Archive for Author; Richard S. Lucas; Redding; Downtown; Art

Second Saturday Art Night Draws Authors Downtown

Posted in Feature Articles with tags on May 26, 2012 by
Photo by Joe McGarity

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This week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by All About Books, now located in downtown Redding on Court Street.  All About Books.

Art is on display in Redding every month on the Second Saturday Art Night.  You can meet local authors at All About Books on Court Street in Redding.  The Fantom Penguin asked bookstore owner and published author, Richard S. Lucas which came first the books or the bookstore?

“The writing came first.  I started that back around 1998.  The first books I did were e-books published in Canada and then the paper publishing, my first one, Four Paths to Forever, came out a year after we had opened the first location of our bookstore in 2002.”

Isn’t it difficult to become a writer?

“Well, actually I think it’s quite easy to become a writer.  It’s hard to become a published writer.  Big difference there.  I don’t really have any specific thing that keyed me into writing.  I had done some in high school.  I had done poetry a little bit when I was younger.  And at one point the story just started to form.  I said, ‘So let’s try writing this.’  I didn’t have any official education in writing, no formal training so I just started a story and as people read what I was writing they decided that I could put a pretty good story together and it’s just kind of gone along like that since.  I get an idea and away I go with it.”

But what about getting it published?

“Well the very first ones I did them through a Canadian e-book publisher around 2000.  It was actually probably ahead of their times, so it was easy to get that into an e-book format.  It didn’t do very well and that publisher went out of business a couple years after I had released my first one, but it gave me a kind of an idea what could happen there.  Paper printing is a whole lot different.  I think most novelists like I am end up going a self-published or joint-venture publishing way, where you pick up some of the cost and the publisher picks up some of the cost and you work on marketing.  It’s not a traditional package where they pay for everything.  That is very difficult to get these days.”

Second Saturday previously was called the Art Hop.  It was run by a few of the local art businesses in the area.  They eventually gave up on it so the Shasta County Arts Council has taken it over.  At this point there are 14 businesses in town.  We do local authors.  The other ones do local artists, music venues, some performing arts and it’s to help promote both the local businesses and to help promote local artists of all types.”

Isn’t helping other artists like helping your own competition?

“I don’t see it as a competition.  I’m sure some might.  I think that as hard as it is to get recognized as a writer and as expensive as it can be to be recognized as a writer, we’re just giving them an opportunity to get their names out on a local level, to meet more people in the business, maybe more writers, more artists and just start to network that way at no cost to them.”

What about your own books?

“The first book was Four Paths to Forever and it’s an archeological adventure based on a Hopi Indian legend of the Sipapu which was their gateway to the inner world where they say the first people came from and it’s a modern-day archeological search for that gateway.  I then wrote the sequel, Beyond Forever:  Journey to Tulmic, which was the story of what happened when they found that gateway and what they found on the other side.  My next one was a shift, Abrigor:  The First Battle, which was a modern-day Christian-based fantasy about demon fighters, four people brought together by God, trained by the angels to fight in combat against demons and I’m now currently working on the sequel to that.  And then my latest one, Ice Queen, is another archeological adventure, a new set of characters following an image that started in China 3,000 years ago and ends up in Peru and how they link that together.  What I try to do in my novels is put in a little bit of a factual base.  All the archeological information (or most of it) is true and then I form the story around those.”

“There’s a huge pool of talent in the area and unfortunately, I think being in the north end of the state, they don’t get the media coverage that they could if they were in a big metropolitan area.  That why we decided, myself being an author, decided it was worth trying to get the word out there for people to see what’s available from the local people and we’re getting some interest.  We had, as you know, we had the store up on Lake Boulevard that we just closed for eleven years and saw very little interest in the local writers, but in the three months that we’ve been here people come and look at this display behind me all the time.  And so they’re excited to see it and they’re excited to see a bookstore downtown again.”

“With the Saturday Art Night, our focus is, of course, local authors but we also promote local artists and as anyone comes in and walks around the store, they’ll see art on the walls from . . . I think currently we have five different artists, one potter.  We’re trying to give the artists . . . and we tend to lean to what I consider ‘urban art’; that’s probably not an official term, but the younger artists, more free-flowing type things, we try to give them an avenue and a place for them to show their stuff.  Hopefully people come in and of course visit with our authors but look at what some of the local artists are doing also.”

Watch the Video

Listen to the Podcast 

Purchase Richard S. Lucas’ Books