I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in South Devon. I wasn’t always a writer, it sort of sneaked up on me.
Write what you know, they always say. It’s good advice, you can speak with authority and use your knowledge and experience to make everything authentic.
What do you do when you love Scifi and Steampunk? How can you write what you know then?
Rather stupidly, I assumed that it would be easy to write about the future, or even an alternative now. There would be no need for research. After all, I told myself, you can’t research what hasn’t happened yet.
I got halfway down my first page before I realised just how wrong I was! Research is key, my worlds have to sound true, I start from what you know and take it somewhere else, blurring the line between what is and what might be. Then I add a story, it could be a chase or a mystery, love or hate. It all depends on what I see in my head. The setting, time and place, will have been chosen to maximise the impact of the tale
I realised that I could write what I knew, if I just changed it a bit. I knew about ships. I had spent forty years at sea, I travelled the world, went to places people dream about, had more than enough adventures. I ended up as a ships pilot on the River Thames, taking passenger ships through Tower Bridge.
I sat down and started writing, first a blog about my life, what I was doing at work, the food I cooked. I’m an enthusiastic cook, I bake bread, make wine. I love walking around the cliffs near my home, there was enough there for a blog.
Then, when I retired, I started writing novels and short stories. I had plenty of inspiration, spaceships were just ships, in space. I could just move the stories out there, add a few bells and whistles, couldn’t I?
The more I wrote, the more ideas I had. My first novel, Freefall was published in 2013. Others started to form in my head and I soon found that I was writing every day.
I’ve now published twelve novels, a whole load of short stories, been in an anthology of Historical Fiction and have a lot more work in progress. I aim to publish three novels a year, plus a few short stories; keep the blog going (it’s now become a website) and enjoy my life.
I write Space opera, with greed corruption and conspiracy, Steampunk with dashing heroes, nefarious villains and a good cup of tea (except in my world it’s called Char). Not forgetting my favourite, an amateur detective called Andorra Pett, a cross between Agatha Raisin and Miss Marple, in space. And I’ve written a textbook on World Building for Speculative Fiction, to help others avoid the mistakes that I made when I was starting out.
My website has features on me and my writing but more than that; because I was helped so much in the early days, I do what those other, generous authors did, by promoting and encouraging other writers in a weekly feature I call The Indie Showcase.
I self-publish, because I’m impatient and can’t bear to wait to get my next book out. But I don’t sacrifice the quality of the work. I have an editor who makes sure that every word is spelt properly and in the right place. I spend a lot of time on cover design and I’m slowly getting to grips with marketing.
You can find out more about me on my website at richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the PORTFOLIO tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, unavailable anywhere else.
These are my novels, with links:
The Dave Travise Series
The Balcom Series