To get some idea of what my writing is about, click below to see and hear several interviews I did over the last several years.
Interview with K.D. Richardson for AuthorMePro
APKY/AMP: Hello Kent, and welcome to AuthorMeProfessionals for this interview. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer. What inspired you to write your first book?
I began my writing career back in 1996. Inspired by Ken Burns' PBS series The Civil War, and by a Civil War artist and co-worker named Todd Price, I decided to take a trip to the Gettysburg battlefield to see for myself what all of the interest was about. I was so inspired by the sights and feel of the battlefield, that I revisited the area several times over the next couple of years. That's when I felt I was motivated to the point where I begin writing a fictional story about the Battle of Gettysburg. That story was called, "Journey Across Time". Journey was a tough sell as is all fiction today, but I didn't let a little set back such as that keep me from writing.
Around that time I asked a national columnist if he had any advice for a fledgling writer. His reply was simple: "If you must write, write." I took that to mean that if you want to write, don't let publication, or lack thereof, stand in your way. Write because you feel you have a unique way of telling a story. So I continued to write.
Just before 911, I began a non-fictional book about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I thought I would let the people who lived through that period in our nation's history tell about that historic day through their eyes. I collected over 170 stories from people all across America telling where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the attack...and how it impacted their lives-short and long term. Even the publishers who rejected Reflections of Pearl Harbor said that the book, originally titled The Date Which Lives In Infamy, sounded like a neat project. Eventually, prestigious publisher Praeger (Greenwood) Publishing picked it up for hardcover, and it's still available in paperback. Reflections became my first published work.
APKY/AMP: Great advice. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Like I said, my first published work was a non-fiction, but following that, everything after that has been fiction. I also write screenplays and have completed 7 of them to date.
APKY/AMP: Now that’s a field I’ve never worked in – screenplays. I always imagine it to be too complicated. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It depends on the novel/story. Sometimes I want to surprise the reader at the end, and other times there is a sense that resonates throughout the story that when all else fails, do the right thing.
APKY/AMP: Another positive thought. Tell us, what have you had published to-date?
Reflections of Pearl Harbor (Praeger)
Journey Across Time (Dailey Swan)
the Second Season (Vanilla Heart)
A Different Drummer (Vanilla Heart)
Spirit of the Season (Fort Hamilton Publishing)
A Union of Souls (FictionWorks-e-book, Fort Hamilton Publishing-PB)
APKY/AMP: Quite a handful, Kent. Congratulations! Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you’re just starting out, PLEASE use the services of a reputable editor. What you think is great, might be less than so. In my case, I found that I had a knack for telling a good story, but structurally, I needed help. If you’re an experienced writer, it doesn’t hurt to pay for a critique. Sometimes an extra set of unbiased eyes can catch that which we can’t.
APKY/AMP: That’s solid wisdom too. Why should we buy any of your books?
My latest was adapted from the screenplay version titled Destiny’s Echo. As a result, the story moves at a good pace, and you can just see the characters evolving at a reasonable pace. I’ve read several books where the author takes forever to describe the house or grounds where the action takes place. I get it already! As a result, A Union of Souls is just 108 pages long, but is priced accordingly. All in all, it’s a good story, and like the screenplay, Heaven Can Wait, it makes all of the right turns at the right times.
APKY/AMP: Okay, sold! How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
It depends on the publisher. Hopefully an author can find an author who will stand behind them and help them out. The author, on the other hand, should be willing to put forth a little time, and even money, to promote their works. Personally, I try to do a few book signings, and as a result, I’ve managed to be interviewed on the local TV news. On occasion, I’ve run newspaper ads promoting a signing, and of course, there’s always the internet and blogs.
APKY/AMP: Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions and do you think they help with a writer’s success?
No. I’m not sure. Wouldn’t hurt.
APKY/AMP: No it wouldn’t. J Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
At my computer which is located right off the living room. It’s usually quiet there, and everything is right at hand.
APKY/AMP: Do you write under a pseudonym? If so why and do you think it makes a difference?
I use my first two initials. I never fell in love with my given first name (Kent), and I think K.D. Richardson stands out a bit more. Sounds a little more professional. I hate to resort to gimmicks, but every little bit helps.
APKY/AMP: You can say that again. I’ve a name that far too long and hard for many to pronounce so shortened it to A P von K’Ory! J Now, do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
No agent. I used an agency once, but they charged me money and did very little in return. Another took some money-not a lot- and as far as I know, she did absolutely nothing. I noticed that both are now listed on Preditors and Editors as ‘Avoid’.
APKY/AMP: Yes, one has to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Could you tell us what you’re working on at the moment / next?
I just completed another novel/screenplay titled The Reawakening, but I plan to sit on it for a spell. It’s similar to A Union of Souls, although not too much, but I thought it would be best to let Union have its run, then I’ll release Awakenings. I’m redoing the screenplay version of The Second Season on the advice of Danny Manus, a noted Hollywood screenplay critique. He was right; what I have down works fine as a novel, but not so much as a screenplay.
APKY/AMP: Well, as I already mentioned, with screenplays I’m in the dark, Kent. Perhaps you could give me some lessons J and do you manage to write every day?
Every day, approx one hour, although sometimes up to four hours on the weekends when time/weather permits.
APKY/AMP: Give us your opinion of writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
I do occasionally which is why I always have several projects going at once. When I get locked up on one story, I switch to another, all the while, keeping the original story in the back of my head. I did that when writing A Different Drummer, and took a three month sabbatical from that manuscript, and ended up writing the screenplay Spirit of the Season. When you give them time, they will float to the surface.
APKY/AMP: Right. And do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and off you are with it?
If I’m inspired by an idea, I play it through my head, and if it seems as if it ‘has legs,’ I begin outlining it with a beginning, middle, and end.
APKY/AMP: Uh-huh. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Names: Sometimes they’re symbolic - Neil Gates, the first person to experience time travel named after Neil Armstrong, Herman Tate, which might sound a little like ‘Terminate,’ James Downey, because his life was such a downer. Other times I give a nod to a friend as in A Different Drummer. The main character’s best friend is named ‘Smitty,’ and so was my best friend growing up.
APKY/AMP: Fascinating. Who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?
I usually send it to an editor first. After that, I ask friends or family, but it’s getting to be a tougher sell as few people read anymore, it seems.
APKY/AMP: Right, sounds professional. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
I listen to what the editors have to say and learn from them. After that, I find that my works need less and less actual line-by-line editing. I’m still a bit lacking in structure though.
APKY/AMP: Kent, you’ll get there, seeing as you’re so prolific! Do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?
My first two works were on paper, but I reluctantly moved to the desktop after that. I found a convenient way to begin, then finish the script in a paperless fashion - outline!
APKY/AMP: Ha! J What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Three of my novels have been first person narratives. I liked that style because from a young age on, we all like to have someone tell a story as if they were actually there. I use the grown-up version of that.
APKY/AMP: So now reveal to us what you like to read.
I don’t have as much time to read as I’m spending most of my time either writing, or marketing my scripts. I still do the daily newspaper, but when I get the chance, I will pick up the hit du jour.
APKY/AMP: Way to go! What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks?
I run 3X a week, and up until recently, I skydived until I realized that my skydiving equipment and my bodily equipment was getting a bit long in the tooth.
APKY/AMP: As long as you can still write, Kent. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Google, of course, but there’s my website www.kdrichardson.com, and there is a link on that site for a webpage for each of my published titles.
APKY/AMP: Will get there as soon as we’re done here. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I invite any and all feedback on my books. How else am I going to improve?
APKY/AMP: Right. Thank you, Kent. I now invite you to include an extract of your writing:
From A Union of Souls.
“Travis, I know you’ve packed up and all, but would you mind staying around for a little while longer, uh, until Scotty gets to feeling better. I think he would appreciate that.”
“Well, I suppose so. That is, if you're sure I won't be in the way.”
“No, I don't think you will. You've done more around here in the past couple of weeks than you have during the last seven years.”
“Well, it's too late to argue tonight. I might as well take you up on the deal. I'm going to go unpack, then hit the hay. Seven o'clock comes awfully fast.”
Travis got up from the table, put his coffee cup in the sink, then headed in the direction of his bedroom.
Laura called out to him, “Um, Travis, can I ask you something? Where did you learn CPR?”
Travis stopped and searched his memory. “I don't know. I really don't know.”
A little while later, Travis was getting ready for bed and overheard Laura talking on the phone.
“Jackie, he’s a changed man, I'm telling you. Yes, I know I said that before, but I'm serious this time. After his accident, he’s become a positive individual. Instead of being out to get us, he’s a life-saver. At least he's making an effort." There was a pause. "Oh yes, he's helping around the house, he planted a huge garden for us, and of course there was today's incident with Scotty. On top of that, he's not once raised his voice...nor his hand. This might be a new beginning for us.”
APKY/AMP: I wonder what Travis is smiling about. Thank you once again, Kent, and all the best with your works.
Interview with Alyice Edrich
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Inspired by a Civil War painter named Todd Price, K.D. (Kent) Richardson took a trip to the Gettysburg battlefield only to find himself so inspired by the events that he began to write a fictional story about the Battle of Gettysburg. That story was called, "Journey Across Time". Today he's an accomplished author with five books under his belt, and writes for the Venice Cornerstone newspaper in Ohio.
What was your path towards publication like?
Landing a publisher for the first time is murder. It’s the old adage; you have to be published to be noticed, but if no one will publish you… I submitted a query to nearly one hundred publishers before I got noticed by the well-respected publishing house, Praeger Publishing (Greenwood).
Praeger did a library study measuring the interest of targeted readers by listing potential subject matters submitted to them. "Reflections" (then titled The Date Which Lives in Infamy) kept coming to the top. The folks at Praeger were great and walked this novice through the process. I did plenty of work, but they were very helpful.
What was the first market you queried and why did you choose that market?
My first completed manuscript was "Journey Across Time" (F), but I had little luck landing a publisher right away. During the submission period, I wrote and completed "Reflections" (NF) and began submitting it around. "Reflections" won out.
What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to pitching yourself as a writer and what steps have you taken to overcome that obstacle?
I think the biggest initial obstacle is the inexperience factor. There’s no overcoming that without a break. The best way to make your own break is to utilize the services of an accredited editor. When you mention that to potential publishers in your query letter, they know that one step, namely editing, has hopefully been addressed saving them time and energy. It makes you a desirable commodity.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?
I have two books released by Vanilla Heart Publishing that both of us are pleased with.
"The Second Season" is appropriate for this spring season even if you’re not a baseball fan. Baseball is merely the backdrop for the book. The real struggle lies within the main character, Sonny Wilson. Sonny fled from a troubled childhood in the late 1950s all of the way to the major leagues. He was a much disliked player, but a hit to the head by a pitched baseball in August 1961 changed his life.
"A Different Drummer" showcases a character, Taylor Ross, from a very different background. Taylor rose from humble beginnings to rock star status, yet in his later years yearned for the town he fled decades before. Taylor is humbled when the task of rebuilding his hometown’s high school marching band is thrust upon him. It had to fall to him as an argument between him and the current director caused that man to quit and pass the baton to Taylor. The problem is, Taylor is not well.
If you could choose just one thing for your book to accomplish, what would it be?
Money aside, I would like to see as many people as possible read my works, then judge them for themselves. So few people are reading these days, it seems. If it’s not a blog or Twitter, people prefer not to sit down with a book anymore. They’re missing out on some great literature.
How do you balance your life as a writer with your duties as a parent or spouse?
It’s never easy when there are others in your life needing attention, and you should never neglect the important things in life. Try to write a set amount each day, either in the morning or at night, as opposed to sitting down and using up an entire weekend to ‘catch up’ of your manuscript.
What is your best advice for getting past writer's block?
I usually try to keep two scripts going at the same time. There’s the main manuscript, then I try to have a manuscript in the development stages, or for a change of pace, a screenplay.
When I was stuck writing "A Different Drummer", I turned to writing "Spirit of the Season". In six weeks I had "Spirit of the Season" complete and ready for editing. I went back to "A Different Drummer" and discovered that I was on the right track all along. Take a break!
What was the best writing-related advice you ever received?
I once asked a national columnist advice about getting published. His simple and succinct advice was, “If you must write, then write.” I took that to mean that if you felt moved to write, don’t let the possibility of getting or not getting published become your motivating factor. ‘Nuff said.
What do you feel is the single most detrimental thing a writer could do to destroy his/her career as a writer?
Not being objective about one’s own work can force one’s ego to feel as if theirs is the only legitimate work the publisher will see this year. It might be good, but it might not be what the publisher is looking for at this time. Don’t burn bridges. Also, don’t let your ego believe that an editor is being ‘mean-spirited’ in suggesting a cut here and there. They’re an objective third party. That’s what you pay them for. Take their advice with a grain of salt, but listen.
Have you ever tried the self-publishing route?
Yes, I formed Fort Hamilton Publishing and self-published "Spirit of the Season".
I did so for two reasons. First, it is a Christmas story, and not too many publishers are interested in a book that will sell only two months out of the year. Then, the manuscript is only 140 pages in length because it’s an adaptation of a screenplay I wrote three years ago. I thought it was a great story, and if a producer didn’t pick it up, it would never be heard. That would be a shame.
I converted the script into a readable book form, then tried my hand at self-publishing. It was a great experience as I found out much of what a publisher goes through from obtaining an ISBN number for the paper copy as well as the e-version, getting printing estimates, shooting the cover art, and formatting the manuscript to fit the book size and e-versions.
What’s ahead for your writing?
I’m 75 pages into a screenplay, and I like how it’s coming along. I still need a better back story, but it will come. I also have a manuscript outlined and ready to write. The outline alone is over 2500 words. While I have the story firm in my mind, I’m still not sure about its salability. We’ll find out. If you must write, write!
Review from the Cleveland Seniors web site, 2006
Today we are bombarded with news - 24 hours a day - and we are never at a loss to see pictures and hear interviews from anyone and everyone even remotely involved in a newsworthy" situation.
As a senior, I remember when this was not the case. Consider the difference in coverage of two of the defining moments in the last 100 years -
We saw, and still see, videos of the 9-11 attacks from every angle possible. We heard from survivors and the family of victims. The attack was covered in excruciating detail.
Yet after the attack on
That's why a book like Reflections of Pearl Harbor - An Oral History of
The author includes 160 recollections from people who lived through that "date that will live in infamy."
Some are from soldiers who were eyewitnesses to the attacks. Personal accounts from sailors, seaman, marines and others from the USS Nevada, the USS Utah, the USS Oglala, the USS West Virginia, USS Oklahoma, USS Maryland, and many others give a fascinating insight into what really happened.
One sailor assigned to the USS Vestal provides a transcript of the ship's log from that day. For example, at "0820 One torpedo passed astern of the vessel and apparently hit the
Other eyewitness accounts include a 13 year old girl who lived in army housing at Schofield Barracks,
The next section of the book consists of stories told by people who were youngsters at the time - remembering where they were and what happened that day and the days after.
One fifteen year old from
The book includes a story from Tom Stepwith of
Other sections of the book include stories from those "holding down the homefront" and those who "answered the call." And then there are first-hand accounts of relatives and friends of those who paid the "ultimate price."
This is a book that you will sit down to read one or two stories and two hours pass before you look up. It's an important resource and will rekindle memories of those of us whom live through it and open the eyes of the younger folks. Get this book for both of them to read.
The Hamilton (OH) Journal News, May 2010
Locals Will Recognize Hamilton Landmarks in Book
By Eric Robinette, Staff Writer 10:14 AM Friday, May 28, 2010
HAMILTON — “A Different Drummer,” a new book by local author Kent Richardson, taps into local settings area residents will recognize.
The book is about a 1960s rock star who’s trying to find meaning in his life after a commercially successful but emotionally empty career. The musician, named Taylor Ross, returns to his hometown of Hamilton, where he becomes the director of a struggling high school marching band.
Richardson, who lives in Ross Twp. and is a 1976 graduate of Taft High School, will sign copies of the book from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 4, at Ryan’s Tavern, 241 High St., downtown Hamilton.
Area residents will recognize references to High Street and Greenwood Cemetery, although Richardson did veil some references, such as referring to the now closed downtown Elder-Beerman store as “Elderman.”
Locals will “know what I mean,” Richardson said.
The Hamilton setting came out of the authors maxim of “write what you know,” but Richardson said he didn’t want to get too specific, wanting to appeal to general audiences, too.
“This could have been set in any Midwestern town. I could put in local points of interest, but people can relate to a typical rust belt kind of town,” he said.
This is Richardson’s fourth book. His previous works include “Reflections of Pearl Harbor,” an oral history of Dec. 7, 1941, and “The Second Season,” which told the story of a homeless man who was once a major league baseball player.
Asked what the genesis of his newest book was, Richardson said, “ideas just float around in my head, and the good ones stick.” But he does hope readers will take away something positive from Taylor Ross’ story, even if it’s not based on anyone in particular.
“Taylor Ross has his own philosophy on life. He schools his students in life and tells them they have to rely on themselves and not have someone do everything for them.”
The paperback, which retails for $14.95, is available through online retailers such as Amazon, under the name “K.D. Richardson.”
Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK, today we are chatting about movies with K.D. Richardson, author of six and soon-to-be seven books.
Question: I would like to ask you about a movie that changed you or a movie that affected your writing. How about a fictional hero in one of those movies?
Answer: One movie? One character? I don’t think I can give you an answer on such narrow terms. I will give you a few examples of each though. As far as movies go, I think the 1960s movie The Time Machine greatly affected me as a youngster. That may have filled my head with racing thoughts and planted the seeds of fictional possibilities.
And looking back, I’m sure ‘The Time Machine’ influenced my writing of the book Journey Across Time. When I was much older, I saw the movie ‘Back to the Future’ which carried a similar theme. Again, it struck a chord with me, and shortly thereafter I decided to begin a writing career sometime around the mid-nineties.
Question: You mentioned several movies. What other movies stirred your imagination?
Answer: I enjoy the type of movies that came out in the eighties and nineties that weren’t necessarily blockbusters, but they really went over well with all audiences. That’s the type of material I write. One of those movies was titled ‘Dave.’ Of course the premise was far-fetched in that a look-alike took the place of an ailing president, but the way the movie was structured, everything fell into place just as you hoped it would. That makes for a satisfying movie when all is said and done. Another movie titled ‘Phenomenon’ starring John Travolta is a fav. I like those movie themes where the impossible becomes possible. I suppose that’s the essence of any good movie.
Question: What intrigued you about the movie ‘Dave’?
Answer: As with any good movie or work of fiction, there was a great mix with that cast including Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, and Frank Langella. All three characters developed as the movie progressed rather than becoming stagnant Kevin Kline, of course, played two characters under the same persona. As President Mitchell, he went from being a non-caring, scandal-ridden president to a very popular likable politician and human being. Sigourney Weaver’s character didn’t change drastically, but she did for the better. As her husband expanded his horizons, the first lady blossomed. Frank Langella’s character, Bob Alexander, one of the instigators of this entire scheme, went from a sneaking and conniving Washington insider to just a plain and nasty individual with White House aspirations. Those character developments are what makes a movie, or book for that matter, worth paying for.
Question: You mentioned the movie ‘Back to the Future.’ Did Michael J. Fox’s character stir emotions within you as well?
Answer: Of course. When I saw that movie, I was roughly the same age as the character Marty McFly. I think that solidified the premise that even though I couldn’t travel back in time, or become a major league baseball player as in my book “The Second Season”, I could accomplish the impossible through my writing. As an author, you get to play God, and I relish that role. Whatever I’m writing about, a town, situation, or character, none of that exists until I put it down on paper. Those things never existed before and never will again except through my pen.
The original interview link: