Monday, January 22, 2018

Richard Schiver - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Richard Schiver. He is the author of the Shadows of the Past series and the Dreadland Chronicles series. Richard writes Horror, Fantasy, and Paranormal novels and short stories.

Author: Richard Schiver

Author Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal

Website: Richard Schiver
Twitter: @RichardSchiver
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Richard is the author of six novels, two novellas, and a collection of short stories with much more on the way. His short work has appeared in a diverse range of publications from Dark Moon Digest to The Backbone Mountain Review. His most recent work includes Legion of the Damned, book 3 in his post apocalyptic coming of age series, The Dreadland Chronicles.

Unlike other writers who knew they wanted to write the moment they became self aware, Richard’s path to taking up the pen followed a more leisurely route.

As a child he wanted to be a fighter pilot, later he thought it would be neat to be a rock star. Unfortunately, as an introvert, he was not suited for the stage. Once he gave up the guitar, much to the relief of his parents, he turned his attention to making movies.

Armed with an 8mm movie camera, several rolls of aluminum foil liberated from the kitchen, and the spare bed sheets, he filmed his first masterpiece. The story was about a space ship crash landing in the woods behind his house. His sister starred as the damsel in distress while his little brother, wrapped like a mummy in the spare bed sheets, chased her through the woods.

His career as a famous director ended before it even got off the ground when on opening night his mother recognized the missing bed sheets and aluminum foil resulting in his grounding for the remainder of that summer.

A voracious reader, he believes writing is the most intimate form of communication possible. The reader permits the writer access to their mind, and the readers reality dissolves as they focus on the narrative of the tale being spun.

His love of the macabre was sparked at an early age when he would sit on his grandmother’s porch listening to her tell ghost stories. During the summer he and his cousins would sleep in his grandmother’s back yard, within sight of the abandoned haunted house next door, and spend the night scaring one another with gruesome tales of shadowy creatures that went bump in the night.

During his life he has played a series of roles, husband, father, son, and lover, but his favorite by far is grandfather. He and his wife of twenty plus years have raised four children, and helped raise eight grandchildren. They provide a secure home to a yellow lab named Max and a cat who will answer to either Flame or Furball. His loving wife, Dena has experienced first hand the exasperation of living with a writer whose mind has a tendency to wander at the most inappropriate times. Yet she manages to keep his feet firmly planted on terra firma.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your series: Dreadland Chronicles. What do you have on the drawing board next? Are you continuing the Chronicles or are we going to see something new? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

I’m currently polishing a paranormal mystery titled FIDDLERS POND, that comes in at 95,000 words. It takes a look at the small town of Porter Mines that lives under the curse of a witch that was burned at the stake in the late seventeen hundreds. She swore to return to take her due from every generation that stains the land with their presence. The cast of characters includes a sheriff who refuses to close the case on seven children that vanished thirty years earlier, when he was a deputy. A young widow who recently moved to the town after the loss of her husband in Iraq, and her nine year old daughter who becomes the next target of the witch’s wrath. I’m seriously considering a publisher for this one.

The Dreadland Chronicles will continue with the release of A CALL TO ARMS due out June of 2018.

I’ve also recently finished the first draft of a novella that wants to be a novel, yet to be titled. A WWII period piece about the crew of a B-29 bomber that crash lands near a Japanese held island. The Japanese will be the least of their worries when they discover that something far more sinister, and much, much, older has been trying to escape the island for centuries.

My recently completed short story “D is for DESTINATION UNKNOWN” is part of my speculative short story alphabet series. Every Friday on my blog I release a new part of the story currently in progress. I have two stipulations for writing the stories. I am only allowed one hour each week to work on the current story, and whatever I write in that time is released as is, on the following Friday. As I rewrite each story the plan is to post about my progress. My goal is to release a story a month.

Stop by my blog every Friday to see what’s going on, I’ve also got a page that provides links to each of the other stories I’ve written.

Currently I’m in a serious creation mood. I’m trying to get four projects completed before I release A CALL TO ARMS in June. I want to have three novellas ready to go so I can start releasing a new project every 90 days after that date.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

I couldn’t tell you how I wound up with so many followers, to be honest I absolutely suck at marketing. I know some writers on FB that I’m always talking to, but beyond that I don’t interact too much with other people. I’m an old fogey, more accustomed to face to face meetings than interacting with people online. It’s my biggest weakness

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

My local independent bookstore has been good to me when it comes to signings, graciously hosting me for a signing when I have a new print release. Unfortunately I don’t have the budget to expand my reach beyond my hometown for personal appearances. I’ve been considering doing public reading, but again my budget keeps me local. I am toying with the idea of filming me reading my short stories to be posted on Youtube.

You have written several short stories. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

I’ve always been more of a long tale writer, short stories are difficult for me but every so often I create a good one. It’s one of the reason I’ve challenged myself with this alphabet series, to teach myself to write in the short form. I recently started adding thee first four chapters of my longer work to the end of my short stories that are out there but I haven't noticed any changes in sales yet.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of The Horror Fiction Quarterly collection called Dark Moon Digest. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other romance authors? How did you put something like that together?

Dark Moon Digest is a quarterly horror zine that appears in both print and e-book. I’ve never bundled one of my books with other authors, maybe someday I will.

What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?

Speculative fiction, low dark fantasy, though I am spreading my writers wings with a little project that will have to remain under wraps for the time being.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

My experiences with freebies has varied, I’ve given away a couple of thousand to only a couple of hundred. It all depends on the service you use. I’ve never managed to snag a bookbub promo though I’ve tired a number of times.

I like the idea of your starter library where you sent FREE BOOKS to a reader for email address and a subscription. What other methods do you use to find your readers and build the reader list and the relationship? Starter library includes: 9 Dark Tales: - Adversary: - White Walker:. (see book list)

I’ve done guest posts, promos on Goodreads, blog announcements, excerpts, anything I can think of to get my work in front of the people that matter, the readers. Right now I’m focused on Amazon Ads, working on building the keyword lists that will hopefully extend my currently restricted reach.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and helping other writers gain exposure. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

My biggest goal is to make enough from my writing to give up my day job and write full time. Right now I work forty hours a week in retail on a rotating schedule.

A typical day for me begins between five and six am. If I’m on nights that week I don’t have to be at work until 11:30am. I will write until ten, ten thirty, grab a bite to eat, then off to work. I’ll get home at a little after eight, spend an hour or so with my wife, then write or work on marketing for an hour or so before I go to bed.

If I’m on daylight I’ll write for an hour in the morning, get to work at 8, get home a little before five, eat dinner, then write or work on marketing until 9pm when I spend an hour with my wife, write for another hour or so before going to bed.

Every day, day in and day out, it’s the only way to get anything done, you gotta put your butt in a chair. I’m lucky that my wife is very understanding about what I’m doing, she’s willing to share me with the mistress that is my writing. She knows in the end, she will always have me.

When I have a day off I’ll write for several hours or work on marketing. Then work around the house, take care of the typical tasks of daily life.

Doing this also trains the mind and the body for the task at hand. When I’m feeling the story I can turn out nearly two thousand good words in an hour. But at the other end of the spectrum you may only mange to squeeze out a few hundred. You gotta take the good with the bad, and it doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been following this schedule for six years now. The muse knows when I sit down at the keyboard it’s time to write.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

It’s a mixed bag, I’ve got a small group of dedicated readers who are willing to review anything I send them. I’ve established relationships with several blog owners who gladly lend me their blogs when I have news I want to share. I’ll even still search out reviewer emails on Amazon. Above all else, I’m always on my best behavior when I’m dealing with people. I read their blogs, find out what their name is, I try to find some common thread I can use to connect us and approach them in a professional, business like manner. If they don’t like what I’ve written, and post a bad review, I thank them regardless.

Author's Book List
Legion of the Damned - Dreadland Chronicles Book 3
Hell was coming to paradise.

In a remote desert world that bore little semblance to their own, the boys corner and kill Nickoli. Unfortunately the act fails to release Window from his curse, and they learn that it will be more difficult to free him.

Struggling to silence the voices from his past, Billie-Bob’s drinking results in his capture by the family of cannibals he once escaped from. This time he is taken to Paradise, a small compound along one of the many tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay. For those who lived there it was truly a paradise on earth, for its captives it was anything but as they are reduced to nothing more than livestock to feed a growing population.

While following the trail left by Billie-Bob’s captors, Meat, Window and Einstein come upon the shattered remnants of the church that had given them shelter on their trek north. Many of the church’s inhabitants had perished in the attack, but most of the children had been able to escape. They join the boys on their journey south to rescue Billie-Bob, and exact their vengeance on those who had shattered their peaceful existence.

Hell was coming to Paradise, and there would be no denying its vengeance.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Reaping - Dreadland Chronicles Book 2
If Roland Deschain was the last gunslinger, one of these boys is destined to become the first?

Man is no longer alone at the top of the food chain.

From the east a new threat to a struggling civilization emerges, spreading across the land like a cancerous stain, leaving in its wake the shattered remnants of a species teetering on the brink of extinction.

In Bryn Mawr, one of them is infected after being bitten by a reaper. As he struggles against the rising blood lust, viewing his friends as potential meals, they set out to the East in the search of a cure.

Along the way they learn more about the nature of the world they inhabit, their own past, and the part they each play in a potential future. Crossing paths with a shadowy figure who leaves small tokens from each of their own history. Little objects that carry powerful emotions linked to major changes in their past lives.

In the nations former capitol they are confronted by the reaper master who reveals the cold truth about the cosmos as he prepares his own army of the undead to enslave what remains of mankind.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

All Roads Lead To Terror - Dreadland Chronicles Book 1
Four boys, one goal.


They lived in a new reality, the time after, adventurers in an old new world. At fourteen they have been forced by circumstances into adulthood. Coming of age when savagery was the norm, and man's inhumanity to man was on daily display. Where death lurked at every turn, and the only law was the firepower one carried.

Fourteen years have passed since the dead walked, and obscurity means survival in an increasingly dangerous world. For the survivors compound at Bremo Bluff that obscurity is threatened when a group of children are abducted. Four boys come together to embark on a quest to rescue the children. A journey that will lead them into adulthood, with a brief detour through the Dreadlands.

In the dead city of Richmond they will confront a savage cult who worships a creature of the night. These creatures are not gods, nor are they demons. Born of despair they lived along the shadowy edges of a our well lit world. Where misery dwelt hand in hand with sorrow.

Dreadland Chronicles

Fourteen years ago the dead walked and society crumbled. Technology stopped working as a new dark age filtered across the land. An age of unrestrained brutality where the only law was the firepower one carried, and the only hope was for a quick death, followed by a dreamless sleep. An age of magic as forces beyond the understanding of mere mortals aligned for the coming battle between good an evil.

It is into this world they have been born. Four boys who will be drawn together by forces beyond their understanding, to explore this brave new world, bringing their own brand of justice to a lawless land, and to confront an ever present evil seeking to destroy mankind once and for all.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Parasite - Shadows of the Past Book 2
They’ve awakened from an ageless sleep.

Quietly taking over the world one household at a time. Moving in the dead of night, replacing those smiling neighbors across the street with an unholy union of man and beast. They’ve waited eons to reclaim this world as their own, and when the balance of power tilts in their favor, the feeding will begin. Until that time they make every effort to remain hidden from view, relying on man’s ignorance of the true nature of the cosmos around them to mask their movements as their influence spreads.

One man has witnessed first hand the power these creatures’ possess.

Sam Hardin defeated them in the past, or so he thought, for what should have died in the fire at his cabin didn’t. After losing his wife and daughter to this creature's vengeance, Sam shoulders his role of executioner, and with his son at his side sets out to conduct a covert war against this growing menace.

If he fails mankind will awaken one morning to new master, for there is only room for one at the top of the food chain.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Adversary - Shadows of the Past Book 1
They have watched from the shadows since the dawn of time.
Jealous gods who once ruled a young planet.
Seeking a return to their former glory.
Only one man stands in their way.

What began as a routine murder investigation snowballs into a fight to the death when homicide detective Sam Hardin is drawn into a battle between good and evil. He must come to terms with his own guilt if he hopes to save his son from an otherworldly being bent on the annihilation of mankind.

But first he must learn to love his son, and quit blaming him for the death of his wife. Four years earlier Sam and his pregnant wife walked into the middle of an armed robbery. When the smoke cleared she lay dying on the cold tile floor. At the hospital the doctors were presented with only one option, save the child.

Partially disabled Vietnam vet Jack Griffith has been counting down his final days as the cancer, compliments of his service in South East Asia, slowly consumes his body. Called upon to clear a clogged storm drain,he is stabbed by a dagger that had been stolen to repay a gambling debt. With his lifeblood flowing into the waters of the storm drain, surrounded by rats, he is given another chance at life when an alien presence invades his body.

But at what cost?

Jack surrenders everything that once made him human as he becomes a host to this alien life form. He is driven to search out the only one who can stand in the way of their return. An ancient god who appears in the guise of Sam's brain damaged four-year-old son, whose disturbing gaze holds the secrets of life and death, a child capable of closing the conduit to the past forever.

In the final battle, among the snow-covered peaks on the outskirts of a small mountain town, the fate of mankind hangs in the balance as Sam and Jack go head to head in a fight to the death. Only one will emerge victorious.

Will mankind awaken to new masters?

Or will good prevail?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

White Walker
When she was ten she made a promise to that which inhabits the winter storm. Now she's twenty-six, and pregnant, and a local legend known as the White Walker, has returned to collect his due.

For Ted a routine day becomes anything but when a severe blizzard shuts down the region as old man winter refuses to relinquish his grip. But this is no ordinary winter storm, for within the shifting winds walks the ghostly presence of a prehistoric deity once worshiped by ancient man on the windswept Siberian plains. Coming to collect on promises made.

As the winter storm rages, the employees of the call center watch in helpless horror as their numbers dwindle. The building they inhabit stands where a one room school house burned to the ground during a similar storm over a hundred years before. The ghosts of the children who perished in that fire appear, and the call center workers find themselves trapped in a ghostly battle between the past and the present, between good and evil, between fire and ice.

Cut off from the outside world, stalked by the ghosts of the past, the survivors are forced to abandon the safety of a building that has been stressed to the breaking point.

But how does one escape a winter storm?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

9 Dark Tales
At the edge of life the shadows grow long and deep, filled with sinister intent as they take on a life of their own. These nine shorts take a quick peek into that dark and lonely place where life becomes a memory of the past.

In The Shadows

Waking up from a coma Chuck stumbles upon the secret life of the shadows around us that reveal our true nature. For shadows cannot lie.

Till Death Do We Part

For Eddie the Zombie Apocalypse is just another blow in the long line of disappointments his life has become. Losing everything that ever mattered to him, he is left with but one choice.

Where The Dead Things Go

Sometimes the dead are given a second chance to apologize to their loved ones after their untimely death.

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Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Reprisal - Vengeance knows no boundary
She had a look that immediately put anyone she met at ease. Small of stature, with grandmotherly eyes, by the time her victims discovered the evil lurking behind that innocent facade, it was too late.

Diagnosed at an early age with Dissociative Identity Disorder, more commonly known as a split personality. Margaret could honestly say she had never been alone a single day of her life. Like two peas in a pod she shared her physical self with the other half of her divided psyche, a separate personality known as Candice.

Together they provide an example of the divided psyche of man, with Candice representing that dark half, the one who had the guts to do what we can only wish we could. They are the two faces of the same coin, the Ying and the Yang, the good and the bad all rolled into one. Where Margaret was the picture of innocence, Candice carried the face of unmitigated evil, and everywhere they went she left a bloody trail of death and despair in her wake.

Though it was Margaret who physically killed the handyman who raped her when she was just seventeen, her alter ego was responsible for the act. It's been more than thirty years and she is no longer considered a threat. Transferred to a minimum security facility, her new doctor changes the medication that has kept her dark half suppressed, unleashing Candice upon an unsuspecting world.

In a desperate bid to reclaim her life, Margaret, driven by Candice, escapes with a simple plan. Return home, take the place of her twin sister, and live out the rest of her life in relative peace. But even the best laid plans had their flaws, and not even Candice can escape one simple truth.

The dead always got their revenge.

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Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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