Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I’m a full-time writer. I have a great wife and wonderful weekend job to thank for that. I’ve been publishing my short stories here and there since 2010 (most recently in Spelk, Unbroken Journal, and 3:AM Magazine). A love of flash fiction is certainly reflected in my oeuvre.
I’ve wanted to write books since about 1st grade, after I won an award for a short story about a penguin mail carrier. My idea about what to write has evolved along with my tastes in fiction. I consider myself a consumer of connoisseur fiction. That is to say, I love the best fiction there is, no matter the genre the publishing industry wishes to label it. If it’s fantastic writing that will stand the test of time, this connoisseur will read it.
I’m inspired to write the type of things that I, as a connoisseur, wish to read. Hopefully my published writing lives up to the standards of taste it requires to be included on a connoisseur’s bookshelf.
Tell us about your books.
Descriptions of Heaven (Harvard Square Editions, 2016): A linguist, a lake monster, and the looming shadow of death—news of an unknown creature in the New Bedford Lake coincides with news that Natalia’s cancer has returned.
On the shores of the lake in a strange house with many secret doors, Robert and his family must face the fact that Natalia is dying, and there is no hope this time. But they continue on; their son plays by the lakeside, Natalia paints, Robert writes, and all the while the air is thick with dust from a worldwide drought that threatens to come down and coat their little corner of green.
A lament for what is already lost and what is yet to be lost, Descriptions of Heaven leaves only one question to be asked: What’s next?
Dialogues: a Collection of Creative Conversations (Medium.com web series): A standoff with Bigfoot, an epidemic of serial killers, crossing a busy and blood-spattered road, men leaving their wives for artificial intelligence dating apps—these are just a few of the dialogical short stories you’ll find in this new collection by Randal Eldon Greene.
How did you go about getting published?
I submitted my book, Descriptions of Heaven, to a bunch of traditional publishers. Three acceptance letters came back to me. I rejected one publisher myself. Another rejected themselves, saying they couldn’t offer nearly the amount of support and exposure as the other oneI was considering. The publisher I ended up with was Harvard Square Editions. They liked it because of its underlying environmental theme (and it’s great writing, of course).
Right now I’m also publishing an online series using the Medium, the publishing platform. The series, Dialogue: a Collection of Creative Conversations, is free to read online or with the Medium app. A new dialogue arrives every week of 2018. Once I’m done, I’ll go about getting the collection published in book form. Until then, you can find it here: https://medium.com/series/dialogues-a-collection-of-creative-conversations-c06333e86a6
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I tend to work on my novel in the morning to early afternoon hours. I like to read a little bit first, if the itch to write doesn’t distract me too much. The short stories and dialogues are usually things I work on late in the afternoon or evenings. Articles and non-fiction are things I usually write while at work. I’m slowly becoming an all-day writer.
There is a desk in my home library where I am supposed to write. I’ve been favoring my kitchen table lately, which isn’t the first time I’ve moved writing to my family space.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
When I’m not writing, I’m updating my website and dialogue series. I also read, watch movies with my wife or best friend, and go on long, meaning walks around the city when the weather is nice. Most of the cooking in the house is done by me, so I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
I think a lot of readers are driven away by crappy book covers that have an unprofessional look. It’s my understanding that even publishers sometimes ask for your input on covers. Go ahead and give them ideas based on theme or content, but make it clear that YOU’RE A WRITER not a cover designer (unless you are), and that you went with a publisher because publishers publish books, so it’s their job to create a stunning book cover for your writing.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
ARCs. Lots and lots of ARCs. Send your advance release copies to newspapers, reviewers, contests, and literary journals that publish book reviews. I suggest you start with a run of 100. If you get lots of reviews (and still have other places left to send them) do a second run to keep the momentum going.
What’s your favorite book?
What are you reading now?
Dialogues by Paul Valéry
What’s your next book project?
One current book project is Dialogues: a Collection of Creative Conversations. As explained above, I’m publishing one dialogue-style short story a week, free to read on Medium.com, and once all the stories are published, I’ll look into publishing options for a book version of my collection.
My other book project is a novel-in-progress. I’m over halfway done and working on it four or five days a week. Descriptions of Heaven, my first book, is a novella. This WIP is a full-sized novel. It’s dark and comic, sad and raging. The book is about a rock band that gains fame through infamy.
Author Websites and Profiles
Randal Eldon Greene Amazon Profile
Randal Eldon Greene Author Profile Other Bookseller