Little does he know, but I have very vivid memories of Richard Rose, today’s featured debut author. When my oldest son, who turns 14 this Saturday, was only a few months old, he became fascinated by game shows (the bright lights, the sounds), particularly Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, which airs back-to-back every weeknight on Channel 55 on Long Island. At some point during the hour, I’d see Richard giving a preview of the upcoming nightly broadcast, which meant my little reprieve would soon be over and my infant son would once again demand my undivided attention. :) It was a pleasure to meet Richard personally recently at the Farmingdale Public Library, and I look forward to reading his new thriller.
Name of book: Release the Butterfly
Date published: March 2011
Publisher: Authorhouse (self-published)
What is your day job? I’m the anchor of The News at 11 on WLNY-TV 10/55 (10 on cable, 55 over the air). I am also the news director and the host of a weekly public affairs show FOCUS seen on Sundays.
What is your book about? Release the Butterfly is about the unintended consequences of cutting edge scientific research that often lead to the development of major new weapons of mass destruction. My research into particle accelerators at Long Island’s Brookhaven National Lab and at Geneva, Switzerland’s CERN lab started me thinking about the potential to stumble on a planet-killing weapon.
What did you find to be the most challenging part of the writing process? For me, the greatest challenge was in making the science not only plausible, but interesting to the reader.
How long did it take you to write this book? It took me six months to write the book, but I first wanted to write a book 30 years ago, so I suppose I could truly answer almost my entire adult life.
Why did you decide to self-publish? The literary market collapsed just as I finished the book, and, so far, I haev been unable to find a literary agent. Meanwhile, I have completed the screenplay version, because everyone tells me it should be a movie, and I am actively trying to market this as well.
Did you experience writer’s block? I never experienced writer’s block once I decided this was the topic, but it also took me 30 years to decide this would be the topic of my first book. So that would be a new record for writer’s block, I suppose.
What was your favorite part of writing this book? Trying to visualize possible applications for theoretical concepts, like the DNA Tracker-Neutron Transformer. I actually feel I predicted what are now current events – a stealth fighter for China (just unveiled) and an aircraft carrier (now in the works). And I loved working in some military hardware for the U.S. and China that is still on their drawing board or just being deployed. My hope was to channel H.G. Wells, Tom Clancy and Dan Brown. Now, there’s a challenge.
Is there another novel on the horizon? I am considering a second book to be called “Manila Highway” about a Filipino woman who comes to the U.S. hoping for opportunity and winds up being a long-distance trucker in Texas and the deep south. It’s based on a real person.
What tools/methods have you employed to promote your book? What advice would you give to writers regarding promotion? I am signing books at libraries and, hopefully, bookstores, and I’m working on a launch party for this summer. I’m working with a publicist.
Oprah has famously said that there is no such thing as luck, without preparation and a moment of opportunity. Would you agree or disagree with regard to your own success as a writer? I would agree with Oprah, and the advice I would give other writers is to believe in yourself and your idea and follow it through. Whether it becomes a hit or not, you followed your vision. I once read that O’Reilly, the great 19th century American writer, didn’t write his first book until he was in his sixties and in prison for bankruptcy (debtors’ prison). So good luck to all of us!