PLEASE WELCOME AUTHOR RICK GUALTIERI
Hi Rick, how are you today?
I am doing quite awesome, thanks for asking. I’m busy as can be, but that isn’t a bad thing. I’m one of those people who gets bored way too easily otherwise.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 43, 6’1”, and a bit over 200 lbs (maybe a bit more than a bit). Okay, this is starting to sound like a Tinder profile. Anyway, I’m an Urban Fantasy writer. I love comic books, bad movies, and generally being as sarcastic as I can without getting my face punched in.
What is your favourite movie?
Tough to pick just one. I’d say my top there are The Exorcist, The Hunt for Red October, and the original Godzilla.
What is your favourite colour?
Black…which is actually more the absence of color. So rather than just say “I stare into the dark void until it stares back”, let’s go with purple as a good alternate.
What star sign are you?
I’m a Scorpio.
Are you a action, horror or Romance movie type of man?
Horror with some action thrown in.
What is your ring tone on your phone?
The theme from “Yor – The Hunter from the Future” the most ambitious low-budget movie of the 80’s.
What do your family think about you writing and have they read any of your work?
My wife has read all of my books. She likes some better than others, with the caveat being that I tend not to write in the genres she typically reads. I have an uncle who’s apparently a pretty big fan. Not sure on the rest. Bottom line is I don’t really solicit my extended family for feedback. As for my kids, maybe I’ll let them read my stuff in a few years.
Are you any good in the kitchen and what is your specialty?
I love to cook. I tend to be good with sauces and top of the stove cooking. I’d say my favorite dish to make is penne ala vodka, although I make a pretty killer beef chili too.
What is your favourite food?
I will almost never say no to a good burger.
What is the most romantic thing you have done for a girl?
I was performing on stage in a production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged. During the curtain call, I had the production crew drag my then girlfriend up on stage with me so I could propose to her. On second thought, considering she has massive stage fright, perhaps that doesn’t really count as romantic. I thought it was kinda cool, though.
What's the kinkiest thing you have done?
I am a big fan of the basics. If you can get those right, everyone tends to walk away satisfied – which I like to think is the ultimate goal. Most of my attempts to be kinky have probably ended badly anyway. I.e. “Oh, there’s no honey in the cabinet, let’s try syrup instead”, or “Beg Conan to spare your village, puny maiden!” Yeah, my attempts at spicing things up tend to end up more in the realm of bad comedy than anything.
There is a lot of BDSM books out now have you ever read any?
A couple - one or two of the Club Shadowlands series by Cherise Sinclair and a few others. It’s mostly been to get a feel of the genre. Under normal circumstances, I’m more of a blood, guts, and monsters reader.
Have you ever entered in to the BDSM world for book research or personal reasons?
Nothing really beyond the vanilla stuff, a little tying up, the occasional blindfold. See my above answer regarding kinky failures. I’m sure if I had tried anything beyond that, hilarity would have ensued (now where did I put the keys to these cuffs?)
If you were allowed one sex toy for rest of your sexual adventures which would it be and why?
I don’t really own anything overly interesting. But if someone were to offer me one for free, I probably wouldn’t say no to a Real Doll. Worst case scenario is it would make for an awesome prop come Halloween.
Do you have any tattoos or body piercings and what are they?
I have a Decepticon symbol tattooed on my right shoulder. I like to call it my “chick magnet”. Alas I’m the *only* one who calls it that. That’s it. Been tempted to get a piercing here or there, but I’m too big of a wuss.
What do you think of tattoos on women?
It all depends on the tattoo really. An awesome tattoo artist can create art on a person’s body. The converse is that even the most beautiful woman in the world isn’t going to make a crappy stick-figure tattoo look good. I’m cool with body modification, but it definitely works best when it’s by a trained (and skilled) professional.
Are the stories old ones you have saved or new?
My book The Poptart Manifesto is full of older stories from my college years. Everything else I’ve published are all new.
What is your favourite genre to write?
Hard to say. I really love the freedom and fun that Urban Fantasy offers. At the same time, I also enjoy some of the darker stuff that horror allows. Either way, I’m usually happiest if what I’m writing is full of monsters.
which one of you're books was your favorite to write?
I’d say Scary Dead Things (the Tome of Bill 2). I cranked the first draft for that one out in under a month, mainly because it practically seemed to write itself. It’s the book that really sets the tone for the rest of the series.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing stories ever since grade school. During those years, it served two purposes. 1) I had a lot of fun doing it and 2) I found that if my papers were entertaining I could usually still get high grades even if they were a little low on actual research for the assignment I was supposed to be doing. I don’t really need that second perk anymore, but the first definitely still applies.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure. Even with all the books I’ve sold, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one. Maybe some day…
What inspired you to write your first book?
Very simple. As I said, I’ve been writing stories since I was young. The thing with doing so is that you’re usually going to get friends and family who say they enjoy your stuff and encourage you to keep going. The problem is that doubt of wondering if they’re just saying nice things because they feel they have to. My inspiration to write that first book was because I wanted to answer the question “Am I good enough?”
Do you have a specific writing style?
My books tend to have a lot of sarcasm, regardless of genre. That being said, I try to keep my style flexible enough to fit the story I’m trying to tell. I’m pretty much equally comfortable writing in first or third person.
Who was the easiest character to write for and why and hardest and why?
From my Tome of Bill Series, Gan - a 300 year old Mongolian princess trapped in a 12 year old body - is easiest for me. She’s pure ID. There are no moral quandaries for her. She sees something she wants, she takes it. If someone is in the way, she disposes of them – often with extreme prejudice. However, she’s not quite up to speed with the modern world, so oftentimes those choices lead to comedy gold.
A few of my characters have heavy historical roots (James, Alex etc). We’re talking people over five-hundred years old. They’re the most difficult because I need to mesh that experience, their knowledge, into a modern day setting. It’s a constant struggle to not just portray them as good or bad, but as complex beings that have evolved over time.
which lead character is your personal favourite and why?
Sally from The Tome of Bill is my personal favorite. She’s been damaged as a result of a pretty horrible past, but it’s only made her stronger. She’s a survivor with a quick wit, sharp tongue, and a good deal of moral ambiguity. I’m really glad I got to explore her story a bit in Sunset Strip. I think it really fleshed her out from being just a sarcastic sidekick to a true femme fatale.
If you could pick one of your books to be made into a movie which one would you choose and why?
Bigfoot Hunters originally started life as a movie script. It was my answer to all the lousy killer Sasquatch movies that the SyFy channel was churning out at the time. I can pretty much envision every scene from that story in my head. As much as I’d love to see Bill The Vampire on the big screen, Bigfoot Hunters was originally intended for it.
Who would you cast for the movie ?
I think Chris Hemsworth would make for an awesome Derek Jenner aka the Crypto-hunter. Not too sure on the rest, although that first choice assumes a decent budget. If it wound up being an Asylum movie, then maybe Casper Van Dien.
What was your favorite book as a child?
When I was a kid I was mostly into comic books. Spiderman and The Fantastic Four were my mainstays.
How did you come up with the title?
I’m lucky in the titles usually just pop into my head. I mean, Scary Dead Things was originally just my working title for that book until I found the “real title”. The funny thing was, eventually I realized I had the right title all along. Tends to work that way with most of my books, fortunately.
How much of the book is realistic?
I try to put of mix of the real and the fantastic into my books. Dialogue is probably the main thing I go for realism with. I want my dialogue to feel like people could actually be speaking it. I usually spend a good deal of time reading it aloud to make sure it sounds natural coming out of my mouth. If not, then it gets rewritten. As for the rest, I write purely to entertain. Logically I want my stories to make sense within the rules of their world, but those rules don’t necessarily have to be realistic.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I “borrow” real life experiences all the time, usually to help enhance things. For example, in my Tome of Bill series, whenever the main character (Bill) is recounting one of his D&D adventure mishaps, typically that’ll be based on something that really happened to me.
Have you ever binned a book when half way through thinking it wasn't good enough?
Depends if we’re talking reading or writing. If I’m reading a book, then sure. I think we’ve all started books on occasion that we didn’t feel any need to finish. If we’re talking about a book I’m writing, then no. I have unfinished works, but it’s mainly because I got distracted with other projects. Rewrites and/or editing, however, can usually save a plot that’s going around in circles.
What books have most influenced your life most?
IT by Stephen King is the book to me that proves you can truly terrorize someone with the written word. Imzadi by Peter David is another inspirational title because it took a franchise I already loved (Star Trek) and added so many levels of emotion to it that it nearly blew my mind. I’ll also go back to comic books, in that I was always a fan of characters like Dr. Doom – that utter belief in oneself, that nothing in this universe can stop them – well, it’s something worth considering … outside of trying to take over the world maybe.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Stephen King definitely. He’s a great writer and often has some pretty insightful thoughts to share on other subjects.
What book are you reading now?
Flashback: Siren Song by James A Hunter. It’s the 3rd release in his excellent Yancy Lazarus series.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
See the above question on what I’m reading right now. James Hunter can really write some awesome Urban Fantasy. I also recently had the privilege of reading an ARC from Melissa F. Olson. She’s another powerhouse of a writer in that genre. Needless to say, I think it’s a good time to be a fantasy reader.
What are your current projects?
I’m nearly finished with the first draft of The Wicked Dead. It’s book 7 in my Tome of Bill series. I’m also about a quarter finished with a novella called No Honor Among Thieves for a pen name I maintain.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I love stories. As a kid I used to love listening to my grandfather’s tales from World War 2, mainly because he always had a way of making them sound larger than life. A love of listening to stories, I find, can often lead to a love of telling them.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d be happy to. Just a tiny snippet for now…and please don’t skewer me. It’s definitely unedited and I’ll be the first to admit my first drafts are often a hot mess.
“Did you kick this door in?” I stepped through the threshold, my eyes immediately opening wide with understanding as I beheld what lay within.
“Yeah,” Tom replied, his arms already full. “It was locked and I was like fuck that noise, I want to see what’s in there. Glad I did. Do you see this fucking place?”
Hell yeah I saw it. We were in what could best be described as my roommate’s idea of heaven. The entire room was dedicated to collectible toys – most from our youth or older. I saw Furbies, stacks of Magic The Gathering cards, A GI Joe USS Flagg, and more – much more. Tom, proving that he was neither blind nor overly burdened by ethics, had already grabbed a bunch of the nicer pieces.
Curious as to what’s happening? Well, stay tuned. I’m hoping to have this one finished soon.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Continuity is always a challenge, especially when I’m so deep within a series I’m writing. Even with a series bible, I need to constantly go back and check my other books to make sure I’m not screwing something up.
Humor is also tough because you can never really judge what someone else is going to find funny. Things that crack me up can elicit crickets or worse from readers.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Stephen King, definitely. His ability to craft a scenario – and then use it to scare the crap out of people – is truly inspirational.
Who designed the covers?
I work with Mallory Rock. She’s awesome because it’s a true partnership. I wrote the books, but she knows graphic design and will push back if she feels I’m suggesting something that really won’t work to help sell the series.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time and the motivation can be the toughest part. Some days even 100 words seems daunting and on others it’s difficult to even want to write that much. But it all comes down to continually asking myself how badly I want this. If I want it badly enough, I’ll find a way to make it happen.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Aside from the basics of “hire an editor, cover designer etc so you put out a professional-grade product”, for the most part I’d say to ignore the advice of other writers. Everyone in this business has an opinion. That’s all they are. For every “rule” out there, someone is breaking it and making a killing. Find the style, schedule, and genre that works best for you.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to
Aside from dropping to my knees and thanking them for taking a chance on my books? Nah, not really. :D
Do you have any funny quirks or stories you would like to tell us about yourself?
I probably have far too many quirks to mention, but I’ll share one amusing tidbit. I love Halloween. It’s my all-time favorite holiday. Every other year or so, I’ll build a haunted maze in my basement for my kids’ friends. This involves turning the place where I otherwise just store junk into a dark dungeon where there are scares at every turn. What I don’t often tell people is that for the several weeks it takes to build it, I’m often freaking the crap out of myself when I try to do basic things like the laundry because the typically open area is now claustrophobic, dark, and – thanks to my cats – usually full of weird sounds coming from all around me. As much as I love doing it, it’s usually a relief to be able to tear it down when it’s all over and find I haven’t managed to conjure any real monsters after all.
What do you like to do to keep fit?
When I’m working out (which I really need to do more often), I’m not the type who likes to go out to the gym. I’m more that person who’d rather have a set of weights or a universal machine down in his basement. That way I can make my own schedule … and don’t need to feel self-conscious about looking like a doofus around folks probably lifting three times my max on the bench press.
What do you like to do when your not busy working and writing?
In those rare moments when I actually allow myself some downtime, you can usually find me watching a movie, playing a video game, playing D&D, or occasionally stepping outside to ride the roller coasters at one of the many theme parks in the area. Like I said, though, it’s rare.
Are you a car or motorbike kind of guy?
I’m a mid-sized truck sort of guy. I don’t need a heavy duty full-sized pickup, but I like something more rugged than a car for those days when I do need to move stuff. Also, being able to drive over a curb without bottoming out is nice too.
Where do you see you self in ten years time?
Hopefully not dead. With any luck I’ll be writing full-time, cranking out more books, maybe seeing some of those made into film, and overall having a great time doing it. More than likely, though, I’ll still find something to bitch about via social media. I’m probably not truly happy unless I have at least something annoying me. Yeah, I’m weird that way.
Thank you for joining me today you have been awesome.
Likewise! I had a great time answering these. Thank you so much for sitting through all my inane blather.
ALL OF RICK'S BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON BUT KEEP YOUR EYE'S PEELED FOR SEPTEMBER , YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS WHAT IS COMING NEXT.