Interview with Rick Haynes
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Firstly, may I extend my sincere thanks for the invitation.
I was born in southern England when food rationing was still the norm. Coming from a working class family times were tough, but my I really enjoyed my childhood. That has to be down to my parents and I can’t thank them enough. My dad told me a story every night, all from his amazing imagination. I remember the tale of the dragon, he even made me a sword, but mum was none too pleased when I hacked down her giant sun-flower.
I wrote a few poems at school and over the years a few more, probably from boredom, to be honest. I enjoyed reading but it was spasmodic until I read The Lord Of The Rings. All my birthdays had arrived in one day and hooked I was.
Over the following decades I began to write one or two lines, made a few notes, going nowhere, you know what I mean. But after several operations in a short space of time, the walls closed in and stir crazy I became. I asked my best friend what I could do, but when she, my wonderful wife, suggested the ironing or washing up, I groaned. Luckily she followed up with the magical words. “Why don’t you write a story?”
The rest is as they say, history, and I do love writing. Medieval fantasy is my passion but I write short stories and Drabbles in any genre.
I abhor man’s inhumanity to man and loathe any cruelty to children. Last year I was asked to contribute a story to highlight the plight of missing children in the USA. I was delighted to offer a poem come Drabble, called My Little Runaway, which I believe was published.
My motto is LAUGH LOUD-LOVE ALWAYS-LIVE LONG.
And have fun.
- Who are your favorite authors?
Without any doubt, J.R.R. Tolkien is my idol. His work changed my life. The genius of the man will live forever. He created not only a massive story, but races of believable people, fantastic plot lines, a world and a language. Wow!
The late David Gemmell has also inspired me. His mastery of heroic fantasy has kept me awake well into the early hours on many an occasion.
- Tell us a bit about your books.
My first offering was entitled Bolt Out Of The Blue, a contemporary family novella with a little bit of magic. As soon as I had written a few lines I knew what I wanted, and also what I didn’t. I was fed up with tales of violence, sex, bad language, and characters with no courtesy or compassion for those around them. It seemed that good manners were passé.
I wanted a family story, a story that brings them together in adversity, a story of love without histrionics. And most of all I wanted a tale that children and grandmas could read, maybe together.
As one reviewer posted.
It was also nice to read a short novel totally lacking in cynicism. In this day and age that is a rare thing indeed.
That made my day, as I had achieved what I wanted to do.
Set in Dorset, a secret is uncovered along with an old American tale.
Since then I have written two collections. Drabbles ‘N’ Shorts and Shorts ‘N’ Drabbles include stories in many genres with fantasy and humour prominent.
Having completed my apprenticeship I decided, in August 2015, to release my first novel. The ideas for Evil Never Dies had lain dormant for many a year and it took nearly eighteen months to finish once I started writing. It is a classic tale of good and evil, but I have tried to show the strengths and weaknesses of the characters for none of us are perfect; all of us are flawed. I have a professional cover and was delighted with the work of my editor. The book also has a YouTube video, courtesy of my son.
I am very proud of my book.
- If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?
My interest in the Second World War has never waned since childhood. So many died, I believe it was close to 50m worldwide, to give us the freedom that we take for granted today. If my father had been unlucky then I wouldn’t be here today and I guess that applies to many others.
So, to answer your question, I would love to be a ghostly spirit hovering over the events as they happened. Although they couldn’t hear me I can imagine me screaming “Don’t push on to Arnhem. It’s a bridge to far.” Or, “Send more troops to the Ardennes, the Germans are going to counterattack.”
Reliving the events would give me a unique insight into the war years.
I would be able to write a totally true story and maybe it would become a best seller.
The title of, ‘Small Fly on Big Wall’ comes to mind.
- What attracts you to writing in your genre?
Without a doubt, I believe it is the creativity and expansion of the mind that first attracted me. I wrote a Drabble called Welcome to the World of my Imagination which I use as a marketing tool, and that’s me.
I have always had a vivid imagination and fantasy allows my mind to be unconstrained by, almost all limits.
With my background I wouldn’t want to write novels in any other genre. Drawing a map, creating characters and the world they live in – I love it.
My passion is … my spice of life.
- I see you like to delve into many different genres.
Yes indeed. Those wonderful little self contained 100 word stories, called Drabbles give an author the opportunity to experiment. If I see something of interest, say a picture, I’ll normally write in the appropriate genre but sometimes I turn it around to a fantasy tale.
I also belong to two writing groups. Their input and support has been invaluable. As an example, the ladies decided one week that romance would be on the agenda. Me? Write romance? Naturally I succumbed to the ladies desires; I do anything for a quiet life. But, when I wrote my book I used some of the knowledge that I had gained and it seemed to work. My fantastic wife agreed, so I learnt an invaluable lesson.
Another time we were given a picture. I was the only one who turned it upside down. Well I had to; otherwise the fantasy tale in my head would have remained hidden.
I also love humour, and I firmly believe that laughter is the best medicine in the world.
Other genres give me the opportunity to have FUN. The old saying, ‘A change is as good as a rest,’ comes to mind, and that’s what it’s all about.
- Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?
Last year four of us joined up to write Happy Halloween which we published on Amazon for charity. Each of us created a character, using firstly 100 words, which grew in the latter stages to 200. Chaos and mayhem (I think I was chaos) ensued in a large mansion. Fantastic fun it was, but alas there will be no repeat this year as we are all involved in other projects. I have so many short stories written that I’m sure something will arrive over the next year.
Maybe it will be a fantasy collection.
- What do you like to do to relax?
If I have writer’s block, then I’ll do anything else than write. Working in the garden, or any activity outside is good. I do ask my granddaughter to come out and play and as she is only aged one, she hasn’t said no so far … thank goodness. Otherwise I love football, and if the truth be told, most sports if England is competing.
Apart from that, my family means the world to me and time spent with them is worth more than all the money in the world.
- What are you currently working on?
My follow up novel is entitled Heroes Never Fade. Many of the characters from my first book will grace the pages, and like the first it will be a standalone tale. I’m struggling with a major plot line at present so progress is non-existent.
C’est la vie!
I recently won the FantasyCon International Drabble award, with a tale called Spectral Morning, which made my day. Their big event starts at the beginning of November and I have an author booth on Wednesday 4th of November, which is Epic Wednesday.
The first international Drabble Festival is also running in November so I think I may be a bit busy.
- How can readers connect with you?
I would love to speak with readers on any subject or answer questions. They can use the following to contact me or see my work.
Thank you very much for your interest.
Stay happy folks – you know it makes sense.