My guest today brings a story with an anthropological nature. Please help me welcome author Richard W. Wise to the interview hot seat! Let’s take a look at his background and then find out more about his stories.
Richard W. Wise is the author of four books: bestseller SECRETS OF THE GEM TRADE, THE CONNOISSEUR’S GUIDE (originally published in 2001, second revised edition in 2016), THE FRENCH BLUE (2010)—an award-winning historical novel, and the mystery/thriller REDLINED: A NOVEL OF BOSTON (2020). He lives with his wife, Rebekah, and their two cats (Charlie and Sammy) in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Author Social Links: Website | Facebook
Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?
Richard: The magnificent cave paintings at Chauvet Cave in Southern France.
Betty: What, if any, new writing skill did you develop while working on this story?
Richard: I think I improved my character development.
Betty: Did you struggle with any part of this story? What and how?
Richard: The personalities of the two protagonists, particularly the female Lada. She is kidnapped by Neanderthals and given a choice to marry one or remain a slave. How she deals with that choice and her conflicted feelings when she discovers she is pregnant with a child by one of the men who murdered her father and all her friends.
Betty: Which character(s) were the easiest to get to know? Why do you think?
Richard: Again, Lada. Writing about a woman who existed prior to the Judeo-Christian ethos.
Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?
Richard: I read a number of books on the Aurignacian Period in France. 40-30,000 BP. Also, books by archeologists detailing what we know about the customs, technology, physical morphology crafts and art of both Neanderthals and Cro Magnons. The climate, available plants and animals of the European Ice Age.
Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?
Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?
Richard: It took about four years part-time. I began it in 2016 just after finishing the revision (2nd edition) of my first book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade. I had almost finished, Redlined: A Novel of Boston (2019-20), but my agent suggested a number of revisions and I had to drop this book and concentrate on the former for a while.
Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?
Richard: I have the habit of being erratic. I don’t have set days or times, but I do write quite a lot. I’m disciplined in an undisciplined way.
Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?
Richard: “Just and first.” My characters do smile and nod quite a bit. I also use “quite” a lot.
Betty: Do you have any role models? If so, why do you look up to them?
Richard: I admire a number of writers: Hemingway, Tolkien, Bernard Cornwell.
Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?
Richard: I have a separate office/library/reading room.
Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?
Richard: I’m a retired goldsmith/gemologist/gem dealer. I was head of the company and wrote my first two books while I was running that business.
Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?
Richard: Well, I guess I’d have to say, my first book. It had a major impact on the gem industry and made me quite well off.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Richard: Historical fiction.
Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?
Richard: I’d like to be a good writer that people read. Improving my craft is important to me.
The Dawning tells an age-old story of deadly struggle, the heart-rending tale of young love—its aspirations, pain, disappointments and eventual triumph.
Ejil and Lada, son and daughter of a Cro-Magnon tribe (on the verge of adulthood) have begun to explore their maturing feelings when an encounter with a clan of Neanderthal hunters tears their Ice Age world apart. Lada is lost and Ejil finds himself embarked on a desperate odyssey to find the mother tribe.
The Neanderthals, a pale skinned people, occupied Ice Age Europe for three hundred thousand years. Dark-skinned Cro-Magnons, our direct ancestors, appeared forty-five thousand years ago. Five thousand years later, the Neanderthals had disappeared. What happened when our two ancestral peoples came face to face on the ice bound plains of prehistory?
Travel back 33,000 years into our deep past. Set against the backdrop of the fabulous painted caves of Southern France, follow the gripping tale of two young lovers and the sweeping narrative of ancient cultures met in bloody conflict.
Buy Links: Amazon
I applaud you, Richard, for tackling ancient history like this. I have studied anthropology in the 1990s and loved the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel (well, most of the books in that series). I hope this one finds its audience! Thanks for stopping by.
Award-winning Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories
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