Richard Alan Hall – a former farm boy, whose day job in the medical field, friendships with veterans and time in Hemingway’s Key West gardens have shaped his writing life.
Richard Alan Hall was born in Traverse City at James Decker Munson Hospital on Groundhog’s Day, 1947 and grew up on a farm near Long Lake. For over forty years, Richard was a cardiovascular nurse specialist. That career was never just a job.
On June 8, 2013, his first novel, Remarkable, was released, making the northwest Michigan best-seller list several times. His second novel Seldom as They Seem, a sequel, was released on June 7, 2014 it became Horizon Books bestselling softcover novel for 2014. The third in the Big Bay series, No Gray Twilights was released in September 19, 2015. For Better Or Worse, the fourth book in the series, released on October 15th, 2016 and spent seven 7 weeks on the Northern Michigan bestsellers list.
Richard writes in Traverse City and Key West. His experiences as a farm boy, critical care nurse, and friendship with war vets from every war since the Spanish American war are evident in his novels. Richard and his wife, Debra, live in Traverse City.
An interview with Richard Alan Hall by Cymbre Foster
How did you become a writer?
My wife told me, “You are a great story teller. You should write a novel.” I grew weary of saying no. This is pretty much all Debra’s fault. Now I am addicted.
How do you write? What is your process?
I shut the door to my den and play music loud. Then I close my eyes and wait for the first sentence to develop. From that point, it is simply trying to keep up with the movie playing in my mind. Finding the right combination of words to paint the picture is the challenge.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Steinbeck is my all-time favorite. At a young age, he amazed me with his ability to form pictures in my mind. Other favorites include C.S. Lewis, Lewis Grizzard, Steve Hamilton, Zane Grey, Garrison Keillor and Elizabeth Buzzelli.
What authors have inspired you?
Benjamin Busch, John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. Benjamin sends succinct comments from time to time, with encouragements. Steinbeck built the mountain that I am now climbing. And, I frequent Hemingway’s gardens behind the brick walls at Whitehead and Olivia Streets in Key West. A picture of me sitting next to a little table, with a descendent of Ernest’s six toed cats purring as I wrote, is on the back cover of my second novel. That picture says it all.
What books are on your bedside table?
Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck, Grand Army Men by Robert J Wolz, Lincoln Life-size by Philip and Peter Kunhadt, The Roosevelts by Ward and Burns, and Blood Is the Sky by Steve Hamilton.
What writing projects do you have planned next?
I am doing the finishing touches on the third novel in the Big Bay series, No Gray Twilights with a release date of September 19, 2015.
What advice to you have for young writers?
The greatest gift is imagination. Dare to dream. Dream big. Follow your heart as you write the scenes traveling through your mind. And, rewrites are fun, too. You will be surprised what you didn’t see with the first sitting.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I read Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men while I watched the Holsteins graze, making sure they didn’t break through the fences. I loved those books.