Friday, September 16, 2011

An Interview with John Rice

John Rice is just a great, engaging guy.  His prose is definitely influenced by his poetic sensibilities.  Check out his interesting and worthwhile blog, http://quillandblood.wordpress.com/, and get to know him.  I’ll be posting a review of Every Night is a Holiday for Death in the next day or two.

Do you write full time or part time, and how do you manage it?

I try to write 2000 or more words a day, and since I’m retired time is not a problem.

You’ve got a blog, Quill and Blood.  What can your readers find there?

Readers of my blog will find original poems, stories, articles on current events and excerpts from stories I’m working on.

You write prose and poetry.  What do you enjoy more and why?

Tough question, I’ve attempted writing verse for a long time, and for the most part it is easier than writing fiction, because there are fewer rules but I suppose because it is more of a challenge, I enjoy fiction better, but not by much, because each genre has its own challenges and rewards. At the end of the day it really boils down to the mood I’m in.

Is it hard to switch between the two?  Do you find your prose getting overly poetic or the reverse?

No it isn’t difficult to switch between the two. Several years ago I filled out a test for a writing program, and my answer from them was, you must want to be a poet. When I first started writing prose I would put in at least one poem, now I only do if the story lends itself to the concept.

You started writing professionally later than most.  What kind of perspective does that give you?  How does that affect your writing?

I have always wanted to be a writer, but for most of my adult life I thought that I wasn’t able to write, plus, working  forty hours a week, and raising a family didn’t leave much time to learn. Even after I retired I didn’t try to write fiction, that didn’t start until the winter of 2007. My first attempt was writing two plays. That was followed by a few short stories for one of my sister’s great grandchildren. Then I plunged into my first YA novel, “Keeper of the Sword,” which took two months to complete. I think it made ad some urgency to get published

Tell us about your latest book.

I have a couple of books that I started, both young adult fantasy novels, the first one is Fire, it is the first of a trilogy, the other two will be Air and Water, the second one is Dragon Breath.

What prompted you to write it?

I suppose the success of Harry Potter

Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

I have been concentrating on a book of short stories, titled Forever More, I am almost finished the last of the stories for the book, and I have been spending a great deal of time promoting, or trying to promote my blog and Ebook.

Tell us about the hardest challenge you had to overcome in writing?

The greatest challenge has been learning the proper use of English grammar and punctuation.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Read and write, if you pay attention to what you are reading, you can learn a great deal about writing. Join a writing group. Take a course in writing. Learn how to use five new words every-day, vocabulary is one of the biggest guns you will ever have in your writing toolbox.

Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your
life?

The top writer on my favorite list is Tolkien. It has been ever since I read Lord of the Rings. Hemmingway is also close to the top, along with Dickens, Steinbeck, and a host of others too long to mention. One book that has influenced me more than any other is the Bible.

What’s the one thing you want a reader to know about you?

That I believe all gifts, all talents come from God and it is up to us to find out which ones he has given us, then work hard, and pray to develop them.


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