Before I get to the boring stuff, here’s a few odd facts about me:
- My full name is Richard Edward Billing, which means my name is also Dick Ed.
- I have pretty poor eyesight. On my first day of university I approached a new flatmate and asked for his name. It was a girl. I didn’t blend it like most people would. Instead I said it the words “Oh, you’re a girl.” The rest of the year was pretty awkward.
- I have a cat called Mal who’s pretty fond of strolling across keyboards. Once I sent off a story without realising that halfway through “////////scinrubcircbihsbdckj” was typed in the middle of a sentence. I never did hear back from that particular publisher.
Fantasy of the epic kind is what excites me most. The first book I can recall reading was The Hobbit, and then at the age of eleven, the Fellowship of the Ring came out in cinemas. I was hooked. But then life got in the way—school, university, alcohol, girls.
Creativity was abandoned until I picked up A Game of Thrones. G.R.R.M. gave me an appetite for more epic tales, more worlds to immerse myself in. A friend then directed me to Midkemia and the brilliant tales of Raymond Feist. The Riftwar Cycle proved to be the inspiration I needed to pick up the pen.
A few of my other favourite writers:
Brandon Sanderson, James Barclay, Stephen King, Ian Rankin, Raymond Carver, James Joyce, Joe Abercrombie, H.P. Lovecraft, Albert Camus and George Orwell.
So what do I do with myself? At present I’m working on the first of a trilogy of novels entitled Magpie. With a concerted clamp down on procrastination this should be done by the end of 2017. I’ve had a few short stories published, all of which form part of a collection—Tales of Tervia—which supplements the first novel.
But why do I write? Because I adore it. More than anything else. In a life filled with restrictions, writing provides freedom. Unending possibilities, escapism, the prospect of enriching the lives of others.
As well as my fiction writing I run a weekly blog called The Writer’s Tool Shed. I love to help people, and I know I’m not the only one who sometimes feels lost amongst the craft. In my endeavours to become a better writer I read a lot of books, blog and articles, go to lectures, seminars, workshops, all to better my understanding of the craft. And The Writer’s Tool Shed is the place where I share what I’ve learned.
Up there in the menu you’ll see a couple of other pages: Writer’s Resources and Reading and Reviews. The Resources page is where I share my utility tools, if you will. Helpful things you’ll need on your writerly quest, such as an ever-growing list of publishers and a guide to formatting manuscripts. The purpose of the reading page is to let you know I’m more than happy to read over any of your pieces, be it a work in progress, beta draft, or published piece seeking review. I know how difficult it can be getting people to read over stuff so I’m more than happy to help.
So that’s about everything. Don’t be a stranger, say hello!