Topic: Author Interview
Randy Richardson the person:
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
2. How do you think others would describe you?
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
See answer to Question 1 for a clue. Hint: It's not the White Sox, Mets or Cardinals.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
One Siamese cat, Camus (pronounced Cah-moo), named after the French existentialist, Albert Camus. Explanation: We had a Name the Cat Party and the winning name was Smelly Cat. Since we didn't want him to have a complex, we invalidated the first choice and went with the second, which was Camus.
5. What is your most precious memory?
The evening of October 14, 1993, when the Cubs were five outs away from going to the World Series for the first time in my lifetime. There's a photo of me taken at that game and I look happier than I've ever looked before in a photo. That was immediately followed by my least precious memory, when an overzealous fan reached for a pop-up that Moises Alou never got the chance to catch.
In reality, the most precious memory was the morning of June 4, 2003, when my son, Tyler, made his entrance into my world.
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
When I piddled in my pants and onto the floor of Mrs. Schmidt's first grade classroom.
7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
Hawking peanuts at Cubs games.
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
Wanted just one thing. Never got it. But just wait till next life. Go Cubs!
Randy Richardson the writer:
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?
For the longest time, I denied that I was a writer. My father writes about agriculture and when I was a kid, he'd take me to his office and it looked like the most boring job in the world. I wanted to be anything other than what my father was, which probably explains how I ended up starting college in aviation school, learning how to be a pilot. That career never really got off the ground, however, and I stumbled my way into journalism. I first began to "really" write as a newspaper reporter but I didn't think of myself as a "real" writer until many years later when I was a lawyer and started staying up late tapping on the keyboards writing this novel that was in my head and kept knocking to get out.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
I'm working on a second novel, which is a departure from my first. It's a tragic-comic coming-of-age road story about two teen-age boys whose friendship is tested after the suicide of one of their friends. They blow off high school graduation to go on a roadtrip in Southwest Wisconsin, and on that trip something happens that forever alters their lives.
I've also recently written an essay for the Lovable Losers Literary Revue (www.lovablelosersliteraryrevue.com), a series that celebrates/mourns the 100th anniversary of the Cubs' last World Series championship, and I continue to write essays about parenthood.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
My only real goal for my writing is to keep getting better at it. Writing is a lot like life in general. It is always a challenge and is something that is nearly impossible to perfect, but that is what appeals to me about it.
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I'm afraid an honest answer here would put your readers to sleep. Like many writers, I'm a procrastinator and will find anything to do (rearranging the sock drawer, for instance) other than writing. I wrote a humor piece about this for Absolute Write. The link is: http://www.absolutewrite.com/fun/cork.htm
13. Why do you write?
I honestly don't know the answer to this question. It's something that is in me and is always fighting to get out.
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
That's an easy one. Ernest Hemingway. He was, like me, a journalist, then a novelist. But no one I know of was able to say so much with so few words. He never wasted a word.
15. How do you define your writing?
My writing def.: A long, winding road to get to one place.
16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
His writing made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think.
Randy Richardson the details:
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
There's an email contact through my website. I'd love to hear from anyone who'd like to discuss more about writing or the Cubs.
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
"Lost in the Ivy," a murder mystery set against the backdrop of Wrigley Field, is my only book and it is available through all major online retailers or by requesting it from your local bookstore.
I've also got two essays in the upcoming "Chicken Soup for the Father and Son Soul," as well as an essay in "Humor for the Boomer's Heart," due out in October.
20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
They'll find a lot of me in my books and essays, which I guess means that they'll find a little bit of humor and a lot of hope and heart.
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
In addition to being a husband, a father, a lawyer, a journalist, and an author, I am the president of the Chicago Writers Association (www.chicagowrites.org ), a voluntary, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the 4 C's of writing: creativity, commerce, craft, and community. CWA strives to:
- Foster a visible, supportive writing community.
- Provide genuine, constructive feedback and access to resources.
- Assist writers at all levels achieve their writing goals.
- Build a bridge to unite all facets of Chicago's diverse literary culture.
- Promote Chicago as a place of literary distinction.
I invite all writers to check out our website and see what we're all about.