Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m also a fan of all forms of entertainment, from Dr. Suess to Steven King to Steven Spielberg to Quintin Terintino to Lambchop to Emminem. If it entertains I will enjoy it!
Along with being an entertainer, I also manage my sister’s stand-up comedy career. She was named “Top 5 Comics to Watch in NYC” by CBS.com, and together we’ve been producing the show “Ladies Night” at Carolines on Broadway in Times Square.
Personally, I recently lost almost 100lbs, which has been my biggest accomplishment to date. Next up: writing a book! I can’t wait to tackle this new project. I’ve always been a storyteller, so being able to tell a story on the pages of a book is new and very exciting for me.
Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about? Where did you get the idea to write this?
This story was originally a simple fairy tale that came from a conversation in my dining room fifteen years ago. It has blossomed into an epic adventure over the past several years.
The book, The Curse of Iswardel, is a middle grade high fantasy. It follows Gem, a thirteen-year-old boy, his sister Pepper, a fisherman named Bran, and the town crier, Josephus Biddlebug, on their quest to lift a curse that has driven their kingdom into ruins. To do this, they have to bring back an ancient tournament that will put the (lost and presumed dead) princess on the throne, where she belongs. There’s an evil sorcerer, some henchmen, a couple of assassins, and a world that hasn’t laughed in nearly twenty years. So it’s a big story, but it all comes down to our characters coming of age and … well, saving the world!
What’s your writing process like? Do you plot out every point or do you prefer to wing it?
For me, the stories come into my head like a movie, and I write them as if I have a multi-million-dollar budget—which would never happen in real life! Most times I know where the story has to go, but then there are some times when the story has a life of its own. And of course once you get to the end you realize that you got there the wrong way about, or the characters had something else in mind, or …
You know really, outlining might be a good idea.
How did you find Glass House Press, and what made you ultimately decide to sign with them?
Originally, I was just looking for a talented editor. I teamed up with Carrie and we really hit it off. I was very excited when she offered me a proposal for editing, and jumped at the opportunity to work with her. Then, over the next year, we decided that we wanted to take it a step further, and she offered me a contract with her house. I’m over the moon to work with such an influential publishing house.
Have you started the editing process yet? If so, what’s it been like for you? If not, are you looking forward to it or are you dreading it? What’s your biggest editing fear?
As a cinematographer I understand how important the editing process is. And it’s not much different then editing for a book. Things change and I understand that sometimes you have to “cut the fat” out of the story. What I’m enjoying during editing with Glass House is that Carrie talks to me like I’m editing a movie, so it goes very smoothly.
It might take a few days, but in the end the story looks great. Biggest fear? Computer dying before I’ve saved or backed up my work. Ha!
Write. Write. Write. Even if you think it’s garbage, eventually it will turn into gold. But you have to keep at it. If you give up, you’ll never know what might have been.
Unfortunately, rejection plays a large part in an author’s path to publication. Tell us a bit about your journey and how you overcame rejection to get where you are today.
This story had gone through the wringer of rejection, just like many others. Every six months I would tweak the manuscript and then send it out in hopes that someone would see what I saw. After several years (yep—years!) I was told that I was mislabeling my manuscript. I was pitching it as a YA when in actuality it was an MG—and then BAM! Everything fell into place.
Just like in any field or in life, you must take rejection with a grain of salt and move on. What’s great about this business is that all you need is one “yes” for everything to change.
What other projects do you have planned for the future?
I am currently working on a novella, which is a prequel to The Curse of Iswardel, along with a new middle grade space opera. Also, a film I wrote and directed will be released on iTunes this spring. I’m also excited to be filming a children’s feature that I wrote and will be directing this summer. So when you ask what I have planned for the future … A LOT. But I never like to sit still—I always like to be moving and challenging myself. That means there’s always something going on!
Where can we find you on the internet?
Website -- www.richardschall.com
Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/RichardSchallEntertainer
Twitter - @RichieSchall
Periscope - @RichardSchall
1. Favorite book or series: The Monster at the End of This Book starring LOVABLE, FURRY OLD GROVER
2. Favorite movie: The Goonies
3. Favorite TV show: Red Dwarf, The Walking Dead, Dr. Who
4. Favorite author: Dr. Suess
5. Favorite actor: Robin Williams
6. Favorite actress: Robyn Schall (Check her out!)
7. Favorite color: Green
8. Favorite snack food: Peanut Butter Cups
9. Favorite animal: Monkey
10. Favorite hobby: Rubik's Cube
11. Favorite vacation spot: I live in my favorite vacation spot - NYC!
12. Favorite type of drink: Diet Mountain Dew
13. Favorite meal: PIZZA!
14. Favorite season: Summer…or Winter…or Spring…oh! I also like Fall!
15. Favorite holiday: Passover – We have an amazing musical Seder!