Bio of author, Riley J. Ford: Riley J. Ford is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in English. After teaching at both the high school and college levels for a number of years, she became a curriculum developer before turning to writing full-time. Her non-fiction books are currently being used in college classrooms across the country, and her essays have been featured on MSNBC.com. She is the author of two fiction books, Into You, a young adult mystery, and Carpe DiEmily, a romantic comedy. Her books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and other channels. The first part of her romantic comedy, Carpe DiEmily, is free on all major book-buying sites. She currently lives in California with her husband and two children. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Describe yourself by using five words: Open, friendly, funny, loving, generous.
Tea or coffee? Tea
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Yes, since I can remember.
Which other authors do you admire? The late Nora Ephron (RIP), Tina Fey, Hollis Gillespie, Woody Allen, Jennifer Weiner…too many to list.
How do you come up with the titles of you books? INTO YOU was easy — it’s about a girl who can read minds when kissing people. She’s inside a guy’s head when she’s kissing him, but in order to get there in the first place, she (usually) needs to be “into” him! For CARPE DiEMILY, I came up with a name that sounded good with carpe diem, which is a big theme in the book. I went back and forth between Emma and Emily, but finally settled on Emily.
When did you know you were a writer? At about eight years of age, when I wrote my first full-length “book.”
Out of the writing/editing/publishing process, which is your favorite? Writing, then publishing. Last of all, editing. It’s excruciating (but necessary).
What must a writer have at all times? The ability forge ahead despite the inner critic. Self-discipline.
How has the social media helped your career as an author? I’ve met so many great people on Twitter who tell me they’ve discovered my books after reading my tweets. I love Twitter!
If you could write anywhere, where would it be? At home a my desk with a cup of hot tea by my side.
What is the best advice you’ve been given? Write every day on a project, even if it’s just a few pages. One day, you’ll have a book!
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects? I plan on writing the sequel to INTO YOU and CARPE DiEMILY. I’ve recently started outlining them.
Writing experts always say to “write what you know.” I’ve always stayed true to this since it seems logical enough, plus I dread the idea of getting details wrong if I’ve made up a place I’ve never visited. So, when writing my romantic comedy adventure novel, CARPE DiEMILY, I had my main character travel to places that I have visited myself. Emily went to Jamaica, New York, Spain, and France, all places I have traveled to in the past. In one chapter, I have Emily run with the bulls in Pamplona. Yes, that is something I actually did! And yes, it was a crazy experience.
The most frightening thing about running with the bulls isn’t the bulls. Nope. It’s the people. If you’re smart, you’ll run WAY ahead of the bulls, so far ahead that you won’t even see them. That is what I did. But . . . when you’re racing down a narrow cobblestone street with a gazillion other panicked, hung-over, and freaked-out people, it can get a little dangerous. Okay, not a little. A LOT. Everyone is jostling and pushing and shrieking and pulling on each other, even if there isn’t a single horned beast in sight. People trip and fall and are trampled. It happens quickly. One little footstep on a wet puddle (and there are many suspicious wet puddles in the streets of Pamplona due to all-night partying), and a person can end up seriously injured or dead. I was certain I was going to become a Pamplona statistic, except I wouldn’t have the glory of being de-bowelled by a bull and ending up famous on the news. No, I was simply going to be trampled by a mob that had lost its mind. It was enough to send terror through my veins, and I ran as though my life depended on it . . . because, actually, it did. Somehow, I made it. I made it into the stadium, sweat pouring down my face and my legs wobbling putty. I’d done it! I had survived a Pamplona bull-run!
When I was finally seated safely in my stadium seat, I realized that the media had it all wrong. Yes, running with the bulls in Pamplona is scary. But running with the people is ten times scarier. They’re the ones who can shove you under a bull.
In CARPE DiEMILY, the main character has an exciting adventure in Pamplona that involves panicked running crowds, a mad bull, a black-market organ broker, and a romantic love interest. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens . . . and if Emily survives! J