Saturday, April 28, 2012

Interview: Author Mick Ridgewell

Mick Ridgewell's first novel, the thriller Nightcrawler, premiers in digital form at Barnes and Noble and Amazon's Kindle Store this Tuesday. Ridgewell was born in Fort Erie, Ontario, grew up in Windsor, and now lives in LaSalle. In addition to Nightcrawler, he has written numerous works of fiction including Black Chaos, which placed second in a short story competition at Spinetinglers in December 2010.

Increasingly, modern authors are embracing new tools available for the first time through digital publishing, and online workshop venues. Ridgewell refined the manuscript for Nightcrawler through Authonomy, publisher Harper Collins' platform and community for uncovering new writing talent. For Ridgewell, writing often comes down to questions:

Almost everything I write starts with a ‘What if.’ Getting that what if is like deciding to go out for dinner. What if we went out for dinner tonight? The rest is like getting in the car and figuring out the details on the way there. Usually fairly early in the process I envision the end. Once that happens, it’s just a matter of connecting the dots.

With The Nightcrawler, I was reading Stephen King’s On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft, and ‘What if you are driving across country, and you see the same person, over and over again,” popped into my head. The Nightcrawler was born out of that idea.

What are some of the authors, films, or books which inspire or influence you?

Some years back, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles restarted my love for reading, so I guess the inspiration began there. However, as far as authors go, Stephen King is at the top of the list. It was actually his On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft that motivated me to begin The Nightcrawler. I have since read all but his two most recent published books in order of release. Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend and Orwells’s 1984 would also be on the list. Stepping away from horror, I have to say I am a big fan of the Harry Potter series and more recently, my daughter steered me toward The Hunger Games series which pleasantly surprised me. I do read more horror than any other genre, but if a book has well developed characters (characters that I can form an emotional bond with, whether the emotion is good or bad), then I will enjoy the story.

How would you characterise the type of horror in your work?

I describe The Nightcrawler as a paranormal thriller. Many of the situations in The Nightcrawler are things that could happen to anyone. Throw in some nightmares, nasty vagrants, creepy crawlies and a dead sister, and I hope it is a story that will have you looking over your shoulder when someone cheerfully says, “Okie Dokie.”

Describe your experience workshopping Nightcrawler at Authonomy; what was that like?

Authonomy is a community of writers and readers from all over the world. It is a website, administered by HarperCollins UK. After uploading your writing, other members can read, comment and support the work. The top five books each month are reviewed by HarperCollins. I had The Nightcrawler on the site for eleven months, achieving the end goal of a review from a HarperCollins editor. During that time The Nightcrawler received over 700 comments, many of which were very helpful in making me a better writer. 

Is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?

Never give up your dreams. At 53 years old, I am anxiously awaiting the release of my first novel. If you have something you always wanted to do, then take the first step to achieving it. I am living proof that if you jump in with both feet, good things can happen.

Thank you for joining us, Mick!

Nightcrawler will be available in digital formats May 1st from Barnes and Noble, and Samhain Publishing.
The Nightcrawler paperback by Mick Ridgewell can be pre-ordered from

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