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After lamenting the lack of young adult books to read, Erin wrote her first novel at the age of eighteen hoping to shift the tide. Then everyday life took its toll on her writerly dreams until 2003 when she couldn’t ignore the writing bug any longer. By then, she had immersed herself in reading adult fantasy and romance novels. Writing paranormal & fantasy romance was a no brainer. Erin has published two adult romance novels: CHASING SHADOWS, a paranormal romantic suspense (EPPIE award finalist and Night Owl Romance 5-Star Top Pick) and WICKED PARADISE, a fantasy romance released in August 2012. Erin finally realizes her lifelong dream of publishing a young adult novel with the debut of VIGILANTE NIGHTS in July 2013. Erin Richards lives in Northern California. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and American muscle cars.
1. What is your favorite color? It’s all about the purple! (I just redesigned my website from blue to purple tones. Check it out!)
2. Favorite food? I LOVE Mexican food.
3. Favorite movie of all time? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
4. Favorite song? Comeback by Redlight King
5. Favorite book of all time? Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
Because I was in love with books at an early age, I always had an active imagination and would create scenarios in my head of my favorite characters. I wanted to emulate my favorite books and eventually began writing my stories in a notepad. Then I wrote my first novel at eighteen, inspired by S.E. Hinton’s, The Outsiders, one of my all-time favorite novels. I read The Outsiders as a teen, years after it was published when there was little YA fiction on the shelves. Gritty, thrilling, and real, The Outsiders left me awestruck. I was also doubly impressed when I learned Ms. Hinton was only sixteen when she wrote it. I then decided if she could write a book at sixteen, then I could write one at eighteen! I had grand hopes to shift the tide and bring more young adult books to the shelves. It took a long time, but I finally realized that dream with my recent release of Vigilante Nights.
2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Since I have a day job, I try to spend at least 2 hours a night writing, editing and doing promotions. My weekends are all mine and I’ll start my mornings off catching up on social media, handling promotional tasks, then get down to writing for a couple hours. Then I take a break to return to real life tasks, and I’m back to writing for another hour or so in the evenings. Of course, Facebook and Twitter sometimes hijack my writing time!
3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I started out as a “panster” (winging it by the seat of my pants), until I learned about goal, motivation and conflict (GMC) charts. Now, I do a high level plot outline and a GMC chart for my main characters before I start my first draft. However, my muse isn’t a 100% sold on the outline process. “She” usually throws in subplots of subplots so I start to veer from my outline. I recently prepared a new YA book proposal for my agent, which included a summary (synopsis). This was the first time I’ve done a full synopsis for a book I haven’t totally written yet. It was a challenge, but it has become helpful to keep me on track as I continue writing the book.
4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
The biggest challenge was writing from a 17-year-old boy’s point-of-view, in first person, no less. Writing three romance novels with alternating female and male POVs helped greatly. I had already read a lot of novels with male POVs, and I took it a step further and read some “boy” books from popular YA authors to see how they handled POV. In fact, I didn’t know if I had actually accomplished it until an editorial director of a big NY publisher read & critiqued an early version of the first fifty pages and told me I had nailed it. Of course, I also wanted my book to appeal to females, and writing in a love interest was a natural progression since all my books have a romance element.
The easiest part was the editing. I think I’ve reached that point after writing six books that I’m comfortable editing, and my first drafts are not so bad anymore! People learn from doing, and I won’t say I’ve mastered editing, but I’m way better at it than when I started writing with publishing in mind.
5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Other than spending time at my day job, I love to read, watch TV, dabble in photography and my newest project is re-landscaping my backyard.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is a fine line. One toe in either direction and you just never know where you’ll end up.
2. Research is what I'm doing when I’m cruising the internet, even if I’m shopping at Amazon (it’s not just for books) or socializing on Facebook!
3. I can write better after my commute home from my day job. My long commute gives me time to create my next scenes in my head, or to solve plot problems and holes.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to recharge and bring clarity to my mind in order to put words on the page in a logical and exciting order.
5. A room without a book is like an empty dreary room without a view.
Title: Vigilante Nights
Genre/s: Young Adult Contemporary, Supernatural
Publisher: Merit Press/F+W Media
Date Published: July 18, 2013
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His beloved twin dead, his future destroyed, Lucas forms a vigilante posse to take revenge on the gang members responsible. Can his new love, and his sister’s voice from beyond death, stop Lucas from self-destruction?After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren’t identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he’s crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver’s former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver’s death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver that can be accounted for by mere chance.
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