When I signed up for the Legends and Lore Anthology Blog Tour I asked Becca & Sarah from Loving the Book Launch Party, who are the Tour organisers, to review Charon’s Obol by. R. M. Ridley. I didn’t know what the story was about, or I should say that what I only knew was what the short description says: “Jonathan Alvey didn’t believe in gods, until he helps a lost child find her all-powerful parents.”
But a word was what intrigued me: Charon.
In Greek mythology, Charon (Greek: Χάρων) is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.
So, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that this story, part of the Legends and Lore Anthology, is inspired by Greek Mythology.
As much as I felt a proud Greek, I was even more delighted because what I read was a fast paced, well constructed and beautifully written story. R. M. Ridley’s writing style has many to do with this because the author knows how to engage the audience.
I haven’t read yet the rest of the book, but if tit has the quality Charon’s Obol has, I’m sure it’ll be a great success.
Q&A with R.M.Ridley
How did the idea for this story come to you?
As for every story I write, it starts with an image, or moment of dialogue, that my Muse slaps into my head and I just let it unfurl from there. In this case, it was the image of a little girl standing in door to Alvey’s office.
What makes your main character unique?
He’s almost an anti-hero. He wants nothing more than to sit in his office smoking, drinking, and reading but the universe keeps throwing things in life which he’s just can leave alone because he’s driven by a sense of duty and of guilt.
Is this part of a series?
Yes. This is a short story set in the White Dragon Black series. The first story to see print from this world was in last years paranormal anthology, ‘Shades and Shadows’ and then the full length novel ‘Tomorrow Wendell’ came out in June of this year.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I didn’t want to devote the majority of life to it until about fifteen years ago, however. It wasn’t until the character of Jonathan Alvey came along, four years ago, that I said I need to get this published.
What have you written?
I write urban fantasy / paranormal and horror. I have completed four novels that have never even been submitted anywhere and a stack of short stories. I have had a few of my short stories published, both the paranormal and the horror.
What are you working on?
Currently I am working on the edits of the second White Dragon Black novel, ‘Bindings & Spines, as well as writing the fifth novel in the series. I am also working with Xchyler on a secret project for fans of the White Dragon Black series.
How do you write? Longhand, typewriter, laptop, tablet?
My hand writing is atrocious, I can’t even read it half the time, so I use a laptop. A lap top also makes it easier for me to write in the style that I do, which is non-chronological. I flit from beginning, to end, to middle— all over the place– where ever the inspiration hits, I write that scene and eventually it all gets woven together.
What is your writing zone and how do you get there?
If my Muse is with me, I’m writing. If she steps out for coffee, I’m useless – I can’t write a thing. I’m just a conduit for her idea’s.
What’s the hardest thing about writing?
Not writing. Every moment you are not working with the words, for whatever reason, is the hardest part of writing.
What’s the easiest thing about writing?
When it all suddenly clicks – when the whole picture snaps into place and you understand everyone’s motives, reasons, and, minds, then it just flows out like and open tap.
What are you currently reading?
I’m working my way through the entire collection of Raymond Chandler’s short stories.
Do you prefer reading eBook or paperback?
I have never even tried reading from an eBook, so that probably says something.
What advice do you have for fellow writers?
Learn to love editing. See edits as the flips side of writing – still creative, still full of possibilities – and every aspect, from the first word written, to the first word printed, will be a joy.
R.M. Ridley lives in rural Ontario on a small homestead, raising a menagerie of animals, including a flock of sheep and a swarm of foul. He has been writing stories, both long and short, for three decades, the themes of which range from the gruesome to the fantastical. As an individual who suffers from severe bipolar disorder, R.M. Ridley is a strong believer in being open about mental health issues because myths should be kept to stories.
Link to the Publisher’s page: http://www.xchylerpublishing.com/site.cfm/Our-Books/Legends-and-Lore.cfm