- Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I’ve been writing now for ten years. When I started, I had a goal to write ten books before all was said and done. Cenotaphs is my fifth novel and sixth book, so I still have a ways to go before I reach the goal, but I remain committed to getting there. Before I became a professional writer, I worked for a number of technology companies.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I was interested in writing a book about platonic love between a man and woman. In particular, I was interested in how that kind of love has the power to heal the deepest wounds, maybe even more so than other kinds of love. Not many written books are written on this topic, and I thought it was a fascinating one to explore.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope they experience the power of redemptive love.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I tend to be interested in big topics and I think literary fiction, with its emphasis on characterization, is a great way to explore these topics. It’s given me the tools to write books on polarization in America, aging with meaning, the long term impacts of violence, and on being a good man. Plus, all my favorite writers like Walker Percy and Milan Kundera write literary fiction.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I would sit down with both Ben and Samantha and ask them how they felt loving each other in such a non-traditional way, and why that kind of love allowed them to move forward with their lives separately and together.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Facebook. Many of my Facebook friends engage on a regular basis with me and my books.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Just keep going. Learn as much as you can about your craft and remember good art doesn’t always find an audience right away. If you have a need to create, as I do, there’s nothing more powerful and generative emotionally than putting a piece out into the world.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
I’m working on two novels now, The Means of Keeping, about the climate crisis, and In the Seat of the Eddas, a follow on to The Latecomers.
About the Author
Rich is the author of five novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, The Beauty of the Fall, The Latecomers, and Cenotaphs, and the poetry collection, The Long Body That Connects Us All. He also teaches creative writing at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.
As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, self-discovery and forgiveness. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet. For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.
Rich lives in Massachusetts with his wife and Newfoundland Shaman. He is currently working on his sixth and seventh novels, The Means of Keeping and In the Seat of the Eddas, a follow-on to The Latecomers.