A member of the Canadian Authors Association, script-doctor and freelance writer, David Richards holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Carleton University as well as being a Certified General Accountant. Mr. Richards resides, equally, between Venice, Italy and Ottawa, Canada. At present time he is busy promoting his book Pairs.
Please tell us a bit about your book: Pairs – characters, plot, etc.
Pairs takes an intimate perspective on the intertwined lives of four very different, slightly off centre, individuals; Kayley, Adam, Alexandra and Henry. The characters become drawn together by friendship, love, sexual attraction and a communal sense of family. Their joint effort renovating a once grand mansion becomes a metaphor for helping one another through personal discovery and rebirth.
If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?
There is no hesitation in my choice. I would love to meet Alexandra. In writing her I found myself frequently laughing at her antics. And not in a pathetic self-congratulatory way either. Of all the characters in Pairs she is the most off-the-wall, with a rather unique if not entirely tangential perspective. She is perhaps the most complex as well. I think she would be as entertaining to meet as she was to write.
If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?
That’s a tall order. Having to choose, I can envision a brooding, kick-butt, cynical, anti-hero, in ensemble action movie: a gunslinger who, against his own better judgment, takes up a just cause where the odds are stacked against him. Cool one-liners would be a must. My character-self wouldn’t smoke, because that sends out the wrong message, but he’d really want to.
Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?
Nothing stands out as a habit. I seem to be able to tune out my surroundings and focus on the task at hand. When I was working toward my accounting designation I studied for a statistics exam in a sweaty, noisy, traveler packed airport on Margarita Island, Venezuela. That ability has carried over into my writing. (P.S.: I wrote the test the next day in Ottawa, Canada and passed.)
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading two books, The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham and The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.
Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?
Some of my favorite authors (in no particular order) would be: Isaac Asimov, John Fowles, Alan Bennet, and T.S. Elliot. My favorite books include, among many others, The Magus and The Waste Land.
If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific writers of all time. He had a great mind without being what he referred to as “brain-proud” and had a reputation for being very approachable. Who wouldn’t want to meet him?
Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:
Please share with us a favorite memory.
During middle-school I gave a speech in the gymnasium in front of the entire student body and some of their parents. During my performance (and it was a performance) I noticed that a woman at the back of the gym was laughing herself to tears. I loved that.
Please describe a perfect meal – including menu and those present.
The setting would be a sumptuous candlelit dinner at an elegant restaurant. Lamb would be served medium rare, and I’d be with my partner. The napkins and tablecloth would be white linen. The waiter would be politely sycophantic but not obtrusive. That, or really great poutine served off of a truck. I could, and should, be alone. Poutine, in case you are unfamiliar, is a delicious concoction of French Canadian origin that consists of French fries, cheese curds and gravy. This sinful confection has garnered arterial reprisal, glowing mention in the New Yorker and last I heard was to become an addition to the menu of a bar called The Great Canadian Pub in Paris. Vive la poutine!
What are some of your favorite ways to relax?
Wastefully long hot showers, with no one waiting. Taking the time to nurse, and fully savor, steaming and wonderfully rich black coffee in a slogan-free North American sized ceramic mug. Read in bed. Decorate the Christmas tree. Get my back scratched. Hide.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If I were confined to quarters and could travel nowhere else, then I would have to choose living in the heart of New York City, somewhere very near to Central Park. On the other hand if I were able to travel, I love our home in Venice. The Palazzo is wonderful, the city it beautiful, the people are charming and geographically we are central to so many other places that I have enjoyed visiting.
If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol
Isaac Asimov. That would be a lot of great reading.
Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.
I like to entertain. Writing is a wonderful conduit for that. Only recently have I begun to undertake it with strong conviction, therefore I would say that it is very definitely a work in progress. It likely always will be.
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
Luscious magazines about gracious living that are so utterly lavish and materialistic as to risk causing gout in the reader. My chicken-Bovril mashed potatoes. Chewing ice cubes. Wastefully long hot showers, with no one waiting. Poutine.
If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?
Clean up after yourself.