available that you can do a lot of research without walking out your front door.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
With the exception ofEscaping Infinity and The Last Lonely TrailI have designed all of my covers myself. I would have done Escaping Infinity myself but I came across the cover while looking at an online catalogue of covers by an artist in Germany. The instant I saw it I knew that had to be the cover.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really. I don’t do message fiction. I prefer to tell a good story and let the reader draw from it whatever they will.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
The thing about being a host on The Writer’s Block is that we meet a new writer almost every week (occasionally we have return guests) and many of them have really caught my interest. The hosts of the show actually read the book written by the guest before the show. Most recently, Peggy Wheeler and John Leonard Pielmeier, are two fantasy writers who I have enjoyed reading, especially Pielmeier’s take on the Peter Pan story.
But in addition to that there are so many new authors out there that I’ve had the pleasure to read: Declan Finn, Brian Niemeier, Dawn Witzke, Moira Fontaine, Jagi Lamplighter, Daniel Humphreys, Russell Newquist, Jon del Arroz and so many more that I have to apologize to those that I am leaving off of this list. They all tell compelling stories that are a joy to read.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Gibson Michaels. He was an old and dear friend and fellow author, who passed away last year, that really supported me in the beginning.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
After over 20 years as a newspaper writer and editor and now over five years as a novelist I think I can safely say yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I’ve been very pleased with how all of my books and short stories have turned out.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For the Jack Del Rio series I’d pick Ryan Gosling. For Escaping Infinity I’d go with Chris Pratt.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just keep writing, every day and as much as you can. Don’t stop, no matter what people may say and don’t let negative reviews get you down.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just that I hope whatever book(s) or stories that you’ve read that were written by me entertained you and gave you some small measure of happiness by the time you finished reading them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just got done this morning with John Leonard Pielmeier’s Hook’s Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself. It was the best book I’ve read in a very long time.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Aside from a book of Peanuts comic strips by Charles Schultz the first real book I read was War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. It got me started on my life-long love of science fiction.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A well-told story.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
John Adams, the second President of the United States but not because he was a former President. His entire life was lived by his standing firmly behind his convictions, even when it seemed many allies turned on him.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Nothing that I spend a lot of time on.I mostly play chess and collect autographed memorabilia.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything with a science fiction or mystery-thriller vibe to it and a lot of the History channel.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Foods are: Pizza and Dr. Pepper. Purple is my favoritecolor and I like all music except rap and hip hop.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Wait, I’ve got one more chapter!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes. www.scifiscribe.comhas my updates and I blog there as much as I can.