Favourite quote: 'You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big' - Sunset Boulevard
Richie, an ex-Civil Servant, lives in Cambridgeshire, England, and is a dabbling writer of horror stuff, weird stuff, and bonkers stuff. Richie has work accepted by Twisted 50 Volumes 1 and 2, The Singularity, Aphotic Realm, and Weirdbook.
The announcement of the 50 stories to be included in Twisted 50 Volume 2 pleased at least fifty people, but probably disappointed (in one degree or another) considerably more.
That’s natural, no matter how pleased you might be for some or all of the writers to be included, but what now?
Well, whether it made the shortlist or not, you have a story on the C50 website. It’s been through various iterations following feedback (from the massively-helpful, to the less-helpful ‘I noticed a typo…’) and it is, presumably, a different story (a better story?) than when you posted the first draft.
The Twisted50 Audiobook has been ‘beta’ listened to by five people. During this process the feedback surprised even us. It seems that Twisted50 narrated is EVEN better than the written
word. Here is feedback from three of the listeners…
‘The Twisted50 audiobook is a compelling, unhurried, lingering, luxurious, silk-lined, creamy-dark, downy flick-knife musk-rose experience. So treat yourself!’
‘The acoustic, the sense of 'being there' with a stranger whispering your deepest fears right into your ears, and a freak-out playlist of fantastic musical intros is nerve jangling…’
From the moment I heard the discordant, harsh, and apt introductory music of this clip, I was hooked like an albatross on a tuna line.
As though having the opportunity to have ‘The Cyclist’ published in a book was not (for me) a victory in itself, hearing my words narrated in such a professional and compelling manner by Pearl Hewitt is an entirely new experience. I have only ever heard my stories in my own voice – out-loud, or in my head – so to have such a striking, third-party interpretation is a revelation. I realise now what an appalling lack of imagination I have when it comes to interpreting my own material.
I used to write a lot, every working day, cataracts of words, page upon ream. But that was dull Civil Service stuff.
It’s only lately that I stopped all that and started to write creatively, following a stroke and medical retirement.
Not so good, but it could have been much worse, so I’m very lucky. (Just prior to the stroke, I was pulling together information to see how feasible it would be to leave the bloody job.
As it turned out, events overtook me. Wishes can be very dangerous things.)
Entering stories into Twisted 1, was, for me, quite a leap of faith, not in the competition, but in myself. I’d done no creative writing since school, and that was a long time ago, but have always been an avid reader of fiction, including horror fiction, so thought it was time to try.
I am so pleased I did, because it’s fun! I wrote and submitted four stories in the final days of T1 – nothing like leaving it until the last minute – and with each one, I learnt something, through trial and error on my own part, or from the comments each story received once posted.
And the fourth story – the fourth I have written since my schooldays –was fortunate enough to be selected for Twisted 50 Volume 1.
I believe I’ve learnt a lot from the Create 50 site in the relatively short time since I joined, and for what it’s worth, here are a few observations: