Author Interview #1- Rich Rurshell

Rich Rurshell writes sci-fi and horror and hails from Suffolk, England. Rich’s stories appear in anthologies by Zombie Pirate Publishing, Stormy Island, and Clarendon House. Check out his work in publications online such as Dastaan World, Jakob’s Horror Box, and CafeLit. He enjoys writing and playing music, and chocolate. We’ll let him tell you about his other weird food loves.

Q: How do you come up with the titles to your short stories?

A: I usually just try to find a word or phrase either from or relevant to the story. More often than not, the working title I use when saving the story between writing sessions is the one I ultimately use. For several stories, I’ve used the name of a character. Not always the main character, but an important character in the plot itself.

Q: What time of the day do you usually write?

A: Night usually. Between midnight and 3am. It seems I’m at my most creative between those hours. I can focus in the quiet of night.

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I started writing regularly around the summer of 2017. I’d written two or three stories before then and got a taste for it. My first story published was “Moon Shrine” early in 2018 in Full Metal Horror from Zombie Pirate Publishing. Until then, I’d only written stories I wanted to write, but I liked the way ZPP went about the editing and publishing of their anthologies, so I began to write stories to fit their submission calls. Before long I was writing stories for submission calls from other publishers.

Q: Describe a typical writing day.

A: It’s not very exciting I’m afraid. I sit down at my computer and then hit keys in mostly the correct order. Usually in silence, but sometimes I’ll put on some music which helps me imagine the scenes. Though anything with lyrics is too distracting, so if anything, it’s instrumental music. Vangelis, Holst, movie soundtracks… that kind of thing.

Q: What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

A: Though it’s the most difficult part, it’s also the most fun. It’s getting the initial idea for a story clear enough in my head that I can begin writing it… I need to know where the story is going and why before I can even sit down to write it. I sometimes write a basic outline down (usually on the back of an envelope or scrap piece of paper) but usually its just on my head and I’ll develop and expand the idea whilst writing. 

Q: How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

A: Depends on the story I guess. If the location of the story is important to the plot, then I like to have a clear picture in my head of where I’m writing about. If the story is more character driven, I’ll develop the world it is set in as I write. 

Q: What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?

A: Acceptances are always good! I really enjoyed the editing and promotion process with the ZPP team. You get to have your input into what edits are made to your story, get to suggest edits on other people’s stories, then help everyone promote their individual stories in the lead up to release day. 

Least favourite? Form rejections. I realise hardly anyone has time to address every single story they reject, it’s just not time efficient. Though that does make it really nice when someone does give you feedback on your rejected story.

Q: Who is your favorite character?

A: Ambrosius Grey. He was in my story “The Intervention”, and was also in a really early story I wrote. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ambrosius Grey. He’s immeasurably powerful, and the motivations for both his wrath and his kindness remain a mystery. He’s fun to write. 

Q: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers?

A: I’m writing a fairy tale… Well, a story with fairies in anyway… There won’t be any sleeping maidens awoken with a prince’s kiss in this tale though. I like to keep things dark.

Q: How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

A: Not many. . Three perhaps… only really one which is developed enough to actually begin writing it. About revenge, and the following regret, guilt, and other emotional repercussions. Seeing the object of your hate as human, as an individual that had made choices, had good points and bad points, but only once it is too late to reverse your actions. 

Q: What book is currently on your bedside table?

A: The Magic of Deben Market by David Bowmore. I’m about a third of the way in, and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s a nice touch that it is set in a fictional town in the county I live in. My town even got a mention!

Q: Favorite book when you were a kid ?

A: The Mammoth Book of Jokes and Cartoons or 1500 Fascinating Facts. I do remember reading fiction too, but I definitely remember pulling those two books off the shelf quite a lot.

Q: What’s your favorite book now?

A: That’s easy. It by Stephen King. I loved It when I read It in 1995, and I loved It even more when I read It again three years ago. I definitely want to read It again sometime.

Q: Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

A: I love tomato and Mozzarella salad. It’s great. And more healthy than chocolate, which I also love. 

Q: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

A: Tall, dark and gruesome.

Q: Paperback or eBook?

A: Paperback is my preference, though I see the advantage to ebooks, being cheaper and taking up no shelf space. I’m a bit of a Luddite and I don’t fully trust technology… so, I choose paperback mostly. 

Q: How many stories do you have that are unfinished?

A: Three. I intend to finish them one day. There are also stories I started that I have no intention of finishing, but I keep them hanging about just in case.

Q: The past year seems to have gone well for your writing career. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

A: Keep writing. Listen to what people are telling you, but don’t take everything too seriously. Sometimes personal taste will come into it, so stay true to yourself. Keep submitting, and don’t let rejections get you down.

You can reach Rich at his author facebook here:

Rich Rurshell- Author

You can find his work at the following:

Black Hare Press- Storming Area 51: Survival Stories. Including his story “Youtuber: Cody Redman”

Clarendon House Books- The Inner Circle Writer’s Group Poetry Anthology. Including his poem “Haystack”.

Blood Song Books CURSES & CAULDRONS. Including his stories “Monroe” and “Blue”.

Zombie Pirate Publishing- FULL METAL HORROR 2: A Bloodstained Anthology. Including his story “A Date in the Forest”.

Stormy Island Publishing: Sea Glass Hearts. Including his poetry “A Dream of the Sea” and “World”.

Please visit his Amazon page for a complete list of publications.

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