BONNIE: Welcome everyone, this is Bonnie Dillabough, aka The Web Woman, and I’m here today with someone that you are just going to love to hear about.
I’ve had an opportunity to read some of his work, and I have to tell you how impressed I am with what he has today about so many different topics.
He is known as the Writing King, and that’s a pretty big statement, that you’ll see as we talk to him that it’s just totally not far out of the mark.
This is Richard Lowe Jr.
You’re the Writing King, and what I know about you is, most writers I know are known for a very specific style, a very specific genre, but you have so many different things that you cover, and I think that’s kind of where the whole Writing King comes from. Am I right?
RICHARD: that’s correct.
My niche is that I can write just about anything. There are some subjects I don’t want to write about, some things I’m not comfortable with subject-wise because I don’t understand them.
But I can write about anything.
I started with the ghostwriting, and then it just…I’ve got a very varied background…
Background of Richard Lowe
BONNIE: So, why don’t you tell us a little bit about where you came from because every writer has something unique about them, as to where they came from, and you come out of a very interesting professional background.
RICHARD: Well, when I was in college, I was going to be a geologist. Geology was my life; I had a rock collection too that was incredible. I still have it and it’s turned into a crystal collection, that’s very impressive.
When I was in college, I met a guy named Steve Davis, who is now Executive VP at Disney. He was my first boss. I was in college and he and another guy named Fred hired me into their company and I became the Vice President of Consulting of that company.
A few years later, after Steve left, I decided to leave and move on to another company and became the Vice President Consulting of that, while at the same time working as the Senior Designer for Water District Systems, to control water including Las Vegas Valley Water District.
After that I found a home in Trader Joe’s and was there for 20 years as Director of Operations. That was a really cool place to work.
Trader Joe’s – it’s a very interesting place to work, very enjoyable, I learned a lot, had some great bosses there who taught me a lot of things about business networking, technology, and so forth.
Becoming a Photographer
My life changed when my wife passed away. To fight the grief, I became a photographer and traveled a lot.
For a while I was photographing nature, traveling, going hiking, all the national parks in the western United States, and then I fell into Renaissance Festivals and started photographing festivals, and became the photographer for a number of them in the local area, from California to Arizona, and Colorado.
From there, I got into the belly dance community, and started photographing dancers, and became friends with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dancers, probably well over a thousand, and most of them are still on my Facebook.
I met mermaids, dancers and all kinds of other interesting people, including a few supermodels, models and so on.
It gave me a very varied background.
I have a background in geology, in computers, highly technical subjects, leadership, management, photographing, in relationships and so on.
There’s a lot of things I can write about that I’m actually an expert or well-versed in, at the very least.
I’m also writing a lot of fiction now, some science fiction – I’m working on a science fiction novel, and I’ve written a couple of science fiction shorter works, and I will be writing a lot more of that.
Creating Coloring Books
I know that back in the day when I was pursuing writing as a potential career, one of my mentors always said, “write about what you know”.
Obviously, your background fuels the kind of things that you write about.
You also have coloring books that you’ve done. Some of these are really beautiful.
RICHARD: I fell into the coloring book thing by accident. I was on Fiverr looking for someone to make book covers and I ran into an artist who was very inexpensive. It occurred to me that I have these pictures, photographs that I’ve taken of belly dancers, so why not have the artist sketch into coloring books?
Because she was very inexpensive, and relatively good, I had four books done with over 200 images of belly dancers.
I like it – it felt good to produce art.
I like producing art.
Then I produced 12 more, and I’ve got a final one on human rights that will come out in about a month.
BONNIE: Wow that’s cool.
Well, one of the things I want to suggest to any of you who are listening to this right now is, definitely go and look him up on amazon.com because you’ll be amazed at the variety of things he’s written about.
Obviously, you’ve done a lot of things, what was it that, for the very first time, where you said, “I’m going to sit down and I’m going to start writing”?
Was there a specific event in your life, or…?
Reading Everything in Sight
RICHARD: Well, I was brought up as a reader.
When I was a kid, maybe six years old I was kind of hyperactive, I was a very active child, busy at the time, always riding my bike, always taking part in events, always playing with the children.
And my mother, I think in kind of an attempt to calm me down a bit, brought me to the library, and I fell in love with the library.
Primarily because you could get these gold stickers when you finished a book and it really looked cool.
The stickers were spiders, I like spiders.
BONNIE: Spiders are cool.
RICHARD: I filled up a sheet of spiders, and then another sheet with scorpions, and another sheet with something else. Who knows?
I was reading literally a book a day until I got up to the adult level.
The thing that spurred me into that whole thing just before that was that my grandmother left a box of books in our house for storage and one of them was Stranger in a Strange Land. Yes, I read at that young age Stranger in a Strange Land, which if you’ve ever read the book, it’s kind of adult.
It’s got adult themes and it’s definitely not something you’d expect somebody between six- and eight-year-old to be reading through, and I read it four times because it was a whole different point of view about life and everything else.
I fell in love with reading, and authors, and things, and then I decided I wanted to be a writer and ran into the typical “I have no idea how to write”. After all, I was only nine years old, ten years old, and life got in the way, and I decided “okay, I’ll go to college then I’ll be a writer”, then I had to have a job, then I got married and I a wife and a kid, and couldn’t find time to write, and then Trader Joe’s was a very, very hectic job with a lot of demands. So I kept putting writing off.
Finally, one day, about three years ago, in 2013, I was looking over my finances, and looking over my future and realized “wait, I’m 53, and I still haven’t achieved my lifelong dream, which is it to become a writer. Why don’t I do that? I’ve got enough in the bank to do that and live for a few years,” and that’s what I did.
I started off doing ghostwriting.
Ghostwriting is by the way, relatively easy to get into, it’s relatively easy to find people who will pay you to write blogs, and books, and articles, and things.
I got into that, and then I moved into writing my own books.
Starting with a computer book, and the moving on to other that I knew about until now, I have 56 books published.
BONNIE: Wow, I mean that’s quite a feat in that short span of time.
Sounds like you’ve been kind of preparing all your life to be ready for that and you know, when you are writing, I know this is something that a lot of people like to know about their favorite authors, are you that kind of person that sits down and makes an outline and plans it all out, has the plot perfect and everything, or are you kind of go with the flow kind of guy?
RICHARD: I sit down, and I start from the middle of the book.
Like, I’m writing a book called Peacekeeper, it’s a science fiction novel, and I’ve started it right smack dab in the middle, then I wen to the end and I wrote the end, then I went back and I wrote the beginning, and I’ve gone back through it a few times, and finally I sat down and outlined it because there were too many plots, threads for me to track in my head and the books has taken a couple of years to write. So, I got lost, so I had to sit down and actually do an outline.
It’s probably going to be 100,000 words when it’s done, it’s 35,000 right now.
But when I’m writing a non-fiction book I take a whole different approach, I outline the whole thing first, and then start form the top and write down, usually about halfway through, I go and write the conclusion, and then come back and fill in the gap.
BONNIE: Do you ever have times when you sit down and you’ve got this blank page in front of you, and you just go “oh my gosh, I just don’t know what I’m doing today”
RICHARD: That’s when I let social media take over and I start doing promotion.
What I’ve found is, when I don’t feel like writing, then I start promoting, or marketing, or working on artwork for a cover, or something else. If worse comes to worst, go for a long walk.
If I still can’t figure it out, then fin doubt who’s been talking bad things to me about writing, because that really discourages writers.
Is when somebody, usually subtle, somebody makes subtle remark, it could even be just a “that was okay”, and that can devastate a writer.
If I can’t fix that, what do you call it, writer’s block by promoting or doing something else, then almost inevitably it’s somebody made a comment, an evaluation, sometimes it’s quite blatant, sometimes is quite subtle, it’s just intense, then I find that and it’s interesting the writer’s block clears up right away.
BONNIE: There you go. What’s nice here is to be able to find the root of a problem.
Now, which do you like better? Do you enjoy writing fiction or non-fiction better?
RICHARD: I’ve written 25 non-fiction books, plus a bunch of coloring books and puzzle books and other things, and two fiction books, so I like writing fiction better, but I’m not well-versed in it yet.
I’m finding fiction more difficult, probably because I haven’t done a lot of it.
The non-fiction is just easy.
I can sit down and whip out 10,000 words a day, easy.
BONNIE: …because that’s what you know…
RICHARD: Because it’s what I know, and because I have a very casual style writing, I just sit down and boom, write it out, it’s like I’m talking to you right now, I’m writing about it, because I type fast as we are talking, and then in the evening I go through it, I edit it down and fix it all. And I actually use dictation to write with, which increases speed by three times by the way, when you dictate your words.
BONNIE: Over time, I know that you’ve done a lot of ghostwriting for other people, is that something that you enjoy doing, or is it more something that is more bread-and-butter kind of thing?
RICHARD: It’s a little of both.
I enjoy ghostwriting, it’s fun working with the client, they can be a little difficult because I tend to get very high technology ghost writing jobs because I’m very technical.
The one I’m working on now, I just finished the book, and it’s off the beta readers, it was over my head by about a light year. The guy I’m writing it with, it actually turned into a collaboration instead of a ghostwriting project. I’m actually going to get my name on the inside cover, which is pretty cool, which means I will be credited for the book.
I enjoy the ghostwriting, but I enjoy writing for myself more, that’s more my direction, my life, my dream is to have my own books published.
However, ghostwriting pays the bills. it’s fun working with different clients…
BONNIE: Let’s say that writing wasn’t an option right now, what would you be doing instead do you think?
RICHARD: Probably going into photography.
I was doing that for about eight years, I was photographing, and I wasn’t doing it for a living, but it’s similar and it’s very creative, and I have a lot of fun doing it, and it involves being out with people, and I enjoy that a lot.
I think if I couldn’t write, I would go photograph.
BONNIE: But you are more about photographing things that are happening, or things that are out there, as opposed to like a wedding photographer, or someone who does portraits, that sort of thing.
RICHARD: I was a performance photographer for the most part.
I photographed wrestling matches, belly dance shows, Renaissance festivals, western shoot out shows, the Grand Canyon, stuff like that.
So, will there eventually be some photography books in your future?
RICHARD: I think there will be.
I’ve thought about them, I haven’t really looked at the market to see if they sell, but I have one million photographs on one of my websites that I’ve taken over those years and I can out them to use somehow.
Probably when the writing settles down and I’m done with ideas, I might go photograph some more.
For those of us who are still working through things, I actually have got a book in the works right now.
But, for both of us who could use some mentoring here, what would say is the best if you can give for someone who is just getting started and decided to do writing for a living?
RICHARD: That’s actually relatively easy.
The way you succeed in any business, writing is no exception, it might be even more for writing is you network your butt off, and by networking, I mean, you go out and meet people, you meet them on Skype, you meet them online, you meet them on Facebook, on LinkedIn. Then you go out to the libraries, you go out to bookstores, you go to places where people are who read books, you start your own critique groups, you join critique groups and you build this network of other writers that you can pitch your ideas to, who will be able to read your books, who will give you honest critique, not criticism, but critique, and who will help you promote your book when the time comes to promote it, and give you resources for covers and so forth.
That is the number one thing that a writer needs to be doing from the day he starts writing, until the day he keels over. Network, network, network, network, a bit every single day needs to be done. Networking not just online, but in the physical world, like I said, get out, off your butt, get-out into a library and talk to somebody. Then you’ll get to see actually what people are reading, just by looking around the library.
BONNIE: I know a lot of libraries have writers’ groups, where they meet tighter on a regular basis and read bits and pieces out of what they wrote the week before. Having kind of a commitment that you need to have something to read somebody by next week is kind of a good way to stay on top of to and keep being forward, I think.
RICHARD: That’s correct, in fact I run my own writer’s group here in Clearwater, called the Clearwater Science Fiction Critique Group, and also schools, universities and things are also excellent environments to go to and see what people are reading and what is poplar topic wise.
So, as you are moving forward, you know you were talking about that networking is just really, really important as an author, and you happen to have a book coming out soon about networking or your business and for your life.
RICHARD: That’s correct, it’s in the final stages now. Its publication date is due to be March 1st, 2017, coming up soon.
I just got it back from the proof-reader, I’ve had four beta readers look at it, I’ve got another one looking at it now, actually you, and it’s about how to network professionally as far as business is concerned. in the virtual world, and in the physical world, because that’s the way you actually become a best-selling author, is you build a network and everything else, basically unless you have really deep pockets and you can afford hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can plug your book, everything else doesn’t work you need to be networking.
BONNIE: Absolutely, but it’s not just for people who write. I mean anyone who has any kind of a business, or who wants to move forward their career needs to get good at networking, is that true?
RICHARD: That is correct.
But, for example, when you network you can find people who have resources that you need, because you can’t do everything, you can find people who will help you promote, you can find them help you advertise, you can find business partners who can work with you. I’ve got several people who are working with me on different parts of my business, and I help them with parts of theirs.
This is what keeps a small business going is, and writing is a small business, if you want to make it, that’s the other thing, the second tip is: treat it as a business, not as a hobby, and that means you work at it and networking is one of those things, if you notice one of the words is work, you need to work at it.
You need to go out and work.
That book will be all about how to do that.
Actually, I have one final interview scheduled for next week with a senior vice president of a major corporation, who was one of my first bosses and he’s a supreme networker, and that will probably go into the book, depending on how the interview turns out.
BONNIE: That’s awesome.
There is so much more we could talk about, honestly, I can sit and talk to you for the next three hours, and you and I often do that…
RICHARD: That’s correct…
The Writing King
BONNIE: The thing that I want to leave people with right now is if you haven’t heard a Richard Lowe Jr, please take a moment and go look him up on Amazon.
You will be amazed at the wealth of information that he’s put out there, and having read some of his information, and read some of his work, I can hardly recommend taking the time and seeing what he’s got to offer.
I’m looking forward to the science fiction book when it comes out, because I’m a big sci-fi fan, but I think that if you are looking or something to put on your Kindle, so that you have something to read during your commute – oh and by the way, one of the things about Richard that I know is that he put all of his books in audio format as well.
So if you want to just listen to it on your commute, you could do that, which I think is really, really cool, so when you’re jogging, or working in the garden, or whatever, you can listen to Richard talk to you.
RICHARD: Yes, you can go to coolauthor.com and that goes straight to my amazon page.
BONNIE: Oh, okay! That’s easy to remember then, coolauthor.com, I love it.
So, thank you Richard for taking the time to talk with us today, and I’m sure we’ll have you back in the future again to tell us, especially once your new book on networking comes out.
RICHARD: well, thank you very much, thanks for having me.
BONNIE: you are so welcome…
I will be back with some other wonderful interviews with some of my favorite authors in the near future, so stay tuned.
Take care everyone.
Please note, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the book links provided in this article.
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