Richard Cluff Interview
Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
Well, there is a lot to tell. I guess the short version is that I grew up poor, and I was taught by my mother how to read before I started school. I grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons, and impersonating martial artists before I started learning anything real about it. I am a former alcoholic. When I began writing my first book, I was still abusing alcohol. I have been dry for nearly two years now.
My work… well, It was never really a dream of mine to write a book. I came up with the original ideas for this story years ago, and in 2013 I conceived of Ari. I never intended to write more than one story, but this story took on a life of its own. I’m just doing the legwork!
You’ve got 20 words to sell your work. Tempt us.
All the characters are believable. There is none of the typical “I don’t know when that’s happening in the story!”
Where do you like to write?
In my man-cave, lol.
Is there anything you must have in order to write?
Music. I always listen to music when I write. During the last book, I listened to Florence and the Machine, Lana Del Ray, and the Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica soundtrack. I had a playlist with all three set to shuffle and repeat. I also listened to some Angelspit, Amelia Arsenic, Girlflesh, and Combichrist.
What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. I have read this book five times… I have never read anything that could make me laugh all the way through and cry at the end except this one. Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin (just the 1st book). Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher.
What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
I’d say the one thing that has influenced my writing the most is things that I don’t like in an otherwise perfect book. I find myself saying; “I don’t want to do that!” more often than “I have to do this…” I guess it’s a negative way of approaching it, but it works well for me.
What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
I want to tell my stories! I want people to read them, and tell me what they think, positive and negative. I would love to become popular enough that many people would know my stories, but that will take time.
Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
Reading. It’s that simple.
What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
I think I have it, so I will try to describe it here. Megan enjoys what I’m writing and likes to pester me to send her more stuff often. She is never shy about telling me; “Dude, that doesn’t work,” or “What the heck are you thinking here?” We’re great friends, and I can call her anytime of day or night if I have an issue. She is quite simply one of the finest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
If you had a direct line to someone who loves your writing, what would you say?
Yay! What was it that you liked the most?
If you had a direct line to someone who hates your writing, what would you say?
I’m sorry you didn’t like it. Could you tell me why you didn’t like it?
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Always maintain spacial awareness of you characters in relation to the environment. Too many authors (including several successful ones) can’t manage that simple task.
What does your writing future hold for you?
Well, I am working on the sequel to Spirit of Magik, which is titled “The Reclamation of Vox” at this time. I am considering doing a prequel short story about Sherie Els for nanowrimo to try and get a little free publicity.
How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
By enlisting the services of an expert, Ida Jannson from AmyGDala art. I had an idea, and she helped me distil it into something simple and eye-catching. She was awesome to work with!
How often do you read? What genre?
I read at least once a week, sometimes more. I read Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Manga. The mangas can be sci-fi and fantasy also, but I also read romance and horror mangas.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.
No, thank you!