Happy New Year!
Right, I've said it!
Glad to have you here on the first Monday of a new year. Time to set the tone for 2023 with the talented Ria Hendrickson!
Ria is currently filling Kindle Vella with fantastic science fiction and thrillers. To connect with her, go to linktr.ee/riahendrickson. There are links to all my social media there as well as a free book, a short story prequel to the Infinity Virus series.
Firefly – gone too soon or overrated? Gone to soon, I loved this show. It was like a western and a sci fi all together. It was exceptional!
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? I think the only reason for a reboot would be if there is a new technology that makes animation or graphics better able to tell the story.
A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)? Craig Alanson is one of my favorite authors. I’m waiting, not so patiently, for his next Convergence novel! I’ve read and loved every book he’s written.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I wrote my first story at 3. I made my mom write it down. She was so impressed that she put a date on it and gave it to me when I was a teenager. It’s not something I ever realized. From my earliest thoughts, it’s simply who I am.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? I have to work my writing around homeschooling my 15-year-old autistic son, and my 4-year-old hyper son. I do a lot of writing sprints and working late at night.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? When I’m not writing I’m reading, with my family, outside working in the garden or doing some kind of craft project.
What does your family think of your writing? My family is really supportive. My cousin is also an author, so we do a lot together. We’re distant cousins of Mark Twain, so everyone just says it’s in our blood. I’d have to say my parents, my mother-in-law and my husband are my main encouragers.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve written. I’ve lost more on floppy drives that disappeared than I have published. However, my favorite book I’ve written so far is my Infinity Virus series. The whole thing is really one story, it’s just so big I’ve had to put it in three books. I had the story in my head, forming and refining, for over ten years before I started writing.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? This will sound like a cliché, but the only way to be a better writer is to write more. There are a million other things that you can do, but you just have to sit down and do it. Then you edit and learn and grow, but first you have to write.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I love to hear from my readers. Some of the things I hear are thank you’s for writing autistic characters that are active and living life well. I also hear that my books are funny and inventive. I love when people write to ask when the next book will be done. That really pushes me to work harder.
My favorite compliment was that my books should be a Netflix series because they were better than most of the Sci Fi out there. That one was the compliment I pull out when I get tired of writing and want to quit.
What do you think makes a good story? A good story is one that draws you in so deeply that you can see it like a movie in your head. When you’re so invested in the Characters that you cry or laugh when they do. A good story is a window into another world that the author has created for you to visit.
Does writing energize or exhaust you? Writing is my relaxation. Things like editing, marketing and advertising are what I consider the work part of my job. The writing is part of what I do for fun and many days it’s my therapy and escape.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? The best money I ever spent as a writer was hiring a brilliant editor. I spend more time writing and less time worrying about errors thanks to her.
Are you traditionally or self-published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other? I am an indie author. I’m not sure I ever want to be traditionally published. I’ve been offered traditional publishing deals before, but turned them down because I felt they didn’t work for me.
What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? Cheese. Feeling depressed eat a grilled cheese. Have guests, cut up some cheese. Smile for the camera, say cheese. It’s that or 42. I’m still debating.
What does literary success look like to you? To me success looks like now. I’m working full time as a writer. I’m paying my bills with writing. I’m able to only work as a writer, not as a side job. My fans are ready to read my next work, and I have great reviews. That’s all I could ever ask for.
What do you have coming next? What’s coming next is easy. I’m only writing in Kindle Vella right now. I’m moving to ebooks and print around March 2023, if all goes well. So far, I’m on track to meet that deadline. My dream is to see my print books on the shelf at Barnes and Nobles!
And now an excerpt from Infinity Virus Book One!
No, there will be no conning Diana or Kaya. They trust you too much, love you too much. You need to tell us everything. Why did you do this? What danger were you so afraid of with this virus, how did you know it was so deadly? You risked our lives, and for what? Why?” Edward stared him down and Dr. Henderson put his work down and sat down defeated. “There are so many things I should have told all of you, but I listened to others and kept you out of the loop. Forgive me.” Kaya cried harder and Diana walked her a little further back, all the while holding her tight. Edward crossed his arms and stared blankly. “There are those in the society that have objected to my little experiment. They think it is foolish to use people they feel are inferior. They are quite racist. They have been working to release a virus that will target those with higher melanin levels in their skin, and other genetic markers of what they call ‘inferiors’. They want to kill off everyone who isn’t white. So, I set these labs up. They think I’m doing other research, but I’ve been working to combat their plans. They said they were on a five-year plan. I thought we had another year, but then I received word they had released the virus and there was no more time. I couldn’t risk any of you. Not to a virus that was made to kill you. It’s too dangerous. The news doesn’t know the half of what is happening. There are entire villages in India and now Africa that are just gone. Wiped out, and I couldn’t let that happen to my family. I panicked. For that I am truly sorry.” Kaya looked up from her tears. “No, you don’t get a pass on this. You need to leave my home now. You told us this was our home. Even after the job, you need to keep your word and you need to leave.”