Richard Schiver, author of many books which include Shadows of the Past, Reprisal, and Enter Night
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Like all writers I was a reader first, I still am and just recently finished Stephen King’s Dr Sleep, and have just started Eulogies II. Throughout my life I’ve had this nagging suspicion in the back of my mind that I could write too. It wasn’t until I was older that I actually did anything about it. And after a couple of false starts I’ve settled into the routine of a working writer. For the basics I’m married with four grown children and eight grandchildren who keep me very occupied.
What inspired you to write horror books?
My childhood. My grandparents had ten children so I grew up with a slew of Aunts and Uncles along with a pile of cousins. We would all sleep out every summer at my grandparent’s house and tell ghost stories. Our aunt would sneak out and scare the living shit out of us. It was fun, we had a blast, and of course my grandparents lived next to an actual haunted house, so it was all good.
How do you juggle life with writing?
You have to be disciplined. I work full time and always spend a part of my evening with my wife. I’m up early and write for an hour and a half every morning, seven days a week. Only occasionally do I take a day off. Evenings are given over to marketing and editing.
Who is your favorite author?
Do I have to pick just one? There are a lot of authors I enjoy reading both in and out of the horror genre. There are also a number of new authors whose work I enjoy. My top three of all time would be Lovecraft, King and Lumley.
We definitely did not read any of these books in the dark, but it wouldn’t surprise us if they were written in it. Where is your favorite place to write?
In my office which is located in the attic of my house, don’t worry there are no bats in the belfry. Of course my work is not restricted to my office as my mind is constantly working on new things.
Do you have any writing routines?
Everything starts as a flash of an idea then I question it. Who, what, when, where, and most importantly why? Once I’ve satisfied myself on these I’ll write out the idea searching for a character to get behind. I’m following the story where it leads me. I don’t worry about an outline until the first draft is done. Then I sit down and hammer out the plot, how the characters interact and are tied to one another, their past, their hopes and dreams for the future.
What does the future hold for you in terms of your writing? Do you have anything else in the works you would like to tell us about?
Boy do I.
I will soon be releasing my themed collection of short stories titled Nine Dark Tales. Nine stories that carry a very dark theme of life and death and ghosts. It will be available in kindle probably within the next two weeks as I’ve gotten the manuscript back from my editor. I’m also doing a very special print version that will feature nine totally unique pieces of art each one will preface a different story, and reflect the central theme of the story. I’ll have more on that later once I’ve firmed everything up.
My novella White Walker. A small group of call center workers are trapped by a raging blizzard. They soon learn they not only have Mother Nature to worry about, but a mythical creature that inhabits the storm who has come to collect their souls. Due about March 2014
My novel “A Father’s Love” will be released on Father’s Day 2014. Seven year old Christine lost her daddy to the war in Iraq. But before he left he gave her a stuffed bunny and promised her that as long as she had the bunny her daddy would always be with her. But will that promise be enough to protect her when she and her mother move to Porter Mines, where legend has it the ghost of a witch bur5ned at the stake returns very generation to take her due?
For Halloween I’m shooting for the release of Shadows of the Past: Parasite, part two of the story started in Shadows of the Past.
Shadows of the Past (Reviewed by Brandi):
How do you so accurately materialize a multitude of fear invoking twists and turns in your novel? It is almost as if you have a journal of every fear and put a piece of them all in your words.
Plotting, following a thread. If A happens, how does that affect B? What’s obvious? What’s not so obvious? How do they relate to one another? I question every aspect of a scene, from every possible angle and participant until I’m confident I’ve covered everything I can think of and I still will miss things.
Reprisal (Reviewed by Mindy):
How did you come up with the idea to write the book Reprisal?
Saw an elderly lady sitting on a park bench one day and I thought to myself, “She looks pretty harmless.” Which was immediately followed with. “What if she wasn’t?” From that I asked my next question. Why wouldn’t she be? At that point Candice was born.
Your characters are powerfully written. Are you able to connect with them in any way, and if so, how?
Before I can effectively put a character on the page they have to come to life in my mind. To do that I create a written background for each of my characters, some as long as 20 – 30 page that details their life growing up, how they interacted with their parents, siblings, friends, and more importantly the world around them.
Enter Night (Reviewed by Jennifer):
Your mind never ceases to amaze and to be honest…freak us out. In Enter Night you created an atmosphere that destroyed people by using their worst fears against them. How is it that you came up with so many strange and different scenarios?
I had to. I had six characters. I had to come up with a fear for each of them. Then I had to come up with a scenario to explain their fear. I went back to their childhoods. What scares a child more? Being locked in a coffin? Or watching the coffin lid being closed on a dead relative they love, and worrying how they will breathe? Most of our fears are born in our childhood as we witness ordinary events that as an adult would have little effect on us. I try to imagine the world through their eyes.
If you enjoy a well written horror story that stays with you long after you’ve read it we suggest you read one of Richard Schiver’s many books.
You can follow him on his blog, Whispers from the Abyss, to stay up to date with the next freaky horror story to come from an impressively creative mind.