2020-08-08 Interview Anton

There are 2 ways to receive this special access written interview with
Anton Lee Richards
On horror writing, escapism, monsters & more

1.  Click on link below for the pdf


2.  Read the interview below

Welcome to Write Volumes: Behind the Volume presents Shades of Writers 8 at 8 Author Interview series. Our goal is to give diverse voices an outlet for expression and to bring attention to diverse writers and our thoughts.  In this monthly newsletter we are featuring interviews of our wonderful writers to help people like you to get to know them better.

Our first written interview features Anton Lee Richards.  Anton is an LGBTQ humorous novelist from Chicago and the author of Blueberry Pancakes. He also wrote “Not Like Them” in Shades of Horror & Strangeness as well as “Lost Its Diversity” and “Sassy’s Subs” in Shades of Transition & Transformation. In a previous life, he worked in IT. In a previous life before that, he was a songwriter.

WV:  Did writing horror change your writing process?

ALR:  I had to research how to write a horror story, what the genre expectations were, and how to end the story. In horror, the conclusion isn’t just a wrap-up of all the events, it’s supposed to leave the reader feeling unsettled, something that I’m not used to doing in my pieces.

WV: There are always outside factors in life. With the Pandemic, riots, closures, unemployment, quarantines, curfews, family, friends etc. What motivates you to keep writing during this time?  How important is writing (to you or in general)?

ALR:  Like a reader who picks up a book as a form of escapism, writing is the same for me. I get to pretend to be a “character” who has a life that more glamourous than my own and is sometimes even heroic.

WV: What is the responsibility of a writer to their readers? What contract exists between a writer and reader?

ALR:  When a reader agrees to read your story or buy your book, they are trusting you with their time and money. An author has the responsibility for taking their time seriously. 

Readers today are overwhelmed by choice. There are 70,000 books published on Amazon per month, cable TV, Netflix, social media, smartphones. Authors need to give readers a reason to choose to spend their time with your book.

         An author needs to put the story first, readers second, and the author themselves third, in that order. An author who believes they are “brilliant” or has a definite agenda is sure to be a turnoff for many readers. Literature’s purpose is not to boost the ego of the writer, but to convey a message for the reader’s benefit.

WV: How would you describe your style? Would you put yourself in any particular movement or school?

ALR:  Contrary to my horror story in this anthology, my style is humorous and light, or at least that’s what I aim for in my mainstream pieces.

More questions for Anton:

WV:  Do you have a favorite horror story or movie? Why?

ALR:  The Haunting of Hill House, a Netflix series based on Shirley Jackson’s novel. It is a character-based show, where the horror is only one element of the storyline.

WV:  If you could be any monster, what would you be and why?

ALR:  Frankenstein. I love the idea of being both a man-made creature and something that turns out to be much worse than anyone could have expected.

WV: Who are some of your favorite authors?  Why are they important to you?

ALR:  I like Janet Evanovich, Jami Albright, and Nick Hornby because they have created humorous books without becoming overly cheesy.

WV:  What ways do personal transitions inform your writing on this topic?

ALR:  I wrote two stories for the Transitions anthology. Both take place in the same North Side of Chicago setting that I live in real life. Both stories are about events taking place around me and affect me.
         “Lost Its Diversity” is about a neighborhood quickly gentrifying. I have been witnessing the changes in my neighborhood and am concerned about rising prices pricing me out.
         “Sassy’s Subs” is about generational differences in the LGBTQ community. I seem to have been born within the generation between the two presented in the story and have witnessed both sides, both arguments.

WV: What’s next for you?

ALR:  I’m switching to a new genre: M/M romantic comedy, sometimes known as “chick lit” in Britain. It will be the LGBTQ version of light, humorous beach reads in the style of Sophie Kinsella or Meg Cabot.


WV: Where can readers find you if they would like to connect with you more?

ALR:   www.antonleerichards.com

WV: Where can readers find more of your work? Any releases approaching (where and when)?

ALR:  I’m hoping to have a new novel done by the end of the year.

Thank you for your time and thank you so much for your writing, Anton.  
We also want to thank everyone for reading.

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And remember together we can write volumes!

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