Chatting with DL Richardson
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Fantasy
Publisher: Etopia Press
Number of pages: 208
Word Count: 69,263
Cover Artist: Eithne Ni Anluaine
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/vEluhYM8WNw
Listening to your inner voice can get you killed.
Ethan James, Florida Bowman, and Jake Inala are three teenagers who receive much-needed organ transplants. Two weeks later they are inadvertently recruited by the CIA when a spy dies halfway through his mission. Three bacteria bombs are set to detonate, spreading illness and death across the planet, and it’s up to Ethan, Florida, and Jake to deactivate them.
Except that they have no idea where the bombs are located.
Kidnapped for information they can’t possibly know, and fuelled by the spirit of a dead CIA agent, Ethan, Florida, and Jake must look deep inside themselves if they are to finish the mission and save millions of lives. But they’re being held captive in a strange place by a man who believes in Feedback, the theory that information is retained in the memory of organs–in this case those of a certain dead CIA agent donor. And their captor will stop at nothing to get the information retained in their newly transplanted organs.
Q: Welcome DL! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your book?
DL: Feedback is a story of three kids who need organ transplants and when they get them, they organ belonged to a spy. The spy died halfway through a mission and inadvertently the kids get caught up in the middle of a plot to destroy the world.
The story idea came from a documentary I watched on the theory of Feedback, which is the theory that organs retain the memories of the host. It’s call cellular memory. As soon as I saw the show a light bulb went off inside my head. I thought: what if the organ donor was a spy, and what if he died halfway through a mission and the recipients were kidnapped for information that only he knew? I had the plot line and it was a matter of filling in the blanks.
Feedback has series potential. I can’t wait to get stuck into writing the rest of the story.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
DL: I was about 21 when I realized I wanted to be a writer. It took another few years for me to get really serious about it because I was playing in a band at the time. I didn’t like the direction and didn’t like being in a band. I’m not a team player. And I absolutely love the idea of writing anywhere – on a beach, at a resort, in the comfort of my own home wearing my pyjamas. I wrote short stories, I wrote novels, I wrote dozens of first chapters. I wish I’d taken writing courses earlier on, I might have saved myself a lot of rejection letters.
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
DL: I am a plotter. Even in my everyday life I am somewhat of a plotter. Holidays tend to have rough itineraries of what to do and when. Trips to the supermarket have lists or at least ideas of what meals I’m cooking for the week. As a plotter I’m an organizational freak. Plus I have patience. I imagine a pantster would be more likely to see what happens. Of the two, plotters would be the type of people you’d least want to mess with or tick off. We know how to scheme.
Q: What are you working on now?
DL: I’m currently working on another YA book about a teenage girl who finds herself in an awkward situation. She is forced to steal someone’s body to return from the dead to uncover the answer to a very important question. It will be YA paranormal romance, but like everything I write, it has a deeper meaning that is threaded through the work. She will discover that the answer she sought lies within. My writing is designed to inspire the reader to look within themselves for whatever they need – strength, the truth, motivation, self-confidence…
Q: Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
DL: Love what you write and write what you love. Look deep within and be honest that you can promote what you’re writing. If you don’t love your books, neither will your readers. Loving your book will make you all the more determining to get published and sell books. The writing business is hard work for little payment. Writing, publishing, marketing and ultimately selling a book is easier if you’re passionate about your work.
The other suggestion I’d give is to take writing courses and attend writer’s festivals. Make networks, listen to what’s going on in the marketplace, writing is a very solitary job and it can be unproductive to think you’re the only writer in the world.
Q: What book or series can you read over and over again without getting bored?
DL: I must admit, I like great literature – genre and contemporary. The Hobbit is one book I’ve read 3 times. The Outsiders, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest are other books I’ve read more than once. But the truth is, the ultimate series I’ve never grown bored of hearing about or reading is fairy tales. They were my staple diet as a kid. My imagination benefited greatly when I was given a giant book of fairy tales. I love them just as much now as an adult. I love the original stories, and I even love the revamped stories.
Q: If you decided not to be a writer, what would your other dream job be?
DL: A singer or a bass player in a rock band. Or maybe I’d take proper piano lessons and be the person who sits behind a grand piano at the mall and plays carols at Christmas time. I’d love that job. But you need more talent than I have time to perfect.
Q: What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life?
DL: Skied down a mountain. I’m not athletic – I sprain and break and bruise easily – so naturally I took up skiing late in life. I love it, but it still terrifies every time I sit in the chairlift heading to the top of the mountain and look down at the run I’m going to come down.
The other thing is public speaking. Terrifies me. Hence why I’m a writer.
Q: Who is the one person that has single handedly inspired you the most in your life?
DL: Oh, tough question. I’m not sure that I’d say that he inspired me, but my father used to tell me as a teenager that I could be whatever I wanted to be, he’d also say I was better than the boys who wanted to date me. But this is the same man who I used to argue with every week so in some ways, I felt compelled to be great at everything I did just to stick it to him. It was a complicated love/hate relationship.
Q: If you could take a trip to any foreign country RIGHT NOW, which one would you choose? Why?
DL: Anywhere in the world? Wow, just the one place. I’ve love to do a round the world trip. But if I had to pick one right now I’d say I’d love to go back to Alaska. I did a short trip there last year and it was the most amazing experience – driving in the snow, walking on a frozen ocean, snow on the streets, my husband did a snow angel on the sidewalk and I filmed it from the hotel window, we skied one of the best snowfields in the world, and we had local beer around a campfire afterwards. I’m dying to go back and explore it fully.
Q: What is one talent that you’re hopeless at, but you wish you had?
DL: Dancing. I dance like somebody has cut the elastic in my undies and I’m desperate to stop them falling to the floor. Also, contortionism is a talent I’d love. I’d love love love to do backflips. Alas, I am as unbendable as a rock. My best friend growing up was an amazing dancer. She could do tap, ballet, jazz, contortion, and everything else. I used to go and watch her at recitals. Thinking I could do the same, I went to one dance class. It was evidence my talents laid elsewhere and I did not even finish the class. Today, when work colleagues and friends suggest to go to a Salsa class, or even Zumba, I gracefully decline.
Q: What TV show are you most addicted to?
DL: There are a few TV shows I will drop everything for. Supernatural – I am in love with Dean Winchester. Once Upon a time. Star Trek – yep, I’m guilty of being a trekkie. Dr Who – more specifically the series with David Tennant as Dr Dreamy. Burn Notice because I just love the kick ass aspect, and I sort of used the CIA character as an influence for my CIA character in my novel Feedback.
Q: If you were stuck on a deserted island, name three objects and three people you would want with you.
DL: Objects: either my piano or guitar or maybe both, my kindle as it has dozens of books, and my iPod to listen to 80s music.
People: aside from the obvious which is my husband and my dog, I’d want someone who could hunt for food, someone who could build shelter, and someone who could do the other chores that needed to be done because I’ll be busy sitting on my butt reading and relaxing.
Q: What is one trait or physical characteristic that you are proud of/love about yourself?
DL: My stubbornness. It motivates me to do what I have to do, as well as what I want to do. It gives me strength to keep going when I want to give up. And it pushes me to excel because if there is ever that nagging voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something, being stubborn enables you to tell that voice to shut up. That is until I don’t want to do something, and then I’m as stubborn as a mule and I simply will not do it. Pity the fool who tries to get me to do something I don’t want to do.
About the author: D L Richardson was born in Ireland and came to Australia with her parents as a baby. She went to a public school in Sydney’s western suburbs and the books she read were given to her or borrowed from the library. However it was music that first captured her creative interest.
She joined the school choir at age eight and got her first acoustic guitar at age ten, although she really wanted a piano. In high school she took up lead vocals after the girl she was to sing a duet with failed to show up. After that she told her stage fright to get lost and took up singing with the school band where she performed in many concerts. When she left school she helped form her own rock band where she sang lead vocals, played bass guitar, and wrote all the lyrics. At age 26 she realized she wanted to write novels for the rest of her life or die trying so she sold her equipment, quit pursuing a music career and began writing instead.
She has two young adult novels published, “The Bird With The Broken Wing” and “Feedback” and is currently writing her third novel “Little Red Gem”.
She lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing or reading she can be found playing her piano or guitars, renovating the house, or walking th dog.