Author Rick Graham has just the right amount of madness to attempt to build an expansive science fiction universe, but enough stubbornness to stick with it when it gets tough. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.
Hey everyone! I’m R. E. Graham, but you can call me Rick. From being a husband, father of 2 (with another arriving in December 2020), full-time small business owner, and more, there is no shortage of plates to keep spinning. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.
When and why did you begin writing?
I have wanted to be an author for a very long time. However, I lacked the confidence to even attempt it over ten years ago. Finally, I got the courage to take a chance and give it a shot. There were some bumpy roads for a while, but I now get to work on something that is a dream for so many others. One of the best things about being an author is to give life to the stories that are burning within me to be told.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly, I didn’t consider myself a writer until somewhere around my third novel’s release. By then I had written some not-so-great non-fiction books (my first attempts into writing), short stories, and then three novels. For whatever reason, I still didn’t think of myself as an author, not deep down. It sounds strange in a way, but it took a while for me to catch on.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
I am building a vast SciFi brand with many stories still to be told. Honestly, I’m already moving on to the fourth in a series within the Revelations Universe, but my last release was “Revelations: Spectre”. It is a revenge story about an ex-bounty hunter who was the deadliest warrior in the ‘verse. One day he suddenly leaves it all behind and just wants to live a normal life. However, after a tragic incident (no spoilers!) he comes out of retirement to get his revenge. I describe the main character, Gideon Adama, as John Wick mixed with Boba Fett. There is a lot of fast-paced action, but there is also a great deal of universe building seeded here and there. While this story is a stand-alone novel, it fits within the larger context of Revelations.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was in the middle of my Kingdom of Sand series and was feeling a bit burned out creatively. After getting some serious inspiration, a story began to form in my head without much effort. I was so excited about it I just had to tell it. Currently, it is one of my best sellers, so I am very glad I followed my instinct on that one.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I do. When I am working on a project I am focused on telling it in such a way that the reader has enough detail of what’s around them, but what matters most are the characters. I want the story to flow well between action and dialogue, with the intention that each of the characters feels like a real person.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
It isn’t as glamorous as some of my other projects, it just went off of the name of the nickname of the main character.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Spectre is connected to the Revelations Universe as a whole. It shows one perspective in a sea of others. Each with their own desires, aspirations, fears, pain, and more. Some elements are hinted at, to add threads that will be connected later on.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
The process for my novel covers is probably a bit different than most other authors. I hire an illustrator to create an original illustration making sure that it is designed in such a way that it can be used for a book cover. My wife then takes the image and creates the book cover. We chose this process so that I would have clean artwork that I could use in other ways such as social media posts, promotional images, or other options down the road.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Absolutely. Both of these points are both easy to say but extremely tough to follow. The first is that you need to take small steps. Don’t try and write a novel if you’ve never written anything before. I would instead recommend that you invest the time in writing a short story. This allows you to go through many of the same steps that a novel will, just on a much smaller and easier to achieve scale. Completing a short story will give you confidence to try a larger project, and then another, until you’re ready to tackle a full-sized novel.
The second piece of advice I would say is that you should be careful not to compare your works to those who are huge successes. They got to where they are from a multitude of factors. What matters here and now is that you write. Marketing, building your reader community, email lists, and all of that comes once you have a book to sell. Focus on first things first.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Revelations is just getting started! Currently we are sitting at five novels, with another on the way soon. More are lined up behind that, not counting additional releases for our table-top game, Revelations: Skirmish, and so much more. There is no shortage of Revelations content to come.
R. E. Graham
Cover Artist: Ozaakhmad