"The greatest lessons I learned from my father didn't come from lectures or discipline or even time spent together. What has stuck with me is his example. From watching, I chose whether to be or not to be like him."
Richelle E. Goodrich lives in Washington with her husband and three boys somewhere in a compromise between country and city living. She has two BA degrees and possesses a wide range of interests in the creative arts.
Her love for writing emerged later in life, first manifesting itself through children’s books geared at entertaining her boys. ‘Eena, The Dawn and Rescue‘ and ‘Eena, The Return of a Queen‘ (the beginning adventures in the Harrowbethian Saga) are Richelle’s first novel-length achievements.
This author will tell you that the greatest thrill of writing is to hear what readers have to say about the characters living within her enchanted pages.
BB & B: I love this quote of yours, “Courage to me is doing something daring, no matter how afraid, insecure, intimidated, alone, unworthy, incapable, ridiculed or whatever other paralyzing emotion you might feel. Courage is taking action…..no matter what. So you’re afraid? Be afraid. Be scared silly to the point you’re trembling and nauseous, but do it anyway!” (Smile Anyway)
Can you tell us about this quote and what brought out these words of encouragement?
Richelle:Yes, I certainly can.For the most part my quotes have been inspired by personal experiences and some unpleasant trials.At times, however, they’ve resulted from a keen fascination for observing and evaluating human behavior.I like to ‘people watch’, perhaps because I never cease to be amazed by the actions of others.
The quote you mention regarding courage came to me when I was facing a difficult challenge that resulted in taking a stand for what I heartily wanted despite strenuous opposition.I’m no super hero, I’ll admit.I cringe at the mere mention of anxiety, fear, and confrontation.But I’ve learned that courage isn’t reserved for the brave and daring only.Courage means taking action, period.And even a timid personality can do that—albeit trembling the entire time.
BB & B: I love fantasy and magic in my books and you definitely capture these elements so beautifully in your stories.What inspires you when in the creation of your characters and the world they live in?
Richelle:I’m a daydreamer to the very core.There are a thousand stories swirling in my head constantly, sort of like an inner library where I slip a book off the shelf almost daily for the purpose of entertaining an untiring brain.
If only I could write—had the time to write—all the adventures and fantasies that play on my mental view screen.I have my favorites memorized, and I tweak their stories often, hoping someday to jot them down on paper.I’ve always been this way, passing the time in another world, pretending to be some extraordinary character.I have to laugh because I actually wrote a quote inspired by this truth:
“I live in two unique worlds, traveling between both with just the opening or closing of my eyes.”
~Richelle E. Goodrich
That’s me.What inspires these stories—the characters and the worlds they come from?Well….what doesn’t inspire them?In other words, just about anything can act as inspiration for me, depending upon what I’m thinking about at the moment.A mangled tree once inspired an entire book, including the type of life that dominated a fantasy world.A touching scene from a moviewas what sparked the idea for my book, ‘Dandelions’.
Art seems to be a strong stimulation when it comes to sparking stories in my imagination.I believe that’s because art is so highly interpretive, which means I must draw on my own creativity to evaluate it.And once the creativity starts to flow, quite frankly there’s no stopping what develops from it.
BB & B: To what extent do your characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?
Richelle:I’m smiling at this question.I am a firm believer that there is absolutely a portion of the personality of a writer in the main character(s) he/she creates.My characters are not exactly as I am, but they most certainly do possess solid elements of ‘me-ness’ in them.They must, because it’s me imagining how they would react and respond and reply to presented stimuli.And all I have to go on is what exists within my experience; experience that has made me, me.
BB & B: If you had to pick just one story or one character of yours.Which or who would it be and why?
Richelle:Hmmmm.Pick one for what purpose?Do you want the character that entertains me the most?Or the one I most relate to?Or the one that I enjoyed creating most?Okay, let’s see…
The character that entertains me most is probably Kira the Mishmorat from my stories in the Harrowbethian Saga or ‘Eena’ books.Kira’s personality is nervy, edgy, and spirited—traits I normally repress. She speaks at will, behaves boldly, is a striking beauty and an alluring nymph.I love how she is.
The character that I most relate to would be Annabelle Fancher in ‘Dandelions’.Not because I have ever experienced the abusive life she unfortunately endures, but because she and I both aredreamers and avid people watchers.Despite Annabelle’s youth, she makes very astute observations about her peers and many adults.
The character I most enjoyed creating would be Eena, hands down.That’s because she is me.I am her.At least that’s the way I always imagined it when I use to daydream about Eena and her other-world adventures as a high school student bored to death in class.
BB & B: Here’s another quote from Smile Anyway, “A daily dose of daydreaming heals the heart, soothes the soul, and strengthens the imagination.” I just love your quotes.They’re inspiring and full of wisdom.I can see that you are about positivity and living up to your true calling and not giving up.
Can you share with us your tips for staying positive and keeping on course?I think this can be especially challenging for those of us in the creative field.
Richelle:There are three things that help fuel my drive to succeed.The first is an easy and simple habit; I do at least one thing daily to get me nearer to my goal.On a busy day, that might mean writing just one sentence in a developingmanuscript.On a lazy day I might read for research purposes or scribble out an entry on my author blog.The point is that I not allow myself to become stagnant.Doing nothing achieves nothing, therefore I take at least one step toward my goal every day, despite how tiny the step.
Next, I’ve come to realize that where dreams are concerned I have only two choices—give up or keep going.If I were to give up, that would translate into sheer failure, and I do NOT want to fail.Therefore, I’ve no other choice but to keep going, to keep striving towards those dreams.
The last habit I rely upon most heavily.I pray.I explain to my Heavenly Father what I wish to achieve, and I ask Him for inspiration, guidance, and His hand in making it possible.And I believe assuredly that He can and will help me.
BB & B: Do you have any works in progress?What can fans expect from you in the near future?
Richelle:Yes, as a matter of fact; I’m excited about this one!I’ve begun a new YA book staring a genius boy-gifted girl duo.They’re coerced by an old Mayan priest into opposing phantom villains who must be stopped at all costs or else…(Wait a minute.I probably shouldn’t give the entire story away.)Anyhow, I hope to have this work completed by the end of the year.
BB & B: Do you have any closing words you’d like to share?
Richelle:Sure, how about a quote to inspire?This one is from my recently released book, ‘Smile Anyway’:
“Never give up. It’s like breathing—once you quit, your flame dies letting total darkness extinguish every last gasp of hope. You can’t do that. You must continue taking in even the shallowest of breaths, continue putting forth even the smallest of efforts to sustain your dreams. Don’t ever, ever, ever give up.” ―Richelle E. Goodrich
Thank you Richelle for your time! Beautiful words indeed!
To get to know more about Richelle and her great works, please visit the links below: