Sunday, 14 October 2012

Interrogating A.E. Richards

Interrogating Abby Richards, the student who has started off her writing career with a stormer.

How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?

I try to write page-turners because that's what I love to read, and I guess I'm lucky because a lot of people love thrillers that are hard to put down too!

What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.

Psychological thrillers give me the opportunity to play with the reader's expectations; to plunge them into uncertainty and nudge them towards various possible conclusions, making it easier to build in a dramatic twist. 

Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them? 

I have about a million note pads drifting about in drawers, on shelves, under the bed. Sometimes, when I can't switch my mind off at night, I scribble down ideas for future stories.

How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed

I used to suffer from these naughty little bunnies, but haven't found them burrowing into my narrative lately. I used to deal with them by editing, editing and re-editing!

How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?

I wouldn't like to be any of my characters - I like being me! My life is on the up and most of my characters are dealing with big issues. However, the old me can empathise with Lisbeth's emotional struggle at the start of Blackened Cottage. 

Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?

Married to writing, yes! But to my characters - no way!

What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?

Yep. I absolutely love psychological thrillers, but I also get a lot out of fantasy and normal thrillers too and I love Dean Koontz's horror/supernatural thrillers. 

What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?

I try to be as original and fresh as possible with different aspects of craft, including writing style, form and twists.

How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?

I feel like I should have noticed it first and I give myself a mental wallop!

What do you like most about visiting KUF/forums?

I love finding out what readers REALLY enjoy as it helps me to craft more entertaining stories

What is on your near horizon?

An edgy psychological thriller about a ten year old girl called Verity who is selectively mute.  It's early days yet but I'm beginning to get to grips with the plot and I'm about 10,000 words into the writing.

Where can we find you for more information?

My Facebook page for 'Blackened Cottage' is at and I've just started a blog at

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