ERIC RICKSTAD: I PUT ALL I HAD INTO MY NOVEL REAP
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Eric Rickstad’s The Silent Girls became one of the hottest mystery horror titles in Amazon. Currently the novel resides in Top 30 of the most downloaded Kindle books. Our next guest has one more published novel – Reap, which was his official literary debut.
– Eric, The Silent Girls won a lot of fans of dark mystery thriller genre. Did you expect the novel to be part of Top 40 bestselling Kindle books?
– Its success has come as a very pleasant surprise to me. One never knows how readers will respond, though my publisher, Harper Collins, has done a superb job reaching reader. I am glad the readers have responded so enthusiastically and the book has struck a nerve. Its momentum is continuing and gaining more fans each day, now a #1 horror thriller and Top 25 mystery in the UK and Canada.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I start with an image that pesters me, and issues or issues that anger me. In this case the image was of Frank Rath trying to hang that deer at the beginning. The issues were violent criminals who are released early for many reasons, so repeat their violent acts. This seems a failure of the justice system to me, to allow violent criminals back into society before they’ve actually served the time they were supposed to serve.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Figuring out all the small inter-related intricacies that make for a really good, memorable mystery with unforeseen twists. But, I love that challenge. The joy comes from the challenge.
– Tell us something more about your main character Frank Rath? Is he close to someone from your real life?
– He’s first and foremost a father. A single father who came to the role in the most tragic and traumatic way possible, I feel. And because of the tragedy that propelled him from a rather selfish life as a young, single detective, his love for his daughter can sometimes be suffocating, and his worry for her sometimes verge on paranoia. But that’s how it can be with many of us parents. He’s not based on anyone I know, but rather a composite of many people, and mostly a product of my imagination.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
I wrote THE SILENT GIRLS in about 11 months, and my agent sold it rather quickly. Then, it was about 9 more months before it went out into the world.
– Reap became a very successful novel praised by readers and critics. How would you evaluate your writing debut 15 years after the release of the novel?
– I will always cherish that novel. There is only one first novel, one first anything. I put all I had into it, and I feel it is exactly the novel I set out to write, as is THE SILENT GIRLS. Which is all I can ask to achieve as a novelist, that my work fulfills the promise of my vision.
– Who are you?
– As a writer, I am hard working and determined, and persistent. 15 years between novels and I never gave up. I wrote. Most every day. Published or not. Because it’s in me. Other than that, I am a father and husband and appreciate the quiet life in Vermont, being outdoors as much as possible.
– What are your writing habits?
– I write every day. As much as I possibly can.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your books?
– Very. THE SILENT GIRLS has really taken of and readers and reviewers are responding to it with great passion.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I am active on social media myself, and my publisher does a great job getting me and my novel out there, too. I’ve done some TV and radio, and fun interviews like this online and elsewhere.
– When we will see your next novel?
– This year. 2015.
– You wrote a lot of short stories. Is it easier to create them compared to a full novel?
– I used to write short stories like as easily as I breathed. Not so much anymore. But, God, I love to read and write short stories. I never expected to write a novel, actually. I never set out to write one. I was writing what I though was a short story, and when it went 45 pages in a sitting and I had not scratched the surface, I knew I had a novel. that was REAP.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– What advice would you give writers just starting out? Read, read read. And read with a pencil. Study those books you love. Slow down and study them and learn what the author is doing. Read all you can. And write all you can. And never stop.