Ricky Lee Baxter, introduce yourself, your writing style and books to our readers
My name is Ricky Lee Baxter. I am a self-published author, born and raised in London, England. I am a fictional story writer, who enjoys worlds and characters vastly different from our own, yet with a solid theme, rooted in real world issues and subject matters. I am also an avid blogger – ranging from topics on race, religion and current affairs. My writing style is usually as a script format – however I have recently embraced the traditional novel styles, whether first or third person. My current novel is called Gideon and the Crimson Samurai, an adventure of friendship, fate and kick ass action.
Where do you write?
I currently write in Leeds, inside a warm house. I can’t function with any form of cold or outside distraction, hence why I need to be inside – preferably writing at night. It’s crazy, but it’s the only way I can get anything done.
What is a typical writing day for you?
On an average writing day, I would do nothing that involved writing – instead working a day job or socialising. In the evening, however, that’s when I begin writing. I have always been this way, and feel most focused by the night time, with no distractions.
What is your writing process?
I usually start with just an idea, nothing else. For a day or so I’ll simply play out certain scenes through my head, but nothing solid. I then take a deep breath and put pen to paper (by pen to paper I actually mean my fingers to the keyboard). Then, I simply allow my imagination to take over – ignoring spelling mistakes, errors and the lot. At least for the first draft I choose importance on the actual story, instead of the technicalities. Once complete I leave it for a while and go back to it, with fresh eyes.
How do you come up with the ideas for your stories?
I am an idealist by nature, which means I’ll always strive for the impossible. As such, when faced with real world issues and obstacles, I’ll either think up a make-believe world, or create an alternate one, where things go the way I want. My ideas are purely based on real world experiences.
Describe the path to publishing your latest book
The path to getting my book published was not as easy as Amazon had me believe – however they did provide the basic guidelines for me to follow. Once I completed my story, I needed to find an editor and proofreader, which costs money (a lot of it). While I was looking for editors, I also had to find an illustrator for the cover art, which took some time, and involved further money. Fortunately, I wasn’t charged much for the editor and illustration, seeing as they were friends of mine. The final process was to follow the steps, provided by Amazon, and to upload it for the world to see!
Why did you choose to self-publish?
I choose to self-publish because I enjoy the freedom of doing things my own way. I am not a fan of being told what to do all the time, so doing the self-publishing route is something that gives me freedom and joy to be as hasty or patient as I like. As an indie author I take full responsibility for my decisions, and I would like it to stay that way. In my opinion, to self-publish is a brave thing to do.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If it makes you feel good, then keep writing and don’t expect an overnight miracle to happen to your book sales. You really need to put the work in, and try different approaches. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all approach, so my path will be different to yours – however there are basics that you should adhere to. My personal word of wisdom is to be confident!
What’s next for you?
In a matter of months, I’ll release my next story, a novella called: Mother Gaia. It’s much shorter than Gideon and the Crimson Samurai, for readers who prefer a short and sweet dose of interesting literature.
Gideon Joust is your average twelve-year-old boy, with all the growing insecurities one would expect, following the mysterious disappearance of his father. On one fateful day, the boy’s world is turned upside down – leading to a chance encounter with a brash child warrior: Kibishi the Crimson Samurai.
Gideon and the Crimson Samurai is uniquely written in play format – suited for teens and adults alike.