Rick Chiantaretto Author Spotlight
It is my pleasure to welcome Rick Chiantaretto to Room With Books.
It is my pleasure to be here! Thanks for not being too scared to have me 😉
What do you do when you are not writing?
Sadly, I still work full time as a technical consultant. So honestly, I don’t get nearly enough time to write. Between the day job and writing, I rarely have enough time to just sit and relax – but I’m doing that more, because I’ve found that running Mach 10 all the time is bad for… well… everything!
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
There really were so many that influenced me in different ways, but if I had to pick one, I would have to pick the book that I read over and over again as a teenager – and that book was The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith. If you’re a fan of Vampire Diaries or Secret Circle and haven’t read The Forbidden Game, you’re missing out on LJ Smith’s best work (in my never-so-humble opinion, ha).
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I started publishing with Façade of Shadows back in 2001, when I signed my first contract with my first small press. I think being naïve, in general, of the publishing world was a little daunting for me at that age (I had just graduated high school, publishing a book that I wrote in high school). Oddly enough, I didn’t have a hard time finding a press who was willing to publish my book, but to find a press that would publish AND market my book was exceptionally challenging – and I didn’t even know I needed a press to publish AND market my book until I had already signed a contract.
It really does come down to determination. And now that the publishing world has changed so much, and indie publishing doesn’t have such a negative connotation like it did when I first entered the publishing world, I had to go through it all again when I released Death of the Body (Crossing Death #1).
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Oh boy, this one is tough. If I could be a witch that’s what I’d choose, but that would mean I would have more than one power, right? So if I had to pick one, it would be telekinesis, like Jean Grey. She may not have been my favorite X-men character, but I can’t really think of anything you couldn’t do with it. Wanna be invisible? Turn people’s heads away from you! Ha.
What was your first job?
I was one of those kid janitors at the elementary schools. In Utah we called them Sweepers. I don’t know if that’s a term that’s used elsewhere, but let’s just say it gave me enough alone time in my own head to keep spinning stories.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?
I have a side character named Linda Rose who is the mother of my main character’s best friend. Obviously, I didn’t think she would be very important originally, but as I wrote her she just came alive. No one is sure if she is good or evil, and her meeting with my main character makes her seem elusive yet helpful. She definitely took on a life of her own and people are always commenting on her. Her character really stepped off of the pages and demanded attention, and I’m more than willing to see where she takes me, and us.
What does your writing schedule look like?
Right now, very sporatic. I know. It’s frustrating for me too. I am only able to dedicate about an hour a day to writing now, but that time is split between writing, marketing, social media (and we all know how easy it is to waste an hour there), and interviews like this one (if you get angry emails from my stalkers who are demanding the next book, I’m not really all that sorry)!
But I’m looking to expand that greatly over the next few weeks, and finish the book as part of November’s writing month – I hope. Actually, to hit my deadline, I have to, ha.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
Of course! But I’ll often combine experiences or twist them until they are almost unrecognizable. That’s the fun thing to do as a writer – spinning your own life story into fiction can be challenging and rewarding.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
I am terrible at titles. I never know them until after the book is finished. And “Façade of Shadows?” Really? Come on. That tells you how bad I am at them… most people can’t even pronounce “Façade.”
My lovely husband came up with the Crossing Death series. We debated between “Death of the Body” and just “Body” for the first one (the second will be Death of the Spirit – but could have ended up just “Spirit” following the pattern). He liked the single word titles, but I won out with the “Death of the…” prefix.
If you could pick one profession other than author, what would it be? Why does it appeal to you?
Can I be a beach bum? Either way I want to end up on the beach, writing books or not doesn’t matter, ha.
Okay, okay. I really want to help and inspire people. I do believe that my books can do that, and entertain. I do enjoy my day job currently, because I’m helping people deploy complicated software systems (I was a software engineer for years, but I needed more interpersonal connections), but I would like to get out of technology eventually. Teacher, counselor, consultant – all of those career paths interest me because I have the chance to help others.
What are you currently working on?
Well, I’m excited to say that I will have a story in the Twice Upon a Time anthology (I wrote a dark fantasy version of The Emperor’s New Clothes) that will be released sometime in the next few months or so, but my main project right now is, of course, Death of the Spirit (Crossing Death #2).
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla covered with caramel and cinnamon. Yes, I’m difficult.
Night owl, or early bird? My sleep hours are currently early bird, but I’m a night owl at heart.
Coffee or tea? Coffee! Coffee coffee coffee coffee.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Roller coasters.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Ocean. Connecting with nature is one of those things I don’t get to do enough.
Walking or fitness club? Walking. Mike and I go for walks all the time. It’s one of our “things.”
Any last words?
I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I do writing them, while secretly hoping they keep you up at night… just a little 😉
Façade of Shadows – Vampires meet Egyptian Legend
Death of the Body – What if all religions were stories and all stories were true?
Thank you for stopping by again to chat with us and also for allowing Room With Books to feature you and your books here!
I’ve often been accused of having done more in my life than the average person my age but if I were completely honest, I’d have to tell you my secret: I’m really 392.
So after all this time, I’m a pretty crappy writer.
I have two books published and a bunch half written (when you have eternity, where’s the reason to rush?). I’ve been favorably reviewed by horror greats like Nancy Kilpatrick, and my how-to-write-horror articles have been quoted in scholarly (aka community college freshmen’s) papers.
I enjoy the occasional Bloody Mary, although a Bloody Kathy or Susan will suffice.
Mostly, I just try to keep a low profile so people don’t figure out who I REALLY am.
Costa Rica House Rental Giveaway
Death of the Body (Crossing Death Book 1)
I grew up in a world of magic. By the time I was ten I understood nature, talked to the trees, and listened to the wind. When the kingdom of men conquered my town, I was murdered by one of my own—the betrayer of my kind. But I didn’t stay dead.
I woke to find myself in a strange new world called Los Angeles. The only keys to the life I remembered were my father’s ring, my unique abilities, and the onslaught of demons that seemed hell-bent on finding me. Now I must learn who I really am, protect my friends, get the girl, and find my way back to my beloved hometown of Orenda.
Death of the Body~
Façade of Shadows
Judas Iscariot (portrayed as the first of the undead), the gods and myths of ancient Egypt, and vampires all play a role in this novel of the clash between good and evil on Earth. In Façade of Shadows, the supernatural beings of Egyptian lore work together with modern-day vampire slayers to wage a pivotal battle against the dark powers of the underworld. A group of young slayers and their immortal Protector, the son of ancient gods, travel through time and space while struggling to save the population of an unsuspecting town—the first target for domination by the vampires—in a conflict that foreshadows the fate of the world. If you enjoy action, humor, tragedy, even romance involving the genre of vampires and their nemeses, this is a riveting read to add to your collection.