How's the day going so far?
I hope you've done all the things you wanted to do so far - and isn't it time for a break?
I think so!
Time to talk to another author!
At the time of writing The Book Of Imaginari (it began in 2019), Richard lived in the village of Mow Cop where it is set. He would often visit the folly and look out over the surrounding areas – it is this that led him to the inspiration for Imaginari.
Part one – The Folly On The Hill – took around four months from concept to first draft, with parts two and three taking a similar amount of time afterwards, the final part is coming soon.
The book was written for pleasure, creating it would fill his spare time and this opportunity was increased massively during the pandemic of 2020 – the goal being to create something that at least one person would find and enjoy reading it.
Let him know what you think of Imaginari, he can be contacted on Twitter and Instagram (@R_C_Hayden) and on Facebook (Richard Hayden Author, @rchaydenauthor), he would love to hear what you think of the story.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars
MCU or DCU? MCU
Reboots – depends on the reason and the quality! Some are good, some are BAD!
Coffee, tea, or cacao? Coffee in the AM, Tea in the PM
Favorite hangover recovery recipe? Sleep 😊
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Still not sure I ever did. I had the idea for Imaginari, my published trilogy, one night when I couldn’t sleep. I then just wrote to fill time whilst travelling for work and created the entire story for pleasure. Only when a trusted group of family and friends read it did I decide to try and publish, so I am not sure even to this day I ever had the “I want to be a writer” thing – but – I do love seeing Imaginari being well received all over the world. When I put it out there, all I wanted was for one person that doesn’t know me to find it and like it.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The inspiration for Imaginari came from the folly that is in the middle of the village I was living in at the time. I had a realisation that from above it looked like a lock. I wondered if that was deliberate (as far as I know, it wasn’t) and then the idea grew from there. Locks protect things, us, or something else? What could be behind it? In my head this was then linked to the statue (pile of rocks) also on the hill, they are called the Old Man Of Mow. It all grew from there really. The people are completely fictitious, so are the events. The locations are based on the village, and some of the road names are the same, I wanted the story to feel grounded and real to a point. It was important to me that if someone that is local read it they could relate to it, but equally to those not from the area it needed to be interesting and engaging.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I work traditional office hours – mon-fri 8-5ish – then I will write in my spare time. Though the majority of Imaginari was written when I was travelling with work, I would write in the hotel room in the evening as there is nothing else to do! That gave me the capacity and time to create that world and story – then 2020 and covid came along and gave me even more time to finish it off, polish it, and get it out there into the world. Now I write in the evenings or at weekends as I currently travel less for work.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I started writing Imaginari in 2019, I was 32, had the idea and ran with it. Rather boring really.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Spending time with family. My wife and I will often go out, big days out or walks with the dog, and everything in between. Love films and going to the cinema, also enjoy games and just relaxing at home really. Oh, also, Lego. Lots of Lego. Love the stuff!
What does your family think of your writing?
They seem to like it, or at least that is what they tell me. I kept the story, and indeed the fact I was writing a book very close to the chest so only a few new before I pressed the button and made it public knowledge. My family has been very supportive of it, and I trust them enough to tell me if they don’t like or something in it.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Only Imaginari so far, which is published as three books though I wrote and created them as one. If I was to pick one of those three, I would pick the first one. I love The Folly On The Hill – I mean I love them all, but that one, because it was the first and lays the foundation holds a special place in my heart.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I am fortunate that I do get reviews, comments, and social meda interactions with some of my readers. The majority are local which means the world to me as it is great to hear that they connect with the story as much as I did when I was creating it. I have also been back to my old school and done some creative writing sessions with students, that was an awesome experience and great to hear their feedback there in the room for some of the extracts I read to them.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Train driver, or footballer. Simple and probably common amongst my generation.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Briefly I did, but decided to put my name to it and see what happens. I understand why some do, and that is their choice, just wasn’t for me.
Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
I believe Han shot first in the original cut…
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Work harder at languages! As an adult I really wish I had worked harder at learning French and German in school, I'd like to be able to do that now. Who knows, I may give myself the time and challenge to do so soon! From a specific writing point of view, I never thought I would be a writer so not really sure – unless this is a time travel thing where I can make my world easier? In which case, I'd tell myself to write. Lots.
Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other?
Self-published - I did try traditional publishing but it is so tough, and I applaud anyone that gets through that way – the odds are against you there so well done! There are obvious advantages to both avenues I think, with traditional publishing there is backing and support in terms of advertising and distribution – but you are restricted by editors and designers and to a point you maybe don’t have the final say. With self-publishing, I am on my own in terms of telling people and advertising – but I am in full control of everything. They are the key initial differences – there are many more – but I am not sure I can comment on which is better.
What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?
42. Always will be, 42.
What do you have coming next?
My trilogy is complete, that story is closed and done in my mind. I am having a little breather and then I am going back to something I started in 2021 – sci-fi. So something completely different but I think I can have a lot of fun with it. Don't want to reveal too much but it is based on the idea of intergalactic travel, and the fact there would need to be rest stops, services, and hotels along those space lanes. I wonder what could happen in one of those places?
"Wait! You're too close! Something is about to happ..."
But it was too late. Before he could finish his warning, the sky was torn apart with a blinding bolt of light. It tore from above and came down to meet the earth where Joanna lay. The force sent Elizabeth tumbling back down the crest of the hill and flung the rest of the group onto their backs. The power of the impact uprooted trees, extinguished the fire, and forced everything outwards in a circle with the child at its centre. Gaping up at the sky, the group was now lying in stunned silence, unable to move through fear and wonder at what they could see. A grey spiral, a vortex of cloud had formed around them in the sky, turning faster and faster. Without warning there was another bolt of light, striking in the same place, but this time the light was reflected five times outwards as if in a star shape, beaming out sideways from the where the child lay over the heads of the group. The beams of light scorched the Earth, burning through trees, grass, and bushes as if they were kindling, with the child at its centre. At the same time, rocks and boulders seemed to be pushed up from the ground causing it to shake and crack. To anyone nearby who happened to look up at the hill, this would have been quite the spectacle. Five beams of light scorching their way down the hill, only stopping when they reached a barrier. A purple bubble of energy that seemed to be containing the chaos to the very top of the hill. Then, as quickly as before, the beams of light seemed to get brighter and force their way back to the child in the centre. With a loud bang, they combined to shoot up into the centre of the cloud spiral. The light was blinding, everyone shielded their eyes from it as the intensity grew. Then as if being chased away, it lifted itself up into the sky like a rope being pulled up from above through a hatch in the centre of the spiral. Then there was darkness. Elizabeth lifted her head towards the heavens. She could make out the spiral clouds, she could also make out the fading image of a face in the clouds. An image of a face contorted with pain and anger, then it vanished. The clouds cleared, and the stars winked back into view. They sat up, stared at each other, and then up towards the crest of the hill. The wind had returned now, a gentle touch as though comforting them with what had just happened. Around them, there were gentle fires where the light had cut through trees. Rocks and boulders had appeared where previously there were none and the Earth felt torn and scorched. With haste Abijah began to move towards the crest of the hill. He moved past Elizabeth much faster than he had moved for weeks up to the crest; stepping over rocks that were not there before. He reached the point where the light had hit the ground, the point where Joanna had been left by Elizabeth. He looked down, there was nothing there. Nothing except the scorched earth and a precise point where the light had hit the ground on the centre stone, exactly where Joanna’s chest had been. It was surrounded by a small circle of burnt Earth, otherwise the grass was green. Blown and bent outwards in a circle, but green and apparently untouched. As he looked up, the stars glinted brightly as if nothing had happened at all, he could hear the others coming to join him. Elizabeth was the first to arrive, she collapsed to her knees and wailed in despair.
"It’s for the best, we have just done something remarkable and saved everything," Philippa comforted her, but it was of no use.
The pain and despair in the eyes Elizabeth were clear and untouched by the words of support from her friend.
The group stood silently, looking up at the sky, with Elizabeth at their knees sobbing.
After a short while, she stood and turned to face the group. "We better make sure this was not for nothing. We need to finish what we started and ensure that this never happens to another being on this Earth. We must start work on the lock. The five keys are in place but will be powerless when winter starts again. The keys must stay in their place for all eternity, but we must build a lock to stand the test of time with them."
They all turned to Abijah. He lowered his eyes from the heavens to look at them all, regarding them all individually.
"I agree," he stated matter of factually as if deciding on what to have for supper. "We must begin work on the building at once. The girl’s life must not have been in vain. We must prevail." He gestured around them at the ground, "Rouse the villagers, The Man has provided the stone for us to build this lock, we must do so."
They looked puzzled, "The Man?" Philippa asked.
"Yes," Abijah replied. "The keys will be secured and passed on through generations, but for the lock The Man Of Mow has provided. We must build his structure here, in Mow Cop on this spot with his stone. It will act as the lock to keep the world safe, keeping a great evil at bay, and most of all, ensuring that this never happens to another family again."