Greetings, loyal readers. And hello newcomers. We’ve encountered a problem here at Author Interview Corner. Last week was supposed to be my video interview with author Suzi M. We did the interview. It went great! I’ve got the whole thing on video! Unfortunately, I’m experiencing technical difficulties and cannot post it as of yet. Look, I’m a writer, not video editor. I’m confused! 🙂
Not to worry, though. Next up we have Richard H. Fay. Between his artwork, poetry, and prose… you’re bound to find something you like!
Hello, Richard. I’d like to start by asking about your visual art, because it seems like your artwork is everywhere lately. What has been published most recently, and where can we find it?
I try to get my art out there on a regular basis. Most recently, my fantasy artwork “Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental” appeared on the door of the September issue of the Sam’s Dot Publishing e-zine Spaceports and Spidersilk, and my dark artwork “Faces and Figures in the Mist” appeared as interior artwork in the September issue of the Sam’s Dot Publishing print zine parABnormal Digest. Other recent art publications include my illustration for Nyki Blatchley’s “Aslahkar” in the premier issue of Plasma Frequency, and my fantasy artwork “Battle Beneath the Mere” in the June issue of NewMyths.com.
It’s no secret that you consider yourself a poet / artist who dabbles in fiction. Your poetry and artwork have appeared in several publications. You’re very successful in those mediums. Yet, you have an enormous ambition to get your fiction on the market. Why?
To be quite honest, I think the writing world pays a lot more attention to prose fiction than it does to poetry or art. In some instances, prose pays better than poetry. As glad as I am that I’ve made a name for myself as a poet and an artist, I would love to be known as a writer of prose fiction, too. I wrote prose fiction before I wrote poetry. It is my first love.
Your story “Sing The Bones Alive” has recently been accepted for publication in Bards And Sages Quarterly. This story was rejected ten times before finding a home. This is not uncommon. I’ve spoken with other writers who claim a certain story seems to rack up the rejections. Tell us about “Sing The Bones Alive”. What motivated you to keep submitting this piece? Any advice for discouraged writers?
Without giving too much away, I’ll say that “Sing the Bones Alive” is a wizardly fantasy story where the wizard uses his wizardly powers to solve the problems he faces in the story. I drew my inspiration for the piece from the Finnish and Welsh tales of singing wizards, wizards who cast their spells through song. I admit that I willingly used the cliché of the old wise wizard, but I tried to incorporate the effects of his elderly status into the plot.
As for why I kept submitting the piece to different markets, I believe in the story. I believe the story should be read. I wrote it for others to read. I came very close to giving up, but I kept submitting the story. Now I anxiously await its publication.
I might not be the best person to give advice to discouraged writers, considering how easily I get discouraged, but the best advice I can give is to stay persistent, perseverant, and downright stubborn. Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep believing in what you write. Don’t let others bring you down.
Your story “The Redcap of Glamtallon” has been accepted for publication in the March 2013 issue of Cover Of Darkness. Can you give us a quick synopsis?
In my redcap story, an American graduate student studying abroad and her Scottish beau perform a paranormal investigation within the dark walls of Glamtallon Castle, a borderland fortress with a grisly past and a haunted reputation. What seems at first to be an active haunting turns into something more sinister as the researchers encounter not a ghost, but a murdering redcap.
What inspires you as a writer? What inspires you as an artist? Is it a similar process?
I’m not sure I can really separate what inspires me as writer from what inspires me as an artist. I am inspired by history, myths, legends, folktales, and true stories of the supernatural. I am also inspired by the world around me, especially the natural world. I can say that my art and my writing inspire each other. In other words, a poem or story may lead to an artwork, or an artwork may lead to a poem or story. It’s all interconnected.
A work grows from an initial spark of inspiration. A fancied bit of folklore forms the foundation upon which I build a poem. An obsession with the darker side of fairy lore melds with an interest in the paranormal to become a horror story. A strange image in a photo of a haunted house develops into a weirdly dark artwork.
Are there any particular artists, poets, or authors that have inspired you?
The works of J. R. R. Tolkien have had a huge impact on my life. His books were my first introduction to fantasy literature. I’m also inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, William Blake, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Anthony Hope, Bram Stoker, Ursula K. LeGuin, and H. P. Lovecraft. I also find inspiration from reading classic weird tales, old-time Gothic horror stories, and speculative fiction of years past.
In terms of visual art, I really admire the works of Arthur Rackham, J. R. R. Tolkien (he was an artist, too), William Blake, Warwick Goble, Brian Froud, Alan Lee, and the various illustrators of the role playing game rulebooks of the 1980s. I even find inspiration in medieval and Renaissance woodcuts and illuminated manuscripts.
You just completed a cover for Issue 2 of the sci-fi / fantasy magazine Plasma Frequency. You mentioned that you did some research into ancient Greek clothing and ancient Greek decorative elements. Do you often research before doing a piece of art, or writing a story?
I do lots of research, all the time. I research historic arms and armour before creating a fantasy illustration depicting an armoured warrior battling a monstrous beast. I research early medieval decorative motifs before drawing filler art combining sci-fi with the medieval. I research fairy lore before penning a poem about the Fair Folk. I research castle architecture and life in a medieval castle before writing a story set within a castle. I find that I often research historical, mythic, and folkloric subjects prior to composing a story, poem, or artwork.
What are you working on right now?
I don’t have any assigned works on my plate at the moment, so I’m planning to work on some artworks for unsolicited submission to various venues. At the moment, there are a lot of art ideas swirling around in my brain. I should get them drawn before my head explodes! I also have a few more story ideas that I should work on, when I get a chance. I really should write more poetry, too, but my poetry muse has been awfully quiet lately.
I also sell merchandise featuring my art and designs through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, and I want to add more images to my store.
What else would you like to mention that we haven’t touched on in this interview?
I thought I should mention something about my recent poetry publications, since I still have poetry published on occasion. Most recently, my folkloric dark speculative poem “Bluebell Spell” was published in the September issue of parABnormal Digest, and my sci-fi cinquain “Silicon Searchers” was published in the Summer 2012 issue of Tales of the Talisman.
I do have a few more poems slated for publication later this year.
Where can we find you on the web?
I keep a blog here:
An on-line portfolio featuring examples of my artwork may be viewed here:
Items featuring many of my designs and artworks may be purchased through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store: