One of the things we want to do here at Trust & Treachery is give you a chance to get to meet our authors. Over the next few weeks, you will see bios and Q&As for our amazing contributors. Although we continue to run behind in our posting schedule, today is Richard Smith. Stay tuned as additional authors are added every Monday.
Best, Editors, Trust & Treachery
‘Richard Smith is a writer of dark and speculative short stories. He has always had a passion for reading and enjoyed writing at school. He took up writing again after a long break about five years ago, and try to create new tales whenever time permits, which is often a challenge when juggling the demands of full time work and family life. His fiction has previously been featured in publications such as Dark Tales, Morpheus Tales and Twisted Tongue, as well as various online sites, such as Spinetinglers, Shadeworks, and Flashes In The Dark. He lives in England with my wife, two children, and family dog Goblin. New tales involving life, death and alternative realities are currently in progress.
Do you have any recent events to announce (of publications or anything else exciting)?
A short story of mine, The Puddle was published recently in the latest issue of Dark Tales, which is currently available at www.dartktales.co.uk .
What inspired you to write this story?
I think spending too much time waiting on crowded trains helped. That and being caught up in several security scares in London. And I wanted to write a story about regime change – wiping the slate clean and starting over.
What books and/or authors have most influenced you?
I think a lot of my influences came from the authors that I read whilst growing up – horror writers, British and American, such as James Herbert, Stephen King; fantasy stories (Tolkien), popular sci-fi. There was a great British sci-fi comic I used to read called 2000AD which was also huge influence.
What are you reading now?
Right now I’ve become addicted to George RR Martin’s Westeros books after watching Game Of Thrones on TV.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently writing a longer tale about a man on a personal quest, looking to find answers for events that have happened in his life. And there are further parts to my Trust and Treachery story that have been left untold, which could perhaps be revealed in additional stories.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. As opposed to thinking about writing, talking about writing, discussing writing on forums, blogging about writing. Research and reading widely are certainly important, and giving and receiving feedback can be very useful. But you need to write. Don’t put it off. Even if it’s a very rough first draft, then at least you have something to work with, rather than just an idea and a blank piece of paper.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
No. I’m just really hoping to entertain but maybe also provoke a little thought or contemplation on occasion.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
I don’t know! Can I quote the line ‘Winter is coming,’ from Game Of Thrones? It’s kind of apt, because it’s what I’m reading right now, but also because I think that’s a great starting point for a story – all is not well, bad things are going to happen, something’s not right.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Apart from raising my wonderful family it is probably getting my first short story published, which again happened to be in Dark Tales.
What inspires you to write and why?
I love to read and whenever I read a good story I always feel the urge to write something myself. I guess I think ‘that’s something I want to do’ – write a story that moves and entertains others.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I’ve been lucky so far in that I’ve never been on the receiving end of any really harsh criticism. I usually agree when an editor or fellow writer picks holes in something I’ve written, they usually have a point, and it’s something I can go and fix, hopefully. The best compliment was probably when someone said one of my stories had caused them to shed a tear as they read it. It was supposed to be a sad and poignant story and so it was a real compliment to get that kind of reaction.
Tell us something unusual (or fun) about you.
Probably the most unusual thing in this day and age is that I do not have a website, Facebook page or Twitter account. I’m totally ‘off the grid’ in that respect. I think that’s mainly down to trying to make the best use of my limited spare time – I try to avoid those kinds of distraction, they can take up so much of your time. But it’s possibly also due to the fact that I’m turning into an anti-social curmudgeon as I get older.