Author Interview: Tory Richards

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

Be a writer. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was ten I started writing short stories on notebook paper and I’m still going. Though now I write stories on the computer. 

Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?

My old self would say printed books but I do enjoy reading ebooks on my tablet. The only print books I have are my own because what author doesn’t like to hold a copy of their book in their hands? Audiobooks, that would be a no. I tried listening to a couple and just couldn’t enjoy them. Nothing the narrator said stayed with me. 

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

Only all the time! I have four cats and they are always around. It’s funny that when I’m just sitting in my chair they seem content to just lay on the arms yet when I grab my computer all of a sudden they have to be right up against me. They sometimes walk right across my computer when I’m working. I’ve left the room and come back to a screen all messed up.

How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?

I look at them as the opinion of just one person. Not everyone is going to like my books. I don’t take it personally. Also, if the negative review is constructive I use it as a tool to make changes and hopefully write better. That being said, I take offense to reviewers who rate a book poorly simply because that particular genre no longer interests them, etc. That’s not fair to the author.

What are common traps for new authors?
I have to smile as I answer this because I fell into this particular trap myself. Once my first book was done and published I thought all I had to do was sit back and reap the rewards. lol I was so inexperienced! I had no idea the amount of time and money I’d have to invest to get my book and name out there. And it truly is never ending. So be prepared.

What characters in your book are most similar to you or to people you know?

I wouldn’t say any particular character but I am in all of my books. I’m the snarky humor coming through my characters. That’s all me. It would be hard for me to write a book without a piece of me showing up in it somewhere. 

What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you?

Um…what’s writer’s block? Just kidding! There’s been times when I get stuck but I try not to let it bother me. I have more than one book started that I can go to or I just wait it out until I feel like writing again. I once took a 20 year break.

What part of the book was the most fun to write?

The end. I feel such an accomplishment when those two little words are finally down at the end of my manuscript. It means my story is finished, my characters are happy, and I can move on to the editing part, which I also love. 

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?
The point of view or POV issues I had at the beginning were terrible! I had no idea what it was and all I got from the first few publishers I submitted my manuscript to was the standard rejection letter. No explanations. Finally one publisher took the time to explain what my problem was. Back then they’d used the term head hopping. Anyway, her guidance and explanation at what I was  doing wrong helped me tremendously. 

What would you say to an author who wanted to design their own cover?

Go for it! If you have the know-how and editing programs needed to create a great cover why not? I know one author in particular who designs her own covers and they are beautiful and professional looking. I wish I had that talent. I tried it once and it was a disaster!

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