Interview with C.R. Richards

Tell us a little bit about Creed of the Guardian, the third installment in your Heart of the Warrior Series?

Thanks for having me! I’m so thrilled to share the third installment in the Heart of the Warrior series with my readers. Seth and his best friend, Riley, are forced into Andara’s Legion and deployed to North Marsh Outpost. Surrounded by deadly bogs and ravenous beasts, Seth is commanded to find a magical relic which will help him defeat Andara’s invaders.

I’ve written glimpses and hints of Seth’s fierce power during books one and two. It’s in Creed of the Guardian, however, readers of the series will get real insight into exactly how dangerous Seth can be.

Do you have a favorite character in CREED? If so, what is it about them that puts them at the top of your list?

I introduce and expand on new characters in the Heart of the Warrior world in Creed. It’s tough to choose just one. I think the ranger known as White Tiger, bearer of the tiger ring, is my favorite. He’s an old soldier and second in command of the battalion. White Tiger (nobody dares call him by his first name, not even the commander) is a no-nonsense authority figure who takes delight in outsmarting his underlings. It’s tough to get one over on the old ranger. He seems gruff and unyielding, but we understand he wants what’s best for his men.

White Tiger shares many traits with my father, who was a Master Sergeant in the United States Army during WWII and Korea. He raised his children according to the guidelines listed in the Army Manual. We were raised to be hard-working, responsible, and open-minded adults.

My overall series favorite is Xavier, Bearer of the Wolf Ring. No matter the heartbreak and turmoil he experiences, Xavier remains faithful to his duty.

How did you select the names for your characters in your story?

I select a name by its sound. Weird right? I have an idea in my head which letter or sound the name begins with and its country of origin. Then I pull out my copy of The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Source Book. I’ve used this book since I started writing. It’s one of those references I keep close at all times. I believe I’m on my third edition.

Do you hide any secrets (or special details) in your books that only some people will find?

I don’t, but I love the idea. Hmm. I may use this in later books.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I remember when I was in elementary school, we were each asked to write a letter to the President of the United States requesting that he support stronger laws for endangered species. I wrote about tigers. My letter contained facts (those that a six grader might have), opinions, and a heartfelt plea to save the tigers. The teacher crossed off all my heartfelt pleas and told me to copy the rest down on a clean sheet of paper. They’d selected my letter to send to the President.

I learned something important about language and writing that day. People in power don’t respond to emotional pleas. They only want the facts and suggestions on solving the problem. I still carry that lesson with me.

As your series is fantasy, as a writer, what would you choose as your mascot or spirit animal?

I think I would choose the sparrow. This little bird is very common in the Americas. Sparrows are unobtrusive, so many humans go about their daily business without noticing them. Fantasy writers can be like the sparrow in the worlds they create. They observe their characters interacting, experiencing, and feeling. Then the little sparrows fly back and report what they’ve seen to the page.

Halloween is right around the corner, and I know you’re a horror fan, as well! Do you have any favorite books or movies in the genre that you think readers / movie fans may want to add to their list this season?

Let me give it up for the boys – Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural. I’m binge watching this series again. I always seem to come back to this creepy series when Fall is in the air. It’s a fun ride.

Here are some scary books I love to read:
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
A few favorites by the writing team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: Relic, Still Life with Crows (my favorite) and The Cabinet of Curiosities (don’t read this one before bedtime!)

Movies I watch every Halloween:
The Alien movies
The Frighteners

C.R. Richards’ literary career began when she interned as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper. She wore several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. A co-author of horror and urban fantasy novels, her first solo fiction project – The Mutant Casebook Series – was published by Whiskey Creek Press in 2013. Phantom Harvest (Book One in the series) is the winner of the 2014 EPIC eBook Awards for Fantasy Fiction. Cynthia is an active member of the Horror Writers Association, EPIC and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. For more information about her books, visit her website: www.crrichards.com.

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