1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I kept trying to get my mother to hold the lamps closer to her stomach so I could edit while in the womb. Probably seven or eight. I used to read a lot as a child and found some of the endings not to my liking. My mother would tell me to write the ending the way I wanted it, and then go over it and ask me questions about the changes I’d made. That sparked my interest. Soon, I was writing my own stories.
2. How many books have you written?
Over 200 in my mind, but that’s only there. In real life, two novels, two full size short story books, a novella, and multiple stories for various anthologies.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
The size of my … no, I won’t talk about it here, either. I have a hard time writing about religious figures. One never knows, so why push your luck, especially at my age. I will gladly go after religious extremists, though.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
Let’s see, Edgar Poe and I shared the nursery in 19__, forget that. I’m a ripe old 65, married, two kids, four grandchildren, and two cats. I used to keep venomous reptiles, but after a heart attack, I was told my heart wouldn’t survive another bite, so I had to stop. I’m retired, except for writing and being my wife’s maid and clean-up person.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
My latest, “Train of Blood.” Although I love the story lines in “Horror Across the Alley” and “They Lurk in Summer”, my actual writing had gotten so much better. “Train…” is a complete story in all aspects … action, drama, humor, romance, horror … everything one tries to create and when it happens wonders how the hell they did it. Although Amazon keeps taking away reviews by stating, “Cannot be verified”, It’s received nothing but praise.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
There wasn’t anything else to do in the womb, so why not? Actually, I’ve always been a writer, if not in reality in my mind. In the military, I made my letters home into stories, instead of the boring norm. In college, I did the same with essay questions on exams. I think it helped with the grades. In radio, I wrote my own show for each day’s broadcast and in comedy, I always wrote my own jokes. In the corporate world, I wrote three different training manuals (still in use today). So, when I retired, it was the natural thing to do.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Plucking the wings off flies and the legs off cockroaches is a blast. No, actually, I’m a movie freak. I’ve got over 5,000 Blu-Rays and DVD’s in my collection. I’m also a music obsessive, with over 170,000 songs on an external hard drive and backed up on another. Besides that, I’m a college basketball fanatic, especially when Indiana University is playing (although I love rooting against Kentucky at every opportunity.) Most importantly, I love writing. It’s a relaxing time for me when I can leave the reality of today’s world and create another.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Not really, unless finding a first born to sacrifice has become a tradition. No, I sit back and have another cigarette and know that’s when the work begins. I hate marketing, although it’s a necessary evil. In comedy, my agent did all my marketing. I was able to concentrate on the important stuff like performing and writing new material. I long for a situation like that in the writing realm.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
Usually, I write on my laptop in a recliner. I bought a table tray to keep from having a heat rash on the top of my thighs (my doctor questioned writing being the cause and asked to see the callouses on my hand) and go to town. It’s usually between midnight to 6 am each night, after the wife has gone to bed and I don’t have to listen to her b.s. about things that happened to her at work. (Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz) I know it’s odd, but I usually have television on. I find that I concentrate more when I have to block out the noise from TV, so that’s become the norm. There are times I listen to Smooth Jazz while writing as well.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Everything. Seriously, I feel that any writer that is happy with all he writes is an egotistical ass. I want to consistently get better and never be complacent with what I produce. Constant improvement with every book … that’s my goal.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’m lying in bed and Tonya Roberts (in her prime) enters the room. She strolls over to me, smiles, and says, “So, you really did like me in Sheena? Let me reward you.” She then … enough of that. Anyway, I do have a dream. It’s very similar to the one I had in comedy. Onstage, I wanted to make each person in the audience laugh at least once during my show, preferably more. I figured if I could take them out of their frustrations of everyday life just for a second, I might provide a break, a chance to re-evaluate, a chance to dream again. I want to do the same thing as an author. I’m an entertainer. I write to entertain, not educate. That’s why I stay away from words that one has to research to find out what they mean. To me, that only detracts from the base story. I look at myself as the old man at the head of a campfire, telling stories to the group, not a professor seeing how hard he can make a class by using vocabulary he even had to look up to use.
Me … a famous writer? Probably won’t happen. If it does, I’ll be surprised. I would simply like my legacy to be “he wrote things I enjoyed reading”, not “Oh, he was so intelligent … a real literary master.” I’d be more than satisfied with that.
12. Where do you live?
In porn sites around the world. I shouldn’t have said that. My emails will be flooded with “Hey, I’m Sally, we need to meet” letters until the day I die because of that. I live in Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve been a resident of Rhode Island, Indiana, New York, Illinois, Alabama, Beirut (Lebanon), and various places in Western Europe. If I had my choice, I’d live in my favorite country, Italy, but my wife’s family obligations prevent that from taking place. I do have a hard time with how conservative Kentucky is, as well as the University of Kentucky clan, but it’s not a bad place to live if you can overlook those things. Oh, I’m a Libertarian, which to me, means “independent thinker.” I hate all politicians, in general. They’re only masters of deception and creators of illusions. I’m still hoping people will one day wake up and see that.
Two cats, Faletame (Fa-let-a-me) and Gabriela (of Gabriela: Tales from a Demon Cat fame.) Faletame is my shadow, never more than five feet or so from me. Gabriela, well, she’s a bitch, but I love her for it.
Like I said earlier, I used to keep venomous reptiles. I never really looked at them as pets, though. More like a fascination and adrenaline rush. There’s nothing more exciting than working with an animal only a few feet away, on the end of a snake hook, whose bite could kill you in minutes.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Being able to tell my wife to keep quiet because I’m concentrating. God, it’s a validity she can’t even argue with! Actually, it’s the creating part I love. Taking nothing and making it something that people enjoy. The rest doesn’t hold a candle to the creation factor.
15. What is coming next for you?
I went out and picked up some Cajun food for dinner tonight. It’s about time for that. Oh, you mean in writing. I’m rushing like hell to finish a Christmas Horror tale, but it is probably too late to market it for this year. After that, I’m going back to another Horror Western novella I’ve already started. When that is finished, I’m going back to my next novel about my dissatisfaction with our healthcare professionals and their current practices of PMS. They call PMS “Preventative Medical Systems”, but I have rightly named it “Profit Margins Soaring” to give it a more fitting name. All will entail the Horror genre and be fictional tales, to keep me from getting sued.
16. Where do you get your ideas?
I have no idea. There’s an elf with a magic wand spraying idea dust over my recliner, I guess. Some come from real life, others from fears, others from who the hell knows. I’ve long given up on advance outlining. I just start typing and the story begins.
The one thing that bothers me about the Horror Community (as well as others) is the drama it entails. There is so much superfluous b.s. spread that the defecation can’t help but hit the oscillator. Rumors, lies, lack of common sense … people just need to stick together. It’s not a competition. We’re all just hanging our paintings around town and letting people decide if they like them or not. Leave politics out of the equation, get along, and support each other. The one thing we must all band together against is censorship. All the PC crap is getting ridiculous. Don’t say this, don’t say that … pretty soon we won’t be able to say anything. It’s time we stood firm and stopped the madness.
You can follow Richard Rumple here:
My website: https://www.richrumple.com/
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My Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16850283.R_C_Rumple