ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rick Chesler holds a Bachelor of Science in marine biology and can often be found diving, boating or traveling to research his next thriller idea. A former contractor for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and the State of Hawaii, he currently lives in South Florida with his family, at the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. Visit him online at twitter.com/rickchesler, facebook.com/rickchesler, or rickchesler.com.Rick has such an amazing imagination. Before we get to the interview, here are two of my favourite ones by him!
An underwater luxury hotel on a gorgeous tropical island is set for an extravagant opening weekend with the world watching. The only thing standing in the way of a first-rate experience for the jet-setting VIPs is an unscrupulous businessman and sixty feet of prehistoric shark. As the underwater complex is besieged by a marauding behemoth, newly minted marine biologist Coco Keahi must face off against the ancient predator as it rises from the deep with a vengeance. Meanwhile, a human monster has decided he would be better off if Coco were one of the creature’s victims.
Amazon/ Book Depository/ Goodreads
Check out my review HERE
An Antarctic research team hoping to study microbial organisms in an underground lake discovers something far more amazing: perfectly preserved dinosaur corpses. After one thaws and wakes ravenously hungry, it becomes apparent that death, like life, will find a way. Environmental activist Alex Ramirez, son of the expedition’s paleontologist, came to Antarctica to defend the organisms from extinction, but soon learns that it is the human race that needs protecting.
Amazon/ Book Depository/ Goodreads
Check out my review HERE
Rick has many more amazing books, so please check out his Amazon page HERE, Book Depository page HERE, and his Goodreads page HERE. Now onto the awesome interview.
You have a lot of different types of books, from Dinosaurs to Uncontacted tribes, where do your ideas come from?
Many of them are focused on man vs. nature in some way, whether it be extinct or thought-to-be extinct life, something having to do with cryptozoology, or the environment itself. My stories often focus on people needing to get something very important done under challenging conditions, whether those be dinosaurs, big sharks or a freezing mountain top.
How do you develop your writing ideas?
I keep a simple Word file on my computer of story ideas. If I think of something I think might be good, Ill put a line or two about it in the file. I started it many years ago and it is like thirty pages long now. Some of my best stories come from combining two or more of these little ideas together into one concept, things that might seem totally separate at first, but then after a while, an interesting way to combine them will come to me. Sometimes those become stories that drive an entire novel or even series of novels.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
Usually the story informs what kind of major characters I need, but sometimes to breathe life into them I’ll give them some quirky trait inspired by someone in real life, like something funny they said, or a unique mannerism or type of voice, etc. News stories (and not only the major ones) are also full of ideas for characters. Sometimes, if a character is in a profession I don’t know much about, I might interview someone who actually does that in real life, and they always provide great insight, and not only in a factual or procedural way, but in the way they talk about and describe the people they’ve worked with over the course of their careers.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In my late twenties, after reading novels for most of my life, I started to think that I might be able to contribute one of my own to the genres I enjoyed after having been entertained by so many others.
What writers inspire/d you?
Definitely Clive Cussler, in my teen years. His early Dirk Pitt series really hooked me on action-adventure with underwater settings. Then Michael Crichton, who wrote about these crazy science fiction scenarios with terrific realism and insane suspense. Many, many others as well, but those are two who I read just about everything they put out early on.
How has your writing career changed since you started?
On the business side, like a lot of writers, I’ve grown much more dependent on Kindle than I ever saw coming. I remember when ebooks were a curiosity, a real fringe thing. But at the same time I think it’s great that it gets so many people reading. Audiobooks, too, have become a bigger part of my readers’ experience than they were only a few years ago.
As far as the actual writing, I’ve done a lot more co-authoring than I would have guessed in my early days. But it helped me to put out more books in a shorter period of time, which got me noticed more, as well as allowing me to learn a lot from other writers, and have a lot of fun working with some great people who have become true friends.
What does your writing process look like?
I almost always start with some sort of outline. This can vary from a detailed, chapter by chapter document to a loose beginning, middle, and end framework. But usually I begin with a premise that can often be summed up by a what-if idea (e.g. what if a new island was formed by a volcano in international waters?) Then I flesh that out in outline form, including major characters, setting, and plot points. If the outline is thorough enough, I’ll then play around with rewriting it, looking at it spatially to see if it has a good balance of rising and falling action, that there are enough twists in the plot, at the right times. Sometimes I do this in Excel, where color coding is my friend. That helps to visually look at the story before beginning to write, to look for a sense of balance of different elements like pacing, characters, even themes. Other times I will take a less analytical approach and start writing with only the opening chapters outlined, and then outline ahead a few chapters at a time as I write the manuscript. Both methods have their advantages and drawbacks, but I do find the writing to go faster with a more thorough outline, because the essential story ideas have mostly been thought out ahead of time. It can be less flexible, though, than a looser outline that has more room to breathe as the story is written.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I’ve been writing with my MS Word set to a black screen with green font for quite some time now. I find it easier on the eyes than standard black text on white.
What are your writing goals for the next year?
Heading into 2018 I’ll be focusing more on the action-adventure genre, and probably not as much co-authoring as I’ve done in recent years, although I will still likely be doing some of that.
What is the most useful tool you use as a writer?
My imagination. Specifically, the ability to recognize the potential for a great story when I see one, or even part of one.
What is your latest book about?
UNCONTACTED is a human origins thriller about a secret guarded by two primitive tribes living on opposite sides of the world.
Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.
The Florida Keys outside my door
Strumming my ukulele
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Outside of reviews, readers do sometimes email me or contact me via social media, and I’m always glad they take the time to let me know what they thought about one of my books, regardless of what they say. Usually they say positive things, like I just wanted to let you know I read your book on a train or on the beach, or listened to the audiobook during my commute and I really liked it, will there be a sequel or more in that series? That kind of thing.
But every now and then I get complaints, like from animal rights activists about my first novel, WIRED KINGDOM, who were upset that I was “exploiting whales for money” by writing about a blue whale with a mounted webcam that broadcasts a murder at sea. Or sometimes a reader will write to nitpick me about some technical detail, like, “The F-18A couldn’t possibly be deployed that rapidly in that situation because…” that type of thing, which is fine.
And sometimes they are really inspiring / heartbreaking, like a woman who once told me she read one of my novels (HOTEL MEGALODON, I think it was) in the hospital while her husband was dying and she said it was the only thing that could take her mind off of things for even a little bit.
But mostly they’re just readers who are glad to have been entertained for a few hours, and I can’t ask for much more than that, because that’s my job.
What's the one thing you'd like to say to your readers?
Stay with me. Good things are coming! And thank you for reading.
Some Get to know me Questions
What’s the best vacation you ever had?
Fiji honeymoon with my wife.
What’s your favourite rainy day movie?
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would it be?
What's your favourite place to read?
Wherever I can!
When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
Why, to the Fiction section, of course, straight to the “Cs” to see if they might have anything by Rick Chesler! But seriously, as a reader, I usually check out New Releases, and then probably Thrillers.
If you had a million dollars, what would be the first thing you would buy?
More time to write!
Thanks so much Rick for stopping by, is there anything else you wish readers to know!!
Many thanks, Natalie, for the opportunity! I would like to let readers know that my next release will be book one in a new action-adventure series, ATLANTIS GOLD: An Omega Files Adventure, about a pair of ex-Navy treasure hunters on a globe-hopping search for the fabled lost city. Look for it later this year!
Here is my Amazon author page. Please click the “Follow” button in the upper left corner to receive notices from Amazon when I have a new release. Happy reading!
Now onto the giveaway!! Two winners will win an eCopy of Ricks latest release UNCONTACTED. Enter the rafflecopter below and be sure to share!! If you already have that one, we can substitute it for a different one!
GIVEAWAY!a Rafflecopter giveaway