Richard Alan lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife, Carolynn. They are the proud parents of three wonderful adult sons.He is a Vietnam combat and 101st Airborne Division veteran.
After an education in mathematics, a 17 year career in manufacturing engineering and a 22 year career in software engineering, he has started a career as an author. Richard writes novels about people trying to find their life-partner, soul-mate, the person they are meant to be with for life. His first two books, Meant to Be and The Couples, are available on his website and most online retailers.
Richard’s other interests range from mathematical analysis and photography to anything with an engine. His current projects include writing the third (Finding Each Other) and fourth novels in the “Meant to Be” series, and discovering the properties of functions of p-adic numbers. Having completed a potting bench for his lifepartner, Carolynn, he is busy driving her to watch salmon runs, visit National Parks, and anywhere that provides an opportunity to view her avian friends.
You can visit Richard Alan’s website, VILLAGE DRUMMER FICTION at www.villagedrummerfiction.com.
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ABOUT THE COUPLES
Acclaimed author of Meant to Be, Richard Alan, once again enchants us with characters that we really want to know. You will laugh, cry, and love with them as you seek the answers to the relationship questions posed by this talented author.
Will a tough techy lady be able to find love with a man who is still mourning his deceased fiancée?
Will an intellectually snobbish genius learn that there is more to the truck mechanic than meets the eye?
Can a nerd and a party girl find happiness together?
Can a teenage boy musician get past his unrequited love to learn to love a ranch girl instead?
Will a troubled rape victim be able to have a normal relationship with a man?
The Couples is about people who may belong together and how the world around them helps them, or sometimes defeats them in their search for a life partner. It follows the lives of couples,their friends, and their support systems,as they explore their relationships.
The Couples is Richard Alan’s second novel in the “Meant to Be” series. It continues to explore relationships, love, and life.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Richard. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Couples, is all about?
The Couples continues the theme established in Meant to Be of people who may belong together and how the world around them helps, or sometimes defeats them, in their search for a life partner. It follows the lives of couples, their friends, and their support systems, as they explore their relationships.
Meyer and Joan return in The Couples, along with several other characters from Meant to Be. New people are introduced who also interact with Meyer, Joan, and others.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
Anna and Michael, both of whom are techies, are the main characters. Michael is emotionally hurting due to the sudden death of his fiancée a few weeks before their wedding. Anna has to get over her poor self-image and learn to trust her feelings. The book centers on their ability to help each other and to grow to become a couple.
There are several supporting characters. One of the them is suddenly confronted with the opportunity to become the mother of the daughter she gave up for adoption ten years earlier. Another is a rape victim who is trying to rejoin society as a whole person. One is a teenage boy musician who is trying to get past an unrequited love and finds happiness with a ranch girl. These and several others come together as a community to support each other in their quest to find their life partner.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
They are totally from my imagination.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
First I develop characters and then the characters tell me their stories. The stories they tell me always provide twists and turns. I follow them wherever they take me. Sometimes I am as surprised at the outcome of a relationship as I’m sure my readers will be. Occasionally, a subplot will be very interesting but not fit the main thrust of the book. I save those for subsequent novels.
Q: Your book is set in the Pacific Northwest, including the Seattle area and the Boise, ID area. Can you tell us why you chose these cities in particular?
The stunning backdrops of the stories my characters wish to convey is provided by the rich tapestry of the mountains, plains, deserts, forests, and marine environments of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
No; the interactions between, and the growth of, the characters is the major theme of the story. The setting provides reasons to interact. The characters reaction to the scenes around them may provide insight into their personalities.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
A 10 year old foster child is visiting with a family who might adopt her. When a bully is about to hurt the girl, he is stopped by the potential future father. She smiles at him and wonders if this is what it’s like to have a father.
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
As they sat in front of the campfire, Anna’s eyes were filled with tears. She told Michael, “Just when things were the best, they became the worst. I could never provide that kind of love for someone, like Sharon did for you.”
Michael left his chair, kneeled in front of Anna, and holding each of her hands in his, told her, “You can and you will.”
He leaned forward and kissed her lips. Anna’s mind was spinning. She tightened her grip on Michael’s hands with as much strength as she could. She knew that business partners shouldn’t act this way but… it was heaven to be kissed by Michael.
Anna closed her eyes and said in a quiet voice, “Michael, I’m scared. I’ve never even had a boyfriend and sometimes, just the thought of you, does things to me I don’t like to think about. That frightens me. I’m not sure…”
Michael stood up in front of Anna.
Interrupting her he said, “Please stand up, Anna.”
“Michael, please listen…”
Michael lifted her arms slowly pulling her to a standing position. He guided her arms around his neck, and in a soft voice told her, “This is how to get rid of that scared feeling.”
Michael wrapped his arms around Anna, pulling her body tightly against him and put his cheek against hers. He could feel Anna’s arms slowly tightening around his neck. Michael thought “Thank you Lord, for bringing Anna into my life and finally letting me hold her.”
Anna thought that having Michael’s arms firmly around her was better than her dream. With the warmth of the fire pit, the cool evening breeze blowing on her, and the warmth from Michael’s body against hers; Anna didn’t ever want to let go.
After a while Michael asked her, “Does this help you feel better?”
“Yes, Michael,” she whispered.
Q: Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?
I have never suffered from writer’s block. I have the opposite problem. This is a good problem which has allowed me to write four books in the last fifteen months.
Q: What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?
Create world peace. Oh, no – this is not a beauty contest. Seriously, I’ve written a storyline for my fourth book where a woman in her late twenties takes a six year old girl for her first ride in a sailboat. I would use the extra hour to continue polishing that story so my love of sailing, and being on the water, comes thru and becomes part of the girl’s character.
Q: Which already published book do you wish that you had written and why?
Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality. Only a genius can take a reader from arithmetic to particle physics and beyond in one volume. In my opinion, this one volume provides more science than any two years’ worth of college courses. His clarity of thought and purpose should be a guiding light for any writer, in any genre.
Q: What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors regarding getting their books out there?
Do not try to edit your own manuscript. Have a group of beta readers critique your book before you have it published. Listen to the editors and beta readers, but be careful not to let them ruin the spirit of your story. They are not the author, you are. The final product ultimately is your responsibility. Start creating buzz about your book long before the manuscript is even finished. Read blogs about writing. There is a wealth of information out there and many authors who are extremely supportive. Good luck and have fun.