Featured Author and Giveaway – Thomas Rydder

thomasHi Thomas,

I’d like to start with a few ‘personal’ questions. Just for the readers to get a feel for the person behind the author. If that’s okay with you?

Hi Lucy! What a pleasure it is, being here with you. Thanks so much for the opportunity. Sure, I’m all about personal – go for it…

Anyway, I’ve laced your coffee with truth serum, so I guess there’s no dodging this. 🙂

Given the choice, where would you live? In a big city with all the buzz of it, or in a remote area with nature and its tranquility surrounding you? Knowing that in winter you might suffer power loss.

Just for the record, you’ll get more truth of of me if you lace my java with Bailey’s.

(Hehehehe, he doesn’t realise that is my choice of truth serum)

But for now, I’m not much for city life. In fact, my wife and I have joked numerous times that we’d like to be on the side of a mountain in a snug cabin, a large garden outside the door, a few hundred acres off woods beyond, and a lake at the bottom of the hill. One with plenty of bass and catfish. I really don’t think we’re joking…

Taking the kids on holiday, what is the dream vacation? Camping, or a completely organised trip in a luxury hotel?

We live a simple life, and work hard. Do pretty much for ourselves, cook rather than eat out, and don’t spend a dime if we can get by with a nickel. So, conversely with where I’d like to live, my idea of dream vacation is a cruise, all the frills included. Excellent meals, dances, onshore tours and activities, and being totally pampered for a week or ten days. Occasionaly, everyone needs pampering, you know.

Are you a star gazer, or a take the devil by its tail kind of person? i.e. do you think and re-think, or do you do what is necessary and to hell with the consequences.

I do civil engineering for a living, and in that, I have to be very calculating. Many things within a design can and will affect some other component, so I have to be careful in all aspects. That might be a compelling reason why the rest of my life is a bit spontaneous. I particularly like to jump in the car and go. No destination in mind, just drive and see where you end up. You can discover some interesting places like that.

Do you like to break the rules every now and then, or do you live your life by the book?

I’ve broken more rules than Evil Knievel broke bones. The trick is to know which rules you can break, and which will get you in real trouble. Minor rule-cracking is the only really smart way to be an outlaw in our world.

That was it, not too painful, was it? But that’s not why you are here. I can tell you’re itching to talk shop.

So shoot! What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Not too painful – but I’ll take another Bailey’s 🙂 (Did he know after all?)

At the risk of “breaking a rule”, I’d like to mention both books I have out now. My debut werewolf thriller “The Clearing” takes place in Small Town USA, where a pack of wolves move into the countryside around the town, and it doesn’t take the town folk too long to realize they are dealing with much more then typical Canis Lupus.

The Clearing cover-1

AMAZON

My latest work is an anthology of three ghost stories – a novella and two rather long short stories. They all involve spirits who, for one reason or another, are compelled to interact with live folks – violently.

Restless SoulsAMAZON

Did you have difficulty coming up with the titles?

You know, I didn’t. It might sound crazy, but I’ve always been good with names. I used to walk down the street, and make up fictitious names for people I happened upon, based on their features or physical makeup. It was a game, and one that’s served me well in naming both my characters and my books.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

I wouldn’t do that. In my mind, any book belongs in a given genre, based upon its theme and story line. To change that goes against the nature of the book and won’t work. Werewolves kill, ghosts scare, and there’s not much that can change that – or should. I’m not going to go against my instincts in order to pacify a publisher. Not in today’s age of indie publishing. I’d simply put it out myself. Outlaw, you know…

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

Whew, that’s fun, isn’t it? I actually had a lot of that in my novella “Simona Says.” In fact, I struggled with the story a lot. It was gratifying to get the little chunks right and finally see it heading in the right direction. I’ll typically give myself a little fist pump and move on. Typically, when something like that happens, it means I’ve hit a groove and don’t want to waste it on celebration. So I take a minute then keep writing.

What don’t you like about writing.

Re-writing, hands down. I published “The Clearing” this past March, and got a few reviews that mentioned an aspect of the book that they didn’t care for. I recently re-wrote those parts and re-published it. But it was tough, you know? Once you have the story line hard-wired into your brain, it’s difficult to come around the other side and look at it in order to change it up. At least for me.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

Marketing – my second least favorite endeavor. I really don’t like to push myself or my work on people, but it’s necessary, isn’t it? I do a lot of things. I have a pretty good blog that gets a fair number of hits, I socialize on Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads and Triberr and try to get my books listed on as many sites as possible. I’ve been doing a lot of guest posts lately. Pretty much anything from a more personal standpoint that might make someone reach for the Amazon button. In other words, I’m trying to sell without selling.

Now, don’t get me wrong. All the socializing is great fun, and I’ve met with a bunch of splendid friends. I’ll keep you posted on how the marketing is going.

Plese do that, because experiences of others are always the best way to ‘learn’ a new way of going about marketing better.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not in my writing, no. I like to think my books reflect life, and the characters are real people. Different people eat and drink a variety of things, and it would be disingenuous to have it any other way.

In life is different. I’m a coffee lover, and a Kahula enthusiast. Pasta – many types of pasta – are on the top of my list, but my tastes are widely varied.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

tamale pieIt’s pasta, as you can imagine. My wife makes one wicked tamale pie. Odd name, and it has nothing to do with mexican. It’s similar to lasagne, and I could eat it four times a week. I’ll ask her about the recipe :). It’s pretty exclusive stuff…

 I’ll be waiting for that recipe then 🙂

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

I don’t think anyone can come up with a viable excuse for not writing. There are all kinds of fake ones – tired, frustrated, bored, fidgety, angry, rushed, sick, depressed, excited. The excuses don’t matter, as they don’t in any facet of life. If you’re going to go to work, go to work. If not, then don’t. Same with writing. But if you don’t, then don’t bitch and moan because your book isn’t done. As my dad used to say, it ain’t gonna do itself.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Oh God, what I’d give. You kidding? You call that slaving? I’d be in my own little corner of Heaven. My wife and I have also discussed living at the beach – somewhat more convenient than the mountain cabin, and you don’t have to go to town twice a month to get flour and sugar. My favorite vision is sitting in my screen porch overlooking the ocean, my glasses perched on my nose, a White Russian frosty and delicious on the tray next to me, and a warm breeze wafting through my fingers as they fly over the keyboard. One of these days…

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want to blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something no one has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Fair enough. I not only write about ghosts, but also believe they exist. We’ve watched all kinds of shows and I’ve read extensively on the subject, and am convinced we aren’t alone on earth. Why the spirits are here are anyone’s guess, but the reasons are undoubtedly widely varied. Some folks might think I’m whacked out, and so be it, but the evidence is so compelling and intense, I don’t really see any way around the beliefs I hold.

One of my favorite shows is Long Island Medium, where a lady by the the of Theresa Caputo allegedly connects with folks that have passed and allow them to communicate with loved ones who remain. I believe in her abilities (Before you go judging me, go have a look at her show – you might end up converted), and part of my reason is hope.

See, I was born late in my parents’ lives, and I wasn’t, shall we say, the ideal son early on. I got in trouble a bit, left home early to go to the Marines, and then was a wild party boy. Consequently, I didn’t enjoy a close relationship with Mom and Dad the way some have. I’d like to have the opportunity to be with them once again, see what they think of the way I’ve turned out. (That’s a dicey prospect) and tell them I’d like to have it back to do again. It’s often said you can’t go back, and it’s true. But to see them just once more…

That is a very intimate snippet of your life you’ve shared there. Thank you, Thomas.

Lucy, thanks so much for having me on today. I appreciate it more than you can know…now, just one more of those tasty coffees of yours, and I’ll be on my way…

Here’s one, again laced with Baileys, but I guess you already figured that one out, eh?

I’d like to thank you for your candor and would love to see you back, a guest post perhaps?

Laughing we say our goodbyes, and Thomas asks me to tell you to enter his giveaway.  Later I find a note on the coffee table.

note

He’s left behind links to where he can be found online should you want to stalk him. Of course I mean follow! Yes, follow!

Blog http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thomas.rydder

Twitter – @ThomasRydder

LinkedIN – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/thomas-rydder/5a/994/23a

But I must not forget to include the link to the giveaway Thomas has organised. Click the link to go to the Rafflecopter giveaway

But also go to his site and read the great post he’s done on halloween reading, answer his poll and stand a chance to win, win, win!

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12 thoughts on “Featured Author and Giveaway – Thomas Rydder

  1. Pingback: I’m proud to be the featured author with my pal Lucy Pireel this morning (and I’m giving away books, too!) | Thomas Rydder

    • I agree, William – unfortunately, unless you’re content to write it and stick it on a shelf just for the sake of doing so, marketing is the proverbial necessary evil, right? My big problem is there are just too many choices, too many ways to go. The biggest challenge (at least to me) is figuring out what to center on, and do it efficiently…what about you?

  2. You both did a great job! Love the interview.

    Thomas, just so you know, I don’t think you’re whacked for believing in ghosts. Take it from someone who lived in a house that was haunted—spirits DO exist. Also, I think everyone wishes they could go back and do some things differently in their life—I know I’d be the first one to board a time machine. I’d also guess that Uncle Sam has already invented one. Hmm, wonder how much a ticket would be to travel aboard one of those?

    I like what you wrote about wishing you could see your parents just once more. I’ve often thought the same thing about wanting to see my parents and my brother, as all three died unexpectedly and I never got the chance to say any final last words to them. Maybe you write about spirits for the same reason I do.

    Thomas, I wish you much success on your books and future writing endeavors.

    • Rosary! Great to see you…
      Oh, I know there are skeptics out there, so I had to put in a disclaimer – but I’m a solid believer. There’s just too much that has gone on for it not to be true. Yes, we all have regrets, and hindsight is 20-20, but such is life. I guess learning from mistakes and moving on is about all any of us can do.
      I’m sorry for your loss…that had to have been terrible…

    • Thank you so much, Mari. I went over to your site, and it’s beautiful! I read your “About Me” with interest. You’ve had your shares of travels, haven’t you? If the “Twenty Nine Palms” is the same one I’m thinking of, I spent a couple weeks there in the Marines, doing desert training in the Mohave. Both gorgeous and unforgiving country, that.
      I appreciate your vote, Mari…you just made your newest fan 🙂

      • Why thank you very much. I need all the fans I can acquire. Yes, you are right. It is the same Twentynine Palms. The U.S. Post Office wouldn’t let them use the hyphen in the name. The desert is beautiful and it is unforgiving. It is a strange haunting place of bland colors during the day and intense colors in the early morning and early evening. The burst of color when things blooms will stand out in stark contrast to the beige sand.

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