I’m proud to host RB Wood’s Magical Mystery Blog Tour today. I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing this fabulous author and reviewing his debut novel, The Prodigal’s Foole.
I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Rich Wood a little better. In addition, please do yourself a favor and purchase ~The Prodigal’s Foole~ and give it a read. And if you really enjoy it, as I did, a positive review on Amazon, Goodreads and anywhere else you can include it is always greatly appreciated. Please enjoy the interview and my review.
All the best,
Rich, when and why did you decide to start writing?
Been doing it off and on since the eighties. The final push to really produce a novel began in 2007. My kids told me I “Should write my stories down,” and my partner was fully behind it. Never underestimate the support from those closest to you!
What life experiences have best prepared you for being a writer?
Travel, working in different countries and a long history of reading.
Please tell us about your latest work and what genre it falls under.
The Prodigal’s Foole is an Urban Fantasy novel—the first of a planned series actually. The premise is simple: “What if religions were created, not for the salvation of the masses, but to control magic?” I often thought, if magic existed, would the general public be completely clueless as the muggles are in Harry potter? Or would magic be an asset—a power to be controlled? And who would control that power?
And what would happen to the ‘status quo’ in the communication age?
What were your inspirations for writing The Prodigal’s Foole?
Works by Jo Rowling, Jim Butcher, Arthur Conan Doyle, Neil Gaiman. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (The FANTASIA one, not the Nick Cage disaster). These stories started out as fun, night time tales for my kids. I’ve since made the characters older and introduced adult themes and complex relationships.
Rich, can you describe your writing process for our readers.
The process works, and I have to say I stole bits of it from Jim butcher. I outline where I want to go and what I want a story to be about. Then I draw a large arc. I map out the progression and the since, interlock them and at the top of the arc is the climax of the story. I’m a very visual person, and this pictogram drives me forward to fill in the details.
To what degree are your fictional characters based in reality?
I’m sure I pull traits from people I meet or have met. The key, from my perspective, is to make everything as real as possible, as I want the reader to think of magic as just another ‘reality point.’ So other than their ability to use (and abuse) magic, each character comes equipped with layers and gray areas, just like all of us.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
I’m working on book two of the Arcana Chronicles, called The Young Practitioner. I also have the outline of a SciFi trilogy completed and I’m working on a graphic novel series of scripts with a fellow author and comic book geek from Australia.
Would you like to experiment with a different genre?
Maybe…but I have stories to tell in the Fantasy/SciFi genres first.
Describe your ideal surroundings or conditions for writing.
A pub or my home office work best for me.
Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
I’m sure I do. My guess is they’ll be well defined in the reviews for The Prodigal’s Foole.
Briefly share your thoughts on traditional publishing vs. indie.
I just wrote a three-part blog about this very subject. To paraphrase, I think the smaller (indie) imprints will define the future of an industry turned on it’s ear by the advent of electronic media.
What advice can you share with first-time writers?
Don’t stop. Ever. If you look around you, there are thousand of newbies out there. You just have to outlast them all in a cutthroat business. Write what you want and what you know. Get feedback. Practice and improve. You’ll make it.
Bio and Contact Information
|R.B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and quite frankly anything else that strikes his fancy. His first novel, The Prodigal’s Foole, is scheduled to be published by Pfoxchase Publishing in the Fall of 2011. Mr. Wood is currently working on the second book of his Arcana Chronicles series and is host of The Word Count podcast.R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cats and various other critters that visit from time to time.|
Web Site: http://www.rbwood.com
Al Boudreau reviews ~The Prodigal’s Foole~
5 stars *****
The Prodigal’s Foole was the very first urban fantasy I’ve ever read. Now, if you had asked me the day before I started reading this work what the urban fantasy genre was all about, you would have been privy to a blank stare; I had no clue. And I’ve never been one to seek out works dealing with fantasy, magic, supernatural powers, or religion, the subject matter upon which this book is most definitely built. Therefore, once I sat down and gave this story a go, imagine my delight when it held me spellbound.
This is how Mr. Wood did it. He wrote great characters, both male and female, a piece of magic the best writers in the business sometimes experience difficulty in pulling off. Dialogue was hip, witty and most of all intelligent. These characters were people you wanted to know, to hang out with…to love…to hate. They came to life, which made it a hell of a lot easier to suspend reality and allow the fantasy aspect to work for me. The character development made me want to believe they could practice magic for real.
Wood chose the first-person narrative to tell the story. And though this point of view can be limiting in some novels, his use of balanced descriptions, comfortble pacing and a dynamic, well-conceived plot more than made up for the singular perspective this convention entails.
I also enjoyed the tasty side dishes of horror and suspense thriller contained within the story. Wood’s main character, Symon Bryson, got dragged through hell unwillingly, but dug deep, worked through his shortcomings and came out the other side a changed man, better equipped for the next inevitable battle. (you know there are two more books, right?)
Lastly, RB Wood took the time to make his writing tight and nearly error/typo free with excellent and greatly appreciated attention to the editing process.
Thank you for writing such a well written, entertaining novel, Mr. Wood. I’m officially a fan of your work and a new fan of the urban fantasy genre.
I highly recommend this novel and sincerely look forward to the next.
Great review, Al. I couldn’t agree more.
Thank you, Eden. Rich is the best!
Great review!! 🙂
Thank you, Lisa. It was easy to write, considering the book…The Prodigal’s Foole is an endlessly entertaining read. I LOVED it!
Rich. I enjoy learning more about you and how you go about writing the great stories you produce. Many of the authors you mentioned and many more strated out writing a story for their children and it took off.
I totally agre with your advise to new writers. The only way to improve is to write and listen and read!
Thanks for bring in more of Rich, Al. You are a great supporter of your peers