Rich Cole is a very private and reclusive American writer. The author of more than 20 novels (seen here on Amazon), including his latest release titled RIDE. is a very hard person to reach. We managed to get an interview through our contact at one of his favorite hideouts in Los Angeles where he is currently living.
- First, can you tell me briefly about your latest book?
It’s not the latest book, to be honest. It’s one of the first I wrote. It’s called “Ride” and it came to me pretty straightforward. In a way, I had it all developed in my head. I knew where I wanted to go with it.
It’s a survival story, everyone can identify in a survival story. In this case it’s a chase, a game where all elements are against our main character who is also battling her inner demons. Those and her strength and energy will help her to overcome the danger that increases the deeper she rides into the desert.
- What type of person do you think would enjoy reading this book the most?
I think anyone would enjoy the book. It’s a quick and easy read.
- Can you briefly describe what happens in a scene from your favorite part of the book and why it is your favorite?
I wouldn’t want to spoil anything but the beginning is one of my favorite scenes. I was writing this story first as a script and then I decided to change it into a novel. It gave me more opportunities to explore the characters and the enviroments. It’s my favorite because I wrote it in one session and I didn’t have to edit much.
- What kind of research did you need to do to write this book?
I lived in many places in my life but for many years I have been staying in LA and occasionally I have been spending time in the deserts. I love those places so I didn’t need to do that much research, I wrote of places I have been hanging around sometimes.
- What was the biggest hurdle you struggled with during the process of writing this book?
I had to ride a bike a few times to get into character, true story.
- Besides books, which storytelling format do you prefer: Movies, TV, Audiobooks, or something else?
Movies, for sure. I don’t watch television, I don’t really like TV Shows in general. I can’t watch a TV series if it’s not complete, many times they get canceled and I feel fooled to have wasted time watching something that I would never know how it will end, although somehow many of these series in reality ended already before they canceled them. Not audiobooks for me, I am not that lazy I love holding a book in my hands in fact I still spend a lot of time visiting book stores when I travel. And I hate reading on my phone or tablet, then it just feels like work, it’s not fun. I still enjoy reading comics every now and then, I prefer Graphic Novels and one-shot stories since I can never keep up with all the series out there.
- What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I love traveling, not so much these days, with all the restrictions and risks I am off that for a while. Watch movies, there are great Cinemas in LA but I also have a huge library at home and I like staying in. I like hunting old records both on vinyl and CDs, I hit Amoeba Music on Hollywood Boulevard a couple of times a week. I love the Ocean, so I go to the beach sometimes.
- Can you tell us about any future writing projects you’re considering right now?
I am working on an adventure series of a warrior and his talking pig. ‘Nuff said.
- Where can people find you and your book?
They are all available on kindle. Some of them on print copies. Can be ordered on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles to name a few.
- What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
Yes, we all do. Counting words. But in reality to me is important the continuity, to achieve consistency I need to lay down first the foundation of the story, the structure, characters, plots, story-line etc. In many of my books I have the overall idea already in place. What I do is putting it in the right order of events and progression. It’s important for me that I reduce the writing to the minimum time-frame in order to keep the flow. And to achieve that I only begin writing when I have all the material and info I need to create the story. My synopsis are usually very much the finished story, from beginning to the end. About the number of words it varies, I can’t be constant for many reasons, depending on the day and the attention I can put on the job. I can sometimes reach 5 thousand words in a day, then I am very happy.
- Do you have any rituals that you follow before sitting down to write?
It depends on where I am. I used to write on a typewriter back in the days and that requires you to work in your studio. I love being in my own place but I have been writing also when I was guest at someone or traveling. If I am still in the beginning it doesn’t really matter, I write down notes on my notebook or laptop but also on my phone, napkin, anything I have available. Then I clean those notes up.
The proper writing I do in my studio. Away from everyone, I need concentration of course and I surround myself with all sort of inspirational material such as a bottle of my favorite drink or some good records. I try to write mostly when I can be less disturbed and sometimes I am off the internet. It happens that I work in the night a lot.
- Do you have a favorite snack food or favorite beverage that you enjoy while you write?
I can’t eat when I write. Actually, sometimes if great inspiration strikes, I starve until I am finished.
- At what age did you discover writing?
I was told that I could read and write when I was very little. I learned by looking at books somehow. When I was in preschool one of the teachers realized I could so I was sent to primary school a year earlier. I did a lot of homeschooling since my parents were moving all the time. I read a lot of books since I didn’t have many friends.
- What was the first story you remember writing?
Something about sharks I think.
- What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?
Sometimes it is only to get into the right mood. It’s difficult to distance yourself from everyone to reach the right amount of concentration. I tend to delegate other people for matters that I know would steal time from me. Without them I would be lost. To be alone and stay in the zone is getting harder these days.
- What is the easiest part of the writing process?
Writing, that’s the easy part.
- Does writing come easy for you?
I guess it does, It’s a need.
- Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character in your story because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you, his or her creator?
No, I enjoying killing them.
- How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?
Oh far too many to count. Usually I put ideas down on paper as soon as I can. It’s a good habit, I save them in a binder and when I need something new I go perusing in there. It’s amazing how easy one can forget those little hints and how precious they become.
- What advice you would give to an aspiring author?
More writing, less talk. Finish the book before talking about it.
- How have you marketed and promoted your work?
I haven’t to be honest. I wouldn’t know how. It is something that requires certain skills that I don’t have but most importantly I wouldn’t have any time for it.
- What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?
Let other people do that. Don’t even try.
- Have you written any other books?
Oh yes, I think about 40.
- What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing?
There are no bad ideas. In writing you can always make things work.
- What genre are your books?
I try not to stick to a genre, however I like cinematic stories. I work on them as if they were scripts. I would say I write pulp stories but at times I like to blend genres.
- Would it matter to you if you were never published? (In other words, would it matter if no one ever read your books?) Why or why not?
For many years I wasn’t published and it looked like I would have never been published. I would be surprised if that many people want to read my book all of a sudden. I am grateful that some do. I guess I would still be writing, I can’t stop when I get an idea.
- What is a talent you have that nobody knows?
I can predict the future, sometimes. Seriously, I have some ability in foresee things.
- If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
Many of my favorite actors are dead or pretty old. Not sure to be honest.
- What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
My Sketchbook, pen and paper. I always carry them with me.
- What is your favorite place, real or fictional? Why?
Right now California. I’d love to travel again to Europe, it has been a while now with the pandemic and all, we’ll see what it’ll be next year.
- If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?
Check out Rich Cole’s new book, Ride, below.