It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Ric Fischer, author of Chameleons.
About Ric Fischer:
Ric wrote stories, scripts, poems and lyrics growing up and began drafting a feature script his sophomore year of high school which he later adapted into his debut novel, Chameleons. His passion for storytelling expands to film sets as an actor. He’s still looking for a role to usurp his high school performance of a dying man trapped in a gorilla suit.
When he’s not consumed by a writing project, Ric looks to art for new inspiration; watching new films, finding new music to fill uncomfortable silences, or staring at his dusty guitar in hopes he’ll somehow absorb the ability to play it. In the past year, Ric has also developed a podcast called Through a New Lens. It’s a platform Ric developed in order to discover and connect with other artists and share their stories. He’s currently in the early stages of development for his second novel, living in New London, WI.
Craig dreads becoming an eliminist.
Despite volunteering to forget his past, he is reluctant to erase others. In the year 2051, he finds himself at M-RARE, an organization filled with people just like him. They are voluntary amnesiacs, individuals selected or brought to the facility after being exposed to traumatic experiences. Some recruits are victims while others are perpetrators. All of them traded their memories to build a new future. In exchange for their second chance, some employees are promoted and commissioned to erase people like themselves.
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- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
To be kinder and more patient with myself. Write your story and not anyone else’s. If you write the story you want to tell with care and conviction, readers will feel the passion translated on the page.
- Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
I do! Usually it has something to do with the names. One of the character’s has my dad’s middle name in Chameleons, but there are usually other wrinkles I add in the mix to feel like I’m injecting something personal of myself into the story. Sometimes I’ll implement lyrics of songs or names of artists I listened to when I was writing a pivotal scene or something that reflects on what was happening in society during that moment, little time stamps. These easter eggs almost always have something to do with an aspect of my personal life.
- How do you handle writer’s block?
Still figuring this one out. Something that I implemented while writing my second book is leaving the writing while it still has potential. I will stop writing in the middle of a thought, sometimes part way through a sentence. It helps me to return to the passage energized and excited to continue the story. I used to end sessions after completing chapters and I’d find myself lost and under a lot of self-induced stress when I tried to figure out the direction of a new chapter the next day or how to start it. I found this has worked for me so far.
- What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?
I think many people, including myself, can easily become disillusioned by how our capitalistic society defines success. To me, monetization is important, but not nearly as important as achievement. If I have readers approach me and tell me my book or ideas in the book inspired them to become writers themselves, taught them something, or helped them challenge their own perceptions, then I feel I have brought something meaningful into the world. I would love to have those types of interactions some day.
- Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
I am. My website is https://ricfischer.com. I encourage readers to connect with me if they wish to. Before writing my book, I kept my life pretty private but I’m making an effort to be more active on social media, my main channels being a facebook author page and instagram. I also think my desire to connect with others right now is a bi-product of Covid and living in isolation for the last year and a half.
- Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t stop. Write the story you want to tell and write it when you love it as much as when you hate it. The rough draft is “rough” for a reason, but don’t search for excuses not to put in the work. If it helps, join groups of other authors to bounce ideas off of and learn from each other. Keep each other accountable, but keep going.
- What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?
Going the route of self-publishing, waiting to see the new designs of my cover as I had communicated to the designers I selected was easily the most exciting. It was the first time my book began to feel very tangible when I selected a cover to represent its story. My least favorite part was the uncertainty of launching it, wondering if others would find several mistakes that I or my wonderful editor had missed.
- Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)
Cyril Connolly “It is better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self.” I first heard the quote on an episode of Criminal Minds. As a younger writer, it morphed my perspective on writing and helped me to identify how I wanted to approach writing and storytelling.
- What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?
Stephen King comes to mind, but truthfully there are so many talented writers in this world. He doesn’t necessarily write in the same genre, but he’s done it for so long and has so much experience in the field. Also, he’s a machine,a one-man book factory! The frequency with which he writes and produces new books is astounding to me. I thoroughly enjoyed his “On Writing” memoir and still use it as a resource when I’m between projects.