AR: Do you write poetry, prose, or a mixture of both?
RC: I’ve seen poetry incorporated into prose in very creative ways, and it’s something I’d like to experiment with.
AR: Have you ever done any journalistic writing?
RC: I haven’t.
AR: What made you start writing?
RC: I just wanted to tell stories that people would enjoy.
AR: How old were you when you started writing?
RC: I began seriously trying to write fiction at twenty-six, initially posting a few pieces to Wattpad.
AR: Where do you get your inspirations?
RC: My inspiration comes from a few sources, but I’ve been heavily influenced by Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. Most of my stories feature vivid descriptions of food and creature comforts. Growing up close to nature also influenced the themes and environments I like to write about. Traversing wild places, foraging, and just existing in the woods are all favorite topics of mine.
AR: What is the one thing you hate most about writing?
RC: I hate discovering a typo or error after I’ve already sent a piece to a friend or colleague for review.
AR: What is the one thing you like most about writing?
RC: What I most enjoy is reading over a scene that’s successfully made the jump from the mind’s eye to the paper, one that’s come out as beautiful, dynamic and evocative as I’d imagined.
AR: When is inspiration most likely to strike you?
RC: Inspiration strikes when I’m exposed to something new. A trip to a museum or a conversation can quickly expand into the premise of a whole story. It’s when I’m alone on a long jog that I usually flesh out these idea’s, though.
AR: Do you do any other sort of art?
RC: I run and play tabletop roleplaying games, which I consider an art. It’s a different kind of storytelling than writing.
AR: If you could invite any one other author or poet over for dinner, who would you invite?
RC: Just one? I would enjoy meeting Jack Kerouac.
RC: His unstructured prose blurred the line with poetry, were powerfully fueled by his own experience, and have become the legacy of the Beatnik generation.
AR: What would you talk about?
RC: I wouldn’t count on being able to corral Kerouac into a particular topic.
AR: What would you serve for the meal?
RC: Something home-cooked and hearty. Knowing Kerouac, he’d probably be coming in off a long stint on the road.
AR: If you received the bad news that you only had thirty days to live, what would you do?
RC: I’d fly home to California and enjoy the Sierra Nevada Mountains with my family.
AR: Thinking about all of your characters, which one are you most like?
RC: I try to make sure each of my characters is their own person, but the one most like me is a James Cowen from an unpublished Sci Fi manuscript I penned a few years back. A foil to the main character, he’s bitterly determined and loyal to a fault.
AR: Thinking about all the characters you’ve ever seen in movies, plays, tv shows, or read about, which are you most like?
RC: I’d recognize any of the hedgehogs from kitchens of Redwall Abbey as a kindred spirit. There’s nothing like a good meal and a warm fire, and they collectively understand that.
AR: What do you tell people that say “I want to be a writer.” ?
RC: Do it. Write prolifically and uninhibitedly.
AR: Why do you tell them that?
RC: I think most potential authors are stymied by their own insecurities. It’s best to just create and then outsource the criticism to someone you trust.
AR: What do you want on your tombstone?
RC: I don’t feel a need to be memorialized. I’ll live my life as well as I can. Hopefully, when I’m done, I’ve had an impact.
AR: Any last words?
RC: Tombstones? Last Words? Should I feel threatened?