Richard Alan Long is a very kind man. He has a great sense of humor and always seems happy. He is a family man with twin girls. I can’t imagine how he gets any writing done. I can tell you he adores his family and loves to talk about them. He is passionate about his writing and wants to make sure his books are as perfect as they can be before he releases them. If you haven’t read his stories please pick one up and don’t forget to leave a review. Make sure to say hello to him and send him a friend request. Please help me welcome Richard Alan Long to Roadie Notes…….
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I was always writing stories as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid it was these crappy comic strips based on the ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ which I was obsessed with. I’d draw them with marker pens and crayons. I wrote a whole series based on the characters. As a kid I obviously didn’t know the movie was considered the worst movie ever made, me and my friends thought it was awesome. We’d trade the cards at school which probably lead to me being a completest later in life.
As I got older I’d write stories. Always had a good imagination. Although my teachers at school said I was a daydreamer. One day I wrote a poem. Teachers didn’t believe it was me. Kids came up and said ‘no way did you write that poem’ It got put in the school newspaper and I’d still get kids coming up stamping a finger into my chest saying ‘You didn’t write that!’ But I was always creative. I am an only child and like most only children I spent a lot of time alone, creating worlds with toys and drawings.
2. How many books have you written?
Two novels, three novellas, fourteen plays, about sixteen short stories and hundreds of poems…getting them where they need to be is another story. Some are published and some I doubt will ever see the light of day but I like to look back over the old ones to see how much I’ve developed as a writer.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Not interested in torture porn and gore just for the sake of it. It has to fit in with the story. Story is number one for me. I like to go on a journey with characters. I don’t like books where characters are merely created just to be killed off in outlandish ways. That gets boring for me very quickly.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I am married with two kids. Besides writing I’ve worked a spectrum of jobs. Mostly retail and hospitality. It gave me some great characters. At the moment though, being a stay at home dad and writer is the best job I could ask for.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I quite like ‘Words Apart’ I wrote it when I was young and it has a young person’s conviction and determination. I did a play over ten years ago. I wrote it, a mate directed it and some friends acted in it. It was a great time. Rehearsing and performing. We did it purely for the love of it. I remember all the plays in my region at the time were either comedies or Shakespeare and I wrote this play that was like a Stephen King book if David Lynch had directed it with the budget of a Troma movie. It was great working with such dedicated people, many I’m still friends with.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I think I was inspired by being told I couldn’t do it. School had told me I was better off leaving, my grades were awful and I felt completely useless and the education system reinforced that. If you segregate kids and tell them they are the bottom class, that the most they can ever achieve is a E grade then unfortunately at a young age you start to believe you are worthless. I remember one teacher used to shout at me as I walked into to school ‘Not be long before you can sign on the dole.’ So it made me think, especially at a young age that I was a failure and I was stupid. But the best advice I got was the school telling me to leave and go to college. I went to college and it was a joy. The lecturers knew how to nurture talent and get the best out of students. They made you feel like you mattered.
In terms of writing and inspiration it came from a few different writers.
The first book to truly inspire me to want to write was ‘Salem’s Lot’ by Stephen King. It is beautifully written. It is scary. I remember reading it late at night and I felt right there with Ben Mears when he’s exploring the Marsten house. It’s still to this day my favorite book.
At college I started writing and studying plays and I was very inspired by Harold Pinter. I still am. He inspired me to write better dialogue. I love his plays. Everything appears normal and English but there is an oddness to it all.
Off the top of my head some writers or books that made a massive difference and inspired me where ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins. Collins had such a way of capturing human emotion. ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger is another book I found inspirational. I read it and I was blown away. It is sublime. I think I read it in two sittings. Also I must mention William S Burroughs. I have read most of his books and I think he was a genius. So yeah I was a kid that got told I was thick and useless but I was reading William S. Burroughs and Wilkie Collins for fun without realizing I was actually self-educating myself.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
When not writing and not looking after my family I enjoy playing Nintendo. I am a massive fan of the Legend of Zelda. Have been since day one when I used to play it with my late father. I’m a bit of a geek for Italian horror cinema but don’t get much chance to have Dario Argento marathons anymore with my kids in the house.
Obviously I read. Loving Richard Chizmar’s work at the minute.
I also and this is very rock n roll, but I have a favorite chair in my garden and I love a cup of tea on an evening and get the chance to just to sit and stop everything. To take a moment to think about my late parents, to remember the good times and too think about my friends. My dad passed away just over a year ago and the end was tough. It’s nice to just take a moment and remember the good moments we shared.
On a lighter note I love a Monday night when the family goes to bed and I relax and watch the new Twin Peaks. David Lynch is my favorite director. The guy is a legend. I like music too, don’t go to gigs as much anymore. I’m still old school. Still buy my music on CD’s.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
None. I just think…fuck me this is going to take some editing.
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I generally write to music. Rock music or soundtracks. But when I’m second drafting or working over a scene I prefer silence.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Not getting kicked out of school and being told I was a failure from every educational body at a young age might have helped. It took years for to meet people who had confidence in me and my writing. Advice for any writer. Find someone who believes in you. My wife has been a rock of support for me.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Don’t really think much in those terms. All I want is to make a living at it and hope I can entertain people. Everything else is a welcome bonus.
It’s a tough one. One of my daughters is terrified of dogs, cats, Kermit the Frog and anything that moves. Yet my other child is like Steve Irwin, grabbing any bug or slug and holding them close and saying ‘Hello cutie pie’ My wife wants a dog but I’m still undecided.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Freedom. Freedom to just get lost in a story. That all its about at the end of the day. I suppose it’s not even about getting published. It’s a therapy. Some people take drugs, others drink. I write.
15. What is coming next for you?
Preparing to release a novella ‘About A Witch’. I’ve got a few short stories due out too with different publishers. and then hopefully once they’ve done the rounds I’ll have a deal for a novel on the table. Also I’ve never collaborated with another writer before so hoping to work with someone soon. ‘About a Witch’ is out soon as well as my work with Hellbound Books Publishing LLC
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