Neo-pro Interview: Rick Novy

Interview with Rick Novy

 

It’s Thursday, so here’s an interview!

Who are you?  What’s your genre/history/etc?

Rick: Rick Novy, I write mostly science fiction but stray into other spec fic areas from time to time.  I have something like 40 short stories published, but I’m still missing that third SFWA-eligible sale, though I do have a third pro sale to a non-eligible market.  I also occasionally write non-fiction, usually science or technology aimed at the non-scientist.

I have also edited two anthologies, Ergosphere and 2020 Visions,both from M-Brane Press.

What’s your Race score?

Rick: Very low at the moment, though my high-watermark is around 55.  I had an extremely difficult life situation for about 3 years that sharply curtailed my productivity, and it took about an additional 2 years to recover from it.  I have been coasting on all those stories for half a decade without refilling the tank.  While I have a few new short stories in circulation right now, most of my recent efforts have been long fiction.  I made the decision to become an indie author, so in many ways the Race is no longer a relevant benchmark for me.

When did you “get serious” about being a writer?
Rick: The day I decided I would finish my novel no matter what.  that would be around October 2004.
What are your goals with your writing?

Rick: Foremost, I want to entertain.  I’d also like to make a living at it, and assuming the indie model I have in mind holds true, I think that is a real possibility.

Where do you see your career in 5 years?

Rick: My goal at the moment is focused on long fiction, and I believe I can produce 3 to 4 novels per year. That included all the publishing aspects also.  If I can sustain that pace, I would have 23 novels out (including the three I am trying to finish this year and starting the clock on Jan 1)

Do you have a particular story or idea you are dying to write? Or, if you could write a tie-in to any established universe/franchise, what would it be?

Rick: Two very different questions.  I have a lot of ideas that are in the queue for novels. I have a list taped to my computer desk that is 7 novels deep. I have another list that 8 deep set in the same universe, most of which does not overlap the first list.  I have lots of ideas for long fiction.

I would someday love to write a Doctor Who novel, a Star Trek (TOS) novel, and a Star Wars novel.  The first two I could handle, but I suspect there is so much non-cannon material for Star Wars that I would never be able to be consistent in that universe.

What are your hobbies outside writing?

Rick: More than I have time for. Probably the most visible is that I am a fishkeeper. Today I have 11 fish tanks set up for various species. Some for breeding, some just to have that fish around.  It can be a lot of work if you don’t keep up with the water changes, but if you stay on it, it’s not bad.  Benefit of so many tanks is if I have a health problem in one tank, I still have a bunch of healthy tanks so I don’t get as upset about it.

What’s your writing process like?

Rick: Fits and starts.  I don’t outline on paper–much of that happens in my head.  I pick benchmarks in the story and I let the characters get to them however they get there.  I like to write regularly but as long as I am being productive on some aspect of the business I’m satisfied.

For novels, I use a spreadsheet I got from David Gerrold to track my progress.  I find it helps to pull me through my word count for the day.  I enter my word count and time writing into the sheet at regular intervals.  Watching the daily tally add up (and how quickly it can add up) encourages me to add more.  It’s basically tricking myself into being productive,but it works for me.

What’s been toughest about your journey so far as a writer?  How do you keep yourself going?

Rick: Distractions. I have a lot of them and it’s usually the writing time that is sacrificed to do other things–other people’s demands on my time.  Motivation has never really been much of a problem for me. I’m self-motivated and I believe in my work.  One of the benefits of making the decision to become an indie author is that I have no roadblocks to publication other than my own.  That has been a serious motivator to be productive because I control a lot more of the business. I have become the one who puts up the most roadblocks because when I’m productive, I grow a body of work.

Any tips or tricks you’ve figured out for improving your writing?

Rick: Read and write, and do both a lot. Submit, submit, submit. Subscribe to Heinlein’s rules. don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it.

And finally, got anything you want to pimp?

Rick: Neanderthal Swan Song is my first novel. It’s available all over. My website www.ricknovy.com, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & noble, CreateSpace.

Thanks to Rick for participating!

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