Richard Prosch is multi-talented and recently released a Western trilogy. So what brought him to this genre and place? What sparked the new stories? Read on to learn more about author Richard Prosch's journey.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
My fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Neuharth, predicted I’d someday be a full-time writer. I liked the idea, and held on to it through an early career in cartooning and graphic design, always writing stories and nonfiction essays in my spare time.
Did you choose the genre you write in or did it choose you?
I first chose to write mystery and crime stories, but they always ended up in a rural or Western setting. My grandpa loved Westerns, so around ten years ago I deliberately focused on the genre.
What was the nudge that gave you faith that you could and wanted to be published?
I’m gonna go back to my fifth-grade teacher. She’s a smart cookie, and I had no reason to disbelieve her then, nor now.
Do your life experiences influence or hinder your writing?
Absolutely influence. Everything I write finds some origin point, no matter how small, in my own life.
Where did you get the idea for your latest release and tell a bit about the story?
The three-book Hellbenders series from Wolfpack offers readers traditional western action interwoven with historical events and characters occurring in the months prior to the Civil War. So much happened from 1858 to 1860, and I wanted to write a narrative tying some of the events together.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser –absolutely. If I don’t know how it ends, then the reader won’t either.
Is there a writing routine you follow or do you write when the muse strikes?
I always start in the morning re-reading what I wrote the day before, incorporating notes that struck me overnight, fleshing out details, or fixing mistakes. After an hour or so, I’m ready to add the day’s entry which sometimes comes at light speed and other times takes more effort.
8. If you had a choice, which is your favorite to write, short stories, novellas, or full-length novels?
My first love will always be short stories.
Do you ‘interview’ your characters before or at any time while telling their story and what do you do if they don’t cooperate with your story idea?
No, I trust the characters to reveal themselves through their dialog and actions. When they don’t cooperate with where the story needs to go, it’s usually a sign I’m tired and need to start fresh.
Is there a process where you find your next story or does the idea just hit you?
The ideas come from all over—usually when least expected, but one thing I like to do to deliberately kickstart a bunch of ideas is to sit down with, say, ten different anthologies—preferably from different genres—and look at the table of contents. Then mix and mash titles. Take the first part of a western story and slam it onto the back of a crime story or SF story to create something new and intriguing. Then write the story the new title suggests.
Is there anything else you feel people would like to know or would be surprised to learn about you?
My collection of vinyl jazz records is closing in on 1000.
Do you write in other genres?
I write the Dan Spalding mystery-thriller series and am currently writing number eight. The first six have been collected by Wolfpack in a two-volume set and the seventh, Needle Drop, is also available.
When and why did you start the Six-Gun Justice podcast?
Credit for the podcast goes to my partner Paul Bishop who called me up at the end of 2019 and suggested the idea. We kicked it around a bit before diving in headfirst in January of 2020. Our idea was to share our love of the Western genre through its representation in books, TV, movies, comics, and other media—but along the way shine the light on little-known trivia and real-life history. After the first month, we added our Wednesday Conversation segment where we visit with friends who work in the Western genre, and it quickly became a favorite for hundreds of listeners.
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